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Friday, 16 March 2018

Death Theory by John D. Mimms

March 16, 2018
Death Theory by John D. Mimms Tour Banner

Death Theory

by John D. Mimms

on Tour February 1 - March 31, 2018


Death Theory by John D. Mimms
Mankind’s greatest fear is also its greatest obsession. What awaits when we shuffle off the mortal coil of this world? We all have our beliefs based on faith or science, but both struggle to provide a tangible answer. Perhaps it is possible to prove the existence of the soul, to prove it goes on after death. Following the violent death of his parents, Jeff Granger seeks reassurance that they have moved on. After recording what he believes to be his mother’s voice at the site of the accident, Jeff’s obsession throws him into paranormal research. Realizing that most people are doing it just for fun, Jeff forms his own group. He is joined by Debbie Gillerson, a school teacher; Aaron Presley, a mortician; and Michael Pacheco, a grocery store manager. Even though they are all investigating the paranormal for very different reasons, they are all trying to fill an emptiness in their lives. The deeper they probe paranormal theory, the darker their results. The only way to truly test the ‘Death Theory’, as theorized by Aaron, is to monitor a person’s energy at the moment of death. Horrified by the immoral and unethical application, the group dismisses the theory. A darkness seems to follow their investigations and the police become involved. A former colleague of Jeff’s, a self-proclaimed demonologist, believes a demonic force is attached to the group. The police are not so sure. Evil comes in many forms as the small group is about to discover.

My review:-
It's been ages since I read a complex and strongly interwoven strong plot. I really really loved this book with an original take on a cliche idea that makes it a great read. READ IT! You will love the story and how Jeff's psychology is shown in the book . A 5 star read!

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal
Published by: Draft 2 Digital
Publication Date: January 30th 2018
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781537849713
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Google Books  | Goodreads 

Read an excerpt:

Death is the closest thing to omnipotence we will experience in our brief time on this planet. It is an all-encompassing power, binding everything, and providing a cold certainty to an otherwise uncertain existence. The firm grip of this assurance reaches much further than the extinguishment of life; it greedily claims the hope and happiness of those who remain. It is a definite ending, but is it also a provable beginning?


Linda Granger did not see death coming.
Sleep shielded her from the unfolding horror. The looming headlights and the panicked screams of her husband were beyond her conscious state. When her head shattered the windshield, the dream about her son ended, sending her into what’s next. Linda was gone before the car rolled seven times and wrapped around a large oak tree. Her husband, Stephen, was not as fortunate. He died two minutes later. Linda had fallen asleep from emotional exhaustion. She died with regrets.

Chapter 1

Jeff’s sheets were drenched in sweat. He strained to hear because he wanted to continue the conversation he had been having. The bass drum of his pulse throbbed in his ears, making hearing impossible. He sat up and glanced about frantically. Where had she gone?
As sleep gave way to the waking world, dread filled him. He remembered the terrible truth. These muddled conversations with his mother had become nightly occurrences since his parents’ accident. The last words he shared with his mother were over the phone, and they were harsh. The next time he picked up the phone, mere hours later, it was the Missouri State Police asking him to come to the hospital. It has been over a year since the terrible night, yet the pain had not gone away. In some ways, it grew worse.
Jeff rolled on his side as tears streamed down his cheeks. In his dream, he told his mother he loved her. He wondered if she could hear him. Somehow, he believed it might be possible. His grieving heart longed for a way to communicate with his late parents.
Jeff rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. It was impossible. He eventually got up and opened the blinds. It rained last night and a steamy mist shielded the street from view. This was the perfect morning to stay in bed and he almost did if not for two things. His sheets were soaked and he was excited about today. Even though he needed extra sleep, since he would be staying up all night, he just couldn’t hold back the excitement of investigating with his fourth paranormal group in as many months. Missouri Spirit Seekers claim to do purely scientific investigations, but the three previous groups he joined did as well. He hoped this time would be different.
They would be investigating Pythian Castle tonight, the most ‘haunted’ location in Springfield, not too far from Jeff’s alma mater, Missouri State. The castle was a very cool historical site, but to Jeff, it was another opportunity to find answers for life’s greatest mystery -death.
Although the investigation was still twelve hours away, nervous anticipation consumed him. He hoped this was not another séance based, sage burning, ghost hunt like most of the others. His previous groups were as far away from science as one could get.
Jeff brewed a pot of coffee and microwaved a bowl of instant oatmeal, before sitting down to watch his recording of the show which started him on the path to paranormal investigation. He viewed it often, but it had become a ritual to watch on the day of an investigation. If Jeff were counting, this would be his eighty-third time to watch.
The show starred two men, who were electricians by trade, investigating haunted places using the scientific method. They gathered measurable scientific evidence in their investigations. In this particular episode, they were investigating the catacombs underneath an old church in Baltimore.
What peaked Jeff’s interest were the Electronic Voice Phenomenon the men captured on their digital recorders. He wondered if EVP’s are actually the voices of the dead. The guys on the show didn’t commit one way or the other, they just presented the recordings.
“You up above,” a disembodied voice said.
“The way through,” another one whispered.
The most eerie utterance of them all said, “Come down here among us.”
Jeff’s reaction was the same every time he watched; chills intermingled with hope and fear ran up his spine.
Jeff reached into a box under the coffee table and retrieved his digital recorder. He held it in his hands as if it were an object of holy veneration. Jeff recorded his own EVP one night several months earlier at the scene of his parent’s accident. Short, incredible, and heart-breaking; his mother seemed to call his name from beyond. The EVP was still on his recorder, even though he had backed it up to a dozen sources. He would never delete it from any device. Never.
A loud thud rattled the blinds on the front door. Jeff jumped, almost dropping the recorder. His alarm lasted only a moment when he recognized the sound of the newspaper carrier’s rattle-trap station wagon puttering up the street. He peeled back the blinds in time to see the tail lights disappear into the mist. Jeff was still in his underwear with a gaping fly, but he figured his rural setting, coupled with the fog, would spare him any indecent exposure charges.
Jeff scooped up the paper, almost losing his balance on the wet concrete, and then backed through the door. He plopped down on the sofa and began to unfold the massive log of news. He was heading straight for the sports section when an article caught his eye. The title read:
Springfield … the Most Haunted City in Missouri?
The Kansas City Royals box scores could wait. Jeff dove right into the article. The ghosts of Phelps Grove Park, Bass Country Inn, Drury University, Landers Theater, Springfield National Cemetery, University Plaza Hotel, and Pythian Castle were all mentioned prominently by the author. Jeff had investigated Phelps Grove Park with one of his previous groups. One of the members claimed he saw the infamous spectral bride near the bridge, but Jeff had no such luck. He never had success when it came to firsthand experiences. Either everyone else is lying or perhaps Jeff is walking ghost repellent. He didn’t think they were lying, at least not everyone who made a paranormal claim. His recording of his mother was enough to keep faith in the paranormal.
He read the claims of Drury University with great interest. There were allegedly several ghosts, in a few buildings, which had taken residence there since the school’s founding in 1873. The saddest one was a little girl who died in a fire. Her phantom laughter could be heard from time to time in one of the women’s dorms.
Jeff enjoyed a good ghost story since he was a kid, but these were more than merely a spectral yarn. Each story offered a small glimmer of hope.
He didn’t read about Pythian Castle; there was no need. He had spent so much time researching it the last couple of weeks, he could recite the history word for word. The shadow spirits who allegedly resided in the basement intrigued him the most. They had been reported so often over the years, there was little doubt that something unusual was occurring in the depths of the castle.
Jeff finally checked the box scores, lamenting another loss by his favorite team. He scanned the comics before tossing the paper on the floor. He trudged to the bathroom and took a long, hot shower. Afterward, he put on a fresh pair of boxers and a T-shirt before stretching out on the couch. He fell asleep watching Netflix. If he dreamed of his parents again, he did not remember.
Jeff arrived at Pythian Castle an hour before dusk. The rainy morning had given way to a perfectly clear early evening. The ghostly apparition of the full moon glowed in the eastern sky as the sun began to dip. The large tower on front of the castle cast a long shadow over his truck as he pulled in and parked. He ascended the stone steps onto an expansive porch where a very large woman with a mystical fashion sense met him at the front door.
“Hello … Jack?” she said.
“Jeff,” he corrected. “You must be Swoosie.”
Swoosie half-nodded and half-bowed. She reminded him of a fortune teller he visited one time, just for kicks.
“Would you like a charm for protection tonight?” Swoosie asked, reaching into a velvet bag and retrieving what appeared to be a tiny silk pillow.
“No, thanks … I’m good,” Jeff said. He couldn’t help smirking a little.
Swoosie noticed.
“Suit yourself,” she huffed. “Spirits can pick up on those less experienced in this field. They tend to prey more on them.”
“Good,” Jeff said. “Maybe I will get some good evidence.”
Swoosie narrowed her pudgy eyelids and motioned for a man who was milling about awkwardly, studying old pictures on the wall. “Preston,” she called with a snap of her fingers.
He was a middle-aged man with a greasy ring of dark hair circling a large bald spot. His clothing was a mish mash of suit pants and a Molly Hatchett T-shirt. The shirt and pin stripe pants were riddled with stains.
“How are you?” Preston asked breathlessly. It seemed his pot belly was a strain for him to carry.
“Fine, Preston,” Jeff said. “Nice to meet you.”
“Oh … I think Mr. Leach is preferable,” Preston said. “I could be your daddy.”
“Not likely,” Jeff thought.
“I’m putting the two of you together tonight since you are both new to this,” Swoosie said. “You know … strength in numbers.”
Both men’s puzzled expressions testified their bewilderment of Swoosie’s logic as if to point out that it would make more sense to put them with an experienced investigator.
“I’m a fairly experienced investigator,” Jeff said. “Tonight, makes my twentieth investigation.”
Swoosie’s condescending smile let him know she still considered him a novice. She turned and then waddled over to a sofa in the foyer where her daughter and a couple of other men waited. Their familiar banter showed them to be a clique.
“Okay, Mr. Leach,” Jeff said. “Where should we start?”
This group didn’t set up night vision cameras or environmental equipment as he hoped. Each member was only armed with a flashlight, digital recorder, and maybe a camera. Jeff was sure most of them carried a silk charm pillow in their pocket.
“I think they want us to go the basement,” Mr. Leach said impatiently. “Didn’t you hear what Swoosie said?”
Swoosie was much larger than Mr. Leach, yet she seemed a bit more agile as he watched his partner shuffle down the corridor.
“Okay,” Jeff mumbled before following him down the stone stairs to the basement.
They picked a far corner in the dark, dingy basement, and then set their digital recorders on a wooden table. The musty smell of old buildings had become synonymous with ghosts in Jeff’s mind. Even though he knew better, he sometimes entertained the idea of it being a ‘ghost odor’.
The sun was beginning to set through one of the basement windows, so they agreed to wait until full dark before beginning their session.
“Hey … you know this used to hold POWs during World War Two?” Jeff said, nodding at the old cells across the room. The iron doors had been removed many years ago on all but one.
“It was an orphanage at one time, built by the Knights of Pythias,” Mr. Leach countered.
“Really?” Jeff said, a little confused at why an orphanage would be more interesting than a POW prison.
“Yeah, can you imagine how many kids died here?” Mr. Leach mused.
Jeff’s stomach twisted. His partner seemed a little too gleeful about dead children.
“Yeah,” Jeff said distantly. He watched the last rays of the sun disappear behind the shrubbery outside. When it was completely dark, he said, “Well, shall we get started?”
Jeff jumped when a flashlight beam flared in his eyes.
“Can I ask you something, Jeff?” Mr. Leach asked, lowering his flashlight.
“How did you get into paranormal stuff?” Mr. Leach asked.
“Curiosity,” Jeff began and then anger began to simmer. He didn’t know why the question upset him so, it was benign and practical. Perhaps it was his partner’s tone. “It’s really nobody’s business,” Jeff snapped.
“Fair enough,” Mr. Leach said. “What did your fiancée say about it?”
Jeff glared at Mr. Leach in the darkness. How did he know he had a fiancée?
“What makes you think I had a fiancée?” Jeff asked, pointedly.
“I know things,” Mr. Leach replied. His coy response echoing from the darkness sounded like the prelude to a horror movie.
Jeff was angry. Mr. Leach seemed to have no boundaries. Jeff’s fiancée was a sore spot. She had been a former fiancée for almost a year.
“Why don’t you tell me her name?” Jeff said, a little too loud. Shushes hissed from deep in the darkness as his voice echoed off the stone walls. It seemed the whole building heard his question.
There was a very long pause. Jeff almost thought he was alone until the answer startled him.
“I can’t see that,” Mr. Leach answered. “Only events and feelings.”
“What are you … some kinda Jedi Master?” Jeff asked.
“I’m psychic,” Mr. Leach wheezed. His last word echoed about the basement, bringing more shushes from around the building.
“Oh,” Jeff whispered. He had encountered these people before; every paranormal group seemed to have them. Out of the dozen or so self-proclaimed psychics Jeff had known in his life, there was only one he believed legitimate. An old shut-in, who he delivered prescriptions to while in college, told him some interesting things about his life that came to pass a short time later.
“So, where is my fiancée?” Jeff asked.
There was a long silence before Mr. Leach replied flatly. “With another man, I’m afraid.”
Jeff didn’t say anything. He knew she was with another man now. Lurid images filled his head as to what they may be doing right now. Acid boiled in his guts and his heart began to pound. He didn’t expect this answer; he was looking for more of a geographical location. She had been with this schmuck for six months, two weeks, and three days, but he wasn’t counting.
“Does that shock you?” Mr. Leach whispered.
“You’re the psychic … you tell me,” Jeff barked. “Look, I just want to focus on the investigation, can we do that now?”
More shushes ensued followed by a booming female voice asking them to be quiet. Swoosie had some lungs.
They were so engrossed in their argument, neither man noticed the single cell door slowly swing open and a black shadow dart down the passageway. The air grew thick and uncomfortable, but both men thought it was from their awkward conversation.
Mr. Leach didn’t answer. A moment later, Jeff heard the beep of a digital recorder turning on. The small red recording light resembled a one-eyed demon in the complete darkness. Jeff knew he hurt the guy’s feelings, but he didn’t care. Mr. Leach had trodden on areas of Jeff’s life where he wasn’t welcome. In fact, no one was welcome. His fiancée had been the last living member of anything resembling family for Jeff. She had tried to get him to see a shrink to cope with his parent’s death, but he refused. Thus, the wedge between them was forged.
On the surface, Jeff seemed to recover. He tried to move on with his life. His preacher once told him that time is a river, washing away all pains and transgressions. Yet, for those who grieve, time is often an ocean. It ebbs and flows, sometimes exposing the pain lurking beneath the surface of our consciousness with each experience.
“Truth,” Jeff thought.
He finally turned on his digital recorder and began to alternate questions with Mr. Leach.
Is anyone with us?”
“Are you angry?”
“What is your name?”
“How old are you?”
“Why are you here?”
“When did you die?”
They repeated this process several times in different areas of the building. They never heard anything. Hopefully, there would be some evidence on the recording.
Jeff found it difficult to focus. Of course, he was tired, yet it was much more than fatigue. Mr. Leach had upset him, there was no denying it. The thing bothering him the most was the image running through his head; His fiancée and some faceless man with a Chippendale’s body were in bed together. He tried to push it aside and focus on the reason he was here. When he turned his thoughts to his parents, it did not help. He kept seeing the make-shift white cross memorial at the site of his parents’ crash. The same cross where he had recorded his mother’s voice. It wasn’t only the mental image distracting him. His mother’s one-word response echoed in his head after every EVP question – “Jeff”. A few times he thought he heard her voice coming from the darkness – “Jeff”.
Jeff knew it was fatigue, it had to be. If not, Mr. Leach would have heard something.
Jeff left Sunday morning frustrated. He sat in his truck and watched the last act unfold in what had been an all-night circus. Swoosie, her daughter, Mr. Leach, and a few other men sat in folding chairs arranged in a circle on the front lawn. They had asked Jeff to join them, but he respectfully declined. They burned sage while performing a cleansing ritual.
“We can’t have any spirits following us home,” Swoosie’s daughter proclaimed. “This’ll keep ‘em put.”
The obese Swoosie sat with her back to him. Her butt dangled on either side of the stressed chair as the legs sank into the soft and dewy sod. She swung a burning leaf around her head, making her resemble an elephant trying to douse the flames of a burning tree.
Jeff realized the only way he would get anywhere is starting his own team. He turned the ignition, causing his lights to fall on the group. They turned and glowered as if he farted and belched in church. He smiled and waved as he shifted the truck into gear.
Missouri Spirit Seekers,” Jeff muttered as he left the gate, “seems more like shit seekers.”
Excerpt from Death Theory by John D. Mimms. Copyright © 2017 by John D. Mimms. Reproduced with permission from John D. Mimms. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

John D. Mimms
John D. Mimms is a business owner, paranormal researcher and author. John served as the Technical Director for a TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) family paranormal research group in Central Arkansas. During his four-year tenure with the organization, he helped supervise over 100 investigations and wrote more than sixteen technical articles. Paul Bradford, of Ghost Hunters International fame, read one of John's articles titled A Christmas Carol Debunked live on the air of the Parazona Radio program on Christmas Day 2009. John also wrote a definitive technical/training manual, which is a comprehensive guide on equipment usage, investigation protocol and scientific theory for paranormal research.
In 2009 John decided to couple his knowledge of paranormal phenomena with his lifelong love of literary fiction. John's first published work, The Tesla Gate, is the first installment of a three-part, heart-wrenching, sci-fi/paranormal drama.
Book 1 of this unique, ground-breaking story released July 2014 through Open Road Media. In January 2016, Open Road Media released The Tesla Gate Book 2: The Myriad Resistance. Book 3: The Eye of Madness is slated for release September 27, 2016. Though fictional, the trilogy is based on scientific, paranormal theory.
Publishers Weekly declared about The Tesla Gate in the March 3, 2014 issue "…touching sci-fi story that takes the reader on an unlikely road-trip adventure…a fast read with some entertaining ideas and a real emotional core in the relationship between father and son."
The Examiner proclaimed in June 2014: "Entertaining as well as poignant, this book is extremely imaginative in its basic premise as well as the many colorful and emotionally compelling events that take place."
John resides and writes on a mountaintop in central Arkansas with his wife and two sons.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!  


This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for John D. Mimms. There will be 3 winners of one (1) physical copy of Death Theory by John D. Mimms (US ONLY) AND 3 winners of one (1) audiobook copy of Death Theory by John D. Mimms. The giveaway begins on February 1, 2018 and runs through March 31, 2018. This giveaway is open to US addressess only.
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Thursday, 15 March 2018

The clock flower by Barbara Casey

March 15, 2018
the-clock-flower-front-cover_1.jpg (424×676)
Book Details:

Book Title:  The Clock Flower by Barbara Casey (Book 3 of The F.I.G. Mysteries)
Category:  YA Fiction,  208 pages
Genre:   Mystery / Fantasy
Publisher:  Gauthier Publications, The Hungry Goat Press Imprint
Release date:  February 2018
Tour dates: Feb 26 to March 30, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 (There is light profanity and some threat of violence.)

Book Description:

Dara Roux, abandoned when she was seven years old by her mother. Exceptionally gifted in foreign languages. Orphan. Accepted to Yale University.

Mackenzie Yarborough, no record of her parents or where she was born. Exceptionally gifted in math and problem-solving. Orphan. Accepted to MIT.

Jennifer Torres, both parents killed in an automobile accident when she was sixteen. Exceptionally gifted in music and art. Orphan. Accepted to Juilliard.

The three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—as they are called, have graduated from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women after returning from New York City where Dara learned why her mother abandoned her all those years ago, and they are now attending universities where they can further their special talents. This means they will be separated from each other and from Carolina, their much-loved mentor and teacher who is “one of them,” for the first time in their young lives. They vow to try living apart for one semester, in the so-called real world that doesn’t include the orphanage; but if things don’t work out, they will come up with another plan—a plan where they can be together once again.

​Dara is invited through Yale University to take part in an exciting archeological project in China. Jennifer, once again visualizing black and white images and the unusual sounds of another cadence that seem to be connected to Mackenzie, is engrossed in creating her next symphony at Juilliard. Mackenzie, because of her genius at problem-solving, is personally chosen by a US Senator to get involved in a mysterious, secret research project involving immortality that is being conducted in a small village in China—not too far from where Dara is involved with the archeological site. Once there, however, she finds herself facing a terrifying death from the blood-dripping teeth of an ancient evil dragon. Her best friends, the FIGs and Carolina, rely on their own unique genius and special talents to save her as she discovers the truth of her birth parents.

My review:-
 This book was refreshingly unique with a suspenseful and hooking tale What I  especially liked about this book was the way the friendship between the three girls was portrayed alongwith what Dara has to face. A 4 star read. Can't wait to read more.

​Buy The Clock Flower:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads
Barbara Casey
Meet the Author:

Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels for both adults and young adults, as well as book-length works of nonfiction true crime and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Her nonfiction true crime book,Kathryn Kelly: The Moll Behind Machine Gun Kelly, has been optioned for a major film and television series. In addition to her own writing, she is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency. Established in 1995, she represents authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. Barbara is also a partner in Strategic Media Books Publishing, an independent publishing house that specializes in cutting-edge adult nonfiction. Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with her husband, and three dogs who adopted her: Benton, a hound-mix; Fitz, a miniature dachshund; and Gert, a Jack Russel terrier of sorts.

Connect with the author: Website


Feb 26 - Working Mommy Journal - review of Clock Flower / giveaway
Feb 27 - eBook Addicts - book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 27 - Writers and Authors - book spotlight / author interview
Feb 27 - Pretty Little Library - review of Cadence of Gypsies / guest post / giveaway
Feb 28 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 28 - Library of Clean Reads - review of The Clock Flower / giveaway
March 1 - Booklove - review of Cadence of Gypsies / guest post
March 1 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review of Cadence of Gypsies / guest post / giveaway
March 2 - - review of Clock Flower / giveaway
March 5 - T's Stuff - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
March 5 - Book for Books - review of Cadence of Gypsies
March 6 - Sefina Hawke's Books - review of Cadence of Gypsies
March 6 - Rainy Day Reviews - review of Cadence of Gypsies /author interview /giveaway
March 7 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Clock Flower / giveaway
March 8 - Booklove - review of Wish Rider
March 9 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review of Cadence of Gypsies /giveaway
March 9 - Cassidy's Bookshelves - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
March 9 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review of Clock Flower / guest post / giveaway
March 12 - The Book Enigma - review of Cadence of Gypsies / giveaway
March 12 - Sefina Hawke's Books - review of Wish Rider
March 12 - Literary Flits - review of Clock Flower / giveaway
March 13 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review of Wish Rider / giveaway
March 13 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review of Wish Rider / giveaway
March 14 - Pretty Little Library - review of Wish Rider / giveaway
March 14 - Rainy Day Reviews - review of Wish Rider / giveaway
March 15 - Book Reviews @Athena - review of Cadence of Gypsies / guest post
March 15 - Booklove - review of Clock Flower
March 16 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review of Clock Flower / giveaway
March 16 - Bookworm for Kids - review of Clock Flower / giveaway
March 19 - The Book Enigma - review of Wish Rider / giveaway
March 19 - Book for Books - review of Wish Rider
March 20 - Book Reviews @Athena - review of Wish Rider
March 20 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review of Clock Flower / giveaway
March 21 - Pretty Little Library - review of Clock Flower / giveaway
March 21 - Rainy Day Reviews - review of Clock Flower / giveaway
March 22 - Book Reviews @Athena - review of Clock Flower
March 23 - Sefina Hawke's Books - review of Clock Flower
March 26 - The Book Enigma - review of Clock Flower / giveaway
March 26 - Two Points of Interest - review of Cadence of Gypsies / giveaway
March 27 - StoreyBook Reviews - book spotlight / author interview ./ giveaway
March 27 - Book for Books - review of Clock Flower
March 28 - JBronder Book Reviews - review of Clock Flower
March 28 - Books are Love - review of Cadence of Gypsies / giveaway
March 28 - Two Points of Interest - review of Wish Rider / giveaway
March 29 - Books are Love - review of Wish Rider / giveaway
March 30 - Books are Love - review of Clock Flower / giveaway
March 30 - Two Points of Interest - review of Clock Flower / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends April 7, 2018

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

White Which by Larry D. Thompson

March 13, 2018
White Witch by Larry D Thompson Tour Banner

White Witch

by Larry D Thompson

on Tour March 5 - May 5, 2018


White Witch by Larry D Thompson
When a ruthless American aluminum company plans to strip mine the Jamaican rainforest, they send former Navy SEAL Will Taylor to Montego Bay to deal with local resistance. But he’s unaware that the British had signed a treaty deeding it to the Jamaican Maroons, descendants of escaped slaves, over 300 years ago. The Maroons fought and died for their land then, and are willing to do so now. Upon Will’s arrival, a series of inexplicable murders begin, some carried out with deadly snake daggers that were owned and used by Annie Palmer, a voodoo priestess better known as the White Witch. She was killed 200 years prior, but is said to still haunt the island.
Forced into the middle of it, Will is finally convinced to join the Maroons, headed by Vertise Broderick, a Maroon who resigned from the New York Times to return to Jamaica to save the rainforest. To stop the mining, they hire a Jamaican attorney to prove that the Maroon/British treaty is still valid, and they take it upon themselves to solve the White Witch murders, because the legend of the White Witch can’t possibly be true…
My review :-
The topic was realistic but original with an eventful and intriguing plot and a story full of tales and twists. The dialogue was refeshing and the side characters memorable. I loved the Maroons and the flow with which they are integrated into the story. I strongly recommend this.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller
Published by: Story Merchant Press
Publication Date: March 5, 2018
Number of Pages: 307
ISBN: 978-0-991621-5-6

Don't forget to get your copy of White Witch from Amazon, Barnes & Noble & add it to your Goodreads List!!


LOVE this Trailer!!


Read an excerpt:

from Chapter 19...
When Will got to Rose Hall, he turned onto the road they had just come down the evening before. At the top of the hill he could see the mansion, now well lighted. He dodged tree limbs and utility wires and parked among several other vehicles. Police cars were positioned so that their headlights focused on the steps of the mansion where Will could see the yellow police crime scene tape. He walked up a path from the parking lot between the police cars that faced the mansion to the yellow tape where an officer stood watch. The officer came to attention as Will approached.
“Sorry, mon. I can’t let you past here. We’re investigating a murder.”
Will kept his voice even but controlling. “I know, officer. That’s why I’m here. Name’s William Taylor. I’m head of security for Global American Metals.
Here’s my identification.” Will tried to hand him an ID. The officer just shook his head. “Officer, the dead man is one of Global’s employees. Can you get someone in authority to let me up there?”
Before the officer could reply, Miles Harper, the St. James Parish Chief of Detectives, approached. Harper was a lean, fit man with a shaved head and a nononsense manner. He was dressed in a brown suit, yellow shirt, and matching tie. He looked like he just stepped out of GQ Magazine, even at three in the morning.
“Mr. Taylor, I’m Miles Harper, Chief of Detectives in this parish. I was told by your company to expect you.”
Will extended his right hand. Harper ignored it. Instead, he nodded at the officer and motioned for Will to follow him. Harper went up a dozen steps and turned to Will as he stood beside Kaven’s body, sprawled on his back with a dagger in his chest. Will bent over for a closer look and found that the handle of the dagger was in the shape of a snake. At the top of the handle was the snake’s head. The snake’s eyes were two bright rubies.
“Shit,” Will muttered, “He was almost killed because of one snake on the road today and now someone finished the job with a, what would you call this, a snake dagger?”
“That’s as good a name as any, Mr. Taylor. My officers reported what went on up in Accompong and the incident with the boa.”
Will continued to study the body. “Looks like he’s been dead a couple of hours. I last saw him about ten last night. Who found him?”
“The hotel has a security guard that roams the mansion grounds and up to the club house in a golf cart. He spotted the body.”
“Where’s your coroner?”
“He’s a local Justice of the Peace, not a medical doctor. He won’t set foot on these steps until morning. My men here won’t go past the tape either. They believe the White Witch did it.”
Will shook his head in disbelief. “Come on, Chief, this is the twenty-first century.”
“Old beliefs die hard, Mr. Taylor. Come on. Let me show you something.”
Harper stepped around the body and climbed the steps with Will behind him. Entering the ballroom, Will said, “I was just in this room yesterday evening during the storm.”
Harper turned to study Will. “Would you care to explain?”
Will covered the details of the previous day and their time in the mansion while they waited out the storm. “You know a woman named Vertise?”
Harper nodded his head. “She’s a local. Works for the paper and tends bar for the hotel. Since you were in this room a few hours ago, come over here.”
Harper led Will to a glass display against one wall with pictures of two snake daggers above it along with the history of the daggers. The glass had been broken and the daggers were gone.
“You see this case when you were up here?”
Will studied it and thought back to the day before. “Can’t say I did, Chief.
It was pretty dark in here, lit only by candles since the storm knocked out power. I wandered around the room but never glanced toward this case. And I don’t believe anyone else mentioned it. Now that I think about it, Vertise told us the legend of Annie Palmer and her using a snake dagger to kill an overseer.
Surprising that she didn’t show us these daggers when she was telling the story.”
“Interesting,” mused Harper. “You have any idea why your man would come up here in the middle of the night?”
“Not a clue. Have you checked his cell phone? He always carried it.”
“Yeah. The last calls were with you yesterday afternoon and one with Ms. Pritchard later in the evening.”
Will nodded. “He called me from Accompong, warning me of trouble up there. I should have gone with him.”
Harper shook his head. “Whether you were there or not wouldn’t have made any difference. Just would have been one more person that was in my police car that rolled, assuming, of course, you didn’t take a bullet up on the mountain.”
“How did you get in the mansion?”
“Vertise said she knew where a key was hidden and let us in.”
“Strange that she could get into the locked mansion. It was my understanding that only the manager of Rose Hall had a key. He locked it and left when the storm was hitting. The hotel spent a fortune on period pieces to recreate how it looked two hundred years ago. One of his jobs is to make sure they are not stolen.”
“Any signs of a break-in?” Will asked.
“This is not for publication, you understand, but when I got here the mansion was locked and the lights were off.”
“So, you’re saying that someone got into the mansion, stole two daggers, let themselves back out, killed Kaven, and left no trace.” Will paused to absorb all that he had just said. “Wait a minute. If someone wanted to kill Kaven, why not just use a gun? Why go to all the trouble of getting that dagger to do it?”
“I’ve been wrestling with that very question,” Harper said. “It’s illegal for a private citizen to own a gun in Jamaica, but that doesn’t mean they are not available if you know the right people. My working hypothesis is that the killer or killers wanted the public to think voodoo was involved, or maybe even the White Witch. The only other possibility that comes to mind is that the Maroons are trying to send a message to Global. They tried to kill Tillman in Accompong and failed. Maybe the message is that they finish what they start. Either way, someone is trying to make trouble for your company. I have another problem that may not be apparent.”
Will looked quizzically at the detective.
“As you can see, there were two snake daggers in this case. One’s accounted for out on the steps. The other is gone. Nearly everyone around here thinks that they are voodoo daggers with magical powers. They were found in an overseer’s grave during the restoration of the mansion thirty years ago.”
“Does ‘everyone’ include you? Looks to me like the killer or killers are just trying to mess with the minds of my co-workers, maybe keep some locals from hiring on with us.”
Harper stuck his hands in his pockets. “Not up to me to decide if they’re magic or not. I’ve got a murder with one of those daggers. My job is to solve the murder and along the way, find that other dagger before someone uses it.”
Will’s eyes searched the room in a futile effort to see any clues to the crime.
Then he focused on the chief. “Look, I’m going to need a gun. My company is obviously under attack. I’m licensed to carry back home.”
“No way, Mr. Taylor,” Harper exploded. “Foreigners are not permitted to have guns in Jamaica. For that matter, as I just told you, neither are Jamaicans.
And I want you to stay the hell out of my investigation. We don’t need your help. Understand?”
“Yeah, I understand. You know that each of our mines on this island is permitted a certain number of guns for our guards. I’ll just get one of those.”
“The hell you will. Don’t you dare go behind my back. Those guns never leave mine property. I have an officer that inventories them. If one turns up missing, I’ll confiscate every damn weapon that Global has and put you under house arrest. Clear, Mr. Taylor?”
Will clinched his fists and tried to hold back the anger that was apparent in his face. Without another word, he turned and stormed out of the mansion, pausing only to gaze at Kaven and say a prayer for him and his family. At the bottom of the steps, he got in his car and glanced toward the mansion. The lights from his car somehow caught the ruby eyes of the snake, making them appear briefly to be alive. Will shook his head, put the car in reverse, and returned to the hotel.
Excerpt from White Witch by Larry D Thompson. Copyright © 2018 by Larry D Thompson. Reproduced with permission from Larry D Thompson. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Larry D Thompson
After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law, Larry spent the first half of his professional life as a trial lawyer. He tried well over 300 cases and won more than 95% of them. Although he had not taken a writing class since freshman English (back when they wrote on stone tablets), he figured that he had read enough novels and knew enough about trials, lawyers, judges, and courtrooms that he could do it. Besides, his late, older brother, Thomas Thompson, was one of the best true crime writers to ever set a pen to paper; so, just maybe, there was something in the Thompson gene pool that would be guide him into this new career. He started writing his first novel about a dozen years ago and published it a couple of years thereafter. He has now written five highly acclaimed legal thrillers. White Witch is number six with many more to come.
Larry is married to his wife, Vicki. He has three children scattered from Colorado to Austin to Boca Raton, and four grandchildren. He has been trying to retire from the law practice to devote full time to writing. Hopefully, that will occur by the end of 2018. He still lives in Houston, but spends his summers in Vail CO, high on a mountain where he is inspired by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

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Thursday, 8 March 2018

The Wish Rider: Book 2 of the F.I.G. Mysteries by Barbara Casey

March 08, 2018
The Wish Rider: Book 2 of the F.I.G. Mysteries
The Wish Rider by Barbara Casey
​Book Details:

Book Title:  The Wish Rider (Book 2 of The F.I.G. Mysteries) by Barbara Casey
Category:  YA Fiction, 160 pages
Genre: Literary / Mystery
Publisher:  Gauthier Publications
Release date:  May 10, 2016
Content Rating: PG-13

Book Description:

Seventeen-year-old Dara Roux and her two best friends, Mackenzie Yarborough and Jennifer Torres, the three collectively referred to as the F.I.G.'s (Females of Intellectual Genius) because each has an intelligence quotient in the genius range, have just returned from Frascati, Italy. It was there that their much loved teacher and mentor, Carolina Lovel, discovered that her birth parents were gypsies, and that she had a connection to the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world.

Now, with graduation from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women behind them, Dara asks her friends to help her locate her birth mother when she learns that she might be living in New York City. Relying on Dara’s gift for speaking and understanding foreign languages, the black and white images that stir musical cadences in Jennifer’s mind, and Mackenzie’s mathematical calculations that normally provide numerical solutions and answers to life’s most difficult questions, the determined young women tirelessly go from one address to another in search of Dara’s mother.

Their determination turns to desperation, however, as they encounter a dark hidden society more dangerous and terrifying than they could have imagined. It is there that
Dara hopes to find out why she was abandoned in a candy store all those years ago.

My review
A bit repetitive but it picked up pace soon enough that you will feel entangled in the tale of the F.I.G. an interesting  and well written sequel that could have been a little better but I still loved it because of the powerful emotions and realistic characters in this book

Monday, 5 March 2018

Before there were three: Ethan and Rhett by L.A.Witt

March 05, 2018

Buy Links Audio: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Audible UK

Length Ebook: 36,000 words

Length Audiobook: 3hrs 35mins


Before Kieran....

Seattle, 2000 - Ethan Mallory is counting down the days until he moves back to Toronto. He loves Seattle, but it's time to go home.

So it's just his luck that, with a month to go, he meets Rhett Solomon. Their chemistry is off the charts, and in bed, Rhett is everything Ethan's been craving. He's witty and charming outside the bedroom too.

Ethan's not about to change his plans for a man he's just met, but what could this become if they had a little more time? Is this just a sizzling hot last hurrah before he returns to Canada? Or is leaving Rhett behind a huge mistake?

My review
  • A captivating and engaging book with realistic and dimensional xjaracters,amazing  and unique plot . A really good page turner. You will be swept away along Ethan and Rhett's journey 


Seattle, Washington
Spring 2000

The clock between the top shelf rows of bourbon and vodka said it was five minutes after nine. My watch said four after, but quibbling over a minute in either direction was pointless. Jay was supposed to be here at seven-thirty. No call. No show.

Bottom line? Whichever timepiece had it right, I was getting stood up.

I threw back the last of my screwdriver and pushed the glass away. Well, that was a wasted Friday night. Question was, what to do with what was left of it? Get wasted? Or hit up one of the clubs and see if I could find someone to fill Jayís role for the night?

That thought nearly made me groan. I was sick of the club scene. That was why Iíd decided to try this whole meeting-guys-online thing in the first place. Everyone said the Internet was crawling with psychos, but so far, my luck had been decent. Connecting with someone, chatting a little, making sure we both knew what we wantedóno commitment beyond maybe a morning after cup of coffeeóand then meeting up in a public place. If there was chemistry, decent hygiene, and no symptoms of being a serial killer, going to whoeverís place was closest and fucking each other into the mattress. Simple.

The online thing was a gamble, but it was so much more efficient and to the point than meeting someone in a club. Clubs were all right, but sometimes I wanted a sure thing. Something better than trying to exchange basic information like first names over loud music, hoping the other guy wasnít thinking about soulmates and co-signed leases, and then having a frantic trial run in a menís room or a vehicle beforeÖ wellÖ going to whoeverís place was closest and fucking each other into the mattress.

I was sometimes tempted to tell a guy to just meet me at my apartment. Skip all this bullshit and forget pretending weíd met up for anything we could do in polite company. But meeting people on the web was risky, and I was much more comfortable feeling someone out in person before I took them back to my place. It also helped to make sure there was some actual chemistry, and that there was attraction. If we didnít click enough to make it work, bowing out of a bar was much easier than kicking someone out of my house.

But it was all a moot point if the guy didnít even bother to show up.

I muttered a few curses to myself. I really needed to get out of here and find somethingóor someoneóelse to do. Since the efficient and to the point technique hadnít worked out tonight, though, there was always the fallback. Seattleís Capitol Hill had a number of gay clubs. Tedious, but it wasnít like I had anything else going on tonight.

It was still early, thoughóseven or eight after nine, depending on which clock I askedóso there was no point in hustling out of here. Most places didnít really wake up until after ten.

So I flagged down the bartender and asked for an iced tea, then folded my arms on the bar and gazed down at the dining room. This was one of those bar and grill places with a semi-swanky bar up on a mezzanine overlooking a linen tablecloth restaurant. The food smelled amazing as always. Iíd heard they made a hell of a steak here. Small wonder this was the go-to place for those on the dating scene. Most nights, the clientele was pretty evenly split between straight and gay couples, and tonight was no exception.

I had no interest in a relationship right nowóespecially not when I was packing up and leaving Seattle in a few weeksóbut admittedly, I was a little envious of some of these people. Iíd been more or less alone since Iíd moved here two years ago. Most of the time, I was happy with that as long as I was getting laid on a regular basis. Sometimes, though, I missed being with someone like that. Talking over dinner, maybe sharing a bottle of wine, or kicking back in front of a movie and maybe falling asleep before the credits started rolling.

Someday. Maybe. For the rest of my time in Seattle, though, my goal was someone to keep my bed warm at night and be gone before noon. Unless the sex was really hot. Then he could stick around long enough for us to fuck a few more times. But definitely gone before noon the next day. Once a one night stand turned into two, things could getó

Oh, what have we here?

A face in the dining room caught my eye, and my drink almost slipped out of my hand. Whoa. Iíd never seen him before, but I sure saw him now, and he was sure easy on the eyes. Built like he knew what a gym was. Neatly cut sandy blond hair. A dusting of five oíclock shadow along a sharp jaw line. Eyes that, even from across the restaurant, shrank my vocabulary to expletives and racy suggestions.

Apparently I was that horny tonight. Stood up, and now zeroing in on the most gorgeous face in the crowd. Except that was an exceptionally gorgeous face. The man Iíd come here to meet didnít hold a candle to this guy. Wow.

Pity he was here on what appeared to be a date with someone.

On the other hand, he looked like he was enjoying his date the way most people enjoyed standing in line at the DMV. He leaned against the back of his chair, as if to put as much distance between him and his date as he could. His expression alternated between neutral-edging-toward-boredom to outright uncomfortable.

The guy sitting across from him didnít seem to notice or care. He gestured animatedly, sometimes with his highball, and whenever he laughed, his date squirmed a little more. At one point, the guy with his back to me shook his head, apparently laughing, and his date grimaced behind his own drink before downing most of the contents in one swallow.

Just before he lowered the glass, his eyes flicked up and met mine. I jerked my gaze away, cheeks burning as I realized Iíd been staring. But then I glanced his way again. He stared right back. His forehead creased, and his face said nothing if not Help?

I raised my eyebrows. What do you want me to do?

He broke eye contact.

That was weird. Iíd probably just imagined it, but I swore thereíd been a momentary connection. A telepathic exchange, or at least an attempt at one. And the guy did seem pretty miserable. What exactly was a stranger going to do about it, though? I wasnít even much of a wingman for my friendsówhat was I supposed to do here?

The guy said something to his date, gestured at his empty glass, and got up.

And dear God, he strode right across the dining room and up the stairs to the mezzanine where I was sitting. The bar was almost entirely deserted except for myself and a couple at the other end, so he couldíve stood anywhere, but he stopped right beside me. He flagged down the bartender and asked for a couple of beers. While he waited, he didnít look at me.

ìWaiting for someone?î he asked.

ìNo one whoís going to show up, no.î

This time he glanced my way, arching an eyebrow.

I shrugged. ìEveryone gets stood up sometimes, right?î

He laughed dryly. Before he could say anything, though, the bartender handed him his two drinks.

The guy paid, but didnít collect his drinks right away. Instead, he asked for a pen, then wrote something on the back of a coaster and slid it toward me. Without a word or even another glance, he took his drinks and headed back down to the dining room.

I turned over the coaster. On it, there was a phone number, and below that:

If you call this # in 2 min, Iíll buy you a drink @ After Hourz.

My heart skipped. I glanced his way again. He was back at his table, casually sipping his drink and listening to whatever his date had to say. His eyes flicked toward me, but his expression offered nothing.

I had almost no signal in the bar, so I paid my small tab and stepped outside. I was getting low on minutes, but curiosity trumped any concern I had about overage fees, so I entered the number and hit Send.

After two rings, he answered. ìThis is Rhett.î

ìWell,î I chuckled. ìNow I know your name.î

ìShit, are you serious?î He paused and exhaled. ìAnd you couldnít callófine. Fine.î

I suppressed a laugh. God knew what story he was going to feed his date, but he deserved an Oscar for sounding legitimately annoyed and concerned.

He went on, ìIíll be there as soon as I can. Thanks.î

And then he hung up.

I stared at my phone for a moment. This definitely wasnít how Iíd expected my evening to play out, and where it went from here, I had no idea. But meeting up with a stranger who Iíd just bailed out of a bad date seemed like a better direction than moping about my own failed date before searching for some anonymous sex at a club. It was a more interesting turn of events, that was for sure.

With no idea what to expect, I walked over to After Hourz, sat down at the bar, and waited.

February 26 - MM Midnight Cafe, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Sarandipity Book Reviews
February 27 - Booklove, Xtreme Delusions
February 28 - Southern Babes Book Blog, Velvetpanic, Making It Happen, MM Good Book Reviews
March 2 - Drops of Ink, Bayou Book Junkie

About The Author

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didnít lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but donít tell Lauren. And definitely donít tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shutÖ

Twitter: @GallagherWitt

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March 05, 2018

Buy Link Audio: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 78,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Lori Witt

Narrator: Charlie David


For the last year, Jay Warren has struggled to find the nerve to tell his wife he's gay. Every time he gets the chance, though, he freezes up. He's ashamed of hiding it all this time, he doesn't want to hurt her, and the guilt has been almost unbearable.

When his wife dies suddenly, Jay's conscience threatens to eat him alive.

Funeral director Scott Lawson deals with the bereaved every day, and he's all too familiar with the inside of the closet. He offers Jay some much-needed compassion and understanding, and from that connection comes a friendship that quickly - perhaps too quickly - turns into something more.

But are grief, guilt, and loneliness the only things tying them together? Or, will Scott get fed up with being used as an emotional crutch before Jay realizes what he has?
My review

A poignant, emotional and engrossing book that will take you along a journey of grief and love. A unique perspective and original plot thst will stay with you for a long time

January 29 - Dog-Eared Daydreams, Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Mirrigold: Mutterings and Musings, Making It Happen
January 30 - Gay Media Reviews, Lelyana's Book Blog, Booklove
January 31 - Diverse Reader, Mainely Stories, MM Good Book Reviews
February 1 - BFD Book Blog, My Book Filled Life, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Maari Loves Her Indies
February 2 - Reading In Sarah's Corner, Bayou Book Junkie, Xtreme Delusions, The Blogger Girls, A Book Lover's Dream Book Blog, Drops Of Ink, BooksLaidBareBoys


Tonight, Iím going to tell her.

Yeah right. Just like I was going to tell her every night for the past several months. Probably creeping up on a year at this point. A year of long evenings of pacing back and forth across the living room or the kitchen, gesturing with my drink and talking to myself as I rehearsed the words that I had, to date, never been able to say in her presence. A year of psyching myself up and telling myself tonight was the night, only to lose my nerve the second she came through the front door.

Pacing back and forth across the living room, I sipped the double Seagramís in my sweaty hand.

I can do this. I can do this. God, I have to do this.

It didnít help that she was late. Sure, it was more time for me to drink a little liquid courage and convince myself I could do this, but it was also more time for those ever-present doubts to get up on their respective soapboxes and tell me why I shouldnít, couldnít, wouldnít.

ìDo you really want to hurt her like that?î

ìAfter this long, youíre an asshole for telling her now.î

ìYouíre a jerk, you know that?î

I stopped pacing and rubbed my eyes with my thumb and forefinger.

Come on, Jay. She deserves the truth.

She deserved the truth a long time ago. And every time I passed up an opportunity to tell her, the guilt just burned deeper. One more day of leading her on. One more day of pretending the problems plaguing our marriage could be resolved with just a little more time and patience.

I cursed under my breath, then took another long drink. I put the glass on a coaster on the coffee tableóMisty hated rings on the tableóand kept pacing along that path Iíd worn into the carpet in front of the fireplace.

I glanced at my watch. It was well after nine, and she was always home by eight-thirty.

Maybe her class had run late. Her professorís lectures were always precisely two hours long, so if class started late, it ended late. Thereíd been a massive car accident on the freeway earlier this eveningóa multiple fatality, from what the traffic reporter saidóso maybe that had held things up. But an hour or more late? Even that prof wouldnít hold his class that long.

Her study group wasnít meeting tonight, was it? They always got together after class and sometimes didnít finish up until ten or eleven. I picked up my drink again and closed my eyes as I held the ice-cold glass to my forehead, wracking my brain as I tried to remember if they were meeting on Wednesdays or Thursdays this quarter. Sheíd probably told me earlier. Might have even e-mailed me at work to remind me. I was just too far into this bottle and a night of undoubtedly futile self pep talks to remember.

Better check with her, then, since I wasnít going to find the answer in my own nervous, slightly intoxicated mind, so I speed-dialed her cell. It rang several times, then kicked over to voice mail.

ìHey, this is Misty. Iím probably at work, in class, or just plain not answering, so leave a message and Iíll call you back.î

I cleared my throat. ìHey, itís me. I canít remember if youíve got study group tonight or not, so I wasnít sure when youíd be home, but give me a call when youíre on your way. Talk to you soon. Love you.î

I winced at the last two words. Sighing, I hung up the phone and set it beside the coaster on the coffee table. It wasnít a lie. I did love her. I would love her until the day I died, and never questioned that for a second.

But was I in love with her?

No. No, I wasnít.

And the longer I dragged this out, the more sheíd hate me when she finally learned the truth that I had owed her for a long, long time.

I brought the glass up to my lips, but hesitated. Iíd had enough for one night. No sense being legitimately drunk when she got home. For one thing, weíd end up fighting. Misty didnít mind me drinking, but the second the alcohol showed itself in my speech or gait, she got pissed. I couldnít even count the number of times a fight about my drinking had been the convenient excuse not to discuss the reason Iíd been drinking in the first place.

Not tonight. No.

Come on, Jay. You can do this.

I also needed a clear head. Well, as close to a clear head as I could get. If I stopped drinking now, I might even be completely sober by the time she came home from study group.

I stood, leaving my glass on the coaster beside my phone, and resumed pacing between the coffee table and fireplace.

ìListen, Misty,î I said to the empty room. ìIím not quite sure how to say this, and Iím so sorry I didnít tell you this sooner.î I tried not to choke on the words. ìBut, honey, Iím gay.î

A million images of my wife flickered through my mind, each reacting a different way. One cussing me out. One collapsing into tears. One getting herself a very, very strong drink.

ìWhy didnít you tell me?î she asked in my mind. Sometimes she screamed it. Sometimes she asked through her tears. Sometimes she just asked matter-of-factly, ìJay, why? Why didnít you tell me?î

And why didnít you tell her, Jay?

Scared. Ashamed. Uncertain. Embarrassed. In denial. Didnít want to hurt her. Didnít want to lose her.

Same answers, different night. And when she came home, Iíd choke just like I always did. God, how long was this going to go on?

The longer you wait, the worse itís going to get.

I sank onto the sofa and rested my elbows on my knees. Rubbing the back of my neck, I sighed, wondering how long I could resist the sirenís call of that mostly empty glass on the table. My willpower was melting faster than the neglected ice cubes. I wanted to say to hell with it and chalk up tonight as another failed attempt to work up the courage to tell her, and I wanted to celebrate that failure with this glass and at least two or three more afterward. So what if we fought? Maybe if we did enough fighting, we could divorce over that instead of this.

My shoulders slumped, and I pressed my fingers into my temples. Who was I kidding? I didnít want to hurt her. I had to, I knew that, but not by picking fights and giving us a reason to scream at each other until we could tick the ìirreconcilable differencesî box and move on. She deserved better than that.

She deserves better than me.

Fuck it. I picked up the glass and threw it back, swallowing the whisky in one go, barely tasting how much the melted ice had watered it down. The remaining ice clinked halfheartedly as I put the glass back on the table.

The doorbell rang.

I shot the front door a suspicious glance, then looked at my watch. Who the hell showed up at

Jesus, how the hell was it already nine fifty-seven at night?

Something tightened in my gut. I glanced at my cell phone, which remained still and silent on the coffee table beside my glass. Heart pounding, I started toward the door, and with every step, that something tightened. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. The deadbolt had never clicked quite as loudly as it did when I turned it.

I opened the door, and when I saw the pair of somber-faced cops on the porch with their hats in their hands, I knew.

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didnít lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but donít tell Lauren. And definitely donít tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shutÖ

Twitter: @GallagherWitt