Monday, October 23, 2017

Make a Date with Harlequin #Giveaway

Title: Make A  Date Blog Tour with Harlequin
Publisher: Harlequin


What kind of book is your most favorite? Check out these 5 romance subgenres to learn more:
  • ·         Passion: Give in to temptation with steamy tales of irresistible desire. Passion series feature heroes who have it all: wealth, status, incredible good looks…everything but the right woman.
  • ·         Suspense: Prepare for high-octane adventure, heart-racing romance, and just enough intrigue that will have you on the edge of your seat! Take the plunge and join these true-to-life women and strong, fearless men as they fight for survival.
  • ·         Inspirational: Looking for inspiration in tales of hope, faith and heartfelt romance? Love Inspired has three lines for you.
  • ·         Fall in Love: Read satisfying love stories with the intensity, emotion and sparkle of falling in love.
  • ·         Heroes Galore: Whatever hero you’re into, we’ve got him. Take a time-trip with a host of hot historical heroes; navigate the high stakes of falling in love in the high-pressure world of medicine; Delve into dark, sensuous and often dangerous territory, where the normal and paranormal collide.
Find Your Happy Place. Make A Date With a Harlequin:
Ends November 12, 2017
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Joined by Mara Gan Blitz and #Giveaway


Joined
Mara Gan
(Joined #1)
Published by: Inkspell Publishing
Publication date: September 12th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Duty and prophecy get in the way of everything.
All I ever wanted to do was read my books, play my sports, and help people. Life and prophecy had other things in mind.
Helping people is what I do; as an empath and semi-frequent telepath, I can easily sense and understand people’s needs and emotions. Sometimes even before they do. Being able to read everyone’s thoughts and feelings all the time can drive me crazy with anxiety, but that moment when I can finally make someone’s life better makes everything worth it.
Unfortunately, I’m also the next in line to rule the galaxy, I’m the only diplomat most planets will listen to, assassins try to kill me on an annoyingly regular basis, and a much-vaunted Prophecy has decreed that I’m going to die. Oh, and someone blew up my home planet.
Kind of a lot to deal with, right?
Too bad I just got another problem: a big, irritating, overbearing bodyguard with serious anger management issues.
And I think I’m falling for him.
EXCERPT:
“Great, Clee,” I said. “Job’s all yours. I’m going to bed.”
Kenzi covered a snicker as Synie rolled her eyes. “Princess, you know the Yurilians will only talk to you.”
I leaned back in my chair and stretched my neck. “Yeah, yeah.”
Kenzi tilted his head at Synie. “Why will they only talk to the princess?”
Synie shifted uncomfortably. “King Cepheus was….” She paused, searching for the right word.
“A jerk,” Clee supplied unhelpfully.
“Clee!” Synie barked. “That’s practically treason.”
Clee shrugged. “Yep. But I already told him that to his face. He agreed with me.”
Cepheus had a weak spot for Clee, as did we all; her tendency to tell the truth and lighten the mood at the same time was curiously refreshing. And she was right: Cepheus was a terrible diplomat.
With another reproachful glare at Clee, who was no longer paying attention, Synie continued, “King Cepheus was less than sympathetic toward their grain dispute with us. Andromeda smoothed things over and managed to talk them down from outright war.”
Kenzi’s eyes bugged. “They were going to declare war on us, just for some grain?”
“Food is a common reason people go to war,” I said. “Or, rather, lack of it. When people starve, they feel they have nothing left to lose.” Perseus’s words came back to me: people who have nothing to lose, fear nothing.
That was true on a global scale as well as a personal one, I supposed.
Kenzi’s dark eyes turned to me and he gave me an awed smile. I really hated being an object of awe. I liked doing my job—a lot—and I loved helping people, but at heart, I was an introvert who wanted as little attention as possible.
Just my luck, I got the most high-profile job in the galaxy.


Author Bio:
A Pacific Northwesterner by birth and disposition, Mara has lived in Washington DC, Oregon, Japan, and most recently the beautiful Pacific Grove, California, before returning to her roots in Seattle. By day she teaches history to unsuspecting teenagers, and by night she writes books and travels to far-flung places. She loves to be with animals, read, play sports, and drink more London Fogs than is likely good for her.

#GIVEAWAY

$50 donation in your name for the charity 
$50 Amazon gift card
Ends Nov. 2, 2017
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Matthew Williams' Shadowchild & The Shady Corner Tour & #Giveaway


Shadowchild
by Matthew Williams
Genre: Horror

In 1629 something visited the parish of Feckenham. The events that followed were so terrifying that they never gained their place in the history books.

Now in 2008, something seems to be wrong with Marie Watson’s young children.

Her father won’t believe her and her mother is nearing the end of her tether.

Marie feels utterly alone.

But is she?






The Shady Corner
by Matthew Williams
Genre: Horror

A shady corner in life can be a dark and mysterious place, but in the shady corners of the mind, the mystery and darkness know no bounds!

In a struggle with his conscience and haunted by images of murder, David is given a choice to right the wrongs of his past.

Can he cheat fate and avoid his future? Or is the evil that dwells within him more than it seems?

Only one thing is certain . . .

Fate can be cruel, but true evil can be brutal!







Born in 1975, Matthew Williams has been a keen fan of the horror/thriller/fantasy genres for as long as he can remember. Whether it’s a film, a TV series, or a novel; he is drawn to all the different aspects of these genres. Mainly it’s the complexities and the mysteries that can be expressed with freedom and imagination that he enjoys the most.

A fan of authors such as Stephen King, James Herbert, Dean Koontz, Richard Layman – to name but a few!

A fan of TV shows such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, American Horror Story – to name but a few!

A fan of films such as Saw, Seven, Eden Lake, The Descent, Quarantine, Skeleton Key, The Sixth Sense – to name but a few!

Matthew now has a small body of work of his own with ‘The Shady Corner’ and ‘Shadowchild’ only the beginning of what he is determined to grow into an extensive collection of horror/thriller fiction novels.



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Enter to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card






Sunday, October 22, 2017

Death Incarnate by Tamara Rose Blodgett (Death Series, #9)

Death Incarnate
by Tamara Rose Blodgett

Series: Death - Book 9
Publisher: Tamara Rose Blodgett; 1 edition (September 28, 2017)
Publication Date: September 28, 2017
Genre: N/A Paranormal Romance
Print Length: 474 pages

Deegan Hart's very existence hangs in the balance. Mitchell, her zombie from a world where Cyborg's roam is about to make a decision that could erase her from not just her home earth—but every earth. Does Mitchell interfere with fate and save the lives of his brother or sister? 

Or does destiny have different plans.

In the aftermath of a pivotal blink, a reordered future unfolds, and the original group of paranormals are needed to right a wrong. But at what cost? 

Is a new government order intent on ripping Deegan away from her family for their own purposes? Or worse: will Brad Thompson find a way to see his evil plans of an Atomic super race to fruition—with Deegan Hart as the catalyst?
Finally, can the changes the paranormals make set into motion the events that would give earth hope for the first time in a generation… 

Death Incarnate by Tamara Rose Blodgett (Death Series, #9)

Death Incarnate (#9): A Dark Dystopian Paranormal Romance (The Death Series)This is it. The end of the Death series and I have to say, OUCH! We’ve watched the original kids grow up, get married and now their kids are wreaking havoc, intentional or not! From parallel worlds and back, this time out, the very existence of young Deegan Hart lay in the balance of every universe they have traversed as she blinks her family into other worlds, witnesses what happened the night her zombie, Mitchell failed to save his family and discovers he is not the murderer he was thought to be. It may take more than luck to foil a twisted fate and to right the lines of time.

As the generations of the Hart family and friends gather together to fight the evil that has blanketed their world, we witness miracles, and hope for what was once a bleak and desolate future!

What a way to end an era of fabulous reading! Tamara Rose Blodgett’s DEATH INCARNATE brings back all of the wry humor, the wit and the camaraderie of her characters, including a favorite of mine, Gramps, who never fails to steal each scene he is in, the cranky old rebel!
Not only have the characters grown up, but the series has gone from young adult to new adult with a dash of spicy heat and passion! Will I miss this series? Nope, I will re-read it until I know every book by “Hart.”

Ms. Blodgett’s keen sense of humor and her ability to give her characters free license with their dialogue is part of the charm and draw for me! One never knows what will pop out of these characters’ mouths and that is pure Blodgett running free! So yes, this is a wrap, a great finish that, while having “grown up” through the years, has never strayed from the feel or the atmosphere of high energy, high conflict and memorable characters.

A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift by Jennifer Ashley (Mackenzies & McBrides #4.5)

A Mackenzie Family Christmas:
The Perfect Gift 
by Jennifer Ashley

My rating: 4 stars


The Mackenzies gather for a clan Christmas and Hogmanay in Scotland. In the chaos of preparations for the celebration--the first of Hart and Eleanor's married life--one of Ian's Ming bowls gets broken, and the family scrambles to save the day. Daniel busily runs a betting ring for everything from the hour Eleanor's baby will arrive, to whether Mac's former-pugilist valet can win a boxing match. Ian begins a new obsession, and Beth fears that the loss of one of his precious bowls has made him withdraw once more into his private world.
  

 
 A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift 
by Jennifer Ashley
(Mackenzies & McBrides #4.5)

A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift (MacKenzies & McBrides, #4.5)Ahh, the timeless Holiday traditions of family coming together! The accidents, incidents, craziness and chaos of loved ones gathering to celebrate another year, another life and the joy of family. Seems that even the brawny Mackenzie clan has its ups and downs when a huge gathering is planned.

A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift by Jennifer Ashley is a short, sweet and fun holiday read that proves nothing is better than having family, with all of their flaws, together to share in the joys of the season, even if some of them are oh, so naughty, which can be pretty nice!

I haven’t read the series, but when I realized I did have this Christmas novella, I thought, what better way to meet the family of Scots and the women who tamed them! A quick read just for fun!

Fix Me by Lisa Cronkhite

Fix Me
by Lisa M. Cronkhite

My rating: 3 stars

Publisher: Flux (November 28, 2017)
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
Genre: Drug Abuse | Dark Fiction
Number of Pages: 256
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Penelope Wryter's life has been a mess ever since her sister committed suicide a year ago. Now Pen's hooked on Fix, an illegal drug that makes her feel, think, and see differently. The hallucinations are intense, but there's one vision that keeps Pen coming back for more--Nate. He's the only person who cares about her. Too bad he's just a side effect of the drug. Pen knows she's going nowhere fast. She's desperate to change. But when she tries to say goodbye to Nate, he professes his love for her making her more confused than ever. Then, when a girl from school goes missing during a bad Fix trip, Pen realizes she may be in a lot more danger than she ever imagined. Unless Pen straightens up and faces reality quick, she might be the next missing girl on the list.  

 Fix Me by Lisa Cronkhite

Fix MeDrugs, addiction and the ease that minors can obtain their next high, their next escape into oblivion. This is Penelope’s story of loss, emotional and physical dependence and her fear of recovery, another form of loss in itself. Her sister committed suicide, and we wonder why Penelope doesn’t take that as a wake-up call to sobriety, but we forget she is a teen, emotionally immature and worse, floundering in a dysfunctional one parent family.

FIX ME by Lisa M. Cronkhite is dark, heavy with tension and a stifling atmosphere as we witness one teenaged addict’s life through her twisted thoughts and skewed perceptions. Penelope’s perspective is often mired in the haze of a drug-induced fog. The illogical becomes logical, the unreal becomes believable and the thought of never having her next fix is terrifying. Will the ghosts that haunt Penelope cut her loose and allow her to get clean or is it too late for her, no matter who has her back?

There is no great epiphany for Penelope, she knows throughout this tale she has a problem, she caves to her weakness and her craving as easily as a knife cuts butter. Dark and moving at a ponderous pace, this is a stark and raw tale of human weakness as mere children become willing lambs to slaughter in the hands of addictive drugs and the lies they tell themselves. While I felt Pen’s inner turmoil, it took little for her to repeat her mistakes over and over, at any cost. She never came across as one who could succeed in redeeming herself, making her less than an ideal role model for hope and the hard work she would face to stave off the instant gratification of drugs.

I received an ARC edition from Flux.

Squeeze Play by Aven Ellis (Washington Soaring Eagles, #1)

Squeeze Play
by Aven Ellis

My Rating: 5 Stars!
Series: The Washington D.C. Soaring Eagles - Book 1
Publication Date: October 25, 2017
Publisher: Aven Ellis
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Print Length: 306 pages
Available from: Amazon
Full of enthusiasm, recent college graduate Hayley Carter is thrilled to be working for a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. Having spent most of her life in the background due to family circumstances, Hayley is eager to step up and be heard—and bring much needed change to her new organization. Romance is on the shelf because now is the time to focus on herself and new career. Armed with a self-help book guaranteed to improve her personal and professional life, Hayley is ready to become the best version of herself. 

But will a baseball player for the Washington Soaring Eagles challenge her thoughts about dating and the person she thinks she needs to be?

Brody Jensen is the new catcher for the professional team in DC. Baseball means everything to Brody and was his salvation growing up. Brody intends to make the most of his full-time shot behind the plate. Which means no serious relationships. 

However, when a chance encounter leads him to Hayley, Brody finds himself wanting to know all about the beautiful blonde who has engaged him from the moment he spotted her. Together, they find themselves questioning the ideals they had set for not only relationships, but themselves, too.

When the cherry blossoms bloom in the nation's capital, Cupid puts a squeeze play on Hayley and Brody. Will they be brave enough to love themselves and each other? Will love be called out? Or will their relationship be safe at home?

Squeeze Play by Aven Ellis (Washington Soaring Eagles, #1)

Squeeze PlayHayley Carter is ready, willing and able to make her mark on the world, starting at the non-profit organization she has just been hired at. Like a whirly-gig on steroids she is ready to take Washington D.C. on and come out on top, and trust me, she is ready, armed with a cause near to her heart, a self-help regime that promises to re-create her as a woman in charge of both her personal and professional lives. Look out, world, Hayley is getting better every day!

Too bad her human frailties and Murphy’s Law makes her first-day vault into the “big people’s world” more like a trip and stumble that puts her iced drink squarely into the crotch of a god with a keen sense of humor, intelligence and quick wit and geez, he is oh-so-wrong for her.

Brody has always been the twin with less, bad grades, little promise to become another Brainiac like his brother, but he is a star on the baseball diamond, the maestro that orchestrates the plays, the newest star catcher for the Washington D.C. Soaring Eagles. Too bad, he doesn’t realize all he has to offer the world, but one quirky blonde may be the yin to his yang, the peanut butter to his jelly or the Fruity Pebbles to his cereal milk…yeah, sometimes love is like that.

Get ready to fall into Aven Ellis’ latest romantic ray of sunshine and fun, SQUEEZE PLAY and prepare to laugh out loud, feel your heart beat to a giddy rhythm and discover the fun of falling in love when you really weren’t ready with the guy that really couldn’t be right for you, and yet…
Aven Ellis makes romance sparkle and shine! She creates flawed characters that are perfect to get to know and will steal your heart from page one! Sit back and get ready to let Ms. Ellis make your reading day!

I received an ARC edition from Aven Ellis. This is my voluntary review!


The Billionaire’s Ex-Wife by Leslie North Blitz and #Giveaway


The Billionaire’s Ex-Wife
Leslie North
(The Jameson Brothers, #1)
Publication date: October 19th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Sam Jameson always gets what he wants and what he wants is his ex-wife.
Sam views the world in black and white—a strong attitude that’s earned him billions in the business world and an ex-wife in the real world. Sam wants is to choose his own future, but to do this he must pass a test set out by his older brother, and CEO: onboard his wayward brother, Eddie. Sam accepts the challenge but isn’t sure what to think when he learns that the woman he’d love and left is part of the test too.
Trinity Jameson is a fixer. It doesn’t matter if it’s ugly furniture or an ornery employee, Trinity has the touch and she’s spent most of her life helping others achieve their best potential. But when her ex-husband comes back to town to prove he’s got a heart, Trinity makes a decision: She’s not going to fix his problems for him—no matter what his smoldering blue eyes ask of her, she’s going to say “No.” She’s determined that he’ll fix his own mess this time.
Before Sam landed in New York, his goal was to leave the city just as fast. But when Trinity saunters into the room looking better than ever, his desire begins to shift. He realizes that what he really wants is what he can no longer have: Trinity. Sam has no trouble stoking their physical fire, but hot sex isn’t going to be enough to heal the hurt he’d caused long ago. Sam isn’t going to be dissuaded by her new found emotional wall. He helped her build it, and now he’s going to knock it down.
EXCERPT:
His favorite suit was wrinkled. It didn’t matter if there was only one: the wrinkle was there, leering up at him like a lopsided, mocking smile.
Sam Jameson shook out his sleeve, but the minor imperfection remained. Minor, he thought to himself in consolation. A wrinkle that wouldn’t smooth was the least of his problems today; still, it lingered in the back of his mind as much as it lingered on the otherwise crisp fabric of his suit.
Sam distracted himself by gazing about the familiar waiting room of the New York office. He missed the East Coast more than he could express, and he wasn’t an expressive man by nature—but even he could appreciate the familiar, sanitized smell of the office, the classic wooden furnishings, and the precision of the New York City skyline just outside the high window. The L.A. office always smelled like someone was secretly giving manicures in the staff kitchen, and the West Coast skyline was…quirky. Slipshod. Obscured by a permanent haze and decidedly not up to code.
L.A. was to blame for Sam’s current predicament, of that he had no doubt. Who the hell lodged a complaint about “annoying perfectionism” and took their business elsewhere? Apparently L.A. clients did. Sam blamed the strange holistic culture that had seized the West Coast—the culture of “mistakes are successes that haven’t happened yet”, or whatever inane philosophy Californians liked to paste on the bumpers of their hybridized cars—but his older brother William didn’t see things the way he did. That was partly why Willian was CEO, and Sam was COO, of Jameson Advertising Agency: it wasn’t just a matter of age, but perspective…or so their father had once explained it.
If only Sam could give William a momentary demotion and make him see things from his point of view. This move to onboard Eddie was a mistake. More than that, it was far below Sam’s paygrade—but even he wasn’t so callous as to say as much out loud. He had learned early that when it came to family, talking in strictly business terms wasn’t exactly smiled upon.
But surely even William could see, from his lofty vantage as CEO, that bringing Eddie any closer in the family business was a mistake. Their father had certainly thought so. The youngest Jameson simply wasn’t cut out for more than wining and dining clients.
Inviting the family screw-up back into the fold didn’t seem like a wise move to Sam—but who was he to protest it? He would get in, do the job to a more than acceptable degree, and get out, the same as he always did. William wouldn’t be able to argue with the results, and then Sam could get the hell back to L.A. and move onto better things.
The door opened and Sam rose, applying one last swipe to the wrinkle. He raised his gaze, expecting to find Eddie’s lopsided grin and ridiculous eyebrows waggling a greeting.
Instead, it was his own ex-wife he found staring back at him.
“Trinity.” He hated how out of practice he suddenly sounded saying her name out loud. Not a day had passed since their separation that it didn’t enter his head on a repeating loop, always in threes: Trinity. Trinity. Trinity. “What are you doing here?”
His ex-wife blinked her gorgeous doe eyes like he had her caught in a crosshairs. Obviously his presence in the room wasn’t a surprise to her, but maybe seeing an estranged spouse in the flesh shook her as much as it shook him.


Author Bio:
Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women's contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.
The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren't afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.
Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.
She LOVES reader feedback, and if you have any comments, don't hesitate to contact her via e-mail: leslie@leslienorthbooks.com.

#GIVEAWAY

3x ebook copies of 
The Billionaire’s Ex-Wife
Ends Oct 26, 2017
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Wicked Fallout by Kelly Charron Blitz and #Giveaway


Wicked Fallout
Kelly Charron
(Pretty Wicked #2)
Publication date: July 17th 2017
Genres: Adult, Thriller
“Wicked Fallout is a twisty cat and mouse psychological thriller that will keep you turning pages right up to the unexpected end. A creepy mix of horror and psychological insight, Charron takes you into the mind of a killer and doesn’t let go.”
~Eileen Cook, Author of WITH MALICE

Convicted of six murders when she was just fifteen, the notorious Ryann Wilkanson hasn’t been able to act on her darkest, deadliest urges for twelve years. She’s exhausted her appeals and has little hope of ever getting out of prison and back to hunting.
Until a media-hungry legal team mounts a campaign to do the impossible—get her immediately released with a commuted sentence.
Forensic psychiatrist Nancy Clafin has mere weeks to evaluate Ryann’s current mental state against her grisly past to determine if she’s changed. But under the shadow of her own questionable history, it’s not easy to separate her personal life from her professional duty.
At least that’s what Ryann is counting on.
Behind the cold steel doors of a Colorado maximum-security prison, will Nancy find a cold-blooded killer or a newly redeemed woman determined to right her past wrongs?
**This novel can be enjoyed as a standalone or as part of the Pretty Wicked series.
EXCERPT:
I spin around and see two women rolling on the ground, hair flying. Fights are a pretty rare occurrence, but when they happen it’s nasty. I once read that men fight to injure, but women fight to kill.
Sounds accurate.
The women roll closer to our table, and we all jerk out of the way in case some of the action heads toward us. I can hardly see who it is, but Georgina is quick to say it’s Roxie and Jinx. And they are going at each other: hands whacking, hair pulling, face slapping, and rib kicking. The whole nine. But it doesn’t go on for too long. Two guards descend on them, yanking the women apart. Some damage is already done. Jinx has a bloody nose and a swelling eye, and Roxie’s lip is split open.
“Fuck, man. Did you see that? Roxie almost killed the bitch! Bam!” Margot slams her hand on the table and my head rings. Jodi laughs. Must be nice for her to sit back and chuckle, since she’s never actually fought in here.
“Enough, Margot, or the guards are gonna be over here next.” Steph eyes her and Margot settles down.
The cafeteria is returning to normal so we sit again, and I try to force a spoonful of my cold, lumpy lunch down. It takes all my concentration to swallow the disgusting mouthful. My stomach clenches, so I drop my spoon.
“No offense, princess, but you look like shit,” Georgina says in between shovels. She’s a fat pig. No matter how disgusting the food is in here, don’t take your eyes off your plate or it’ll be in her goddamn mouth before you know what’s happening.
I lock my gaze on her. “Thanks. Just giving you a chance to feel a bit better about your ugly ass.”
She shoots me the finger.
“Seriously, you look pale, like even more than normal,” Stephanie chimes in, sounding far too motherly for my liking.
I smile. “Thanks, ladies. You sure are the fucking cheer committee today.”
“This shrink is really taking the piss outta you, huh? I ain’t never seen you so frazzled before,” Jodi says.
“I’m just tired. Been sleeping like shit, the food is inedible, and yes, talking in circles about your feelings is agony. So I’m taking donations—any booze, pills, or weed is welcome.” Most of what I say is bravado. Keeping up appearances is key to survival in this hellhole. I can’t afford to get caught with any contraband in case a miracle happens and I have a chance of getting out. What a kick in the tit that would be, if I got approved only to have a stupid joint found in my bunk.
“We’re all suffering in here, princess, so buck up.” Georgina braces her gigantic noggin on top of her propped arms.
It takes all my strength to stay calm. Sometimes people in here forget what I’m capable of. Maybe some of them don’t believe in my history and are willing to take a chance by coming at me.
Too bad I’m on my best behavior.
Margot puts a hand in Georgina’s face. “Lay off her, Gina. Ain’t none of us know what being examined under a microscope like that feels like. I know I’d be stressed to fucking shit if my whole future relied on talking to one damn bitch for a couple of weeks.”
“Thanks, Margot, but you don’t have to defend me.”
“Yeah, princess is a big girl. She can take care of herself, or so she wants us to think.”
I glower at her and swallow the scream that threatens to explode out of me. I’m afraid if I release it, I’ll never stop. “You got something to say?” I sit on my hands. Just in case I’m a little too tempted to gouge her eyes out.
Georgina stands up from her spot at the table across from me and walks around to my side. “Actually, yeah. I think you’re a fucking weak-ass bitch who ain’t no one afraid of in here, especially not me. You walk around all high and mighty, thinking you’re better than us, smarter and prettier than us, but guess what—you in here just like the fucking rest of us, and I ain’t scared by your supposed past.” She makes finger quotations an inch from my face.
I stand. We’re eye to eye. I can feel her hot, stinky breath on my face. Her finger jabs me in the chest. My blood fills my ears and I can’t hear much past the intense rushing. I clench my fists at my sides. Ready. I want her to come at me so badly. “Is that so? You gonna do something about it then?” I say, smacking her finger away from me. My eyes narrow on her acne-scarred face.
Before I can register what’s happening, I feel her two bony hands dig into my chest. The air is pushed out and I gasp. My legs tremble. Teeth clench.
It only takes me a second to leap onto her. Her fingers are entwined in my hair and I can feel the pressure as she yanks. I elbow her, and she lets go. The top of my hand swings across her cheek and I hear a loud slapping sound. Her head flies back, her arms wave wildly as she tries to grab a hold of me, but my adrenaline is pumping so hard that I don’t feel anything. My hands find their way to her neck. I squeeze and squeeze. Teeth gritting.
The power of my fingers pressing into the flesh of her neck makes me shiver with excitement. It feels like I can breathe for the first time since that day in the library all those years ago.
I have tunnel vision. I only see her eyes rolling back and her mouth attempting to suck in air. My heartbeat increases in my ears. Thump. Thump. Thump. My hands and wrists must be aching, but I don’t feel them.
Her arms keep flailing. Her fingers attempt to dig at my face. I don’t feel that either, I just keep pressing my hands into her. Squeezing. I wonder how much longer until she dies. I’m tingling all over.
And then I feel hands on me—pulling and yanking me off her. I fight harder, and then so do the hands.
My grasp is broken. I’m being lifted into the air. I’m screaming and swearing. I’m shaking, ferocious with rage. It’s a sensation from a time very long ago, yet it’s so familiar to me.
A man’s gruff voice breaks into my trance. My arms are twisted behind my back where I’m cuffed. Tightly. “That’s enough, Wilkanson! You’re done! You’re done!”
Now that I’m off her, I realize in a sobering moment that he might not be talking about just the fight. A hurtling wave of nausea makes my stomach twist and my mouth water.
I may have just ruined any chance I ever had to get out of here.
***
I’m whisked away by two guards who throw me into solitary.
They aren’t gentle with me as they literally launch me inside the room. I’ve never been in here before, but I’ve heard enough horror stories to know I never wanted to see it. I land on the ground with a thud. My bones vibrate from the motion. My arms are sore and bruised above my elbows where I was manhandled.
“I got to say, I’m surprised to see you in here, Wilkanson. There goes your perfect record. Was it worth it?” The guard, Han, shakes his head. He looks like a disappointed daddy and not some guy who’s getting underpaid to deal with us lowlifes.
I remain quiet, as is my right. It’s about the only thing I can control in here.
The other guard that has kindly accompanied me to the hole is Rickers. Unlike Han, has a smug smile on his face, like he’s been waiting for this moment with a lousy fifty bucks riding on it.
Han spins me around and unlocks the handcuffs. My wrists are sore from being forced into the cold, hard metal. I rub them, trying to get the circulation back into my hands. My brain finally registers where I am as I look around the closet-sized room. There’s nothing in here but a sweat- stained pad on the floor and a disgusting dirty blanket that I wouldn’t touch for fear of contracting scabies or countless other contagious diseases.
“Someone will be in later to bring you to your hearing. Do you want anyone else there with you?” Rickers asks.
“What do you mean? I don’t understand what’s happening,” I say, and it’s the truth. I’ve never committed an offense before. My anger has dwindled, and I’m left in a state of confusion and shock. My body trembles. I can even feel my ribs shaking. What did I fucking do?
Han stands tall, shoulders squared, with his hand on his baton. He looks like he’s ready to take down a linebacker and not some hundred-and-ten-pound chick. “You’ll be taken in to see an adjudicator. You can bring in witnesses if you think it’ll help your case. You’ll tell them what happened and plead guilty or not guilty of the offense—in this case, assaulting a fellow inmate.”
“But Georgina started it. She hit me first!” Ugh. I hear the pitiful whine in my voice and I wonder how I suddenly became a petulant child. I need to get my shit together before the hearing if I have any hope in hell of being taken seriously. “Can you ask Stephanie Harvey and Jodi Brown to come? They were there.”
“We’ll see what we can do,” Han says.
“So what, I have to stay in here until then? How long does this hearing take to set up?” I ask. My palms are slick, and I wipe them on the thighs of my pants.
“It could be a few hours.”
“Oh, great,” I exhale, relieved.
“Or it could be tomorrow,” Rickers adds.
My eyes and mouth widen. “What? You mean to tell me that I could be stuck in this hell
hole overnight?” My mind reels. My bunk is shitty, but it’s the Westin compared to this hovel. “That’s right.” Rickers smiles. “Shoulda thought about that before you tried to kill someone in here.” He walks out with Han right behind him.
My hand goes up and I wave for them to stop. “No, wait. You can’t leave me.”
Han takes another step away. “I’m afraid we can, and just in case we’re not back today, sleep tight.” The hefty steel door slams shut. The sound reverberates, echoing painfully in my ears. I’m dizzy. The walls look like they’re getting closer. The air is cold and stale. My stomach turns over.
Think, Ryann. Lunch was served at one o’clock. The fight happened just after, which puts it around two. There’s got to be enough time to get a judge or adjudicator to see me. What if the warden won’t let Steph and Jodi out to testify for me?
I need water. My mouth is so dry.
Surely someone will come soon. In twelve years at this prison, I’ve never so much as hid a candy bar I wasn’t supposed to have. I don’t deserve this.
Fighting is a major infraction. Georgina wanted this. This was probably her fucking plan the entire time.
What the fuck did I do?


Author Bio:
Kelly Charron is the author of YA and adult horror, psychological thrillers and urban fantasy novels. All with gritty, murderous inclinations and some moderate amounts of humor. She spends far too much time consuming true crime television (and chocolate) while trying to decide if yes, it was the husband, with the wrench, in the library. She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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