Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga Genre: YA Fantasy Release Date: July 3rd 2018 Entangled Teen
Summary: In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that.
Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that. With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that.
Lindsey Duga developed a deep love for courageous heroes, dastardly villains, and enchanting worlds from the cartoon shows, books, and graphic novels she read as a kid. Drawing inspiration from these fantastical works of fiction, she wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University. By day, Lindsey is an account manager at a digital marketing agency based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. By night, and the wee hours of the morning, she writes both middle grade and young adult. She has a weakness for magic, anything classical, all kinds of mythology, and falls in love with tragic heroes. Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show, practicing yoga, and listening (and belting) to her favorite music artists and show tunes. KISS OF THE ROYAL is her YA debut novel.
Burning Bright (Going Down in Flames #5) by Chris Cannon Publication Date: June 4, 2018 Publisher: Entangled Teen
Bryn is back for her senior year at the Institute for Excellence, also known as shape-shifting dragon school. She isn’t sure which is scarier, the life-force sucking dragons stalking campus or the fact that she’s officially betrothed to Jaxon, a guy who will never love her. Not that she could ever love him, either… That’s just ridiculous.
Senior year should be fun. Her parents are alive, she’s finally fitting in, and she’s learning how to be a Medic. But what’s with Jaxon giving her strange looks? He runs hot and cold, and he doesn’t even have the excuse of being a hybrid fire-and-ice-breathing dragon like her. One minute they’re having a great time and the next, she wants to blast a fireball at his head. The marriage contract of doom looms over them–unless this match not made in heaven kindles a flame…
“Okay.” She set her mug on the bench and let him pull her to her feet. Should she tell her grandparents where they were going? That would kind of ruin the moment she and Jaxon might be having, so she shelved the idea.
Hand in hand, they walked down one of the slate paths back into the trees with the fairy lights. “This place is amazing.”
“This has always been my favorite part of the house. I used to spend a lot of time out here.”
They walked down a path and into a stand of trees. Several single swings and a double swing where two people could sit, like a porch swing, were suspended from the trees. There was also a staircase that spiraled around a tree and led up to a walkway suspended between the trees, high up in the branches.
“Can we go up?” Bryn asked. “Sure.” The spiral steps were easy to climb, but the walkway was higher up in the trees than it appeared from below. “What do you think?” Jaxon asked. “I think it’s the perfect place to hide from the world.”
Wait a minute. “You made fun of me last year when I said I wanted a treehouse.”
“This isn’t a treehouse, it’s a far superior tree bridge.”
“Right,” Bryn mocked. “That makes sense.”
Jaxon tugged her back toward the platform of the first tree. “There’s more.” Around the back side of the tree there was a bench. “If you don’t feel like walking, you can sit.”
“As one does when one is tired from adventures on their tree bridge.” She sat and relaxed back against the trunk of the tree, very aware of Jaxon’s proximity and the heat coming off his body.
“Exactly,” he said.
She laughed. From inside the tree the fairy lights seemed even more magical. “You know this is basically a tree house without walls.”
“No. That doesn’t work for me,” he said. Bryn rolled her eyes but didn’t comment. “I saw that,” Jaxon said. “You were meant to.” Joking around with him felt comfortable. “This is nice.” “The tree?” he asked. “No.” She pointed back and forth between them. “This. Us. No pretenses or small talk…just us.” “Speaking of us.” He leaned in, slowly, like he was giving her a chance to move away. She met him halfway and pressed her mouth against his. Time seemed to slow down as his hand touched her cheek and then cradled the back of her head. Heat thrummed between them, burning bright as the kiss grew, which was strange yet somehow right.
About the Author:
Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series and the Boyfriend Chronicles. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and several furry beasts. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or romantic comedies. You can find her online at www.chriscannonauthor.com.
The first time I wrote those magical words“THE END”I couldn’t quite believe that I had been capable of writing a full length novel, but amazingly for some and especially for me I was. There is something divine about those two simple words. They’re only six letters long but they are the sealing of a mystical world which you have created. Words that have breathed out through your fingers, or should I say bled and sweated out. You step into a scene in your mind and you let it drip from your fingertips. I imagine that every writer has their own way of getting their story down on paper, but believe me, there is no glamour in the process, just hard work.
My debut novel “A little of Chantelle Rose” was written in three months. It was over a summer and at the time I wasn’t working so I was able to dedicate all my time to the novel’s development. It seemed easy and in a way it was. It was just a bit of a game, there was no pressure and the words, thankfully, just flowed. I didn’t tell anyone I was writing a novel, it was my own little secret. I didn’t even imagine that one day I wouldn’t just tell people about it, I would pretty much beg them to buy it and that I’d actually get the chance to share it with the world.
But as soon as the book was officially published one of the most frequent question I’ve been asked is “So when’s book II coming out?” And so the pressure is on, a bit like when you’re newly-wed and everyone keeps asking, so when’s the baby due? (What baby? Can’t I just practise first?!) Or when your first born is just days old, you’re asked, or rather told, it needs a brother or sister you know. Really?! I tore during child birth and you’re asking me if I want to do it again?
And funnily enough, at least in my case, I’ve been masochistic enough to go through childbirth twice and through the pushing out of a second novel too.
This time however there has been no leisurely sitting down at the computer with perhaps just a bit of Mozart in the background as soothing, inspirational composition. I usually have the house filled with kids (only two are actually mine but the neighbours kids have adopted my house) so there is always background noise when I write now and believe me, it’s a far cry from Mozart’s symphony nº 40.
Then of course I have the day job, the dreaded house work, homework (not mine, but when a toddle gets asked to make a spaceship out of toilet roll and tin foil it suddenly becomes a NASA project for all concerned, especially for me however much I try to suppress my competitive side) and the list goes on…so really where do you find the time to write? I mean come on, everyone sends voice texts nowadays because they’re too tired to key a few phrases together in written text, never mind writing a 90 thousand word novel.
But if you really want to write that novel, I’ll give the same advice I’ve given for those who want to start running or want to get fit. Little steps is all you need. Set aside just half an hour per day and write. It doesn’t matter what you write. Don’t even worry if it makes sense or not, you can always edit it, but you can’t edit a blank page. As the days pass, if you’re consistent with your half an hour, you’ll see that your writing will improve (just like your running and fitness will improve over time if you keep to your exercise regimen).
The key to achieving things is to be consistent with what you’re doing. Don’t give up. Create a routine and it becomes so much easier. But don’t pressure yourself in that you have to write thousands of words a day because you’ll burn out.
This is how I wrote my second novel. I had a basic idea and just started writing. 400 words every day from Monday to Friday for a year. I would take Saturdays and Sundays off to enjoy my family. I enjoy writing, but my family comes first. And voilá 400 words x 260 (days in the year excluding weekends) = 104,000 words. My second novel is actually just under 90,000 words long, which calculates at even less than 400 words a day, five days a week. Easy!
You may think I’d never be able to write a novel. I haven’t got anything interesting to tell. Have you tried? Seriously tried? Believe me you may well find that you surprise yourself. If anyone told me a few years ago that I would have been capable of writing humour I would have laughed in their face. Me humour?? I can’t tell a joke and make it sound funny if my life depended on it!!
But I’ve learnt that I can write it.
And now I can even prove it, my debut novel “A little of Chantelle Rose” got to nº 2 in Amazon.com paid charts under “British humour.” How about that for someone who’s crap at telling jokes?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, dream it, wish it, do it……
About the Author:
Cristina Hodgson, mother of two, born in Wimbledon, London, currently lives in southern Spain. Cristina had a long career in sport, reaching national and international level and still actively participates in Triathlon races and enjoys outdoor activities. In her spare time she also enjoys reading and writing. She won a sports scholarship to Boston College. After a period in Boston, she returned to the UK and graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Sports Science.
A Little of Chantelle Rose is her debut novel. Amazingly, it has nothing to do with running!
You can find out more about Cristina Hodgson at http://cristinahodgson.com/ or follow her on twitter @HodgsonCristina
Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction Publisher: Dark Horse Books Publication Date: March 3, 2018
Number of Pages: 321 pages Scroll down for giveaway!
Blood and Remembrance is the prequel to the award-winning Texas novel, East Jesus. Thisnew, stand-alone story rampages from the west Texas plains to Huntsville’s Death Row and back. Cowboys, ranchers, driven oilmen, desperate convicts and headstrong women grapple with truths of the heart, of life, and the coming of age in a dramatic struggle you’ll live yourself and never forget.
Chris Manno of Fort Worth, Texas, earned a doctorate in English from Texas Christian University and teaches writing at Texas Wesleyan University.
East Jesus, his first novel, was named “finalist” (second place) for Best Fiction of 2017 by the North Texas Book Festival. The novel takes a close-up, visceral look at West Texas life in 1969 and the good folks who lived it, grappling with notions of family, patriotism and violence, both domestic and in a far-off, unpopular war.
Blood and Remembrance is the prequel to East Jesus, tracing the roots of the main characters in both books, examining the harsh but classically All-American story of life in the Texas panhandle.
Manno is also the author of a third novel, Voodoo Rush, winner for Best Fiction of 2018 by the North Texas Book Festival, and a collection of short stories titled Short Fiction for the Impatient Reader. Both books are available from White Bird Publications of Austin Texas.
Genre: Historical Romance / Inspirational Publisher: Revell Date of Publication: March 20, 2018
Number of Pages: 352 My Rating: 4/5
Scroll down for the giveaway!
Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the town doctor’s excessive bleeding treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life without love or family, a life where dreams rarely come true.
Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.
With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.
“Cabot’s sweet love story will appeal to readers of gentle romances. . .Although this title stands on its own, readers of A Stolen Heart (2017), the first in Cabot’s place-based trilogy, will be happy to revisit the folks of Cimarron Creek.” — Booklist
“The second book in Cabot’s Cimarron Creek trilogy is even better than the first, with a dash of suspense, an intriguing bit of medical history and a host of enjoyable characters.” —RT Book Reviews
PRAISE FOR A STOLEN HEART, BOOK ONE IN THE CIMARRON CREEK TRILOGY:
“Readers will enjoy the surprising ending as well as the romance always found in Cabot’s books.”—Publishers Weekly
“Moments of humor provide a nice balance to the heartwarming scenes and the mild suspense thread.”—RT Book Reviews
“Cabot’s nonpreachy inspirational romance features characters who genuinely try to live honorable lives, and their story has broad appeal for readers of gentle fiction and historical romance as well as for readers of Christian fiction.”—Booklist
Love, historical fiction, suspense, with Christian teachings, this story was purely delightful!
Catherine is a school teacher and seems a bit put off by men. And it’s obvious that the woman can take care of herself. She’s a bit headstrong and iron willed, but has a good heart and is filled with determination. Her strong spirit I think is what draws Austin to her.
Austin is very set on not finding a second wife, and despite how hard he tries, it’s obvious from the start that he’s drawn to Catherine, the school teacher. I love how Austin is just, how do I put it, has his feathers ruffled, when it comes to all things Catherine. He pretends to be disinterested in her, but than adorably reacts to the fact that someone is “courting” Catherine by spilling his coffee everywhere. It’s too cute and too tender hearted.
The characters in this story are very well developed and the plot has many twists to it. I think it’s a well balanced story and has a little for everyone that is looking for a good historical romance. At the heart of all this is love, forgiving others, family, and those relationships that really are important and matter. If you are looking for a good cozy read, then be sure to check this one out!
Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of A Stolen Heart, the first book of the Cimarron Creek trilogy, as well as the Texas Crossroads series, the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming.
Jennie May Walker Burleson was envied for having everything a woman of her time could want—the privileged upbringing, the dazzling good looks, the dashing war hero husband. She was admired for demonstrating that a woman could want more, from the front of the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession to the bottom of a Mesoamerican archaeological dig. But as she stood over the body of her husband’s second wife, gun in hand, society’s envy and admiration quickly hardened into pity and scorn. T. Felder Dorn examines the complicated trajectory of her life as socialite, suffragist and shooter.
T. Felder Dorn graduated from Duke University in 1954 with a BS in chemistry and was awarded a PhD in that discipline in 1958 by the University of Washington. He was a member of the chemistry faculty at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, in 1958–69 and then served four years on the program staff of the College Board in New York. From 1973 to 1991, he held administrative positions at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, serving as associate dean, dean and vice-president for academic affairs. His last ten years at Kean were spent as professor of chemistry. He retired in 2001. Felder Dorn and his wife, Sara Ruth, have resided in Millburn, New Jersey, since 1973. They have three children and three grandchildren. Dorn has previously published four books: Challenges on the Emmaus Road: Episcopal Bishops Confront Slavery, Civil War, and Emancipation (University of South Carolina Press, 2013); Death of a Policeman, Birth of a Baby: A Crime and Its Aftermath (Xlibris, 2012); The Guns of Meeting Street: A Southern Tragedy (University of South Carolina Press, 2001); and The Tompkins School, 1925–1953: A Community Institution (Attic Press, 1994).
Murders don’t happen in Kaufman County, Texas, a sleepy community where people raise their kids quietly and drive into Dallas for work and entertainment. In 2013, murder came to town when two professional prosecutors were slain in cold blood, simply for doing their jobs: one in broad daylight in plain view of the courthouse, and one in his home, along with his wife. Eric Williams is responsible for all the bloodshed—and he has a list of who to kill next.
A Target on My Back is the first-person true story of Erleigh Wiley, an accomplished lawyer who accepted the job as the new district attorney—after the death of her predecessors—which turned her into the next target on the killer’s hit list. This is her story of how she and her family endured the storm of the press, the array of Homeland Security agents assigned to protect them 24/7, and the weight of knowing she was someone’s prey. Though fearing for her life, she served as the prosecution’s final witness against the murderer, sealing his fate on death row. This chilling account of how she survived the hit list is a terrifying cat and mouse tale.
PRAISE FOR A TARGET ON MY BACK:
“A legal thriller with a twist: a crazed lawyer and his wife, believing they have been wronged, become a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde and go on a terrifying murder spree. Next on their kill list is the new DA, and her courage in confronting the killers makes this a fascinating read.”
―Dennis L. Breo, coauthor of The Crime of the Century: Richard Speck and the Murders That Shocked a Nation
“John Grisham and Scott Turow had better start looking over their shoulders. . . Wiley’s engaging, nimble style immediately draws you into the action and proves that sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. It’s a good thing for us all that she lived to tell about it!”
―David Dean, Dallas attorney, former Texas secretary of state and chair of the North Texas Crime Commission
“When murder comes to her town, Erleigh Wiley steps into the shoes of the slain district attorney and finds herself on the killer’s hit list. In A Target on My Back, Wiley tells her personal story of overcoming fear in order to carry out her duty to hold Kaufman County, Texas, together while the killer is brought to justice. Don’t miss it!”
―Mike Farris, author of A Death in the Islands: The Unwritten Law and the Last Trial of Clarence Darrow
“A Target on my Back is a unique first-person look into the world of crime-fighting in which the tables have been turned. The author takes the reader on an all-too-real journey into what it means to stand for justice when your very life is in danger. A must-read.
―Robert Kepple, executive director of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association
Speak to That is a local talk show that speaks to relevant and inspirational topics and features innovative guests. On a recent episode, Erleigh Wiley and her husband, Aaron Wiley, were interviewed about life on a hit list and Erleigh’s new book, A Target On MyBack.
Erleigh Norville Wiley was born and raised in Kaufman County. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University, Rawls College of Business; where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with a degree in Finance. She attended law school at Texas Law at The University of Texas in Austin receiving her Doctorate of Jurisprudence.
In 1990, Judge Wiley joined the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. Her goal was to prosecute the criminals and protect innocent children and victims who have no voice. She was promoted to supervising attorney-training other new attorneys and managing fourteen different courts.
Wiley takes an active role in her community by volunteering. Some of her board work includes Chairman of the Kaufman County Juvenile Board, Trustee of Texas Health Resources- Kaufman, Kaufman County Children’s Advocacy Center and Kaufman County Children’s Shelter Board member.
Wiley has been lauded by various organizations for her work in the legal community as a Judge and as the Criminal District Attorney in Kaufman County. Some of the most notable were in 2013, from the State Bar of Texas, Outstanding Leadership-Profiles of Courage Award and Texas District & County Attorney’s Association, Lone Star Prosecutor Award; as well as the Dallas Black Police Officer’s Association with the Paved the Way Award in 2015.
Genre: Suspense / Romance / Christian Publisher: Revell Date of Publication: March 6, 2018
Number of Pages: 352
Scroll down for the giveaway!
Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new romantic suspense novel, Beneath the Surface. This gripping tale from award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn will capture readers from the first page and won’t let them go until the final, heart-pounding scene.
After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston moves home to Carrington, North Carolina, to leave behind her troubled past. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present.
Homicide investigator Ryan Parker finds fulfillment in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer—one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.
PRAISE FOR BENEATH THE SURFACE:
“With this book, author Lynn Blackburn has moved from the status of an upcoming author to watch and cemented herself as an author to note. Her exceptional storytelling skills shine as she weaves an intricate plot, populated with characters we care deeply about. Another up-all-night-because-I-can’t-put-down-the-book read.”
—Edie Melson, award-winning author, blogger, and director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference
“Beneath the Surface is a swoon-worthy romantic suspense that packs a punch from page one. The nonstop action will keep you guessing until the end.”
—Rachel Dylan, author of the Atlanta Justice series
“Just when you think you can relax, Blackburn brings you back to the edge of your seat in this riveting, high-tension suspense story.”
Dinner and a movie. People have been doing it for years because it works.
Whatever is going on in Downtown Carrington – food festivals, art festivals, music festivals. Carrington has a great downtown so an evening spent there is always a good idea.
A day spent hiking in the mountains.
A fancy evening at the theatre for a musical or a play.
A boat ride at sunset. I’m probably happiest on the water.
Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Hidden Legacy (Love Inspired, June 2017) and Covert Justice, winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children.
Grand Prize: Print Copy of the Book, Library Card Socks, Gone Reading Sign (wooden, 5″x7″), Reading Mug; 2nd Prize: Print Copy of the Book + $25 B&N Gift Card; 3rd Prize: Print Copy of the Book + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
Title: ANIMAL GRAPH Author: M. Black Pub. Date: June 7, 2017 Publisher: M. Black Pages: 157 Formats: Paperback, eBook
NOW A SCRIPT FOR MOTION PICTURE 06/2017. SCRIPT REQUESTED TO REVIEW FOR FEATURE FILM DEAL BY TWO COMPANIES 07/2017.
ENTER A WORLD OF ANIMAL GRAPHS in this SciFi FANTASY DYSTOPIA that is also called a “YA AMAZON POST-APOCALYPTIC
never-before-seen-concept in a kind of HUNGER GAMES meets DR. Moreau!”
GET LOST WITH JIN IN A WORLD OF EXOTIC ANIMALS, LANDSCAPES, RIVERS, WARRING GROUPS, AND AN EVIL RULER. When prisoners are experimented on by the ruler of the Americas, after a nuclear war, their cells are grafted with cells and neural tissue from animals of the Amazon. Release to be hunted in the Amazon, to train soldier, Jin finds another Graph like herself named Adan and the two have to survive the Amazon if they are going to live.
Immerse yourself in the gorgeous and dangerous Amazon, find new creatures, learn about new exotic countries, travel the highlands, savannas, and plateaus in this breath-taking, page-turning book, ANIMAL GRAPH.
“AN ACTIVE AND EXCITING STORY THAT WOULD BE ENJOYED BY YOUNG ADULTS AND MATURE READERS. M. BLACK PACKS IN A LOT OF INTERESTING CONCEPTS. FANS OF DYSTOPIAN FICTION LIKE THE HUNGER GAMES WILL ENJOY THIS VERY CREATIVE STORY.” -Netgalley
“WOW! WHAT A CONCEPT! I CAN SAY THAT THIS IS THE FIRST BOOK OF THIS KIND THAT I HAVE READ.” -Amazon Reader
“THIS WAS AN AWESOME STORY. IN THE APOCALYPTIC FUTURE THEY ARE EXPERIMENTING ON PRISONERS.” -Amazon Reader
“M.BLACK’S ANIMAL GRAPH IS MORE THAN A DYSTOPIAN TALE FROM THE CREATIVE GENIUS OF THIS AUTHOR’S MIND. IT RAISES THE QUESTION OF SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST, OF LIVING IN HARMONY AND QUESTIONING WHAT IF THE ODDS ARE ARTIFICIALLY STACKED AGAINST THESE NEW CREATIONS.” -Netgalley
“ANIMAL GRAPH TAKES A FRESH AND INTRIGUING LOOK AT ANIMAL-HUMAN PAIRINGS” -Avid Amazon Reader
“THE CHARACTERS HAVE EXTRAORDINARY ABILITIES FROM THEIR ANIMAL GRAPHS, BUT THESE ALSO COME WITH WEAKNESSES. IT’S A REALLY GOOD BALANCE.” -Netgalley
“IT IS GOOD, VERY STRANGE ON ONE HAND YET THRILLING AND EDGE OF YOUR SEAT! I LOVE THE BEGINNING WHERE THE READER IS IN THE ACTION FROM THE START! I ALSO LOVE THE WHOLE IDEA OF THE GRAPHS.” -Reader Review
“THIS BOOK HAD ME HOOKED FROM THE BEGINNING.” Netgalley
“YOU ARE ONE OF THE FEW AUTHORS WHOSE BOOKS LEAVE ME WANTING TO READ MORE OF YOUR BOOKS.” -Amazon Reader
“GOOD STORY! I DIDN’T WANT IT TO END!” Amazon Reader
“I HAD ANXIETY ATTACKS WITH JIN. IT REALLY BOTHERED ME THAT I HAD TO PUT THE BOOK DOWN TO DO NORMAL THINGS LIKE EAT. LOL.” -Amazon Reader
My feminine bottom slides down the wet, slippery cliff at the end of the path of foliage, dropping me forty meters into the abyss below where I thrash, arms flailing about me in a sure drown, water gulping down my tight throat in a struggle for air. My long, auburn hair is drenched to my side like a second skin. I barely know how to swim, but I have no other choice but to sink down where I won’t be seen. They’re on my trail and the choking gas has almost reached me.
Glancing skyward, under a thin layer of water, I see a cake of the pinkish fog choke the plants and moss above, that grows off the dark stones there—the only elegance out here. Water cascades into a beautiful waterfall toward me in a steady stream, and I hear the loud fog horn-like sound from my pursuers alerting everyone in the vicinity that I’m nearby.
They’ll need to find me before sundown or risk encountering the savage wildlife of the Amazon rainforest, like Radguars, a mutated form of the Jaguar which began to appear after the radiation hit. No one ever lives after facing one. They’ll tear a man to shreds.
I hear them coming, five of them—they always come in fives—their thick boots hitting the forest floor in a scratch-scratch as they approach the end of my path. I’m not even sure how I do this—hear them. The distance is more than thirty meters away and the rush of water interferes with my ears. I never would have been able to do this before they took me.
Taken in the middle of the night by Borran’s soldiers while asleep in my cell, a two-by-three-meter room in which I’d been locked for a year, since I was sixteen, after I’d stolen a loaf of bread from a village vendor. Too many of us end up behind bars for petty crimes, to ensure as a whole we comply with the laws. When they registered me for prison, they scanned the bar code on my upper arm, denoting my full name, region of residency, and any prior arrests. I didn’t have priors before, but now my bar code will always show I was in prison.
About the Author:
M.Black is Ami Blackwelder and writes for the brand ENTER TOMORROW. She is a Montessori teacher, helps the deaf and hard of hearing, is an avid Pescetarian, believer in animal rights and wildlife conservation, and a lover of books. she is the author of the never-before-seen-concept Animal Graph, and dubs herself the ‘Robot Girl’ since many of her stories revolve around robots and A.I. She has a Siamese cat names LOTUS from Thailand when she was an educator there and he show sup in all her robot books. She adopted a cat named Ash in the States who also shows up in all of her robot books. She loves reading on Kindle Unlimited and only buys paperback. She enjoys many vegetarian dishes like veggie lasagna and four bean chili. She also likes watching movies, gardening, the beach, and hanging out with friends. Of course most of the time you will find her at home, pounding away at her computer.
Insecurity. As women, we all struggle with it. Our skinny jeans mock us. Our age-defying serums with flecks of gold refuse to erase our crow’s feet. Our social media feeds taunt us with everyone else’s picture-perfect lives. If you’ve ever felt uninteresting, unlovable, or unattractive, you’re ready for Lincee Ray’s particular brand of hilarious (and hard-hitting) self-reflection.
Like a trustworthy friend, she shows us that the fastest way to happiness is to embrace ourselves in all our imperfection and trust that God knew what He was doing when He made us. From maneuvering the muffin top to navigating the sketchy waters of singleness to walking the judgmental halls of the workplace, Lincee’s laugh-out-loud look at real life reveals many of the key truths she’s learned about her identity:
Yoga pants are your friend, Jesus sees you, and green-bean diets are never the answer.
PRAISE FOR WHY I HATE GREEN BEANS:
“Lincee is a brilliant writer. She once described me as ‘smelling of worn leather, a vintage nine iron and swagger.’ She pretty much nailed it. She is definitely worthy of the final rose.” —Chris Harrison, host of ABC’s Bachelor franchise and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
“I found myself laughing out loud, wiping away a few tears, and cheering her on every step of the way. Lincee is the best friend you wish you had. Get ready to fall in love with her and her fabulous debut book!” —Melanie Shankle, author of the Big Mama blog
“By the end of this book, you’ll think of Lincee as a favorite friend: someone who shoots straight, finds the funny in every situation, and reminds you what matters most. You are in for a treat!” —Sophie Hudson, author of Giddy Up,Eunice and cohost of The Big Boo Cast podcast
For ten years I waded through the ins and outs of the oil industry. As one of few females in that male-dominated world, I’ve had my fair share of eye-rolling exploits. I’ve kept my face neutral as crude jokes were shared. I’ve tried to look feminine in flame retardant overalls, safety goggles, and steel-toe boots. I’ve stood before a boardroom full of men who didn’t speak English, trying to convince them we didn’t need to wait for my boss—I was the presenter.
The international stories are the ones I like best because they sound so exotic. One of my more notable jaunts was a facility visit in the middle of Ukraine.
The guys from the Ukrainian company wanted to treat the Americans to a traditional dinner. I was seated at the middle of the long table for ten with my American colleagues on either side. The Ukrainian general manager sat across from me and motioned for the waiter to pour a round of vodka shots.
You’ve probably heard that Russians drink vodka like it’s water. In my personal experience, this is true. I can also attest it’s considered an insult not to drink with them. If offered vodka, you’d better partake, especially when the logistics of future million-dollar deals are circling the table.
The Ukrainian stood up and toasted everyone in the room. He spoke about the wonderful relationship between his company and the U.S. division and genuinely seemed proud to call us partners. This lasted for about five minutes. During this time, the waiter placed a plate of “something” at each end of the table. I’m no expert, but it looked like slugs.
Our host concluded his salute and pointed to the plate, explaining that this was a celebratory occasion and we would be chasing the vodka shot with herring and onions.
I suddenly craved green beans.
The man lifted his glass and toasted the table. We all slammed our drinks back and spiked the herring with little forks. Down the hatch.
Thank goodness the vodka was like rubbing alcohol, because it burned off the aftermath of the oily, slimy, fishy taste in my mouth. It may have burned a few taste buds, too, but that was a blessing in disguise.
Everyone cheered and high fived as the waiter presented a tray of cucumbers, tomatoes, and red bell peppers. I munched away like a pro, even though I can’t stand tomatoes. I have the palate of a sophisticated fourth grader, but I pressed through for the good of the company.
Suddenly the waiter started filling the shot glasses with vodka again. Number two Ukranian guy stood up and made his own toast that lasted forever. We cheered. We clinked glasses. We took the shot before chugging yet another herring.
Soon the questionable deli meat selection arrived. Being the smart connoisseur I am, I chose the two lightest meats. I mentally chanted in my head, “It’s turkey and ham. It’s turkey and ham. It’s turkey and ham.” I gobbled it up in three bites, ignoring the funny smell, only to find a plate full of rolled-up bacon thrust in my face.
You may be thinking, Oh good! Something she recognizes. Everyone loves bacon!
Dear friend. You are too sweet. It was bacon fat. Fat. The fat of bacon. All white, fat, bacon fat.
The waiter rushed over with a third shot. It helped to dissolve the roll of pork belly lodged in my throat.
At the beginning of the fourth course, I realized we were going to toast each dish. I tried to get the attention of the waiter, but I couldn’t lift my arms. He finally realized my joints were paralyzed from the vodka and came over to see what I needed. Once he understood what I needed, he brought me a bottle of plain old boring water. I begged him with my eyes not to rat me out as a poser Russki.
Everyone devoured what I thought of as potato ravioli and luckily, they never noticed me pouring water into my shot glass. The next course materialized, and I enthusiastically toasted everyone. By the end of the night, the Russians were toasting the vodka, the Brits were toasting the Americans who carry guns, the Americans were toasting the Revolutionary War, and nine men were toasting the little blonde girl who could hold her liquor.
All together there were seven courses. I had three vodka shots and four waters. I slept like a log that night. I also suspected my insides had been thoroughly cleansed. It’s a good thing, too, because I later found out the questionable deli meat was donkey tongue.
Any time I hear a Russian accent, my arms get heavy and it’s a good forty-eight hours before I can eat a turkey sandwich again.
Lincee Ray is an accidental blogging superstar from Texas who now writes for EW.com and the Associated Press. An active speaker, she can be found at her popular website ihategreenbeans.com, where she makes it clear that she believes it’s important to tell your story—even if it makes you seem a little crazy. Connect with Lincee!
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