Friday, April 29, 2016

The Hidden Reality Virtual Book Tour

About the Author

Stephen Martino is neurologist practicing in New Jersey. Though not separating

conjoined twins like Dr. Ben Carson, he is part of an active medical practice and is

currently participating in concussion research and inventing new medical products. When

he is not working, he can be found with his five children doing homework or cheering

them on at a soccer field, basketball court, or dance recital. Martino is a member of the

Knights of Columbus, a Cub Scout den leader and is an active public speaker, helping to

provide stroke education to the local community, EMS squads and healthcare


His latest book is the science fiction/political thriller, The Hidden Reality.

For More Information

 Visit Stephen Martino’s website.

 Connect with Stephen on Goodreads and Twitter.


About the Book:

Title: The Hidden Reality

Author: Stephen Martino

Publisher: Light Messages

Pages: 318

Genre: Science Fiction/Political Thriller

In the year 2084, the brilliant inventor, Alex Pella, finds himself at a precarious crossroad

between the pursuit of justice and preservation of his own sanity. While attempting to

undermine an international New World Order government created by the financial

juggernaut known as The New Reality, he must also face the hidden truths about his own

genetic heritage that are slowly destroying him. After receiving an ambiguous message

sent from a former New Reality executive who died 2 years prior, Alex learns that the

only possible means to confront this New World Order is to defeat a long-forgotten

enemy almost 2500 years old.

THE HIDDEN REALITY is the second stand-alone novel in a trilogy starring Alex Pella,

created by New Jersey-based neurologist and entrepreneur Stephen Martino. With his

fusion of history, politics, and science fiction, Martino joins such masters of the thriller

genre as Dan Brown, James Rollins, and Michael Crichton.

Martino’s villain is a corporation run by a cadre of ruthless international bankers known

as The New Reality. Directed by the most corrupt and morally unscrupulous of the

bunch, Myra Keres, the company has economically seized control of the world’s

governments and the population’s personal freedoms in the process. In order to save

humanity from this despot ruler and the unwonted atrocities to which she plans to

perpetuate on the world, Alex Pella must infiltrate the company and face an enemy that

has unknowingly haunted both him and history for almost 2500 years.

Martino says he wrote THE HIDDEN REALITY more than just to entertain the reader. He

wanted to create a modern day Orwellian ANIMAL FARM to allegorically forewarn his

readers of a possible dystopia future that awaits all of mankind if humanity continues to

proceed down its path of self-destruction.

In THE HIDDEN REALITY, Martino has included such hot-button contemporary topics

as genetic cloning, unprecedented economic debt, the rise of big government, and the

threat of a New World Order run by the economic elite, while bringing the reader back

almost 2500 years into the past when the ancient city state nation known as Greece

fought the mighty Persian Empire for world domination.

All of these elements, Martino maintains, separate his book from the pack. He calls THE

HIDDEN REALITY “issue-oriented fiction. There are real concerns facing society today

that threaten both the sovereignty and prosperity of our future generations. Though

fictional, my novel addresses some of these issues and predicts the potential

consequences we face as a nation and the world if they are not properly addressed today.”

For More Information

 The Hidden Reality is available at Amazon.

 Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.

 Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:


October 11, 1786 Landsbut, Bavaria

THE HYPNOTIC MELODY of the whistling wind and the patter of raindrops

hitting the roof ordinarily proved more comforting to Xavier von Zweck than the most

angelic lullaby. On this night, the grandfather clock had just chimed 2:00 a.m., and

Xavier could barely close his eyes, let alone fall asleep.

Insomnia was no friend of his but had become an accustomed bedtime partner

over the past year. Though the night was unusually warm and muggy for a Bavarian

October, Xavier pulled another quilted blanket over his body, covering himself as if he

were trying to make a cocoon.

“Xavier?” his wife mumbled, half asleep. “You’d rest better with the lamp off.”

“Mind your own business,” he quipped. Not wanting to start another argument,

his wife simply turned away and drifted slowly back to sleep as if nothing had occurred.

She had become accustomed to her husband’s quick fits of temper and erratic behavior.

The man she married in her late teens was certainly not the man she had grown to know

over the past year. His gentle, caring demeanor had been transformed into one of

paranoia and fear. Though she cared for him dearly, their relationship dwindled as

quickly as Xavier’s sanity.

If she only knew, Xavier thought. She would not be sleeping so soundly.

He double-checked his bedside table drawer for the tenth time that night to ensure

that his gun was in the proper place. He had loaded the flintlock pistol and stowed it there

in case of any emergency. Assured the gun was where he stored it, Xavier rolled on his

back and looked blankly up at the ceiling. It was such a noble and just cause, he

lamented. The enlightenment we would have brought to Bavaria, if not the world, would

have made the Renaissance pale in comparison. Now they hunt us down like a pack of

dogs, wanting to rid their country of any contrary thoughts or points of view. The

government and church are nothing more than instruments of suppression that hinder

man’s true nature to achieve enlightenment and pursue humanitarianism.

Xavier startled as the front door rattled.

Was it just the wind?

He lifted his head, trying not to make a sound. His breathing became shallow

while his pulse raced. He could feel his heart pound and temples throb. He listened

intently, hoping it was just the storm. Seconds passed like hours. Every raindrop sounded

like raging bulls charging through his home. In his heightened awareness, the wind

seemed to grow to hurricane proportions. His head darted to the bedroom window as a

windblown tree branch only gently scraped across it.

They found me, he trembled. Just as they did all of the other brothers of the order!

Baron Kruigge-Philo, Baron Bassus, Ferdinand Brunswick. All taken. Never seen or

heard of again.

He looked at the window, expecting soldiers to come barging through it.


Xavier slowly began to ease himself back down to bed after a few terrifying


False alarm.

Just as he was about to breathe relief, the door rattled once again. This time the

sound was unmistakable. This was not the storm or some wayward tree branch. Someone

was out outside trying to get in.

Wearing only his white-laced nightshirt, Xavier sprang to his feet. Grabbing the

fluted lantern from the night table by the base with his right hand and the pistol with the

left, he dashed over to the top of the stairs. From that vantage point he had a clear view of

the front door. Illuminated by ornate lanterns on both sides and burning candles in the

hallway, the door was clearly visible in this moonless night.

Xavier pointed the pistol down the stairs, waiting for any unwanted visitors to

enter his home. Though the ivory and gold festooned weapon was an inaccurate shot, at

close quarters it should prove accurate enough to stop an intruder.

The door rattled once again, and the person outside accompanied the rattling with

seven distinct knocks. There were two doublets and one triplet all separated by a short

interval. Could it be? Xavier hesitantly descended the steps, keeping his pistol pointing at

the door. The knock was unmistakable. It was the secret cadence required to gain access

to the order’s clandestine meetings.

Was it one of his brothers or was this just some sort of rouse the police were using

for him to open the door?

“Cato,” a muffled voice said from behind the door.

Stunned, Xavier stood motionless after he descended the last step on the stairs.

“Cato. Open up,” the muffled voice beckoned once again.

This was no rouse or trick. Only a high-ranking brother in the order would know

his code name. After a brief moment of disbelief, Xavier placed the pistol in his

nightshirt pocket and scurried over to unlatch the lock on the door.

Which of my brothers could it be? There are so few of us left.

He slowly opened the door, peering around the corner just in case this visitor was

accompanied by other unwelcome guests. The man was alone and drenched from head to

toe. His large brimmed top hat concealed his face, making him unrecognizable.

“Cato,” the man asked in a raspy voice, “May I come in?”

“Yes. Yes,” Xavier finally answered, still not able to recognize the man’s identity

or even his voice. “Where are my manners, good sir? Please come in brother.”

As the man walked into the house, Xavier immediately shut the door and fastened

the lock behind him. Though the man was a brother, he needed to secure the house in

case he had been followed.

“Let me take your hat,” Xavier quickly offered.

Obliging his request, the man handed the soggy hat to his host. Water trickled

down from it onto the hardwood floor as Xavier placed it on a coat hook standing next to

the door.


Though the man before him was about twenty pounds lighter, and drenched from

his balding head down to his long blue-buttoned overcoat. Xavier immediately

recognized the man’s identity—Adam Weishaupt. With a slight double chin, cherub-like

cheeks and a dubious smile, he was thought to have been put to death after Duke Karl

Theodor outlawed their order. But the former leader of their order was obviously still

alive and now standing here in his hallway.

“Cato,” Spartacus immediately responded in a rushed and rasped tone. “There is

little time. Do you still have everything?”

“Yes,” Xavier responded, still in disbelief that his brother from the order was still

alive. “I kept everything hidden just like you requested.” Before he could say anything

else, he grabbed Spartacus’s wet shoulders and asked, “How are you old friend? I was

certain Duke Theodor had your head after he disbanded the order.”

Spartacus had little time for pleasantries. “Please, Cato. You must quickly bring

me everything from the order. A new wave of reasoning is about to ignite in Europe

starting in France, and I must be there to foster the initial spark.”

Xavier patted him on the shoulders and smiled in delight. “There’s no rush. Come

and change into something dry. Have a cup of tea. The storm should break soon, and I

will ready you fresh supplies for your journey ahead.”

“I may have been followed,” Spartacus quickly responded.

Xavier’s delight quickly soured at the revelation, though he knew the good of the

order and its message meant more than his anonymity or even his own life.

“Yes. Follow me,” Xavier responded, quickly escorting his friend over to a

wooden chest in an adjacent room. Though he had so many questions to ask, he

understood he would have to wait for answers.

The room was dark and lit only by two candles almost completely melted to their

base. With his lantern held in front of him, Xavier scurried over to the wooden chest and

grabbed one of the brass handles along its side. Spartacus grabbed the other, and with

little effort the two moved the chest to the side, revealing a small trap door underneath.

Xavier lifted the door by a small latch attached to it and brought his lantern closer

so they could both get a better look. In the dim light provided by the lantern, Spartacus

could just make out its contents.

Two large books, each with the order’s distinctive symbol imprinted on their

cover, lay atop a beautifully ornate silver shield. Though the details of the shield’s

artwork were lost in the darkness, the symbols certainly were not: an all-seeing eye

surrounded by a pyramid.

The symbol was none other than that of the Order of the Illuminati.

A loud hammering on the front door caught them both by surprise.

Xavier almost dropped his lantern as he jumped back, nearly stumbling in


Clamoring from the back door in the rear of the house now accompanied the noise

echoing from the front.

“Adam Weishaupt,” a voice bellowed from outside as the incessant banging on

the doors continued. “Open up!”

Xavier quickly put down the lantern and wrapped the shield and two books in the

linen on which they were lying. “I must get you out of here.”

Taking the linen package, he opened up the chest and grabbed a large leather

satchel especially made for these items. Xavier looked at Spartacus while placing the

linen package in the pouch. “You must leave now.”

Before he could say anything further, Spartacus interrupted. “Is this everything?”

“What do you mean?”

“Is this everything?” he reiterated over the clamoring noise.

With each new bang, the doors sounded as if they were going to collapse under

the intense battering.

“Adam Weishaupt,” another voice from the rear of the house began to yell.

Time was dwindling. It would only be a few moments now before one of the

doors would succumb to the beating.

Complicating the commotion, Xavier’s wife came running down the stairs.

Carrying a lantern and wearing her nightshirt and cap, she asked, horrified by the

commotion, “Who are these people, Xavier? And what do they want?”

“Go back up upstairs,” Xavier responded pointing back towards their bedroom.

Another strong pound came from the front door as its hinges began to give way.

Xavier’s wife stood in the hallway, motionless, looking at her husband and then

the door, not knowing what to do.

“Go upstairs,” Xavier insisted with more emphasis.

“Is this everything?” Spartacus emphatically interrupted, taking the leather pouch.

The hinges on the front door continued to loosen and with each new thump the

door opened just a small fraction more. Xavier’s wife began to cry and shiver under the

stress. Though her husband cared for her dearly, he understood that the order’s cause

meant more than even her safety.

He turned to Spartacus, “I have some other papers hidden in the kitchen. Come

with me.”

“Who are these people?” Xavier’s wife cried out.

“We are here under the direct orders of Duke Theodor,” a voice from behind the

front door insisted, the clamoring momentarily stopped. “Adam Weishaupt, come out.”

Xavier’s wife quickly went over to the door and began to fumble with the lock.

She respected the authorities and certainly wanted no trouble with the Duke. Whoever her

husband was harboring at this moment needed to leave.

“No!” shouted Xavier as he turned in disbelief to see his wife begin to unlatch the


He attempted to stop her but Spartacus grabbed him by the shoulder. “The other

papers,” Spartacus shouted. “I must have the other papers!”

“But—” Xavier was cut off as Spartacus shoved him towards the kitchen.

The door to the rear of the house smashed open, leaving pieces of wooden shards

all over the floor. Soldiers in long blue overcoats carrying bayonet rifles in their hands

came barging through and into the storage room. The room was cluttered, wet from the

storm, and blanketed in total darkness, which proved to be Xavier’s best defense.

One of the soldiers began to shout in agony as his companion accidentally

bayoneted his leg upon tripping.

“Move it,” a boisterous voice from the rear urged, grabbing the fallen soldiers and

attempting to bring them to their feet on the slippery floor.

“Take this,” Xavier insisted, removing the pistol out from his nightshirt pocket.

“It will provide only one shot. Make it count.”

Spartacus took the weapon but again insisted, “What about the other papers?”

“There is no time,” Xavier responded, “Go down…”

“Where is he?” a voice echoed from the hallway. “Where are you hiding Adam


A weak voice responded, “Some man just took my husband into the kitchen.”

“I have a horse ready just outside the wine cellar, in a stall I placed there in case

of an emergency.” Xavier continued as he began to perspire under the stress. “There are

two days’ worth of supplies and some money strapped to the saddle.”

“But the papers,” Spartacus insisted. “They must not fall into anyone else’s


Two soldiers suddenly appeared next to the kitchen. “We found him!” one of

them yelled.

Xavier quickly handed his friend the lantern and rushed over to the soldiers,

hoping to use his body as a shield and give his friend an extra second to escape. “Go

now!” he insisted.

Spartacus took the lantern and immediately smashed it against the kitchen table

covered in fine linen as Xavier ran over to the soldiers with his arms spread, hoping to

block their pursuit. Flaming oil from the lamp spewed out upon the table and onto the

walls upon impact, catching them on fire.

Xavier looked back in horror as his house was consumed by flames, while his

friend, still holding the base of the lantern, slowly backed away towards the wine cellar.

What’s he doing?

Spartacus knew there was no other option. If the remaining Illuminati papers in

the house somehow became public, it could compromise the entire movement. France

would remain under its tyrannical rule from the king; all of Europe would remain masked

in darkness.

The soldiers began to push past Xavier as he stood motionless. He had grown up

in this home, and was the fourth generation of Zwecks to live there. All his belongings

and generations worth of memories were turning to ash.

The soldiers stopped their pursuit as Spartacus pulled out the pistol Xavier had

given him from his pocket. Taking close aim, he fired. A puff of black smoke

momentarily obscured his vision. The bullet directly hit its mark, piercing the man’s heart

and sending him tumbling backwards.

Mortally wounded, Xavier fell towards the soldiers who did nothing to stop him

from falling on the hard wooden floors. Xavier struck the ground as blood poured from

his chest. Letting out a single grunt, he lost consciousness before he could understand

what had just transpired.

Spartacus ran down into the wine cellar. The reflection from the burning fire in

the kitchen gave him just enough light for him to see his way back towards a set of steps

in the back of the room. Though he had just murdered a close friend and brother of the

order, he had no time to lament or second guess his actions. The importance of the

Illuminati movement far outweighed the significance of one man’s life or worldly

possessions—Xavier’s death was for the greater good of all mankind.

The soldiers followed Spartacus in quick pursuit. With their bayonets pointed

forward, they ran through the fire-lit kitchen and towards the stairs.

Spartacus heard the soldiers in pursuit; they were closing in on him. Pushing up

on a door at the top of the steps, he ascended into a covered barn with an already saddled

horse seemingly awaiting his arrival.

A few already burning lanterns in the stall provided just enough illumination for

him to see. He then quickly unlatched the barn’s only door and mounted the horse. A

bluster of wind blew the door open just as Spartacus began to ride towards it.

Seeing their target attempting to ride away, one of the soldier’s took aim with his

rifle before he ascended the final step of the wine cellar. With only one shot and his

fellow companion still behind him, he knew the bullet needed to count. His orders were

to bring back Adam Weishaupt dead or alive. Dead would work just fine.

The rifle went off with a black puff of smoke.

The bullet passed through Spartacus’s dark overcoat, inflicting only a minor flesh

wound to his thigh. Barely noticing the pain, Spartacus put his head down and rode out

into the night. With the shield and two books safely secured, he knew the course of

mankind would be irrevocably changed from this moment forward.


Stephen Martino is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card and 5

copies of his book, THE HIDDEN REALITY!

Terms & Conditions:

 By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

 One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $50 Amazon Gift Card

and five winners will be chosen to win an autographed copy of his book, The

Hidden Reality

 This giveaway begins April 4 and ends June 30.

 Winners will be contacted via email on July 1.

 Winners have 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Blog tour+ giveaway: No One Dies in the Garden of Syn by Michael Seidelman

No One Dies in the Garden of Syn
by Michael Seidelman
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: April 26th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

Synthia (Syn) Wade is a teenage girl who struggles with cystic fibrosis, an incurable life-threatening disease. One day she is pushed into a pond by an unseen figure and wakes up in a new world – a mysterious garden where illness and death don’t exist.

Welcomed by the garden’s residents and now free of her symptoms, Syn decides to stay. But, before long, she realizes that this apparent utopia holds many dangers and dark secrets. 

Surrounding the garden is a fog that Syn is warned never to enter. She encounters bizarre creatures that defy reason. And always lurking in the shadows is a masked woman - a woman who may have a connection to the disappearance of Syn’s parents many years ago. A woman whom no one will speak of, but whom everyone fears.

While No One Dies in the Garden of Syn, Syn will soon discover that some fates are worse than death.

Buy Links:

About the Author

My name is Michael Seidelman.  I was born in Vancouver, BC Canada where I continue to reside. When I was growing up, my passions were reading, watching movies, nature and creative writing. Not much has changed since then. In high school when I had an opportunity to write short stories in class, I relished reading them out loud to my classmates who would gasp at the unexpected twists and applaud when I was done. I took several creative writing classes and have continued writing over the years while working in Interactive Marketing.

About two years ago, I decided to take some time off to focus on my writing and work on a Young Adult trilogy. The first book in The Garden of Syn series – No One Dies in the Garden of Syn – will be released on April 26th. Meanwhile, I am working hard on the second and third books in the series.
Getting up every morning and sitting down to create new characters and bring new worlds to life is the most fulfilling job I have ever had. Beyond the trilogy, I have many ideas plotted out and I look forward to sharing them all with the world!

Author Links:
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Blog Tour Organized by:

Cover Reveal : It Started with a Whisper by Shannon McCrimmon

WEEKEND WITH HER BACHELOR by Jeannie Moon release event!!

Two old friends, a bachelor auction and a wedding in the mountains of Montana equals what turns out to be a romantic weekend and possibly the beginning of so much more.

Release Date: 04/26/16
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Digital

Bachelor Gavin Clark is determined to help Marietta reach its fundraising goal for the town's hospital charity. So the handsome emergency physician is up for almost anything on his date with the lucky winning bidder.  
Little did he know his former high school crush, Ally Beaumont, just so happened to be that lucky winner. Their date whisks them off to her friend's destination wedding at a romantic, luxury ranch resort in the western Montana mountains and close quarters, a shared history, and a magical location push the two old friends into each other's arms...
Is Gavin and Ally's story just beginning, or will their romance end with the weekend?

Get More information at: Goodreads  |  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Jeannie Moon has always been a romantic. When she's not spinning tales of her own, Jeannie works as a school librarian, thankful she has a job that allows her to immerse herself in books. Married to her high school sweetheart, Jeannie has three kids, three lovable dogs, and resides on Long Island, NY. If she's more than ten miles away from salt water for any longer than a week, she gets twitchy.
Connect with Jeannie at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads| Amazon


Excerpts- please use one

Ally glanced up to see the four bachelors looking down at the crowd from the landing above the main room. Damn they were hot, and each in their own way. But Gavin? There was something about him—strong, quiet, brilliant—the man had it all, and it was nicely wrapped up in a dark-haired, hazel-eyed, six-foot-four-inch package of gorgeousness.
    There was a squeal from a table near the stage, and Ally saw Mandy Pryce and her mean-girl friends looking over the program and then glancing up at the landing. Jenny Gaston was with them, but she wasn’t looking at the guys. No, her wicked baby blues were trained right on Ally. Honestly, considering the trouble she caused, Ally was surprised Jenny even made eye contact. But always having more nerve than conscience, Jenny was behaving as she always had—like an entitled brat. She lied and manipulated people to get close to Gavin, and Jenny didn’t care who was hurt in the process.
Looking up at the guys one more time, Gavin was surveying the crowd, and Ally’s breath caught just taking him in. He was thirty-one to her twenty-nine, and once upon a time she’d dreamed of being with him forever.
    Gavin had that effect on women. He was probably doing it right now, without even knowing it, casting his spell over the crowd. Ally—practical, focused Ally—was falling deep into the romantic well. Just looking at Gavin made her ache.
    Some things never changed.
    Without warning, Gavin turned his head and his eyes locked on hers. He froze. She could see his posture go rigid right where he stood. His face, stony and hard to read, made Ally reconsider her entire plan.
    The last thing she needed was an angry cowboy on her hands.
    No. She couldn’t second guess herself.
    Ally needed him, and there was no one else she could trust to play a convincing boyfriend, while keeping things platonic between them.
    He was still staring at her, and in the excitement of the moment, she smiled at him. She couldn’t help it.
    The problem was he didn’t smile back.


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Monday, April 25, 2016

Blog Tour + giveaway: Rebecca E. Neely’s THE KEEPER (Crossing Realms #1)

 Rebecca E. Neely’s THE KEEPER (Crossing Realms #1)
Sacrifice or salvation? A chosen psychic few may be both. As the city's Keepers battle Betrayers to save the human race, all's not fair in love and war.

2 winners will receive a $15 Amazon Giftcard & 5 winners will receive an ecopy of Rebecca E. Neely’s The Keeper

Follow the Tour!

About The Keeper (Crossing Realms #1):
Nick Geary, jaded clan leader of human guardians, the Keepers, is doomed to love a human woman who’s forgotten him, time after time, for thirteen years: Libby Klink, a skittish accountant who’s as terrified of her recent and strange intuitions as she is of her mundane existence.
When Nick is ordered by the clan’s guiding force to seek Libby’s help in defending the clan against enemy Betrayers, romance sizzles as the pair forms an unlikely alliance in their desperate search to discover the key to the clan’s salvation—which Libby alone holds.
But a haunting secret could cost Nick everything, and in a race against time, both will be forced to choose between their hearts and duty. Can their love, and the clan survive, or will the very forces that drew them together ultimately destroy them?
The battle in the Steel City begins.
Available on Amazon!
Follow @Crossing_Realms for all the latest on the series!
Follow THE KEEPER on Pinterest
Add THE KEEPER to your TBR list on Goodreads
Exclusive Excerpt:
Her index finger found the button and lowered the window a crack.
Immediately, he raised his hands. “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m unarmed.”
Always good to hear. She cocked her head, perplexed. “Who are you?”
“Nick Geary.” Unsmiling, a muscle worked in his jaw. He held her hostage with his eyes. “We need to talk.”
Her heart tripped. No doubt about it. She’d never heard of any Nick Geary, never seen this man before in her life. Or had she? Why didn’t she know? Shouldn’t she? What could they possibly need to talk about? A new kind of panic engulfed her. She pounced on the button, closed the window, and laid on her horn.
Scowling, he mouthed some kind of oath.
The driver door swung open on the truck in front of her. A portly man with a bush of a gray beard got out, lumbered over. Squinted at her. “You okay?” he bellowed as he tugged a T-shirt sporting a Confederate flag over his girth. “This guy messin’ with you?”
Yeah, he was messing with her all right. Air. She needed air. She locked eyes with Nick. His were blue and crystalline, as placid as they’d been stormy. He reached around his neck to finger a shiny stone the green of spring grass, nestled under his collar on what appeared to be a thin leather strap.
It glowed with ember-like intensity. She watched, fascinated.
I-279 South, idling engines, the car radio somewhere behind her booming its bass—all of it receded like floodwater after a storm.
Libby stood on the porch of the cabin she and her father rented for a week every summer. He came around the corner, fairly glowing. Pink with health. Dad. He slung a fishing rod over his shoulder and winked. “Let’s go catch us a mess of crappies.” The creek, ten feet away, rushed over rocks and fallen trees, its path clear, sure. The sun warmed her face and the air soothed her. She breathed in the scent of earth, burgeoning with spring.
She blinked. Snippets of music and phone conversations littered the highway around her. Libby gaped, unable to speak, like she’d shot down a hill on a roller coaster and banked the curve of the next.
Nick said nothing, his eyes still locked on hers.
Ford Truck shot him a dirty look, then clambered over to her side of the car. “Lady, I said, you okay?” he yelled.
Shaking, she lowered her window, not sparing him a glance. “Yeah, yeah, I’m okay.”
“You sure?”
Muttering something about the country going to hell in a handbasket, Ford Truck stomped back to his pickup and climbed inside.
Still staring at Nick, she clung fast to her resolve before it escaped her. Reaching across the seat, she yanked on the handle, and pushed open the passenger door.
“Get in.”

About Rebecca E. Neely:
A sucker for a happy ending, Rebecca writes the kind of stories she loves to read—those featuring authentic, edgy and vulnerable characters, smack dab in the middle of action that explodes from page one. 
Raised on a down home blend of Johnny Cash, Jack London, Sherlock Holmes, the Steelers, and all things small town, Rebecca feels blessed to have grown up in a close knit, fun loving and artistic family. Her mother, a voracious reader and scratch cook, and her father, an entrepreneur, English teacher and lover of literature, taught Rebecca and her brother to work hard, aim for the stars, and live life. 
With music, books and laughter as constant companions, she grew up working, cooking and eating in the family’s restaurant business. A certified book and hoagie junkie, Rebecca thrives on live music, mysteries and the outdoors. 
She’s a cheddar enthusiast, lover of cats, teddy bears, hot coffee, cold beer, thunderstorms, the blast of a train’s whistle, the change of seasons, country roads, woodpeckers, spoon rings, cool office supplies, and the Food Network. 
Careers, past and present, include freelance writing, accounting, mother, problem solver, doer and head bottle washer.
Rebecca is a member of the Three Rivers Romance Writers, a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), and is honored to serve as a judge for several writing contests each year.
For more info, news and updates about upcoming releases, sign up for Rebecca’s newsletter!
Want to know more about Rebecca?
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