Sunday, September 15, 2019

Lies & Deceits Bk 3 of The Extraordinary Life of Amy Winston

Lies & Deceits
The Extraordinary Life of Amy Winston, Book 3

Like many young men with domineering fathers, John Marsh has no say to his life, and it makes him very angry. His father chooses his clothes, even his dance partners. He had not wanted to dance with Amy, but his father gave him no choice.  However, once she heard the entire story of the pups, and John’s heroic deeds, Amy declared him a friend for life. Unfortunately, his father has other plans.

Despite her lack of dowry and cloudy past, Amy Winston becomes one of the most sought-after young ladies in the London marriage mart. Some desire her for her beauty and charm while others appreciate her unique skills of seeing with her mind, healing with her hands, and disappearing in plain sight. By her choice of husbands, she secures her safety. However, her marriage almost brings the English Parliament to its knees.

Amy took his hand and kissed it. “Thank you for telling me the whole story.”
“Why’s that?”
“Because it showed me a much finer person than I thought you to be.”
He turned away from her and looked out into the garden. “How do you know I didn’t make the whole thing up, to do just that?”
She stroked his arm dislodging a dog hair.
He stared at it. “The pups don’t shed hair, so that proves nothing.”
Amy laughed softly.
“What is so funny?”
“You are. You use the existence of the pups in your denial that they exist. You cannot claim they do not shed, if you are claiming they do not exist.”
Her argument was interrupted by a scratching noise over their heads and a moment later a small toy poodle tunneled its way down the wisteria vine growing on the arbor beams. They watched as the small white spot floated across the garden to the south side and disappeared.
“May I see the pups some day?”
“I’ll give you one of the sad creatures if you wish. Otherwise, I’ll be stuck with twelve of the silly things.”
“Ah yes, I can see your selfish motivation. Eleven are so much easier to care for than twelve.”
Finally, he laughed and faced her. “I like you.” He declared this as if the possibility surprised him greatly.
“If you didn’t think you’d like me, why were you so determined to dance with me?”
“Because Darby liked you. I make it a point to steal away any lady he looks at.”
“What do you have against Darby?”
John sighed. “I hate him.”
“Yes, I see that, but why?”
“Because he gets to do whatever the hell he likes, while not a single decision in my life is my own. I don’t even get to pick out my own clothes.”
“I suppose that is the downside of being spoiled, everything is done for you.”
His eyes narrowed, letting her know he did not like being called ‘spoiled.’ “I won’t deny that I was spoiled as a boy, but it has been many years since my life shifted from getting everything I wanted to nothing. About the time I reached fifteen, my father despaired I was not a suitable young man and took over my reins with a heavy bit. For twelve years, I have done everything he asks, and still he hates everything about me. He selects my clothes, my friends, even the young ladies I am allowed to meet. I am twenty-seven-years old and I had more freedom when I was eight! If it were possible to toss me aside and take another son, I’ve no doubt he would. But since he’s stuck with me, he’s determined to make my life utter hell.”
“I’m sorry, but if it is any consolation, the suit looks very nice on you. I also think Darby would make you a fine friend if you’d stop stealing his lady friends. And while I cannot imagine why your father wishes you to dance with me, I look forward to the dance all the same, because contrary to my expectations, I find I like you very much.”

Book 3 – Lies and Deceits

More About the Author
Liza O’Connor’s favorite books are Pride & Prejudice and Douglas Adams’ four book trilogy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Go figure…
Raised in the southern mid-section of U.S., Liza escaped to the East Coast once out of college. She’s worked as a journalist, a radio DJ, a security guard, a stock broker, a strategist, and a business solutions consultant to name a few of her many occupations.  Again…go figure.
She learned to fly planes, jump out of planes, hang-glide, kayak and scuba dive, to name of few of her ‘let’s kill Liza’ sports. However, her favorite activity is to hike with her dog Jess among the shaved mountains of NJ.

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Through Fire by Sage MacGowan

Through Fire


Sage MacGowan


All her life Cass has been the wallflower, quietly content to make her mark from behind the scenes. As a cognitive psychologist in the research field, she will use her intellect and tenacity to heal the “broken” brain. Because she learned long ago she isn’t capable of fixing broken minds; maybe not even broken hearts.

Bryan doesn’t want to even think about his present. To escape his past, he had always looked to the future. As a materials engineer, he will use his ingenuity and talent to develop state-of-the-art products and devices. But now an accident has drastically broad-sided his life – and the hits keep coming.

They give each other the motive to step beyond self-consciousness – to reach outside themselves to touch the other. They discover the courage to pull one another close. To love. To be loved. From one another they draw the power and fortitude to move beyond mistakes.

Long Excerpt 
“Cass! What are you doing here?”

Her weak knees managed to get her through the curtain and to Bryan’s side where he lay on a hospital gurney. She took in his bent legs, arm draped across his abdomen, and pale face sporting a sheen of sweat.

“I stopped by the Biosystem Lab. While Jeff was failing miserably at making something up, Marcy told me he had dragged you to the medical center.”

He looked back up at the ceiling.

“Since apparently, you were ambulatory, I took a chance and came here to Urgent Care rather than Emergency. What’s going on? Are you okay?” That was stupid. He plainly wasn’t, but the question slipped out anyway.

Bryan winced and screwed his eyes closed. “I’ll be fine. They’re just covering their butts.”

“Quit being such a guy. What procedure are they performing in order to cover their butts?”

“How did you get in here?”

“I lied. What’s wrong?!”

His eyebrows lifted. “Lied about-“ His breath hitched and suffering washed across his face. “-what?”

Worry tightened her chest. “Bryan, please!”

“I’ll call you la-“ His words became a groan and he rolled away from her, curling into a fetal position with his arm wrapped tightly across his abdomen, panting forcefully.

Cass turned to run to the nurse’s station, almost colliding with a man in scrubs pushing a wheelchair into the curtained area. Was it a good thing or a bad thing that he was the same nurse who had been at the front desk handing over forms when she was plying the receptionist?

“So sorry about the wait. Let’s get you loaded up. But first, how about I give you a little something for the pain?”

Bryan grunted out between clenched jaws, “No, I’m fine.”

The nurse looked over to her. “We men are too hard-headed for our own good.” Turning back to Bryan, he admonished, “That’s what got you into this mess. Okay, sit up and step down.” Bryan relinquished his grasp around his belly, then levered himself up and reached down toward the floor with one foot. The nurse looked back at her. “You can wait in the chairs just out there, Mrs. McCaffrey.”

Oh crap! Her stomach leapt and her mouth dried instantly.

Bryan’s head whipped around so fast his hand slipped off the gurney mattress when he was only halfway off. Luckily the nurse was a large man and caught him easily, then guided him to the wheelchair seat. “Careful, now.”

Bryan’s surprised gaze was firmly pinned on Cass. She narrowed her eyes into a “Don’t you dare!” expression right as Bryan opened his mouth, then another spasm of pain caused him to curl away as he was pushed through the opening in the curtain.


“He’s right in here.” The nurse indicated the room with a wave of his hand through the doorway, then went on his way down the corridor.

Cass stepped in and, heart in her throat, walked over to the side of the bed and sat in the chair. “I’m sorry I told them we…that I was… But I figured they wouldn’t let me in to see you otherwise. I just panicked. Please don’t be mad.”

The corner of Bryan’s mouth tipped up. “Of course not.” He swallowed. “It’s good to see you again.”

She nodded and grasped his hand in hers. Now, how should she present this? If she asked, he would say no, he was fine, she didn’t need to do that, he could take care of himself. But it wouldn’t be right to take charge and state her intent as if he had no say in the matter. Giving him back his service dog was a no-brainer, but how was she going to weasel herself back in as well?

A midline approach seemed best. “When you’re released, I’ll drop Iambe at your apartment. She can help you out while you finish recuperating, so you don’t need to strain anything while your incision heals. And I can stop by often -"Her eyes slid away."- maybe even stay there for a bit to take care of her so you can rest and not have to worry about taking her out for walks or bending over to feed her, that sort of thing.” She lifted her gaze to assess his response.

There was a moderate smile on his face. “That’s not necessary. The incision is quite small, actually. They did their repair laparoscopically.” A teasing light came into his eyes. “So you’ll need to come up with another excuse.”

Cass took a deep breath and leaned closer, resting her chin on her crossed arms atop the side rail. Her voice shook. “Can I come home?”

His smile slowly slid away as he reached out, tucking a stray section of hair behind her ear. He ran the backs of his fingers down her cheek and thumbed away the escaped tears. Softly he pleaded, “Please come home.”

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Author Bio

Tucked away in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Sage divides her time among being a mother, a writer, and the program director for a non-profit. Growing up, and for quite some time after, she was a reader and a dreamer, but didn’t often put pen to paper. Then late one night, listening to music, story ideas dancing through her head, she was overcome with an inescapable urge to actually write. She is a nature-worshiper and spends a fair amount of time hiking and camping when she’s not playing Sudoku.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Aurora Springer presents Dame Audrey

Dame Audrey, A Medieval Romance with a Touch of Fantasy


Young widow seeks true love amid the turmoil of Chaucer’s England.

In fourteenth century Britain, Dame Audrey cherishes her independence as the widow of a wealthy cloth merchant. But some of the wealthier traders covet her profitable business and she fears they will invoke the Abbot’s authority to compel her to marry a man of their choice. Her worst nightmare is suffering under a cruel husband like the hateful jeweler, Henry Goldsmith, who has threatened to curb her lively spirits.

Audrey joins a pilgrimage to Glastonbury to pray for guidance. The holy relics give her no inspiration nor do her fellow travelers. On the homeward journey, she aids the dying victim of a brutal robbery. She wins the stranger’s blessing and a gold brooch with a green dragon. Back in her hometown, the faerie brooch attracts trouble from thieves of all ranks and the attentions of a handsome yeoman, Selwyn Drake. As her nightmare looms nearer, she grows desperate to preserve her freedom.

Can the magic brooch help Audrey evade the schemes to force her into wedlock or must she submit to a husband’s will?

Available at: Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  B&N


Steadied by my stout stick, I hurried through the wet streets with my hood of my cloak lowered to hide my face. Lagging behind, Alfred splashed through the puddles. Many shops were closed and barred. Why should they stay open? Few customers would venture out in this gloomy weather.

Many shops were closed and barred. Why should they stay open? Few customers would venture out in this gloomy weather.

Overhead, the black clouds rumbled another warning. My imagination filled the shadows with leering demons and eerie monsters beating dark wings.

Shivering, I hastened homeward, eager to reach my house before the next storm hit. A rat fled across the street, nearly tripping me. Only my staff saved me from tumbling into the stream of slimy water in the gutter. Quenching my fears, I kept to the center of the street, avoiding the dark and grimy passages where thieves lurked. As I passed a narrow alley, raucous jeers came from the alehouse and spurred me into a faster pace.

A slatternly woman darted in front of me, crying, “Help me, Sir! He’s stolen my purse.” The smell of stale ale clung to her breath and low-cut kirtle. An alewife or worse, her nose and cheeks were near as red as her dress.

Perplexed for a moment, I halted. Despite my height, I’m not usually mistaken for a man. Did the buxom young woman imagine my brown cloak covered a friar’s habit?

A horse snorted further along the street.

Her expression stilled.

Cued by the squelch of footsteps in the mud behind me, I whirled around, gripping my staff in both hands. A hooded man with a dagger lunged at me. Acting swiftly, I smacked the stick onto his wrist. The knife dropped from his fist.

Spitting a vulgar oath, he jerked aside.

On the backstroke, more by fortune than foresight, I clouted his head with my staff.

My attacker splashed into the filthy drainage channel, cursing like a maniac. Before he had time to recover, young Alfred dashed up and grabbed his arms. Alfie might be skinny, yet he is strong for his age. He wrestled the churl’s hands behind his back.

A tall man ran out of the shadows toward us, a sword in his hand. He blew a whistle. Wearing a horseman’s short cloak and boots, his lips were a grim line beneath his green hood, and he meant to intervene.

Gripping my staff, I stood my ground. Before I could decide whether the newcomer favored me or my attacker, the clatter of booted feet heralded two more armed men. They raced onto the street, and slowed by the first man.

He pointed his sword tip at the villain I’d felled and snapped an order, “Restrain the churl.”

Alfred stepped away as the yeomen obeyed their instructions.

The leader sheathed his sword. Instead of ogling the buxom strumpet, he focused on me, his gaze lingering on my face. My hood had fallen back to reveal my wimpled face and he could have no doubt about my sex or widowhood.

Doffing his hood and exposing his short auburn hair, he cried, “A cunning thrust, lady.”

With a shiver of excitement, I recognized the leader of the sheriff’s men who had overtaken my company on the road to Redding. He was tall, which I preferred in a man due to my own height. Even standing on my pattens, I had to raise my gaze to meet his eyes.

His deep-set hazel eyes held glints of green. They widened a fraction and his lips curled in a slight smile of appreciation. “I’ve seen your face before.”

“You rode by me on the road from Newbury.”

“Aye, I remember. You had a frisky grey mare and a large hound.”

His swift smile and the warmth of his tone set my heart fluttering. I felt my cheeks flush as if I were a maid of fourteen instead of a widow of twenty-three. Overcoming my embarrassment, I asked, “Are you the sheriff’s messenger?” 

“Nay. I’m Lord William’s bailiff. He appointed me to keep peace during the fair.” He lifted the edge of his cloak to show the sheriff’s badge sewn on his doublet. “Selwyn Drake, at your service. Are you in town for the Fair?”

“I run a stall, Sir.” I firmed my chin, smiled and dropped a curtsy. “Audrey Thyme, merchant’s widow and trader in cloth.”

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About the Author
Aurora Springer is a scientist morphing into a novelist. She has a PhD in molecular biophysics and discovers science facts in her day job. Aurora has invented adventures in weird worlds for as long as she can remember. In 2014, she achieved her life-long ambition to publish her stories. Her works are character-driven adventures and romances set in weird worlds and sprinkled with humor. She was born in the UK and lives in Atlanta with her husband and adopted pets - two dogs and two cats. Her hobbies, besides reading and writing, include outdoor activities like gardening, watching wildlife, hiking and canoeing.

Liza O’Connor’s  Review of 
Dame Audrey

This novel is very different from Aurora Springer’s normal fare. First of all, it is a love story from the Medieval Era.

To be honest, I struggled a bit with the pace in chapter one. Note: Aurora Springer puts incredible detail in her books and in this case, I didn’t know what several items, such as a kirtle, was. But a few pages in and I was enchanted.

This is a beautiful love story in a time (Medieval era) when many women were not normally treated too well by their husbands. A time when death by birthing a child, or by being beaten by a husband was all too common. Thus, men often lost their current wife and took another with no love involved. Young women were just chattel to be sold and used.

The heroine, Dame Audrey, is a widow of two years. To be honest, she has no desire to be remarried to another man. Instead, she has worked hard to create beautiful fabrics to sell in the market. She had no need of a least until a man of honor, who comes to her rescue shows up. 

While her life seems to be tolerable at first, a piece of jewelry changes everything and quickly sends her life is into constant danger.

I highly recommend that you read this book, even if it is the first medieval book that you have ever read. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

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