A Matter of Timing: Chapter One

Chapter One

            6:07 P.M. Los Angeles, Ca

Elle grabbed her coat from her desk chair, said goodnight to the janitor who was the only one left in her office building, and took one last look around trying to remember if she had forgotten anything.

The parking lot wasn’t quite deserted and she wondered whose lives belonged to these cars and which of the surrounding office buildings they worked in. What were their evening plans? The owner of this white Honda Civic for instance? Was she a woman, and would she be going home to cook dinner for her family, regretting a dream she left behind? Or was he a man, making last minute dinner reservations for two?  Elle got into her car and contemplated her own evening plans. She’d probably go home and make dinner for one, a glass or two of wine and maybe finish her Kerouac book. That sounded pretty darn good to her. Still, she was in the mood for something different tonight. Kerouac will always be waiting.

She turned up the music and drove through traffic to get home, changed into something that didn’t remind her of selling homes to potential clients. In this case, she chose tight black pants with combat books, a low-cut black blouse and reapplied some make-up, darker this time. Elle didn’t want to reel anyone in tonight, she didn’t need to. In Los Angeles there were plenty of men to choose from, but they hadn’t been able to reel her in. No one had been able to except for David, and he was in Seattle right now. That didn’t do her any good. She had just wanted to get out of her apartment for the night, maybe a drink or two, then go home. Nothing too wild.

Ten minutes later, Elle left her apartment feeling confident. She would take the long way to her favorite whiskey bar, through Laurel Canyon. She decided to bring some work with her, waiting for the night to settle in.

There was still traffic at this hour, but she didn’t mind. Elle loved the mountains surrounding her on Laurel Canyon. She loved the sharp turns, the steep climb. The exciting descent as you got closer and closer to Hollywood. On a night like this, the cool breeze flirting with the loose strands of her hair, Elle felt like anything can happen.

It wasn’t easy finding parking near the bar, but she got lucky within in a few minutes and found a spot directly across the street. She only had to circle the block once. The spot was small, but she silently thanked her Mini Cooper, it was just small enough for the spot she had found. Elle grabbed her work, her purse, and took one last look in the rearview mirror. She saw sadness in her eyes and shook it off.

It was close to eight by the time she arrived. A local band was about to go on stage in a side room. She found a tiny table in a corner and actually felt foolish for bringing her work, so she didn’t dive into it right away. She would try and get a feel for the night first. When she walked up to the bar to order a drink, she saw a face in the crowd and was hit with a force of recognition so hard she couldn’t think for a moment.

That woman, her face. She was so familiar! Who is she?

The woman in question didn’t see her. Elle’s eyes followed the woman as she walked back to her group and suddenly, Elle remembered who she was. It hit her like a ton of bricks. That’s his wife. Elle said a silent prayer to herself. Please don’t let him be here. Not tonight. Not this night. There’s got to be a mistake. Maybe it’s just someone who looked like her.  And then Elle realized that the gods were not with her this night, or if they were, they were not listening to her pleas. And there he stood, beer in hand. Adam. The couple were among friends, laughing and drinking all of them. Elle didn’t recognize the other people. Adam was laughing at something someone said, or probably something he had said, knowing Adam. And almost as if Elle herself had willed it, Adams eyes found hers. He did not react but took a swig from his beer instead. To the naked eye, no one would have noticed anything out of the ordinary. No one would have guessed that Elle and Adam had had a relationship that lasted five years, and that they used to fit one another like hand in glove. They would have probably gotten married. No one could have known that it had been a few years since they had last seen each other. 

She thought about leaving. But, damn, he had already seen her. As much as she wanted to get the hell out of there, she knew that was immature.

No, she thought to herself. Stay. She squared her shoulders and took the drink the bartender handed her and took a sip. Deep breath. She walked back to her table. 

Elle could feel his eyes on her. Her heart was racing. Adam and his wife lived in San Diego. She never, in a million years, expected to run into them on a night like tonight, at one of her favorite spots. She felt a little guilty for her next action, but she decided to do it anyway. Elle checked his profile on a social media website she rarely used. She pulled up his page and noticed that his “Lives in” was changed from San Diego to Santa Monica. Elle’s heart started beating faster.  What should she do? She had come to so many forks in the road with Adam. Elle thought back to their history and the heartbreak surrounding it. Some of it, Adam didn’t even know about. She swallowed. Shit, don’t think about it, she told herself. Everything is fine. It was years ago. You’ll be fine. 

Elle took a deep breath and looked up from her phone. She really didn’t want to, but she thought that she should probably greet them. Put on a smile and walk over there, she prompted herself. Elle took her drink with her as a crutch and took a quick sip for bravery before she got to their table. She didn’t like the idea of trying to ignore them. Sooner or later their lives were going to probably mix in with hers again seeing as how they had recently moved back. Maybe. Then again, maybe not. Only one way to find out.

There were about seven people at their combined tables.  His wife was immersed in conversation with another woman. She made eye contact with Elle as she approached and recognition lit her face, but only for a moment, then it passed as she continued her conversation. 

Adam saw Elle approaching and excused himself from the group.

 “Adam? Hi! I thought that was you.” She said, pretending to be happy to see him as they hugged. That second felt like an eternity. The familiarity of his body after all this time. Her hands were around his shoulders for mere seconds, but it brought back a wave of memories. Her mind flashed images of him of top of her. She could feel her face getting warm.

“Hey. What are you doing out here? This isn’t your scene, is it?” He laughed easily and genuinely looked happy to see her.

She smiled. He used to know me so well, she thought. “I think it has been for a few years now. The cafes started to get old.” She looked around the crowd and saw a punk rocker with green hair. She smiled. “These guys are way more interesting.” There was a pause. “What about you? I heard you got married! David showed me a few pictures, it looked lovely.” Elle gave him a fake smile. She had only seen one picture. It had been a picture of both Adam and David from that night. This was harder than she thought.

“Yeah, thank you. I know, it’s all going by so fast.”

“I know,” she agreed. “Hey, so what are you guys doing out here on a Thursday night of all nights?” She pretended she didn’t check her phone five seconds before coming over to their table. She took another swig or her drink, bracing herself to hear it out loud, coming from his lips. The same lips she has kissed over and over again.

“Anne and I moved back to the area a couple of weeks ago. It was time to come back,” he said seriously. He looked around the bar, and in a lighter tone, said “It’s good to be back. And who knows, you and I might even be able to get the old gang back together again.”

Shit. There is no way he could have possibly meant that.

“C’mon,” she smiled, playing it off. “It wouldn’t be the same without David.”

“Yeah, but he’s moving back soon.” He shrugged, as if it were that easy.

“It would be nice to see everyone again.”  Elle wondered if she should tell him about David. How would he react to her dating his best friend? A stranger walked by and brushed her shoulder. No, break away, she told herself. “Well, it was crazy running into you, Adam. You look good. Congratulations on your marriage.” And he did look good. His hair was shorter, more in style. His dark brown skin looked great in a bright white dress shirt and his slacks were designer. He was as tan as ever, which meant he still frequented the beaches. She was surprised that he still found time to surf. She had always loved how put together he looked, even in their early years. He had a knack for always looking good.

She waved her drink at him in an awkward attempt to say goodbye, with a smile to match when Adam pointed to her drink. He hadn’t noticed her trying to break away, or so she thought.

“What are you drinking, anyway? What is this?” he asked. He had noticed her trying to make a break for it but he didn’t want to let go of this unexpected moment in time. 

They had shared drinks often during their relationship. He used to order a unique beer when they would go out and she would do the same. Sometimes they would swap, but even if they didn’t, they would always try each other’s drinks.  It was a thing he had started on their first date. Each time, he would watch her as she brought his drink to her lips. The look he gave her never failed to send waves of electricity through her whole body. It never got old, it never ceased to excite her. The way he would look at her hungrily, it was so subtle. But it was there. No one else noticed it, Elle knew. But they both were always very aware.

This night, he took her glass and took a sip. He thought for a second. Then he took another sip, finishing it off. Elle couldn’t tell if he was doing it on purpose tonight, or if he was just being the same Adam she had once fallen in love with all those years ago, bringing their lips together on the same piece of glass, both marveling at the intimacy of a shared drink like a kiss in disguise.

He made a face and handed her back her glass. “You’re sipping Fireball by itself?”

She took the empty glass from him and hugged it close to her, coming to its defense. “I happen to like it. And yes, I asked for it on the rocks, I can enjoy it this way.  She looked down into her now empty glass. “Well, not anymore, it’s gone.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll get you another drink. A better one.” Oh, Adam was good. He quickly dispelled any and all awkwardness and filled it with charm and warmth. It was a talent of his. It was what drew her to him again and again.

“You don’t have to do that. I mean, I drank most of it anyway.” Also, you have a wife. But she didn’t say that out loud.

He shrugged. “Here, take my beer to hold you over.”

“Beer? I don’t want your beer,” she said with a smile she couldn’t hide. Damn him.

“Try it. I bet you it’s better than yours.” He watched as she put the bottle to her mouth. Her heart raced.

While she drank, she thought about his lips having been on this bottle. Sexual energy flowed through her system yet again as the beer went down, and her stomach fluttered and burned at once. The beer wasn’t ice cold, anymore.  She could feel the warmth of the bottle where his hand had been. Adam’s hands. He used to know how to love her with those hands, she thought.

 Elle smiled and held up the beer. “Well, I don’t know if it’s better, but it’s good. You’ve always had good taste in beer.” She wasn’t as good with the charm and the warmth. Especially now that she was starting to get a bit nervous and she could feel herself trembling. While she was finally over the break-up and had been for a while, seeing him tonight was completely unexpected.

Adam smiled. He could tell she was trying to hide her nervousness. What she didn’t know is that she held his heart in that smile. And therein lay her charm. Her smile, casting its net around him without his consent, the way it had always done. He used to love nothing more than to try and make her smile, and he was good at it, too. Adam allowed himself to briefly take her in. She wore more makeup around her eyes than he was used to. Her face had thinned out making her look older, more sophisticated, her Italian features more prominent. She was more predator now than prey. Adam wondered if he had anything to do with that. He noticed how her light brown hair was now a little darker. He had always liked when she wore it down, and liked that it was now longer than he had ever seen it. Her large crooked nose that she had always hated suited her. She had finally grown into her looks and she didn’t look like an adolescent anymore. Elle was almost thirty now, and he thought her new look suited her well. He had never seen her dressed in this rock and roll style. He thought she looked incredible.

“I’ll order something to your table. It’s my latest discovery. You’ll love it. And hey…” he looked at her, closely. They held each other’s gaze. She searched into his eyes wondering what he’d say, but whatever it was, he didn’t say it. Instead he said, “Good to see you. You look really good.” He sounded so casual.

She smiled and put her arms around him one last time. She patted him on the back in a friendly manner.

Elle walked away and took a swig of his beer. Back at her table she opened up her laptop and gave it a once over. Who was she kidding? She couldn’t work tonight. A waiter came by with a drink for her. She looked for Adam with her eyes, to thank him. She spotted his group of friends, and his wife. But Adam had disappeared.

Elle took a sip of this new drink and wondered what it was. Heaven in a glass, that’s what. She would have to ask him later. She laughed to herself.  When, later? As if it would become a regular thing. But then again, maybe it would. David would be moving back in six months. The two of them would possibly get together from time to time. Now, she was dating David. She still had time to figure it out all. She felt lucky to at least know what it was like to have been loved like that by Adam. She didn’t wonder if he still loved her now. She didn’t need to know. All that she knew was that he had and that he had once known her so well. Some people go through life never experiencing that. So, their timing was off. So what? She was lucky to have had the time at all, even with all the heart-break that followed. She still thought about it from time to time, her and Adam. A woman doesn’t forget something like that. And though the pain hadn’t faded from everything they had gone through, she had moved on. She was looking forward to her future with David, even though it was still new and long-distance. She had let Adam do the same with his new wife a long time ago.

At the end of the night, Elle was glad to have gone out. She had noticed that Adam eventually returned to his table, but he never once looked back in her direction. She decided to give Adam and his wife some privacy, so she moved to the bar with her back to them and struck up a conversation with the bartender in between his drink orders. When Elle walked to her car, she looked in the mirror and noticed she didn’t look tired anymore despite the late hour. The sadness was gone from her eyes.

When Elle got home, she changed into something comfortable to sleep in and picked up her Kerouac. She climbed into bed with it, not feeling lonely anymore. She had never even seen the note from Adam stuck underneath her windshield wiper asking her out for dinner. It had fallen off while she had driven away. He wouldn’t bring it up at the Thanksgiving dinner later that year either, though they talked about many other things.

Let’s find some more books together!

Hi hi all. I just wanted to write a quick little post to let everyone know that I am going to be diving in and out of Crazy Ink authors, and I am going on the hunt to find some great authors out there who we can all check out. I want to introduce all types of books and genres, so there’ll be something for everyone!

Piano Man

Pierce Leewood, known to the town of Cobbly Nob as the Piano Man, played for the visitors who graced Reagan Inn. His magical melodies made him beloved to guests but stories of his past left him a source of suspicion for locals. When young girls began to go missing and turned up dead, the Piano Man played his last tune.Twenty years later, Sarah Hayes and her daughter Amber find themselves uprooting their lives and returning to Cobbly Nob to help take care of family and the soon to reopen inn. While her mom and Grams immerse themselves in opening-day preparations, the mysteries of Reagan Inn and its most feared employee haunt Amber…as do its ghosts.As the monster known as the Piano Man sets his sights on Amber, she is determined to free the ghosts otherwise bound to suffer at his hands. Can she put an end to the Piano Man’s terror? Or will Amber find herself the next to face the music?

Purchase the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Piano-Man-Rena-Marin/dp/1096246880/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=piano+man+rena&qid=1565988592&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Q&A with author Rena Marin

In your own words, how would you describe your book? Piano Man is YA ghost story about the family who owns an old Inn a small mountain town. The Inn has been remodeled and is set to reopen which has the ghostly spirit of the town’s most notorious murderer ready to claim new victims.

What inspired this story? I worked in a haunted hotel for quite awhile. My daughter Amber still talks about the motel all these years later and remembers things that happened when she would visit with us at work. It amazes me how she remembers so much since she was just small at the time. She is a huge paranormal fan, just like her momma, so the more we talked about it, I decided it was time to give the motel its own story in a way. Of course, the real piano man was nothing like the one created for the book, but the name is the same. It’s the name Amber, and several others, called one of the motel’s most active ghosts due to the piano in the corner playing so often. 

What can you tell us of Cobbly Nob, where this story takes place? It’s actually a real community. I drive through it every day on my way to work and its beautiful. That’s what inspired me to use it as my setting. My version of Cobbly Nob is extended compared to the real location. It’s your typical small town. A grocery, a few mom and pops stores, library, small school, etc. To the older people in town it’s the perfect place to live a peaceful life. The kids? Well, they may get a few bouts of boredom which is why they are constantly looking for adventure to get into.

Have you or would you ever stay in a haunted inn? I have. The one I worked at would be my home several weeks in the winter months. It was hard to get to work when it would snow. If need be, the family and I would pack up and stay till things cleared up. I’ve spent many nights hearing things, seeing things, and even wandering around with the kids looking for things while there.

If you could place yourself in your book, which character would you be? What would you be doing? Oh, I would love to be one of the kids. Learning all the old legends about their town, exploring the Inn, and facing a new adventure would be something I would love to take part in. Especially the research part. I love reading about the history of haunted locations.

What surprised you most about your book as you were writing it? Piano Man began as a standalone. By the time I ended it, I found I couldn’t say goodbye to the characters and the location. A series is now in the works revolving around them. Graveyard Girls, book two, will be coming in 2020.

Give us a Rena Marin fun and/or unusual fact. I’m a huge horror/paranormal fan. Growing up, I didn’t have siblings to do the adventurous checking out of creepy places. My friends weren’t as into it as I was, so I was left with research and learning about places. Now, I have a partner in crime. My daughter, she’s 13, is just as taken by the paranormal as I have. We’ve started doing a few things here and there like ghost walks, explorations, etc. We have more planned for the future. I guess in a way you could call us wanna-be-investigators, lol.

What are you reading now? I just finished a reread of Wuthering Heights for an anthology I’m in. Next up will be Erin Lee’s Cotton Candy.

What can you tell us about your future releases? I have several anthologies releasing this year including Beyond Atlantis, Infamy, and Art Inspires with Crazy Ink. I also have the third installment of the Dead Oaks Terrors Series, Night Stalker coming in November which is written with Skylar McKinzie. In October, The Hunter’s Guild of Dark Hollow Ridge will be releasing. It is part two of my Dark Hollow Ridge saga. In December, another solo of mine, Backroad, will be released. As an exclusive author with Crazy Ink, all these titles will be published by them and their amazing team!

And because I’m a movie person, I have to ask, name a movie you could watch over and over and over again and still find merit in? Oh, I am such a huge movie fan!! I love too many! Let’s see as a fan, I love all the great horror movies of the 70’s 80’s and 90’s. Halloween, Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street, all of those. I love all the superhero movies too, but a good movie that gets me every time I watch it has to be Steel Magnolias. It’s my ugly cry movie but watching it reminds me of my family and the people I grew up with so much. Those women act just like my grandma and my aunts. It’s a great nod to life in the south and a time when things were simpler.

About the Author

Rena Marin was born in a small town in East Tennessee where she, her husband Daniel, and two children–Cody and Amber–still reside today. 

Growing up, reading and writing her own stories was Rena’s favorite pastime. Her once-unreachable dream of becoming a published writer came true when she was in high school and found herself with many writing awards and accolades, including a short story in Reader’s Digest. 

After starting her own business, Rena continued writing shorts online before moving on to freelance work. Taking a chance, she and a friend submitted a novel to their first publishing company and were delighted to be accepted.

As a member of Crazy Ink Publishing, Rena now has several co-written series underway, including the Best Selling Dead Oak Terrors Series. Halloween Nightmare, the first book in that series, recently won the Reality Bites Best Horror Book of 2018. Rena also has her own solo series called The Witches of Dark Hollow Ridge. She looks forward to bringing readers with her into a world of magic and adventure.

Keeping close to her short story roots, Rena is part of several anthologies with many more in the works. 

A lover of all forms of entertainment, Rena enjoys horror and fantasy movies new and old. When she isn’t writing or working, she often finds herself cuddled on the couch with her family–including their five fur babies–and lost in a fantasy world or hoping to be scared. 

Order Piano Man here: https://www.amazon.com/Piano-Man-Rena-Marin/dp/1096246880/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=piano+man+rena&qid=1565988592&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Would You Have Believed Me? Book One of The Step Into Darkness Series

Before I get started, I have had the privilege and honor to call this author my co-worker, if you will. Though we’ve never met, we are both exclusive authors for Crazy Ink and she has helped me brainstorm numerous times. Her hard work and determination is an inspiration. Okay, enough said, let’s get to the book, shall we?

Seventeen-year-old Justine Leonard wants to be happy for her widowed mother when she meets, falls in love with, and marries a new mystery man. But while Dirk Martin seems to shine like a knight in freshly polished armor, Justine can’t shake the feeling something isn’t quite right.
Is Justine’s gut telling the truth, or is everyone else right when they say her imagination is only playing with her?

Order the book here: Ebook http://mybook.to/WouldYouBelievedCI
Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1094872768/ref

Q&A with author Justina Luther

In your own words, how would you describe your book?

Hi Eve, and thank you for this opportunity! I would describe my book as a thrilling, clean, read that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. A story of family, love, and betrayal.

What inspired you to come up with the idea for your Step Into Darkness series?

It started as a short story I wrote when I was fourteen. My parents have quite a large age gap between them and I was always concerned my dad would pass away when I was still a kid. The story was my way of mentally walking through my fears of what could be the aftereffects of that happening without actually having to go through it.

How many books will it be?

Right now, I’m planning on six books for this series, but that will all depend on where the story takes me. I’m not much of a plotter, so writing truly is an adventure for me and it’s hard to tell ahead of time how long or short a piece or series will be. At this point, I do have rough ideas for six, though.

What can you tell us about book two? And how long do we have to wait?! 🙂

Without giving too much away, I can say in book two, Gut Check, the steaks get even higher for Justine, Eric, and Camille and some characters may have even more to hide than we think. It will be releasing on September 24th 2019.

What is your favorite thing about your main character, Justine?

My favorite thing about Justine is honestly a trait I consider her best and worst. She puts others before herself. The reason I say this is her best and worst trait is because she sometimes does this to her own detriment. This is something I’ll have to work with her on in upcoming books. We’ve talked about it, but so far she hasn’t listened. haha

Your book is listed as a psychological thriller. What are some thrilling inspirations for you? Books? Films? Authors?

Thrilling inspirations for me, honestly, don’t necessarily have to be in the thriller category. Be it a book or a movie, if there’s a well written twist that I didn’t see coming, that is a thrill for me and something I strive for in my own work.

If you could place yourself in your book, which character would you be? What would you be doing?

This is such a great question, but a really hard one to answer. Every answer I think of would change the story in some huge way. I would probably be Eric’s mother Angelica, because she’s a tough woman who needs to be a bit nosier. I am nosy. I would have put an end to the shenanigans quickly.

What are writing must haves for you? Coffee, background music, tea? 

In order to write, I need a timer for writing sprints when my mind isn’t playing along, water so I don’t get dehydrated, and someone to remind me to eat because I will forget.

What are you reading now? 

I’m in between books at the moment. I’ve been in full editing mode. That being said, I’m really enjoying the Nikki Heat series.

And because I’m a movie person, I have to ask, name a movie you could watch over and over and over again and still find merit in?

That would have to be If Only. I do not cry easily, but this movie gets me every time and it has my favorite twist of all time!

Bonus fun facts about Justina:

  1. I had brain surgery at 10 days old.
  2. I modeled from the ages of 12-15.
  3. I used to tutor essay writing to adult GED students.

About the Author

Justina Luther is a lifetime author with a passion for reading, writing, animals and creativity. Be it a story or something she’s learned, sharing with her readers is her greatest joy. With a love for trying new things, she constantly finds experiences to add depth and realism to her fiction

Avail on amazon now. Ebook: http://mybook.to/WouldYouBelievedCI
Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1094872768/ref

Cursed Legacy: Book One of the Hunting the Night Series

Cursed Legacy
A Debut Novel
Revenge and desire fueled me. There were three things about this journey I knew right away: 
One, someone powerful killed my brother. 
Two, the Supernatural was not a joke. 
Three, I was falling for someone who hunted people like me.

Order it here: https://www.amazon.com/Cursed-Legacy-Book-Hunting-Night-ebook/dp/B07HK7MLQV/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=michelle+cursed+a+legacy&qid=1561688686&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Q&A with author Michelle Edwards

In your own words, how would you describe your book?

            It’s a love story of sorts. You have a young woman who loved her brother dearly. She starts to fall for a guy who she shouldn’t be involved in, and she loves her best friend.  It’s definitely not just about the supernatural.

What supernatural elements can be found in your novel?

            Well we have some witches, an old vampire, and a badass supernatural hunter along with some others who pop up here and there.

Where does your novel take place?

            All over the United States. My characters travel around a bit, but they always come back to their home base (a home owned by a vampire).

What can you tell us about the rest of the series?

            The rest of the series is packed of action and heartbreak, and even some more death.  The second book continues Lily’s story, I can’t say too much without giving it away. The third book actually focuses more on a secondary character and the fourth book will focus on a character you don’t even meet until the end of the first book.

If you could be a werewolf, witch or vampire, which would you pick and why?

            Witch. Ever since my Charmed days I’ve always loved the idea of witchcraft.  It would be cool to do spells and have them work. Think of how many people I could help that way!

If you could place yourself in your book, which character would you be? What would you be doing?

            I think I would be Lily’s long lost sister. I’d be her wing girl helping her find out who killed Ben (her brother).

What surprised you most about your book as you were writing it?

            How easily it came together. I started a long time ago with a loose idea for this book, but it grew into something that was easy to write. 

When you write, do you use a pen and journal, or do you write with a computer?

            Computer. I always have a notebook and pen with me, but I also always carry my Chromebook or tablet so I can write anywhere. 

What are writing must haves for you? Coffee, background music? 

            I’m actually a very strange person. I have to music playing, but it has to come from earbuds. If I don’t have the earbuds in my ears I just stare at my work. 

What are you reading now? 

            What’s your Superpower. A Crazy Ink Anthology.

And because I’m a movie person, I have to ask, name a movie you could watch over and over and over again and still find merit in?

            Ten Inch Hero. 

About the Author

Michelle Edwards is a multi-genre woman of letters focusing on paranormal and contemporary romance.

She’s a wife of an Army Veteran, and a fur mom to three pretty cool dogs. She currently resides in the sometimes sunshine state of Florida, but was born and raised in Maryland.

Reading ignited her passion to write from an early age. She’s a collector of notebooks and pens (the back to school section is her kryptonite). She runs off of coffee and tea and is an avid traveler. Cruising being her preferred way to go!

Edwards is the author of Hunting the Night series, as well as the Military romance A Warrior’s Soul. · Updated about 3 weeks ago
Order it here: https://www.amazon.com/Cursed-Legacy-Book-Hunting-Night-ebook/dp/B07HK7MLQV/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=michelle+cursed+a+legacy&qid=1561688686&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Pretty Bones

It’s complicated. 
Marlow has always been fascinated with bones. To her, they’re no big thing and everything. Bones are things that everybody has – even the dead. Yet, they’re responsible for most of her problems. 
The daughter of a mortician, Marlow has spent enough time with the cold bodies in the funeral home to be comfortable with the dead. In fact, the stiffs in the viewing room downstairs are some of her awkwardly-mute best friends. She certainly doesn’t have many of those at school. Not with her condition.
But things are about to change.
Tired of the daily scene at Kennedy High School, Marlow looks forward to her next bone density test where she’ll finally get answers about her condition. There, she hopes to learn more about idiopathic juvenile osteoporosis and the strand of it she has. With the right answers, she just knows the dead can help her. They have to. It’s not like they can object. 
It’s simple.
Marlow has a plan.
What happens when the living and the dead collide? 
Will the pretty bones be enough to change a life?

You can order the book here: http://mybook.to/PrettyBonesPB

Q&A with author Erin Lee

In your own words, how would you describe your book?

Pretty Bones, book one in a duology, is a coming of age story about a girl who grows up in a funeral home with a rare bone condition. If her life isn’t strange enough, those she encounters—mostly dead people—are.

What inspired you to come up with the idea for Pretty Bones?

I work as a therapist and have toyed with the idea of switching specialties to grief counselling. For that reason, I wanted to learn more about the dying process and ways to help families in mourning.

What can you tell us about Marlow? What is it like to live as the daughter of a mortician?

Marlow hates it. Her time after school is spent in the cremation room watching bodies burn. It’s made her an outcast at school and she resents the family business. At the same time, she’s morbidly curious and sees beauty in death and dying.

If you could give Marlow one piece of advice, what would you say?

I would tell her to hang in there. Life gets better after death and even somewhere in the middle.

Your book is listed as “twisted” contemporary coming of age novel. I love that. What are some “twisted” inspirations for you? Books? Films? Authors?

Nearly all of my favorite reading and other interests have some sort of dark element in them. I’m an extremely optimistic and hopeful person. ‘Dark’ is the opposite of my true nature which is why I am so curious about it. I am a huge Stephen King fan and got hooked with the movie Carrie and later his books.

What message would you like readers to take away from “Pretty Bones”?

That growing up is hard for everyone, but worse for some. I want people to get that everyone has problems and we can all relate on some level. Death is the ultimate equalizer and I think that this book and its sequel, Boned, both make it clear that we are all in this crazy thing called life (and ultimately, death) together.

If you could place yourself in your book, which character would you be? What would you be doing?

I would be Marlow. Her strength and persistence are things I admire about her. I would probably have fought the family business and sexism themes more because I’m a little spunkier than she is, but overall, she also taught me patience. I still think about this character and could learn from her. I think we all could.

What are writing must haves for you? Coffee, background music, tea? 

Tea. Five hour energy. Silence.

What are you reading now? 

Everything Ever about Edgar Allen Poe (it’s a real book). His life story is fascinating.

And because I’m a movie person, I have to ask, name a movie you could watch over and over and over again and still find merit in?

Green Mile

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author Erin Lee, who also writes as EL George, is a dark fiction/reality author and therapist chasing a crazy dream one crazy story at a time. She is the author of Crazy Like Me, a novel published in 2015 by Savant Books and Publications, LLC, Wave to Papa, 2015, by Limitless Publishing, LLC and Nine Lives, 2016. She’s also author of When I’m Dead, Greener, Something Blue, Freak, The Ranch, (My) Crazy Reality, Take Me As I Am and 99 Bottles. She also penned Losing Faith, a novella. Lee is also author of the “Diary of a Serial Killer Series,” Momma, which this series is based on, and the “Lola, Party of Eight Series” formerly with Zombie Cupcake Press and now home with Crazy Ink Publishing, LLC. Other well-known titles include Daddy’s Girl, The Ghosts Who Raised Me and Circus Freak. 
Lee holds a master’s degree in psychology and works with at-risk families and as a court appointed special advocate. When she isn’t busy dissecting the human experience, she enjoys escaping from reality through reading and a myriad of crazy adventures that will probably one day get her killed. She’s cool with that.

You can order Pretty Bones here: http://mybook.to/PrettyBonesPB

Bubble Gum Love

Although Amanda loves it, she recognizes that life is much more complicated than ice cream and bubble gum. 
She and Seth are a pair and have been forever. Along comes newcomer, Cory, who doesn’t act or look like them. Will he shake up their world? Cory wants only to finally be accepted by his peers. Seth longs for the courage to grab the one thing that he desperately wants. 
And what does Amanda wish for besides ice cream and bubble gum? She craves what they all want—a special someone to love.

Release date July 27th!!! You can pre-order it here:   http://mybook.to/BubbleGumCI

Q&A with author Rita Delude

In your own words, how would you describe your book?

Bubble Gum Love is a YA romance about more than just ice cream, bubble gum, and love. It’s a fast, fun read that touches on many things teens care most about.

What inspired this story?

As a school teacher and mother of four, I’ve witnessed much of what you’ll read in Bubble Gum love. I wanted to bring it to life in the story to show kids there are ways to handle these situations without fighting, running away, or committing suicide.

What can you tell us about the Ice Cream Shop series?

The Ice Cream Shop series is a brilliant concept. All stories must somehow involve ice cream, romance, and a happily ever after ending. From there, the diverse authors went in their own directions with very unique stories. None of the novellas contain erotica. I believe mine is the only YA tale.

Where does the book take place?

Bubble Gum Love takes place in the Laconia, NH area, which is one of the top summer tourist spots in New Hampshire.

What can you tell us about Amanda?

Amanda (Mandy) Pearson is almost sixteen and heading into her junior year of high school. She’s smart, popular with the kids who do things like yearbook, school newspaper, and school spirit (nerds). She works at the local ice cream joint called Rick’s Creamery, which the local teens have dubbed Rick Creams.

If you could place yourself in your book, which character would you be? What would you be doing?

I’d be Tara Sullivan, the drama queen. She’s literally the school’s best actress and dancer. She’s so much fun. She’s also a bit overweight as I am, but her personality is so bubbly that everyone wants to be with her. In fact, one of the main male characters falls for her, hard.

What surprised you most about your book as you were writing it?

The same thing that always surprises me. Once I really get into the characters and am about halfway through writing the characters, believe it or not, they start saying things I didn’t know they’d say. And I go with it. I just type what they say, what they’re feeling. Their words spill out. They take on a life of their own. For example, when Cory confesses how it felt to be a military brat and having had to move around so much from school to school, I could feel his pain. I only moved once in my school career. It was painful enough. Cory’s story broke my heart when he confessed it to Tara’s father.

Give us a Rita Delude fun and/or unusual fact.

I get most of my character names by reading the obits daily.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Why?

Chocolate chip. The more dark chocolate chips the better. I made up the dark chocolate chip with walnuts ice cream called Double Nut Double Dark for the book and hope someone will create it because I want a full tub of it.

Any future Rita Delude releases coming up?

I’ll be publishing more YA titles in the Donut Shop Series: (Lemon Yellow) and the Candy Shop Series (Lollipop Lure). An 18+ romance called Dracula’s Choice just released. A contemporary romance called Adam’s Anguish releases in December of 2019.

And because I’m a movie person, I have to ask, name a movie you could watch over and over and over again and still find merit in?

Because I’m a romantic and love Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, I’ll say Sleepless in Seattle.

But I love Finding Forrester, Good Will Hunting, Forrest Gump, Dead Poet’s Society, and Grand Torino.

About the Author
Rita Delude creates new worlds with words. Her favorite genre is contemporary romance, but she’s ventured into science fiction, vampires, the circus, and horror in her short story writing.
Her contemporary romance novella, set in the tranquil town of Escape, CO, is Kaleidoscope. The sequel to Kaleidoscope is Baby Blues, about the most important love of all—mother’s love. A third novella in this series releases in December, 2019. A contemporary romance novel based on finding love on a dating site is Catch.net, and its sequel Caught in the Middle, focuses on the popular character of Wanda from Book One in the Catch series. Her YA Romance Bubble Gum Love releases in July, 2019. Her romance novel Chance Meeting releases in June, 2019. 
She’s published short stories in numerous anthologies by multiple publishers. They are “Crazy About Her” in the Crazy About Love, “No Warrior Left Behind” in War Paint, “Hoarder” in Crazy Fools, “Little Green Men” in Moonstruck, “Purgatory” in Insane Insomnia, “Falling for You” in Falling for Crazy, “Vive la Resistance” in A Deadly World: Vampires in Paris, “Turned” in A Deadly World: Vampires in New York, “Emilia” in Dracula’s Brides, “Bully” in Through Their Eyes, “Aftershock” in War Cry, “Plum Secrets” in Madame Scarlett’s Carnival, and “At First Sight,” in Craving: One Night, “Schooling Sara” in Getting Schooled, “Confessional Crimes” in the Absolution Anthology, “Before the Ball Dropped” in Kissing Midnight, “Secret Santa” in Christmas Past, “Darcie Ditches Dunbarton” in Beyond Oz, “Little Girl” in Art Inspires Words Book One, and “Left Out” in Art Inspires Words Book Four.
She has also published dozens of non-fiction magazine articles and wrote a twice-weekly column for a newspaper and hundreds of feature stories for seventeen years. Rita Delude holds a MFA in Writing. She is retired from her position as a full professor at Nashua Community College, Nashua, New Hampshire.
She lives in New Hampshire, USA with her husband and their rescue dog, Daisy. They have four married children and nine grandchildren

You can pre-order Bubble Gum Love here: http://mybook.to/BubbleGumCI