Spotlight: Redfern by Gary Tinnams

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Title: Redfern
Author: Gary Tinnams
Genre: Science Fiction
“Humans don’t project past their own frequency. It’s why you’re so isolated as a species. The beings of other frequencies can only witness what you build and feel what you destroy.”


Earth – Tomorrow – The Singularity:-

The machines have taken over and mankind is cast out.

Millennia later, the inhospitable planet of Redfern is in the process of being made habitable for the proposed rebirth of the entire human race. All is proceeding as planned until Enforcer, Ted Holloway, witnesses the unexpected appearance of a long dead and former friend – A man who can become invisible and immaterial, a man that can penetrate any and all security.

A man whose very existence should be impossible.

As Ted and his superior, Lisa Carmichael, investigate further, they face dangers and creatures that challenge their very concept of reality and also encounter the colony’s caretaker Machine Mind and the human Security Commissioner, both of whom have opposing and intricate agendas of their own.

For the true nature of Redfern is stranger and more deadly than anything Holloway or Carmichael can possibly imagine.

And it could change or destroy humanity forever…


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Author Bio

I have been reading and watching science fiction since I was old enough to watch Peter Davison walking around an unrealistic jungle set in Doctor Who. The first set of sci-fi books I ever read was The Tripods trilogy by John Christopher without ever having watched the resultant TV series. The Tripods were scary.

Over the years I’ve come to love a variety of science fiction and fantasy books from many different eras and so came to the conclusion that I wanted to create my own adventures, set in my own worlds, with characters that acted and felt like real people. My third novel ‘Redfern’ is an adventure story which poses question about alien first contact, artificial intelligence, the singularity and the continued survival of our species at any cost.

“If you love your science fiction on the cinematic side but also want big ideas, intelligently explored, look no further.”









Blitz: Davenport House Prequel: Debutante by Marie Silk

Davenport House Prequel: Debutante
Marie Silk
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

The family saga begins in Debutante, a prequel to the best-selling Davenport House series. A life of luxury for the Davenports means drudgery for the servants on the grand country estate. This is their story in 1909 America, six years prior to the events of book one.
While her father is away on business, sixteen-year-old Mary Davenport feels confined and alone, despite her privileged life at the family’s mansion. As the day of Mary’s debutante ball draws near, the servants are conflicted by instructions from Mary’s mother to starve her until she fits into a gown that was made too small. Mary is also under pressure to act the part of society while being forbidden from seeing her only friend, the servant boy who works in the stable.
In a shantytown hours away, a young girl called Abigail is hired to sew a gown for a dressmaker’s wealthy patron. Abigail gives up her education in order to provide for her impoverished family. Neither she nor Mary is aware of how connected their futures are destined to become.

Special release price of 99¢!
AND: Each book in the series will be on sale for 99¢ between April 22-27!


Author Bio:
Marie Silk has enjoyed writing stories and plays since childhood. She lives with her family in the United States and travels the globe as often as life permits. She is an admirer of history, antiques, and architecture. Marie is the author of the best selling Davenport House family saga.


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Blitz: The Danger with Love by Amanda Siegrist

The Danger With Love
Amanda Siegrist
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

A beautiful wedding. An exquisite dress. A night to remember. If only she were the bride. Sarafina just wants her fairytale ending like all her friends, but she seems doomed to always be the bridesmaid. Until she runs into him—the groomsman walking her down the aisle. She might be attracted to him, but he screams nothing but trouble.
Special Agent Dax Delcroy never wanted this assignment. Being old college roommates with the groom meant the case was his anyway. Get in and get out. Get the information to take down the bride’s father, the most ruthless mobster in the city. It should all be so easy. Except nothing is easy the minute he meets her.

EXCERPT:
Sitting next to this woman and listening to her aggravating laugh was enough to want to put a bullet through his head. The minute Lora Chilani slid up to him, wrapping her arms around him, he knew he had a great opening into the affairs of the Chilani family. A quick glance at Sarafina had him hesitating, but only for a moment.

He was here to do a job, not fall in love. Sarafina did not register on his scale of priorities, even if he wanted to send her to the top.
Snuggling Lora closer to his body as he laughed at her flirting that did nothing for him, he reinforced the decision to do his job without further distractions.
Because that’s what Sarafina was. A simple distraction. He couldn’t afford even a small one. The tiniest distraction could get him killed. That was the last thing he wanted to do today. He wasn’t ready to die.
But that damn distraction was sitting right next to him, bundled so close to his body, it was difficult not to turn and mold her more perfectly to his frame. And she smelled delicious. A sweet scent of vanilla and lavender. Perhaps her shampoo. Or maybe some sort of hairspray as her hair look coiled to perfection. Or his favorite, a lovely fragrance from a perfume bottle. He always loved a woman wearing a light, airy perfume that enticed him to come closer.
That’s exactly what her scent was doing to him. He wanted to get so close it would be indecent in front of everyone.
“So, what do you do, Dax? With all the crazy details with the wedding, Ryan barely had a chance to tell us more about you,” Lora crooned.
“Business. I work on Wall Street. The details are rather boring and tedious. I’d rather hear more about you.” After speaking that lie, he touched the tip of her nose delicately as if he really wanted to know more about her.
Sarafina shivered next to him. Damn, was she still cold? It would be okay to give her his coat now, except he had this other horrid woman hanging off him. She was either cold, like she claimed before, or her body struggled to keep up with the craziness of the day. Did she really eat like she said she did?
Focus. She is not your concern.


Author Bio:
I love anything that has to do with romance. As long as there’s a happy ending, I’m a happy camper. I love baseball (Go Twins!) and creating awesome crafts. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, working in that field for several years before I became a stay-at-home mom. When I’m not hanging out with my wonderful family, I’m writing a sweet contemporary romance or a romantic suspense that keeps you guessing until the end. I have a few more amazing stories in the works. If you would like to connect with me or see important news, head to my website at http://www.amandasiegrist.com. Or you can also check out my Facebook Page or follow me on Twitter (@amanda_siegrist). Thanks for reading!


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Blitz: Painting Sky By Rita Branches

Painting Sky
Rita Branches
(Painting Sky #1)
Publication date: April 25th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Nobody ever said life was easy…
People pleaser, Jane Skylar wants nothing more than to earn her art degree, start her life, and bask in the bliss of living with her boyfriend.
But things don’t always go as planned…
Struggling with her creative side, Jane finds herself in turmoil, often confiding in her roommate – another, more talented art student, Keith Hale. Keith just so happens to be her boyfriend’s older, brooding brother. After a devastating breakup, Jane turns to Keith for comfort. But when the lines blur between roommate and lover, Jane’s life becomes more complicated than ever before.
When Keith’s past comes back to haunt him, their lives all get turned upside down, forcing the truth to surface. Now Jane must fight for what she wants–even if it hurts everyone she loves.
*It’s a Stand-alone*

EXCERPT:
The next towels were easier. I was getting colder and so tired that my eyes started to shut and I dozed off. When the towel on my stomach was removed, the breeze on my skin made me shiver and woke me up.

“Just one more time, and then we’ll check if the fever has lowered.” He changed the towels again. I had stopped feeling awkward about the lack of clothes a long time ago: maybe between the cold towel or the scared look on Keith’s face.
My shivering never stopped. After Keith took all the towels from my body, I just wanted to curl up and sleep. The sheets were wet, though, as well as my clothes. Keith left for a minute and I opened one eye to see him standing at the door, frowning.
“What is it now?”
“I can’t find any clean sheets,” he answered. I wasn’t feeling good enough today to do laundry, so the other set was dirty.
“Come on. Try sitting up.” Keith opened one of my drawers.
“What are you doing?” It was where I kept my underwear. He ignored my protests and took some black cotton panties and a matching tank top and placed them on the bed.
“I’ll be in the hallway. Call me when you’re done—unless you want my help.” His smirk was weak, but I knew he was trying to make me smile. I shooed him out of my room with a wave of my hand and took my time changing out of my clothes. My body hurt, especially my ribs.
“I’m coming in,” Keith warned, as soon as I pulled the tank top down. “Can you get up?” I obeyed him, unsure of why he wanted me to get up if I didn’t have any clean sheets to change the bed with. My bedroom swung around me and I had to sit back down again. I was too weak to stand. Keith sighed and put his arms under me. I stiffened instantly, not just at the gesture, but also at my lack of clothing. He picked me up and left my room.
“What are you doing?”
“What do you think? I’m taking you to my room. The sheets are clean, I haven’t slept there this week, and they are dry, at least.” He winked while pushing open his bedroom door with his shoulder. I had been in his room once or twice to bring him his clean clothes, but I’d never taken the time to look around. I wouldn’t do so this time, either, as the only light on was from the lamp on his bedside table.
The space was clean and tidy. I imagined all his clutter was in the attic, where he spent most of his time.
I whimpered against his cold sheets. “Come on, scoot over,” he said, as soon as he laid me down. I did what he asked and the next thing I felt was his warm body against mine. I gasped at the contact, but scooted back against his chest. I tried to ignore the chuckle that came from him, which shook my body slightly.
His hand came to rest on my stomach for a second before he pulled my tank top up. I was prepared to turn and punch him in the face when I realized what he was trying to do. He lifted his own shirt and hugged my bare back. I sighed, trying not to moan. For the second time tonight, I wasn’t cold, as his body was warmer than mine.
“Just so we’re clear, in the morning, we go back to not caring much for the other, right?” I asked, more to try and clear the air. I felt him tense before answering me with a weird shrug.
“I guess,” he mumbled.
“Why do you hate me?” I whispered.

Author Bio:
Rita Branches is an independent YA (young adult) author who enjoys spending every free moment (when she´s not reading) writing emotional stories. Visit: http://ritabranches.wordpress.com/


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Review: Incense & Peppermints By

Incense and Peppermints
Cathrina Constantine
Publication date: March 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Peace demonstrations, sit-ins, and burning the U.S. flag following the escalation of the Vietnam War are leading to a catalyst known to the world as the Sixties, and a musical revolution, flower power, hippies, marijuana, and drugs are carrying the generations—young and old—into a new decade. All the while sixteen-year-old Mary Monroe is caught between being an innocent good girl and an autumn of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.
When her brother offers a solution to her dilemma in the form of a little pill, Mary ignores the rumba in her brain and takes a walk on the wild side. Plunged into popularity and a life she’s only imagined, she meets Michael Covington, the hot newcomer, and she’s instantly drawn in by his less than flawless exterior and bad boy sex appeal. Caught up in the danger and excitement as they drift from party to party, into underground fight clubs, and through a series of drug and alcohol fueled adventures, Mary follows her new crush into a world where young girls are never truly safe from the predators lurking in the shadows and young men are hiding from the harsh reality of war.
Feeling buzzed and as if her life is spinning out of control, Mary is assaulted by an unknown man at a party, and she’s left questioning if the enigmatic Michael is truly her hero or if he is the face behind the terrible attack. With every piece of information Mary learns about Michael, her doubts grow deeper, but with every minute she spends in his presence, so does her love.
With the war and her fear threatening to separate Mary and Michael forever, only the death of a friend, a crushing confession, and her own sensibilities can carry her over the threshold between adolescence and adulthood.

Review
This is a wonderful coming of age novel set in the 60’s
I found it so engaging from the start that it only took me a couple of days to read and to me that is definitely a sign of a good book!
The main character Mary is a likeable character and you follow the ups and downs and serious peer pressure that comes at that time of life! It is a great paced story that has everything you need for a good coming of age story and without spoilers it has a sad reality that Mary must deal with that really tugs on the heart strings
In all I really enjoyed the pace and realism of the story that gave me an insight into life in the 60’s
Nat 


Author Bio:
Cathrina Constantine is the Best Selling author of Don’t Forget To Breathe. Her book won Readers’ Favorite International Book Award for 2015 and The Literary Classics Seal of Approval and Literary Classics Gold Award. Her Paranormal Fantasy, Wickedly They Come has been awarded the 5 Star Seal from Reader’s Favorite. Tallas from her dystopian series received Literary Classics Silver Award and Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
Cathrina resides in Western New York with her husband, five children, two Labrador Retrievers and her cat, Bones. Author @chbbpublishing. Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly. When not attached to her computer, she likes to take long walks in the woods with her dogs, drink way too much coffee, and is an avid movie watcher. She loves music and doesn’t need a dance floor to shake a leg.


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Disclosure: The Pursuit of Bookiness received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.  all opinions are our own

Q&A: With Karmak Bagisbayev Author of The Last Faith

1. How did you find the reception on a book about faith? Did you receive a lot of challenge?
The book is not about faith. It presents a simplistic scientific model of the behaviour of all living matter, including humankind, which is based on just two fundamental principles. It is intentionally written in a format of a fictional conversation with God (in Einsteinian sense) in order to make it accessible and fun to read for a wide audience of readers. 


The feedback on the book is mixed – deeply “religious” people (radical believers and radical non-believers) passionately criticise it, while people with “scientific” and critical mindset are largely agreeing with the proposed model.


2. Why did you want to explore the moral principles of human nature? Has it always been an interest?

I noticed that human morality is changing with time and with changes in circumstances. I also noticed that some individuals are able to influence the morality of the large groups of people in both positive and negative directions (Jesus Christ, Adolf Hitler, etc.). Following that observation I started questioning the existence of absolute moral values and tried to understand how do moral values come to existence and what drives their change. The detailed answer is provided in my book.
 
 
4. Do you think your study or physics and maths influenced your view of the world?

Definitely. Mathematics and physics allowed me to develop a scientific and highly critical approach to understanding the world around us. Such an approach is based on logic, evidence, inference and constant questioning of everything, including the opinions of the authorities.

5. If you could give one reason to encourage people who are dubious of reading an atheists view of faith what would it be?

Correction – “an atheist’s view of the world, not faith”. I list a whole a range of unrelated questions in the synopsis and prologue of the book and give an answer to every single one of them with a supporting evidence. Any person interested in the answers to the list of questions that I provide should be encouraged to read my book and see if he/she finds my answers convincing.


6. What do you want to achieve with this book?

My main purpose is to show that the nature of humankind can be easily explained and understood with a combination of just two fundamental principles driving our everyday lives and evolution in time. I hope that such simplicity would allow people to liberate themselves from unnecessary illusions, prejudices, constraints and to realise a precious value and unlimited potential of each single individual human life.

Synopsis




What is the unique and most important feature that distinguishes man from all other living beings?

Why is it that, contrary to the instinct of self-preservation, a parent will throw themselves headlong into fire or water to save their child?

Why do people get married and why do they get divorced? Why do people have extra-marital affairs and why do two people in a couple become jealous of one another? What is Love?

When and why did the type of sex emerge among human beings that is free of any reproductive function?

Why are the social and behavioural distinctions between men and women being rapidly erased?

Why, despite everything, is the world becoming more tolerant than it was in previous centuries?

People are born with different intellectual, spiritual and physical capabilities. So why do we assert that all people are equal?

Can the world without violence exist? If not, under what circumstances and to what kind of violence does man have a right? Wherein lies the origin of this right?

Where is the root of our morality? Why do our moral values change over time? Do absolute moral values exist?

Why has Man, on the whole, never observed (or perhaps is incapable of observing) a set of various religious commandments? Should we observe them? Are they the decree of God?

By which “commandments” do we really live our lives and is it possible to formulate them in such a way that we could realistically observe them?

What is Good? And what is Evil? Is there a simple criterion by which one may distinguish Good from Evil?

In which direction is humanity evolving and is it governed by some universal law?

Is there any meaning to life?

Is it possible to give a clear and straightforward answer to all these questions?

It is, in fact, possible!

“The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer” provides a clear and scientifically elegant answer to all the questions listed above. The answer which will cause the reader to reconsider many established moral principles and notions about the world around us. The answer which will help the reader to understand the nature of human actions, dilemmas, dramas and passions, in their true light. The answer which will elucidate the current stage in the development of human civilisation and offer unexpected predictions for its future.

“The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer” is aimed at a wide audience and does not require any specialised knowledge. The author’s thoughts and reflections are presented here in the form of a fictional conversation with God which unfolds over the course of just two hundred pages. The author (PhD in Physics and Mathematics) gives concise and clearly expressed explanations and evidence for his ideas. He cites abundant examples from the world around us which are drawn from his extensive travels through Russia, America, Europe, Africa and Central Asia.

All this makes for an accessible and enjoyable read.


Excerpt: The Last Faith by Karmak Bagisbayev

Synopsis

The Last Faith

“The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer” provides a clear and convincing answer to all the questions listed above. The answer which will cause the reader to reconsider many established moral principles and notions about the world around us. The answer which will help the reader to understand the nature of human actions, dilemmas, dramas and passions, in their true light. The answer which will elucidate the current stage in the development of human civilisation and offer unexpected predictions for its future.

“The Last Faith: a book by an atheist believer” is aimed at a wide audience and does not require any specialised knowledge. The author’s thoughts and reflections are presented here in the form of a fictional conversation with God which unfolds over the course of just two hundred pages. The author (PhD in Physics and Mathematics) gives concise and clearly expressed explanations and evidence for his ideas. He cites abundant examples from the world around us which are drawn from his extensive travels through Russia, America, Europe, Africa and Central Asia.

All this makes for an accessible and enjoyable read.

About The Author

Karmak Bagisbayev was born on the shores of Aral Sea in Kazakhstan, graduated from Novosibirsk State University and currently holds PhD in physics and mathematics. He has worked and travelled throughout Europe, the United States, Africa and Asia. This is his first book. 

Extract

I saw that morality varies from person to person, from group to group, from nation to nation.
And the most interesting thing is that when I began to study history, I realized that morality changes with time. Morality will even shift to its exact opposite when the conditions that once produced it yield to change.
When a new set of circumstances appears it is the people with a highly developed sense of individual freedom of choice that first try to change the status quo. More conservative individuals with a less developed sense of freedom resist change for as long as possible but give up in the end. Man always has freedom of choice, unlike other creatures, who only change their way of life when they are forced to by the natural environment.
Now I understand that the morality which is said to be inherent in God, or, as the atheists prefer to express it, in Nature, naively thinking that replacing the word ‘God’ with ‘Nature’ will make them sound more scientifically convincing, does not exist at all!”

Blitz: Wedding Dreams


Wedding Dreams: 20 Delicious Nuptial Romances
Publication date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

**You are invited to the weddings of your dreams**
Twenty award-winning, USA Today and International best-selling authors have come together to bring you over 3,000 pages of love, lust, and lusciously sexy men.
From sweet second chance romances to bad boys, BBWs, and brides looking for revenge, this is a perfect read for anyone who enjoys Romance or Women’s Fiction. These pages are packed with cozy romances, thrilling international and holiday adventures, and sweet heart-melting stories. Our authors bring you everything from hot cowboys to rockstar romances, elegant weddings to nuptial disasters, and blushing brides to bold women, all in a delightful celebration of love.
You’re in for a wild, passionate ride on a breathtaking voyage to make your heart soar. This box set will leave you craving all things marital and wishing the honeymoon would never end.

Let’s meet a couple of authors from this boxed set!


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Review: Legacy of the Mind by H.R Moore

 

 

 

Lux and Legacy of the Mind
H.R. Moore
(The Legacy Trilogy #1)
Publication date: January 2nd 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Anita has never been ordinary, she’s stuck out like a sore thumb her entire life; not only can she see the energy of others, a rare skill, but she’s won every Body challenge she’s ever entered. So when the powerful, good looking Descendants, Marcus and Alexander, mysteriously arrive in Empire, her difference attracts and keeps their attention.
Once in Empire, the sudden death of ruling Body Descendant, Christiana, sets in motion a number of events; a quest for the treacherous Austin to find the girl Christiana had been looking for; a challenge where Anita stands out more vibrantly than ever before; a perilous dip in the world’s energy; and a dangerous belief among the people that they will never truly be free. Powerful factions soon form within the ruling elite and when a trusted friend and mentor reaches out to ask for Anita’s help, she has to make a choice; help her friend and betray the one she loves, or do nothing and watch the people starve.

Review
I was really intrigued by the synopsis of this book and I wasn’t disappointed when I started to read
I instantly warmed to misfit Anita and her friends and instantly hated Austin! I loved how she fought against the norm and had a who cares kind of attitude but deep down she had the same insecurities about what people thought and about drawing attention to herself. It made her immediately easier to relate to!
The only thing I thought that would put me off was the romance factor but actually it was more true to life than you sometimes find in any romance book.
The world building in the book is good and the author is talented at drawing out the readers imagination and I’m pretty sure everyone will have the same image of the impressive temples in there minds eye!
I’m really interested to carry on with this series! I can’t wait to find out what happens next!
Nat

 

Author Bio:
Harriet was born in Germany in 1987, the family returning to the UK, to Dorset shortly afterwards. She lived there until she was 5, her grandfather teaching her the basics of cheating at cards and swindling chocolate, her mother starting to instil a (some would argue) unhealthy relationship with cake, and the neighbours demonstrating that some people don’t understand cherry blossom is there to be picked, mixed with mint and water and sold as perfume.
Then there was Scotland; stealthy guinea pig breeding, riding horses, advanced cards, more cake, then to Devon and school in Exeter. She loved maths in the early years, but by the time she got to A Level, Sociology was her favourite subject, opening her eyes to things she’d never before considered, namely, nobody is really right, nobody is really normal and primary socialisation has a lot to answer for.
At the age of about 12, Harriet started rowing for Exeter Rowing Club. This quickly took over her life and before too long she was clad in lycra, training 6 days a week and competing at events around the country.
After finishing her A Levels, Harriet went to university in St Andrews, studying Philosophy for two years, then switching to Management. She was particularly interested in the ‘people’ elements of her course and especially the areas concerning how people create and react to change. After four very civilised years by the sea, she ventured to London, to foray into the strange world of insurance (surprisingly, more interesting than you might think), where she currently works as a Project Manager.
Harriet has recently moved to Hertfordshire with her husband Chris and baby Atia. When she isn’t doing DIY, writing, editing, eating, taking photos, or imagining how much better life would be with the addition of a springer spaniel, she occasionally finds the time to make hats.

 

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Disclosure: The Pursuit of Bookiness received a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review.  All opinions are our own

Blitz: Serenade by Heather McKenzie

Serenade
Heather McKenzie
(The Nightmusic Trilogy #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Young Adult

Kidnapped and held hostage in the Rockies, a teenage heiress falls for her abductor while her corrupt father and devoted bodyguard fight to get her back. The discovery of true love and dark family secrets turns deadly in this epic coming of age adventure.
Kaya Lowen dreams of living like a normal eighteen-year old, but being heiress to a billion-dollar company has put her life in constant danger. Fiercely guarded by her powerful and corrupt father, she develops close bonds with those who protect her, especially Oliver – a bodyguard who has proven his devotion to her time and again. He wins her heart – until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning everything she believes in. Haunted by true love and reeling from a guilty conscience, Kaya’s world unravels when she’s kidnapped.
Held captive in a rugged wilderness fraught with raging storms, mystical caves and deadly predators, Kaya’s father scours the forest and her bodyguard fights to get her back. But, the discovery of a dark family secret makes Kaya wonder if staying in the arms of her blue-eyed abductor—a captivating stranger with dark secrets of his own – is a safer place to be. At least, that’s what her heart is telling her, her head is saying run…
An epic adventure centered on a smoldering love-triangle, Serenade sings a timeless tale of courage, self-discovery, and life-or-death love that will leave you breathless.

EXCERPT:
This was it, now or never.

I gathered every single ounce of energy I had and steadied my mind to ignore the pain in my foot and the dizziness in my head. Then, with everything I had, I turned and bolted toward the dense forest. The darkness instantly enveloped me. I could see well enough not to run into tree trunks, but branches caught me at every turn. My head felt as if it was spinning like a top, but I forced my legs to keep going. I could hear the men’s voices yelling at each other in an organized manner.
I tripped and found myself on all fours. Get up, girl. There’s nothing wrong with you—get up…
I made it a few more steps before my head connected with a blue spruce, and then I collapsed in a pathetic heap. My arms were so wobbly I could barely wipe at the gash across my forehead. My body was completely failing me. I prayed to God that the dog would just snap my neck and get it over with quickly…
Human footsteps approached. I gulped in some air and tried to push myself up, but the world tipped on its side and I fell with it. Within moments, large hands had my wrists pinned to the ground. I struggled and fought with everything I had left, which wasn’t much.
“Stop fighting,” he said.
His voice created such confusion inside me. I kicked harder.
“Stop… please,” he begged.
His body pinned mine to the ground. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes.
“Please, Kaya, trust me. I won’t let anyone hurt you, I promise.” He leaned forward and pressed his sleeve to my bleeding forehead, dabbing and inspecting it closely while I had no choice but to gaze up him. How could this beautiful man be a kidnapper? It just didn’t fit.
“It’s just a scratch; no stitches required,” he said, voice trailing off as his eyes met mine.
We stayed like that for a while: me on the ground, him kneeling over me, and our line of sight only on each other—until an unmistakable sound broke through the tree tops.
“They’ll find me,” I said softly, wondering if Oliver was in the helicopter circling over our heads.
He positioned his arms under my body, and, in one graceful motion, he picked me up and into his arms. “Just don’t run. Promise me that, please. I’ll keep you safe. You have my word. Okay?”
He held me tightly—protectively—waiting eagerly for my reply with turmoil in his blue eyes. My whole body hurt, and admittedly, I couldn’t have walked another inch. The wolves or that beast would have got to me long before Oliver would have. I was at my kidnapper’s mercy, laying helplessly in his arms and falling harder for him by the second.
“I promise,” I said.

Author Bio:
Heather McKenzie is a Canadian author and Serenade is her first novel. A professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she has been telling stories through music for years and pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. A rocker at heart, a mom of three, an aspiring painter, and a lover of animals, she is kept grounded by her husband at their home in Edmonton.


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