Monday, December 23, 2013

This book looks Interesting! Can't wait to read it!


Genre: Non-fiction/ Christian/ Historical
Release Date: February 6, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-89-9   ISBN 10: 1-939217-89-X
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-90-5     ISBN 10: 1-939217-90-3

The Soul of Jesus
As part of His preparations for the long-prophesied birth of our Savior, God selected a devout group of primarily Jewish Essenes to oversee this monumental undertaking. The Soul of Jesus delves into numerous details surrounding these readily-available but little-known preparations which preceded the birth of Jesus, and then carries on to share delightful snippets concerning the birth and life of Jesus before the commencing of His Ministry, Jesus’ Healings and other Miracles, His Apostles, relatives, friends and the group of seventy disciples, the Crucifixion and Resurrection, His activities after the Resurrection, and Jesus’ Ascension, that are not recorded in the Scriptures.

The surprises do not stop there. The Soul of Jesus saves the block-buster news until the very end – the soul of Jesus had a number of historical incarnations before its final incarnation, commencing many centuries back in time as the soul of Adam in the Garden of Eden.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fun New Book Coming Soon



Genre: Fiction/Romance/Contemporary
Release Date: February 13, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-99-8  ISBN 10: 1-1939217-99-7
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-002-2     ISBN 10: 1631120026

Have you ever been attracted to someone you shouldn’t?

Were you prepared to risk everything?

Robyn Fisher is a frustrated, busy, working mum and wife who feels that life is passing her by – that is until she meets charismatic psychologist, Jay Trethedick, at a weekend seminar.

Despite the instant attraction, Robyn resists Jay’s advances only to surrender to temptation a week later and they begin an intense and passionate love affair. But when the lovers start taking increasingly dangerous risks, Robyn’s husband discovers the truth and walks out, destroying Robyn’s world.

But the grass isn’t always greener. After an attempt to start a new life with Jay, Robyn realises she has to take the biggest risk of all; choosing who to love and who to let go. As sexual desire battles with real life and family, can she make the right choice?


Just how far is she willing to go?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Launch Day for The Library by Best Selling Author Carmen DeSousa

Available from 5 Prince Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Ghosts
Release Date: December 12, 2013
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-000-8  ISBN 10: 163112000X
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-001-5     ISBN 10: 1631120018


The Library
When Mark Waters decided to be a detective, he didn't plan to investigate ghosts.

But as he sifts through evidence of a supposed suicide by train, he learns a murder that took place eighty years ago may directly affect his case.

Six months after the strange occurrences at The Depot, there’s another murder. This time, The Library holds secrets of several murders, and the dead won’t rest until the murderer checks out too.



About Carmen DeSousa
A romantic-suspense writer, Carmen writes novels that overflow with romance, mystery, suspense, a hint of paranormal sometimes, and of course--tragedy. After all, what would a great story be without a heartrending event setting the stage? Her sensual and gripping stories have earned bestseller status on three continents because of her ability to make readers love, laugh, cry, gasp, and hope.

Author Contact Info:
Website


Excerpt of The Library
Wade inserted the key into the deadbolt the same time he did every night. Only this time, the door glided open as though some unseen force had invited him inside. The house was quiet. Too quiet. Usually he’d hear the sound of the TV, a kitchen timer alerting that dinner was ready, or the constant boom from the stereo upstairs. But this evening, tomblike silence greeted him.
She’d threatened to leave; he just hadn’t believed her. After all, she’d been grumbling that same nonsense for twenty-two years. A romantic getaway for two would straighten her out.
Their only child was going off to grad school in a few weeks. So for the first time in their marriage, they’d be childless. His life had changed the night she told him she was pregnant two weeks away from high school graduation, but it hadn’t stopped him from working his butt off to accomplish his dreams. Yeah, he had to work two jobs, go to night school, and function without sleep, but they’d made it. They had a beautiful house in Edenbury, Pennsylvania, two stylish vehicles in the driveway, and their daughter was heading off to Harvard.
And as soon as he finalized the contract he’d been working on for the last year, Wade could take Vanessa on as many getaways as she wanted. He’d cashed the first check on his way home. Just the first installment was more than they’d made their first ten years of marriage. That’d get her eyes twinkling again.
Burnt meatloaf singed his nostrils as he ventured into the kitchen in search of his wife. She killed their dinner again. His wife would get so busy typing she’d forget everything around her.
He turned off the oven, but left the charcoaled mess inside. Last thing he needed was the new smoke detector he’d installed to go off, once again alerting the neighbors how often his wife nearly burned down their house.
Wade emptied his pockets of his money clip, keys, and receipts onto the credenza by the stairway, as his wife had always requested, then started upstairs. “Vanessa honey,” he called as he trudged up the wooden steps, knowing she wouldn’t hear him, but he tried anyway. He gripped onto the banister, pulling himself forward. He was too tired to climb stairs before eating. But since she always wore her headphones when she worked, she wouldn’t hear if he screamed at the top of his range.
Tugging at his tie, he pushed open their bedroom door. Maybe they could have a quick romp before dinner, get a taste of what it’ll be like to be empty nesters.
Not believing his eyes, he launched headfirst toward his wife. “No!” he screamed.

Out of his peripherals, he saw the long black rod, but it was too late to react. The light extinguished the moment the object made contact with his skull, leaving him in a pit of blackness, a nightmare he’d never escape.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Beautiful Cover, check it out!

COMING SOON!!!!


Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Ghosts
Release Date: December 12, 2013
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-000-8  ISBN 10: 163112000X
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-001-5     ISBN 10: 1631120018


The Library
When Mark Waters decided to be a detective, he didn't plan to investigate ghosts.

But as he sifts through evidence of a supposed suicide by train, he learns a murder that took place eighty years ago may directly affect his case.


Six months after the strange occurrences at The Depot, there’s another murder. This time, The Library holds secrets of several murders, and the dead won’t rest until the murderer checks out too. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Launch Day For Rebekah's Quilt by Author Sara Barnard


Available from 5 Prince Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Release Date: November 14, 2013
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-83-7   ISBN 10: 1-939217-83-0
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-84-4     ISBN 10: 1-939217-84-9





Who can Rebekah trust when the line between English and Amish becomes blurred?

An Amish Settlement. An English stranger. The Blizzard of 1888.

Rebekah's mother, Elnora Stoll, is the finest quilter in all of Gasthof Village but it seems Rebekah has inherited none of her skill. It's not until the arrival of a mysterious English stranger that a lifetime of questions are answered and Rebekah, her special friend Joseph Graber, and the entire settlement of Gasthof Village learn the true meaning of what it truly means to be Amish.


Sara Barnard, who was most likely born into the wrong century, is mother to four awesome children. In addition to Rebekah’s Quilt, she has authored the historical romance Everlasting Heart series, consisting of bestselling A Heart on Hold, which was also a 2012 RONE award finalist, A Heart Broken, A Heart at Home, and A Heart Forever Wild – all from 5 Prince Publishing. She also writes for the younger among us. Chunky Sugars is a picture book from 5 Prince Kids and her independently published children’s nonfiction titles, The ABC’s of Oklahoma Plants and The Big Bad Wolf Really Isn’t so Big and Bad, have hit bestseller lists several times. She and her family make their home in the far reaches of the west Texas desert with the Javalina, mesquite trees, and of course, lots and lots of oil.


Where to find Sara:
facebook.com/sarabarnardbooks
Twitter: @TheSaraBarnard



Excerpt of Rebekah’s Quilt:
The Pike, IndianTerritory, 1868
           
            “Look Elnora!” Samuel’s German accent thickened the English words, giving them a musical feel. He pointed to the vast expanse that spread out before them. “That’s what the English call The Pike. Many are traveling west on this very road.”
            Elnora peeked out from the wagon, her eyes searching the desolate vastness. “So this is Indiana Territory.” She giggled. “I see, Samuel. Many are traveling this road.” The lack of fellow wagons was sadly apparent.
            Grinning, Samuel swiveled on the driver’s seat to look at his wife. “Perhaps they have already passed for the day.”
            “I already miss Canada,” Heloise Graber whispered when Elnora turned back toward her. “But not as much as I miss Germany.” Heloise patted the back of her boy, Joseph, who was snuggled down in the cornflower blue quilt Elnora had stitched just for him.
            Heloise looked lovingly at her son. “At only two years of age he has already crossed an ocean and three countries.”
            Elnora’s face fell as her hand fluttered to her still-flat stomach.
            Heloise, the older of the two friends, smiled. “Your time to become a mother is coming. God has a special plan for you and Samuel, I can feel it.”
            Elnora’s lips pulled back in a genuine smile. “I must say, the weather is more agreeable in Indiana Territory than Canada. I may pack the extra quilts when we stop to rest.” She swiped at a trickle of sweat as it slid down her nose.
            “You’ll do no such thing!” Heloise placed one long, thin hand on an especially fluffy blue quilt. “It may be a trifle warm, but pass those blankets over here. I’ll sit on them, they ease the rickety ride.” The women dissolved into a sea of girlish giggles. “Yours are the softest quilts of anyone else’s in the village.”
            “Take them with you when we swap wagons,” Elnora offered her fiery-tressed friend.
            Heloise shook her head, the straps on her black head covering flailing about her shoulders. “It’s not the same,” she insisted. “Part of what makes Elnora Stoll’s quilts so soft is the wonderful company that comes along with them.”
            Samuel’s quick yank on the horse reins interrupted Heloise’s compliment.
            “Lucas, is that what I think it is?” he called to Heloise’s husband in the next wagon.
            The two women stared at each other, eyes wide.
            “Ja!” Lucas called.  “Ja, it is!”
            Before Elnora could pull herself up to see the cause of the commotion, Samuel was off the driver’s seat. She peeked out to see the menfolk piling out of all the wagons. Lucas was even with Samuel, holding his hat on with one hand, and pumping the air with the other. Simon Wagler stumbled as he ran, fumbling with the black braces that looped over his shoulders and held up his britches. His wife, Sarah, nuzzled their infant Elijah, who’d let out a shriek with the sudden stop. Isaac Raber pulled on his broad-brimmed hat as Jeremiah Knepp, Simeon Odon, and Abraham Yoder pulled their wagons to a halt in a haphazard line. In an instant, all of the men of families who’d come so far together were running toward the remnants of an English wagon.
            Pieces of the torn canvas fluttered in a passing breeze and the box itself lay on its side, looking as though it had rolled off The Pike. Blood spatters dotted the ground around the silvery dust that refused to settle around the scene. Splintered wheels hung broken and unmoving from the axels. Beyond Samuel, she could make out the remains of a horse just over a small rise. Automatically, Elnora searched for any sign of the tell-tale arrows she’d heard so much talk of during their journey to Indian Territory. Trembling, she drew a fist to her mouth as a prayer of forgiveness for judging those she didn’t even know filled her mind.
            Heloise’s voice was solemn, as if in prayer. “God be with them.”
            The men’s chatter, broken by the shifting breezes, allowed her only fragments of their hurried conversation. Lucas’s voice was the loudest. “No survivors.” Slowly, the large German-born man trudged back to his wagon without so much as a glance toward Elnora and Heloise. Without expression, Lucas rummaged only a moment before pulling the hand-hewn spade from the wagon bed and started back toward Samuel.
            Careful not to snag her handmade purple dress on the rough wood, Elnora climbed down and made her way to the crash. She didn’t speak until she reached her husband, who took the spade from Lucas as he passed. Not a word passed between the two men, but it was as though they were of a single mind. Without hesitation, Samuel dug the sharp end of the spade into the earth, oblivious to his wife’s presence. Spadeful by spadeful, the grave dirt he turned became a small mound at his feet.
            Samuel swiped at the trails of sweat that leaked from under his broad-brimmed hat, down his neck. Beneath his arms, circles of moisture had long-stained his favorite blue shirt. Elnora’s lips tilted into a smile at the memory of their first anniversary, when she’d given him the shirt she’d made for him that matched his eyes. He had pretended not to notice that one sleeve was just a bit shorter than the other. Two years have passed since that day, and we’re still without child...
            Finally, Elnora spoke, her voice but a meek whisper. “May I tidy them before their burials?”
            Samuel turned, revealing more fully the scene of death they’d encountered.
            Elnora’s stomach wound up in knots at the sight of the mangled, crimson-streaked arm that reached lifelessly from behind the overturned wagon, the blackness of death already visible on the fingers. A crumpled bag, obviously store bought, lay near the bloodied arm which eerily pointed at a rainbow of quilting squares that trailed the barren earth. Dipping, Elnora retrieved a bright blue square that would never become a quilt to warm a babe.
            Samuel rested Lucas’ spade against his leg and offered a downcast smile to his wife.
            Before he could speak, a shrill cry broke the solemn silence.
            As out of place as the cry was among the sea of death, Elnora recognized the sound in an instant. An infant’s cry. Eyes searching the terrain, her gaze fixed on a lone, scrubby bush. A wail pierced the air again. Tucking the English square deep into her dress pocket, Elnora reached the bush in a moment, her hands clawing and searching through the summer leaf litter. Finally, something warm brushed her fingertips.
            Cradling the English baby in her arms, Elnora rose to face the throng of women who had gathered to witness the unfolding miracle. “It’s a girl,” she proclaimed.
            Sarah Wagler’s mouth hung agape as she bounced Elijah absently on her hip, and  the other Amish wives and mothers from the wagon train allowed tiny smiles to creep onto their solemn lips. Even the men folk paused.
            Elnora’s awestruck voice was uncharacteristically robust. “Not a scratch on her! Not a bruise, not a drop of blood!”
            Heloise, toting wide-eyed Joseph in her arms, stepped forward to get a better look.
            Elnora’s voice took on the soft shushing of a new mother as she rocked the squirming infant. “Hush now, sweet one. You’re safe now.”
            “You’re a natural,” Heloise observed, a twinkle in her eyes. “Look how she’s already calming. She feels safe.”
            She is safe, Elnora thought, unable to tear her gaze from the tiny girl. Safe with me. Safe with us.        “Come,” Heloise whispered. “Get her to the wagon and out of this sun.”
            Sarah fell in step beside her friend, her blue eyes also transfixed on the English baby. “It’s a miracle she wasn’t injured ... or worse.”
            “I have extra goat’s milk that I boiled for Katie and Annie,” Katherine Knepp cooed as she and the other women joined them. “This little one must eat.”
            Esther Odon nodded. “I have some girl clothes she can have.” Dinah Yoder placed her arm around Esther’s shoulders. The memory of Esther’s hard labor on the trail that had resulted in a stillborn baby girl was a raw one in all the women’s minds.
            Tears pricked Elnora’s eyes. “Thank you. Thank you all.”
            Day turned quickly to night as the Amish women fawned over the tiny infant that seemed to have come straight from heaven, leaving the men to finish the burials by moonlight.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Launch Day for Unforgiving Plains




Available from 5 Prince Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com
Genre: Fiction/Romance/Contemporary/Western
Release Date: October 24, 2013
Digital ISBN 13:978-1-99217-67-7  ISBN 10: 1-939217-67-9
Print ISBN 13:978-1-939217-68-4  ISBN 10: 1-939217-68-7








Unforgiving Plains:
Rayna Fields is a successful realtor in Calgary, but when she receives a visit from a lawyer, her whole life is turned upside down.

She hasn't seen or heard from her father in twenty years. Not since her mother packed her and their belongings in a truck and drove off Fieldstone Ranch. Now, she has to make her way to Foremost, Alberta, the "wild west" of Canada and deal with the dilapidated ranch that was left to her by her estranged father.

Struggling with her feelings towards her father who has passed on, a ranch in financial distress, and other problems that crop up along the way, Rayna turns to the one person willing to help; Vince, the hired hand. But will his past destroy everything she's worked towards? And will she be able to forgive, and find beauty in Alberta's wild plains?





Christine has been writing stories since she could put pen to paper and form words. Now, fifteen years later, her debut novel is scheduled to be released and her second book is in the works.
Christine has spent the better half of her life owning and working with horses, and these four legged companions often find their way into her stories. After all, no work of women’s fiction would be complete without a horse or two. ;)
She currently makes her home in the center of the world—no, really. Look at an atlas







Excerpt of Unforgiving Plains:
Rayna reached for the radio dial and turned up the music as her car flew down Red Coat Trail at 110 km per hour. She had left the mountains far behind her, and the road spanning in front had the slow rise and fall of hills that spoke of their own special majesty. To anyone else driving through Alberta, they might have been struck by the beauty, but it was lost on Rayna. Her mind was far away, preoccupied with thoughts that didn’t involve sight-seeing.
Slowing down just enough to make a turn, she directed her car onto a gravel road. Consulting the written directions on her passenger seat, Rayna saw that it was a straight shot to the ranch from here. Just a few more miles and her long journey would be over, It didn’t bring her any relief.
Driving down the gravel road brought with it no memories. Rayna didn’t really know what to expect, but she had thought there would be more than this nothingness, not even the slightest hint of sentiment or twinge of recognition. Nothing here looked familiar, and yet, this had been her home for the first five years of her life.
News of her father’s death, if he could really be called that, had come last week in the form of legal documents. Craig Fields had died at the young age of 52 from a heart attack. “Worked himself to death most likely,” was what Carol, her mother, had said. Regardless, he had left everything to Rayna, his daughter, whom he hadn’t seen or spoken to in twenty years. It had been a shock for her. Carol had just nodded and encouraged her with a slight smile. He was trying to do right by her, her mother had offered. Great time to start, thought Rayna, bitterly, as she continued driving down the gravel road that seemed to stretch on forever.
Rayna never knew what had happened between her parents. There was no love lost between them; that was certain. Her mother hadn't wasted a single tear upon hearing of her ex-husband's death. And Rayna followed her example; having lived her life without a father, she felt no loss. It might as well have been a stranger that had died for all the emotion she felt.
Now she found herself driving unfamiliar gravel roads near Foremost Alberta. She cringed as gravel pinged off her car, likely peppering the paint with little chips. A cloud of dust followed her, wafting over the rolling hills. She had driven through farmland, but now, as she entered the plains, she was in ranching territory. Wild prairie grass swayed in the light breeze and the occasional antelope bounding across the coulees lent the area an exotic air that could not be ignored. She hadn't seen much of this in the province she had grown up in. She was more familiar with the busy city of Calgary and the untamed mountains of Banff and Canmore. She suspected the Alberta plains held their own form of wildness.
Twenty years ago she had left, her mother loading her and their belongings in the truck and driving away. They never once looked back. Her mother, Carol, had always said that the people that lived here were a special breed: hard working and secluded. It wasn’t unheard of to be snowed in or to have roads washed out and be stranded on a farm or ranch for weeks at a time. But they were happy, content with life. Watching the passing scenery Rayna wondered if it had been the land that her mother had run from in all its beauty and hidden trials.
Rayna slowed her car down at the sight of a weather beaten sign swaying on its arch. The words Fieldstone Ranch could barely be made out. "I hope that's not an indication of the shape the rest of the place is in," she mumbled under her breath.
Fenced in pasture bordered the driveway that had no visible end, but after cresting a couple coulees the house could be seen on the next ridge. Horses grazed at the bottom of a valley and a wide, lazy stream flowed through the middle.
Despite the gravel dust cloud that chased her, Rayna couldn't help but feel awe over the beauty of her father's property.
Pulling into the yard, it became apparent that the sign at the entrance to the ranch was an accurate warning to the shape of the rest of the property. The paint on the white clapboard house was peeling and she could see where the sunbaked shingles were peeling back. The barn wasn't in any better shape; boards were loose and falling off and the door hung at an angle, attesting to the fact it wouldn't close. Any beauty she had thought she had seen was gone. Now all she saw was a rundown home that held very little worth. And to top it all off, it was now her problem.
Rayna parked the car and stepped out. The air was crisp and clean here despite the early summer heat, and the chirping birds made relaxing background music. The sound of her car door slamming announced her arrival, and a dog ran out from behind the barn, barking and jumping.
“Down!” shouted Rayna, moving away from the dirty animal’s bounding paws.
The dog seemed to comply and left her alone but followed close to her feet as if to supervise while she walked across the yard. Gravel crunched beneath her heels as she walked towards the house, and not for the first time, she wished she had worn more comfortable shoes, but she had come straight from work and hadn’t thought to change.
She hesitantly opened the door. It squealed loudly in protest on rusty hinges and made Rayna shiver despite the warm weather. Stepping in, she looked around. The house was in good repair inside, but it was messy. Dust could be seen floating in the sunbeams, layering the windowsills and every other unused surface. Dirty dishes filled the kitchen sink and mail lay strewn across the kitchen table. Rustic oak floors had muddy paw and boot prints and various food spills. It was a typical bachelor’s residence.
Rayna wandered around the small house, trailing her hand across surfaces, picking up dust on her fingertips. She tried to remember something about this place that had once been her home, anything, but she might have well been walking these floors for the first time.
Opening doors, she peered into two bedrooms and a tiny bathroom. It would take a lot of repairs and a little seller’s flare. Something like, “a quaint country home with lots of character.” It sounded nice, but basically meant it was a dump.
Rayna walked back to the kitchen and put a kettle of water on the stove to boil. She’d need to look around a bit more, get a feel for the place, but she needed a break first. Searching through the cupboards she managed to find a clean mug and some dusty tea bags with no label.
Mystery tea, lovely, she thought, a wry smile lighting her face in an attempt to stay positive. At least the sparse cupboards meant she wouldn’t have to pack up much.
The kettle whistled, sounding like a sick, dying bird.
Pouring the boiling water over her mystery tea bag, Rayna took her mug and sat at the kitchen table. Who was this man who had abandoned her? And why had he left all his earthly possessions to her? Perhaps it was out of guilt, or there really was no one else to give it to. She knew nothing of her father; he could have been a hermit for all she knew. A small part of her had thought that he might have re-married and had more kids which was why he had stayed out of her life, but all the evidence said otherwise.
“What are you doing here?” boomed a voice from behind her.
Rayna jolted, rudely ripped from her thoughts, surprised that someone else was here. The sudden movement caused her to tip over her mug, spilling hot tea all over her lap. She jumped up, shrieking in surprise and pain, trying to brush the burning liquid off with no success.
As suddenly as the burning sensation had begun it was gone and replaced with the cold wet of water. Rayna stood still, in shock, water dripping from her shirt and skirt. She looked up at the man who seemed to have lost all anger and now wore a concerned look on his face.  An empty bowl hung uselessly from his hand. Recovering from her shock, Rayna glared at the man. “What is your problem?” she shouted. “Sneaking up on me and then throwing water all over me?”
The man grinned and cleared his throat. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t expecting anyone to be here.”
“Who are you and what are you doing here? This is my property.”
“So you’re the daughter.” Understanding lit his eyes. Pulling off an old, weather beaten leather glove, he extended his hand. Rayna gingerly accepted it, feeling his firm grip and rough skin chafe against her own.
“The name is Vince. I’m the hired hand.”
“Rayna. I suppose I should thank you for sticking around and keeping things in order for me.”
Vince smiled and Rayna knew the bitterness in her voice had not gone unnoticed. “I’m not looking for any thanks, just doing my job. How about you get something dry on and I give you a tour of your new place? And I’d put on some more comfortable shoes if I were you.”
Rayna grimaced, she had come here to see the place, but she didn’t really want to go with this cowboy. “I left all my things at my hotel in town. I had no intention of staying here,” she said, looking for an excuse.
“Well then, perhaps we can rustle something up, if you’re interested in the tour, that is.”
He just wasn’t letting it go. Couldn’t he take a hint? “How about I come back tomorrow morning? I’m a bit tired from the drive up.”
“Fair enough.”
Rayna forced a smile, glad he had let it go, and walked past Vince and out the door. He turned to follow her, jogging past to open the car door. Great, a gentleman. Just what she needed.
Crouching in, she fastened her seat belt and looked up at the dirty man leaning on the door of her Audi.
“I’ll see you tomorrow then.”
Vince nodded and stood up. “Drive safe,” he said as he shut the door.
Rayna whipped her car around, eager to be gone from the ranch and all the questions that came with it. She’d be more than happy to sell the place and be done with it, forever erasing her father from her life.
Arriving back in the town of Foremost a half hour later, she parked her car outside the small motel and retreated to her room.
It was clean, that much could be said, but other than that it was a cheap motel room and nothing more. Rayna wasn’t exactly thrilled about staying here for the week or two it would take to set her father’s affairs in order, but in a small town like Foremost, there weren’t exactly a lot of options.
Changing out of her damp clothes, she jumped into the shower to wash off the layer of gravel dust that seemed to suck all the moisture from her skin.
It wasn’t late, but Rayna was exhausted. She had worked all morning and part of the afternoon before making the four hour drive out here. But, as much as she wanted to fall into bed, she needed to find something to eat. The hotel had a small bar attached and feeling inclined to stay close to home, Rayna decided it was a good enough option.
Slipping on some clean, dry clothes, she walked around the outside of the building to the front where she entered the dimly lit bar.
It was a lot fuller than she expected for seven or so in the evening, but there was likely no better place to go once the day’s work was done. Her short drive through town certainly hadn’t shown any evidence of anything better.
Finding a seat in a far booth in an attempt to avoid human contact, Rayna waited for a server to appear.
A bubbly blonde with a swaying ponytail came over. She handed Rayna a menu with a broad smile.
“Will anyone be joining you?” she asked.
Rayna shook her head. “It’s just me.”
“Well then, can I get you something to drink?”
Rayna perused the drink menu for a moment. “I’ll have a glass of the chardonnay and a chicken burger.”
“Sure thing. Fries or Caesar on the side?”
“Caesar.”
“I’ll be right out with that then.”
The waitress walked away, Rayna watching her as she stopped and greeted a table full of boys, likely friends of hers.
Rayna sighed and wished the waitress had offered her water to start. Anything to quench her dry throat. There was no moisture here. Everything felt dusty. Even her skin was starting to feel too small for her body, only adding to her feelings of discomfort, and she’d only been in the ass end of Alberta for a few hours.
It took a good ten minutes to get her wine and the waitress promised again that she’d be right out with her food. Rayna smiled and nodded, but didn’t put much faith in the waitress’ promise. In her experience bar food was never fast.
By the time her burger came, Rayna had finished her wine and just about used up her last drop of patience. She hated this little town more and more with every passing minute. Already it felt like she had been here two hours too long.
“Anything else I can get you?”
Rayna was tempted to get another glass of wine but the thought of delaying her acquaintance with the motel bed had her shaking her head. “No thanks.”
Finishing off her burger and grudgingly admitting to herself that it was actually quite good, she settled her bill and headed back to her room.
Rayna lay in bed, attempting to drift off to sleep, but despite her exhaustion, she was plagued with thoughts of her father’s ranch. How would she stage it? What could she ask for it? She had no real idea what ranches were worth or what the market was for them. And what would she do with the cattle? Did she sell them with the property? Horses? So many questions, some of which she hoped Vince could answer. But that was tomorrow, and tonight the only answer she needed was the one to her prayer for sleep.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Can't wait for Book 3 of The Iiona the Hun trilogy!


Release Date: December 12, 2013
Digital ISBN 13:978-1-939217-87-5  ISBN 10: 1-939217-87-3
Print ISBN 13:978-1-939217-88-2  ISBN 10: 1-939217-88-1

A woman who embraces her birthright, uncovers secrets and alters her destiny


Destiny Altered, book three of Ilona the Hun trilogy.
In book one and two of Ilona the Hun trilogy, Ilona is an emergency room doctor, born into an ancient Hun tribe which still exists hidden amongst us with its strict and fiercely enforced rules. She discovers growing magical abilities within her that are beyond her wildest dreams. She can use her given gifts for absolute good or absolute evil. She made her choice.
The readers said,
“Brilliantly sets the stage for a fantasy saga about complex characters, relationships, love, secret society and ancient traditions.”
“I found Ilona to be tough, smart, and entertaining. Szabo manages to create the complete woman”

In the third book of the trilogy, Ilona unveils the hidden secrets and finds out who is trying to alter her destiny in order to gain full power. With the help of her adopted family, her true love and her ancestors, Ilona grows into a woman she was meant to be. The future of the Huns and the happiness of her family depend on her decisions, but the weight of this tremendous responsibility makes her stronger instead of breaking her as her enemy hoped. Could she change her destiny? Will she succeed in saving the future? Will she find the happiness she’s been longing for? 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Look what is coming soon!




Genre: Fiction/Romance/Contemporary
Release Date: January 30, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-95-0   ISBN 10: 1-939217-95-4
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-96-7     ISBN 10: 1-939217-96-2


Unrequited love is the biggest heartache…
Lily and Adam have been best friends since the dawn of time.  Well, the dawn of their time.  Okay…since primary school actually.  Everyone accepted them as best friends.  Until one day, aged 18, Lily made a fateful discovery.  She was head over heels in love.
With Adam.

Her unrequited feelings are hard to deal with initially but become even harder when Lily inadvertently introduces him to the love of his life.  It all started as a bit of a joke thanks to the other woman's name.

Eve.

Many years later and Adam is once again single and heartbroken and Lily is there to help him pick up the pieces.  Her methods are sometimes a little unorthodox and lead to ridiculous consequences. 

Can Lily help Adam move on and find happiness again?  And can either of the friends recover from losing the love of their lives?


Sometimes the one thing you want is way out of reach.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Check this out!!!! Coming Soon!


Genre: Fiction/Romance/Historical
Release Date: January 9, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-93-6   ISBN 10: 1-939217-93-8
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-94-3     ISBN 10: 1-939217-94-6


A single day shattered her life and set in motion, events that would change the Sullivan family for generations.

Marnie Joe Sullivan had the perfect life as the daughter of a wealthy Virginia businessman, but perfection wouldn't last. As the War Between the States ends, she is struggling to keep her family together. After a botched robbery, fleeing rebels leave her mother dead and Marnie at the mercy of a killer. The year is 1867 and Virginia is still home to Confederate conspirators and a killer that must be stopped. Loyalty and love run deep in the Sullivan family and Marnie is no exception. As the eldest Sullivan, she feels obligated to rescue her father from the hangman’s noose. But a jailbreak at midnight lands her in the arms of Marshal Mason Kane.
Death is never fair. Mason Kane is proof of that. The horror of war and the death of his brother made him a drunk. Consumed by guilt and grief, he finds himself occupying Richmond saloons and starting fights. But a forgotten promise to his brother forces him to put down the bottle and accept a friend’s plea for help. Mason has no idea that the scrawny, mud covered boy he just hit is Sullivan’s daughter and he has no idea just how tempting she is until he tries to mend her wounds. Bound by honor and promise, Mason sets out to find a killer. What he finds is the outlaw Marnie Sullivan. A woman he can’t live without and secrets that lie in the way.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Keller Family series continues with Love Songs.

Available from 5 Prince Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: October 3, 2013
Digital ISBN 13:978-1-939217-77-6 ISBN 10: 1-939217-77-6
Print ISBN 13:978-1-939217-78-3 ISBN 10: 1-939217-78-4


Love Songs:

Warner Wright is looking for that big break into country music, but the reputation of his ex-stepmother is getting doors slammed in his face. But when he hears the angelic voice of Clara Keller—he knows she’ll be his ticket.

When the talented Clara Keller and the sometimes awkward Warner Wright get together there is a spark even bigger than Nashville. Opportunity is going to knock on their door, but fame can be a tricky bedfellow.

Making beautiful music will be the easy part.  Facing Warner’s past might corrupt them both.


 About Bernadette Marie:
Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends. Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter. At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years.
In 2007—after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children—Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published. That year she wrote 12 books. In 2009 she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born. In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released her own contemporary titles. She also quickly began the process of taking on other authors in other genres.
In 2012 Bernadette Marie began to find herself on the bestsellers lists of iTunes, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble to name a few. Her office wall is lined with colorful PostIt notes with the titles of books she will be releasing in the very near future, with hope that they too will grace the bestsellers lists.
Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events—usually hockey. She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. An avid reader, she enjoys contemporary romances with humor and happily ever afters.

How to reach the author: 
@writesromance on Twitter


Excerpt of Love Songs: Chapter 1

Could the sun possibly be any hotter, or brighter, or…
Warner’s brakes screeched as he came to a stop at the stoplight he’d nearly run though. The glare from the hood of his Ford was blinding. The sweat on his neck was annoying. And the fact that he’d just been told he had no talent, well that was pissing him off.
He had talent. He had a butt-load of talent. Warner Wright had performed on every stage in Nashville. Oh, he’d performed with some of the biggest names when they were begging for a job.
He let out a breath. So why had he been passed up?
Oh he knew why!
The reputation of his family came long before he started trying to sell his songs. One thing about being the ex-stepson of Patricia Little, was all of Nashville knew she was trouble. And even if you were a thirty year old man, and you hadn’t had the woman in your life since your own father committed suicide when you were twelve, those things stick in the minds of some. It didn’t help that after his father’s death, she married a little bigger—a little richer—and soon she’d made it into the bed of The Ox, Harley Oxbury. The only problem was he was Nashville royalty—and married to Nashville royalty. The legend was when Christine Eaden found out about Harley and Patricia she put a shotgun to his head and threatened to dis-“member” him.
Did it matter to the world that his ex-stepmother took down one of Nashville’s icons? Oh, yeah. The Ox lost his career. Record companies didn’t want him anymore. The public didn’t want to see his shows. There wasn’t a product willing to put his name out front. Patricia Little had ruined the icon and her reputation, twenty years later, she was tarnishing his.
Perhaps he needed to change his name.
That was stupid. His name was fine. The woman was only his step mother for two years. By now the town should have forgotten the men she left in her path. Well they probably would have if she hadn’t gone on TV and done one of those reality shows where Warner’s picture was prominently displayed on her mantel as some kind of trophy of the husbands and “other’s” children she left in her wake. And hadn’t he asked the producers to take that down? Only a million times.
Well, some people were meant to be on stage and some in the behind the scenes. The guitar on the passenger seat was a reminder that he was one of them.
Although Jordan Farr, the head of Master Records, told him if he could get a voice to back up his music, maybe the world would start to see past his relation to Patricia Little. That had been the most positive feedback he’d received yet.
The light turned green and Warner eased off the clutch and onto the gas. The truck hiccupped and then picked up speed.
But in Nashville afternoon traffic, he didn’t make it far. Warner eased to a stop at the next light.
He could hear the music which the city had been built on. It poured out of the stores and the bars. But this music was closer and the voice wasn’t Carrie Underwood’s or Miranda Lambert’s. No this was fresh, sweet, original, and very close.
Warner turned his head to the right and spotted a woman in a Jeep tapping her fingers on the steering wheel. The song wasn’t one he’d heard on the radio. It wasn’t a karaoke cut either. No, she was singing to someone’s music, and she was magnificent.
She turned her head as if she might have felt his stare. Her dark hair was pulled back in a ponytail. The aviator glasses shielding her eyes reflected his beat-up blue pickup truck.
She stopped singing and smiled. And it wasn’t just any smile. It was the kind that came with a wink, if he could have seen her eyes.
That moment nearly stopped his heart, just as her voice had. If he had her by his side then the doors of this town would open up to him.
The woman eased through the intersection and turned right at the next light.
He had to follow.
Warner checked his mirrors and quickly changed lanes. It was a close call with a Mustang, of all things, and the driver flipped him the middle finger. But he had to keep her in his sight.
He made a right, but her Jeep wasn’t on the street.
“Damn!” He smacked the steering wheel.
But just then he saw the Jeep. The woman was climbing out of it.
Warner made a U-turn, again causing a car to blare its horn at him and a driver to flip him off. The heat must be getting to everyone. They were all in such a nasty mood.
She’d parked in front of a theater and was jogging up the steps.
Warner screeched to a halt in the middle of the street and pulled his brake. The woman turned around on the steps of the theater and stopped.
He climbed across the bench seat to the passenger door and hung his head out the window.
“Hey,” he yelled like some back woods yokel.
“Hey, yourself.” She had an accent. She was native and that might be iffy. If she grew up in Nashville then she knew all about the shame of his family. But he’d let that find its own moment. This one was his.
“I’m not stalking you. I swear.”
“If you say so,” she said slowly, but she didn’t make a move toward the street and he didn’t blame her.
“I heard you singing. You’re freaking amazing.”
She laughed and her ponytail waved behind her. “I appreciate that.”
“No, really. I know what I’m talking about.” He tried to open the door, but it wasn’t going so well.
She’d taken another step toward the door. He was losing her.
“Wait. I want to talk to you.” Finally he managed the handle and nearly fell out of the truck, which he’d left running
The woman had made it to the top of the steps and gripped the knob on the front door of the theater.
“I’m not crazy. Please hear me out,” he was begging, but at least common sense had kicked in enough and he stopped moving toward her. “I’m a song writer. I’m looking for a voice.”
The woman nodded slowly, but she didn’t make any more moves to run away. That was a positive sign, wasn’t it?
“What’s your name?” she called down to him.
“Warner. Warner Wright.”
“Warner Wright the song writer? Cute.”
“No, that’s really my name.” He took one step further toward the curb. “You have an amazing voice.”
She looked at the watch on her wrist then back up at him. “You gathered that from hearing me in my truck?”
“Yes.”
Again, she nodded slowly. “Listen, I’m going to be late. If you want to come in and sit that’s fine. But I’m out of time for talking on the street.”
She opened the door to the theater and walked inside.
Warner started for the door and then the grumbling of his truck caught his attention. God, was he this desperate?
He hurried back to the truck, climbed in, and parked it down the street.

Clara locked her purse up in her aunt’s office and headed for rehearsal. The man in the street had scared the hell out of her at first, but she’d lived in Nashville her whole life. Every song writer thought they had what it took to make it big. Some of them got desperate enough to hunt down talent. But she’d never heard of this approach.
He hadn’t come inside. Perhaps he’d given up. All the same, she had her cell phone in her pocket. The theater had once been gutted by fire because of a psycho man. She didn’t care to see that repeated.
On the stage was a small ensemble waiting for her arrival. Behind them, the set to West Side Story was being repositioned for the weekend’s production.
“Thought you gave up on us,” Duke shouted from the piano. “You only have four shows left. Don’t give up now,” he laughed.
“The only reason I wouldn’t show up is because it’s too damn hot in here,” she said as she made it to the side of the stage. She walked up the stairs and joined the others.
Duke gave her a nod. “Let’s just take it from the top and work the songs. Arianna wants these last four shows to be sharp.”
They had only started the first song when the door opened and Warner walked into the theater. Why she thought he might be a threat she didn’t know because looking at him now she thought he looked like the biggest nerd she’d ever seen.
His jeans were worn, his shirt was untucked, and his thick blond hair was messed up something awful. More than likely he’d been driving all day with his windows down.
He’d helped himself to a seat in the back and just listened as they practiced. Well, she thought, if he liked what he heard in the car wait till he heard her sing as Maria.

Warner wondered how long he’d sat in that theater, alone. He was familiar with the musical—very familiar. They’d just finished the number Somewhere. Damn, he’d listened to nearly the entire musical. But that voice. She had the goods!
“She’s something, huh?”
Warner jumped in his seat and looked at the man next to him. Quickly he got to his feet. “Um, yes. She’s amazing.”
“That’s my niece.”
“She has a fantastic voice.” Warner turned to the man and held out his hand. He didn’t want this man to think he was crazy. “I’m Warner Wright. I’m a song writer. I heard her sing in the street and wanted to talk to her.”
The man nodded. “John Forrester.” He turned and looked at the woman he’d followed into the theater. “She doesn’t know you?”
“No, sir. But I’m not stalking her. I just wanted to talk to her about singing.”
John nodded slowly again and pulled his hand back. “She’s trained with a gun.”
Warner swallowed hard. “Most women in Tennessee are, sir.”
That made John laugh. “True enough.” He patted Warner on the shoulder. “She’s almost through.”
He gave him a smile and then looked toward the stage and gave his niece a glance. A million words were said between them in that moment, he wondered what they were.
Warner sat back down in his seat and listened as they finished the rest of the show.
To say he was moved would be an understatement. A piano and a dozen voices could do amazing things.
When the group stood up they all began to talk. This was a family, a musical family. One brought together by a common love and the current show they produced together.
It had been years since Warner was in musical theater, but you never forgot the feeling.
The woman he’d followed walked away from the group and was headed toward him. Her thumbs were tucked into the front pockets of her cutoff jeans.
The eyes that had hid behind the shiny aviators, which were now hung from the front of her tank top, were dark brown.
Warner quickly stood.
“You followed me all the way in here and listened to rehearsal?” Her accent was drawn out.
“Yes. I have to say, you’re amazing.”
The woman nodded slowly, just as her uncle had done. “You’ve said that, but thank you.” She looked down at her bare toes in the sandals she wore and wiggled them. The middle ones had rings on them. “Is that all you wanted to tell me?”
“Yes. No. I—is there somewhere we can talk?”
She looked around. “What’s wrong with here?”
“Right. Listen, I’m a song writer and I’m looking for a voice to demo my work.”
“And you’re looking for lessons?”
Warner raked his fingers through his hair. It was getting much too long. He looked down at his attire. God, she must think I’m a hobo.
“No. I’m not looking for lessons. I’m looking for someone to do the vocals.”
“And you want me to do that?”
He smiled. Finally they were on the same page. “Yes.”
“I see. Mr. Wright, I’m very busy with the theater right now. I just don’t…”
“Would you just look at them?” He was so desperate he was hunting down strangers to sing his songs. This was embarrassing. “Please. Maybe just a few hours with me and you could see what you think.”
“You don’t even know my name.”
He dropped his shoulders. He was desperate.
He held out his hand to shake hers. “Again, I’m Warner Wright.”
She smiled and took his hand. Her grip was firm. There was no messing around with this one. “Clara Keller.”
“Ms. Keller, I would appreciate a moment of your time to show you my work.”
She pulled her hand back, tucked it into her back pocket and gave him a regarding look.
“Do you know where the Riverside Building is?”
He raised his eyebrow. “Doesn’t everyone? This is Nashville.”
She chuckled. “There is a Starbucks on the main floor. I’ll meet you there tomorrow at ten.”
“Tomorrow at ten. Starbucks. Riverside Building.”
“Will that work?”
He nodded. “Thank you. Can I take you out for a drink tonight? No business, just get to know you?”
Clara pulled her phone out of her back pocket. “Thanks, but I have one guilty pleasure and its on TV tonight.”
A bead of sweat rolled down the back of his neck. He forced a smile. “What might that be?”
“Reality TV at its worst. Every heard of Nashville Ex-wives Club?”
He knew the blood had just drained out of his head. Damn if he fainted this would be over.
“I’ve heard of it.”
“Never miss a one. That Little woman is such trash she makes me laugh. But I’ll see you tomorrow. Ten.”
He only nodded as Clara left the theater.
Well, this was over. Once Clara found out about his connection with Patricia Little she too would exit stage left.
Warner left the theater just in time to see a tow truck drive away with his pickup.
It was official—Nashville hated him.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

You are going to love Little Spoon by Sara Barnard.....





Available from 5 Prince Publishing Kids www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com
Genre: Fiction / Fairy Tales / Children’s
Release Date: September 26, 2013
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-85-1   ISBN 10: 1-939217-85-7
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-86-8      ISBN 10: 1-939217-86-5


Little Spoon
The only way to achieve your dreams is just to be yourself.

19th Century Navajo preschooler Walks With A Stumble wants nothing more than to be a great chef someday.  The only problem is, well, he walks with a stumble. After trying to help only to lose most of his family’s food stores for the winter, Walks With A Stumble learns that the only way to achieve your dreams is to just be yourself. 



Sara Barnard has been reading children’s books since she was a little girl, and she’s been reading books to her own four children their entire lives. Sara is the author of several other children’s books and she writes for grown-ups, too. Sara, her handsome husband, and their four beautiful children make their home in the far reaches of west Texas with the pumpjacks and the jackalopes ... along with their zoo of rescue animals.


@TheSaraBarnard 


Now doesn't this just sound like a fun little book?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Have you seen the cover to Courting Darkness yet?

Of course you haven't. Here is the third book in the Redemption Series By Melynda Price.
Genre: Fiction / Romance/ Paranormal
Release Date: January 23, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-91-2  ISBN 10: 1-939217-91-1
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-939217-92-9     ISBN 10: 1-939217-92-X

She’s captured the hearts of Heaven and Hell…

Betrayed by her true love, Olivia cannot let go of the angel her mind doesn’t remember, and her heart refuses to forget. In an attempt to reclaim her broken life, she is determined to unearth her past, but some secrets are better left buried.

To save her life, he sacrificed everything. Universal Law was broken when Liam violated Olivia’s free will. His guardianship has been revoked, and the pain of letting her go is nothing compared to the torture of enduring their shattered bond. He can no longer sense her, no longer feel her, and the enemy he risked it all to save her from, now has free reign to claim her for his own. To get her back, Liam must turn away from all he is, all he was, for the one thing he may have already lost forever—Olivia’s love.

Haden will stop at nothing to possess Immanuel’s Stone, and locked away in Olivia’s memories is the key he needs to find it. But in his quest for vengeance, he never expected to lose his heart to the enchanting green-eyed beauty. Forced to choose between love and revenge, Haden becomes captivated by a woman who will never be his…or will she?


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Launch Day for Author Denise Moncrief--The End

Available from 5 Prince Publishing www.5princebooks.com  books@5princebooks.com
Genre: Fiction/Romance/Suspense
Release Date: September 5, 2012
Digital ISBN 13:978-1-939217-69-1 ISBN 10: 1-939217-69-5
Print ISBN 13:978-1-939217-70-7  ISBN 10: 1-939217-70-9

The End:
Sometimes the end is only the beginning.

Almost a year after her husband dies, Ellie Marston opens the file for Tab’s last manuscript, a thriller so compelling it reads like a true story. His manuscript needs an ending, so Ellie writes the obvious conclusion. The same morning she types The End, her career as an assistant district attorney falls apart. Accused of throwing the high profile Patterson case, she resigns in disgrace. The only friend she has left in the criminal justice system is Det. Paul Santiago, a man she has worked closely with on numerous cases. While she was married to Tab, she squashed her growing feelings for Paul, determined to make her deteriorating marriage work, but circumstances after Tab’s death bring Ellie and Paul together.

Ellie’s paranoia increases as she becomes convinced Patterson is harassing her, certain that someone is searching her belongings for any hidden evidence she might have that would reopen his case. It becomes clear there was a conspiracy to release Patterson. She seeks help from her former co-worker, Presley Sinclair, but soon discovers Presley is deeply involved in the subsequent cover up. Worse yet, Tab’s affair with Presley drew him into the twisted conspiracy as well.

Together Paul and Ellie attempt to uncover the conspiracy in the District Attorney’s office, the set up that forced her to resign. The key to the mystery is hidden in the pages of Tab’s manuscript. Once Paul and Ellie come to the correct conclusion—Tab’s manuscript is a true story and Ellie’s added ending is the only logical outcome—Ellie attempts to reveal Patterson’s hidden partner in the District Attorney’s office, but the co-conspirator she uncovers is not whom she suspects. Danger swirls around her as she steps further and further into the conspirator’s trap.




Denise wrote her first story when she was in high school—seventeen hand-written pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she read. She earned a degree in accounting, giving her some nice skills to earn a little money, but her passion has always been writing. She has written numerous short stories and more than a few full-length novels. Her favorite pastimes when she’s not writing are spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and scrapbooking. She lives in Louisiana with her husband, two children, and one very chubby dog.





Excerpt of The End:
Tab’s Mac wobbled on the edge of the coffee table in front of me as my fingers tapped out the letters of the final sentence of the final scene as if they had a mind of their own. The idea for the ending had come to me in the middle of the night, and I was determined to finish the project before I forgot what I wanted to write. I hit return and then spaced down and typed The End with a flourish. I didn’t know if writers wrote that at the end of a manuscript, but I did it anyway.
I leaned back on the sofa. A smile should have formed, but it didn’t. I was pleased…but exhausted. The urge to finish Tab’s final project had been satisfied. How did he do this? The process had mutilated every one of my emotions.
He had put a lot of himself into his writing. I’d watched him, absorbed for hours on end, struggling to choose just the right word or just the right sentence structure. He’d tried for years to get an agent or a publisher to read one of his manuscripts. After numerous rejections, he’d send them to the virtual trash bin with an angry jab to the delete button. It appeared like a lot of wasted effort to me.
Thinking about Tab kicked me in the gut once again. He had been dead for almost a year, but his memory could still hit me hard when I least expected it. It’s true. You never get over losing someone you love the way I had loved him.
I was awake late one night the previous week watching Castle on a Netflix disk, when I decided it was time to read Tab’s unfinished masterpiece—well at least it would have been a masterpiece in his humble opinion—if he had discussed it with me. He never mentioned the project. I didn’t even know the manuscript existed until after the accident that took his life. If I hadn’t been searching the hard drive of his Mac for something else, I would have never known about it.
Odd. Tab wasn’t a secretive sort of guy. Was he?
So his unfinished manuscript had remained unread on the hard drive of his Mac for months. I’d put the idea of reading his final words aside, but then I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to read what he left behind.
When I opened the file, I expected to read something sentimental and just a little cheesy, something with a made-for-television happy ending. I expected to cry like a baby when I read his final words. Tab was the most dramatic man I’d ever met.
Instead, I became engrossed in a thriller that read so real I wondered if he had written a true story. All the plot needed was a realistic ending.
And the end came to me in the middle of the night.
It was done now. For better or for worse. I reached for my coffee mug and took a sip, then grimaced. The brew had gone stone cold. I rose from the sofa and slogged into the kitchen to refill my cup and stick it in the microwave. As I waited for the ready beep, the view outside my window captured my attention. A bare limb of an oak tree swayed, easily manipulated by the wind. The weather promised another gloomy, rainy day. I pulled my robe closer around me, but the chill of the morning pierced the terry cloth. I shuddered and headed for my bedroom.
My linens lay on my bed, twisted and tangled from tossing and turning. I had no desire to go to work. Finishing Tab’s masterpiece had drained my energy, and when I finally dragged my butt into the office, I would have to confront my boss. Executive Assistant District Attorney Michael Leads would not be happy with my lack of progress on the Baxter case. Into my second year as an assistant district attorney, I was well aware I had missed my calling. My confidence in the criminal justice system had disappeared. My passion for convicting the right offender put me in constant conflict with a process that had morphed over the years into a system designed for speed rather than accuracy.
With no enthusiasm, I dressed for the day. I chose my best black suit because it matched my mood, but beneath it I wore a bright, cherry red blouse. My power outfit. I needed all the chutzpah I could manage to face Leads’ wrath. It was coming at me, like a hurricane hovering off the coast trying to decide which shore was most vulnerable.
After applying a few final touches to my makeup, I zipped a brush through my hair, made a pretense of brushing my teeth, and swished an ounce of mouthwash. I held my hand over my mouth. My breath still smelled of stale coffee. I looked into the mirror and groaned, then swiped at the toothpaste stain on my lapel with a damp rag before heading toward the living room. After a few minutes of panicked searching, I found my only pair of black heels under the sofa.
I was as ready for my confrontation with Leads as I was ever going to get. My briefcase leaned next to the front door where I’d dropped it the night before. I had planned to review some case files before I went to bed, but once I closed my apartment door behind me, nothing could have motivated me to open my briefcase last night.
The ride to the office was probably the longest of my career. Lights flashed through the windows as the train passed through another station. I held tight to a strap above me because all the seats were full, always a marker of how my day would go. I was running late, and there was no hope for me.
My mind drifted. Instead of mentally listing the things I needed to accomplish at work that day, I dwelt on how I should have chosen a different path for my life and what that path would have been. Had everything I suffered to work my way through college and then law school really been for nothing?