Hannah’s Horror…A Blessing or a Curse???

hannahs-horrorUSA Today Bestselling Author, Isabella Kole, brings you this romantic mystery just in time for Halloween! Let me tell you a little bit about it! The story is made up of three vacations over the course of a summer. The first one is in Iowa, along the banks of the Mississippi. Some of the supernatural things that take place in the story actually happened to the author… The second trip is in the mountains of Tennessee, and the third takes place in Myrtle Beach. Two college girls, one with a gift she isn’t sure she wants, and their boyfriends find themselves involved in some strange and dangerous situations. This is a spicy romantic mystery.

Blurb:

A blessing or a curse? That’s what Hannah Stone can’t decide about a special gift she’s been given.

When Hannah and her best friend, Cassie, joined by their boyfriends, set out on one last fun-filled summer of vacations before beginning their senior year of college, they have no idea just how adventurous the trips are going to be.

An old inn that sits along the banks of the Mississippi holds a secret or two, and Hannah finds herself in the thick of things, much to the disapproval of her protective boyfriend. When he reveals his dominant side to her, will it turn her off or endear him to her forever?

The Smoky Mountain trip, where unknown dangers are hiding, turns out to be a life-changing experience.

And the last vacation…a relaxing beach trip…may be the one that convinces her the ‘gift’ is a rare and treasured blessing.

Excerpt:

The man watched as the car backed out and headed down the mountain. Now was the time. He’d been watching the cabin for several days. He’d thought he had it made with two young women alone there, but then those two had shown up.

He was in need of a shower and food. Roughing it in the mountains was not his idea of a good time. He’d managed to fool those two men the night before, by cleaning up in a stream, but he wanted a real, honest to goodness, steaming hot shower.

He stepped onto the deck. The hot tub looked inviting, but he had other ideas. He checked the door. Damned bitches had locked it. He took a pocketknife out of his pants pocket and jimmied it until it gave for him. Opening it quietly, he stepped inside the door, which led to the kitchen. Where were they? He looked down at the rope in his hand. Stupid boyfriends or husbands, whatever they were, had even supplied him with the rope. He laughed to himself.

Ah, the redhead was sitting in the room with the fireplace, reading. Perfect! He crept up behind her and placed his hand over her mouth. Whispering in her ear, he said, “Stay quiet, little one, and no one gets hurt. I am going to borrow your shower, and then you and your little blonde friend are going to fix me a meal. Got it?” Cassie nodded her head. He removed his hand and waited while she fought the urge to scream.

“Atta girl, now point me in the direction of the shower and get me a towel, now!”

Cassie got up on shaky legs and led him into her room. She pointed in the direction of the private bath and told him the towels were on the shelf.

“Just to make sure you don’t get any ideas about running, I am going to have to tie you up, girlie.” He came toward her with the rope. Cassie took a step back, but he was quick, and he grabbed her wrist, flung her around and sat her down hard on a chair. He tied her wrists and ankles with the rope and sneered at her as he went into the bathroom. He picked up a scarf that was on the counter and returned to the bedroom, gagging her so she couldn’t scream.

Cassie looked around. Oh God, was he Sam? Where was Hannah? She had said she wasgoing to take a nap. Damn it, Hannah, wake the hell up and go get help while he is in the bathroom!

In the next room, Hannah was still sleeping soundly. She woke slightly and could vaguely hear the shower running in Cassie’s bathroom. Why was she taking a shower now?

Groggily, she sat up and looked at the clock on the bedside table. It was eleven o’clock. The boys should be back for lunch soon. They had gone to town for something.

And then she saw her. The girl was standing at the foot of her bed. “He is here, Hannah.”

She was gone.

What? He was here? Where? He couldn’t be in the cabin. She must have meant he was here on the mountain.

Hannah went into her own bathroom and splashed her face. She brushed her teeth, applied light make up and fluffed her curls with her fingers. Then she went into the kitchen to make a fresh pot of coffee.

She was just about to pour a cup when he appeared. The man walked out of Cassie’s bedroom and said, “Oh, good, I feel like a new man after that shower, and now, you have fresh coffee all ready for me.”

“Wh-who are you? Where is Cassie? How did you…”

“Inquisitive little thing, now, ain’t you? Name is Jim.”

Buy Links:

#Kindle https://goo.gl/vNEc0j
#iBooks https://goo.gl/xiJQiC
#BlushingBooks https://goo.gl/fx1VrC

Author Bio:

  • USA Today and International bestselling author, Isabella Kole, lives in southern Indiana, where she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Always an avid romance reader, she began writing several years ago, and although she has had several sweet romances published under a different pen name, Accepting His Terms is the first erotic romance in her collection.
  • If you are a fan of Regency romance, you won’t want to miss her Loving the Nobleman series, book one, Remington’s Rules, book two, Emily’s Emergence and book three, Duchess’s Desire.
  • You can find Isabella on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Isabella-Kole-Author/580591041984962?ref=hl and on Twitter as @blushingizzy
  • isabellahannahbanner

 

Bethany Leigh…Brand Spanking New Author to Watch Out For

Bethany Leigh has just released her first two works with Blushing Books! Betrothed, a novella prequel and the follow-up, Freedom. I’m going to tell you a little about both of these  today. Great stories, both set in a compelling alternate Edwardian universe. You’ll giggle, gasp and smile as you read them, just like I did!

Betrothed

 

 Betrothed

Lady Cassandra has been warned that ‘the betrothal is the hardest thing a woman goes through’ – but it’s not until she’s caught attending a forbidden rally that she discovers the painful truth behind those words.

Blurb:

Lady Cassandra is betrothed to the man she loves – but she doesn’t think it right that he will inherit her family’s estate one day. So, with two friends, she attends a Freedom for Women League rally. Lady Margia and the Freedom for Women League are fighting for the right of women to vote, own property, and not be subject to the discipline of their menfolk.

The campaign could change Lady Cassandra’s future – but when she gets caught attending the rally, it makes her present life a lot less comfortable…

Set in the same alternate Edwardian universe as Freedom.

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Betrothed-Bethany-Leigh-ebook/dp/B018Z0TRYQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449447017&sr=8-1&keywords=bethany+leigh

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Betrothed-Bethany-Leigh-ebook/dp/B018Z0TRYQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1449447119&sr=8-2&keywords=bethany+leigh

Excerpt:

Now that we were betrothed, Edmund too had the right to punish me physically; though he still needed to obtain permission from Father, who would punish me, too. That was why Mama had warned me about the betrothal. “Even though once you’re married, your husband can bare your bottom to spank you, at least you’ll know while he’s disciplining you that there isn’t a second punishment to come,” she’d told me. “Instead, what usually comes after a marital spanking is infinitely more delicious. As you’ll find out at the Bedding Ceremony.”

I’d had a horror of the Bedding Ceremony since I was a child and attended a wedding on the other side of town. After the Wedding Ceremony, everyone had gathered at the married couple’s new home for the Wedding Feast. Before the feast was served, the groom had carried the bride over the threshold and up to their bed chamber. There had been silence in the great hall while everyone listened to the thwacks and squeals coming from upstairs. Presently, the groom had appeared on the gallery, brandishing the paddle he’d been given by the bride’s father in one hand, and a blood-stained sheet in the other. All the adults had clapped and cheered and stomped. Horrified, I’d asked Mama if the bride had been spanked until she bled; Mama had laughed, hushed me and whispered no, of course not; a good, loving husband would spank his wife hard if she displeased him, but he would never really hurt her. Later, in my bed chamber, she explained about the blood.

It still mystified me how Mama could say a husband would “never really hurt” his wife. The spankings and canings I received from Father always hurt, and they were over skirts – and I’d often heard Mama yelling and crying when Father paddled her. Yet, at every Bedding Ceremony I’d attended, the bride always looked radiant when she came down to the Feast, even if she did have to sit on a cushion.

Freedom

Freedom

 

Politics and passion collide in Edwardian England when women’s rights activist Lady Margia encounters the handsome and traditional Sir Cormac Adair.

Blurb:

Lady Margia and her Freedom for Women League are scandalising the country – demanding the right to vote, own property, and not to be spanked by their menfolk. Lady Margia is determined that her campaign will succeed – whatever the cost. But how can she reconcile her beliefs with the attraction she feels towards the traditional Sir Cormac Adair?

Meanwhile, Lady Isobelle sees Lady Margia’s campaign as her chance to inherit her family estate, and, along with her maid Edie, breaks household rules and attends a local rally.

Join Lady Margia, Lady Isobelle and Edie in an alternate Edwardian universe as they hit the campaign trail, encountering intrigue, romance, spankings and surprises along the way.

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Bethany-Leigh-ebook/dp/B018ZGS250/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1449447017&sr=8-4&keywords=bethany+leigh

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Freedom-Bethany-Leigh-ebook/dp/B018ZGS250/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1449447119&sr=8-4&keywords=bethany+leigh

Excerpt:

He joined them by the fire when Lady Drusilla had poured tea. “I understand your rally was broken up, Lady Margia,” he said.

Lady Margia nodded. “Yes, but I’d almost finished my speech, so it didn’t matter. As long as the message went out.”

Sir Cormac reached for a scone. “That’s all right for you to say, surely?”

Lady Margia sighed. “What do you mean?”

“Well, you’re one of the few women at that rally who’ll be sitting comfortably right now. I find your campaign very irresponsible, Lady Margia. You spare no thought for those women currently regretting their defiance, or for the men who really have better things to do than have to constantly police their womenfolk’s behaviour and administer punishment.”

“Then they should stick to those better things to do,” said Lady Margia, “and let women make their own decisions about their own lives.”

About the Author:

Bethany Leigh is a newbie erotic romance writer published by Blushing Books. Her first novella, Freedom, is set in a kinky alternate Edwardian era, and her second, At Dead at Night, is a murder mystery set in present-day England. Her short story anthology, A Cure for All Ills and Other Stories, will also be published by Blushing Books, and includes contemporary, historical and time-travel stories set in Australia, England and the Czech Republic.

She enjoys writing (and reading!) about strong-willed heroines crossing swords with alpha heroes.

Author links:

http://bethanyleighromance.blogspot.com.au/

Twitter: @writerbethany1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bethany-Leigh-108399886191157/

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Bethany-Leigh/e/B018Z9NLSK/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1449447482&sr=8-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isabella Kole’s Desire for Discipline series

The Desire for Discipline seriesBlushing Books has just released Isabella Kole’s third book in the Desire for Discipline series. Each book can be read as a standalone, but the story begins with Jill Lincoln in book one, moves to her sister, Janis, in the second and concludes with Lyndsey, Janis’s sister-in-law, in the conclusion. Accepting His Terms is priced at a mere $0.99, Submitting to Bryan is $2.99, and The Longing Within sells for $3.99. They are all available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Blushing Books. Below, you’ll find the blurb from each, along with the buy links. So, one-click, sit back, relax and enjoy The Desire for Discipline series.

Book #1: Accepting His Terms

Jill Lincoln has the hots for her stern, hunk of a boss, Jarrod Baine. With his piercing steel gray-blue eyes, hair as black as coal, and a body to be enjoyed, she wonders what it would be like to be his woman. But she’s only one of many who would give her eye teeth to be in his bed.

The day Jarrod rescues her from a would-be assault by a young mail clerk, she finds that he is as attracted to her as she is to him. As the two begin a relationship, it becomes very apparent to Jarrod that Jill is a nervous, high-strung lady and he searches for the best way to ease her tensions. Together they begin to form a strong bond as they experiment with discipline.

As the couple realizes their feelings run much deeper than an office affair, Jarrod asks her to be his wife. As they enter into a hot, passionate marriage, complete with the discipline, by mutual consent, a deeper emotional bond is formed that continues to grow much stronger over time.

But when Jill suffers a heartbreaking miscarriage and Jarrod is not by her side, she retreats into a deep, dark depression, turning away from the one man who can save her.

Will their bond be severed forever?

http://www.amazon.com/Accepting-His-Terms-Desire-Discipline-ebook/dp/B00FPWB1QK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/accepting-his-terms-isabella-kole/1117061855?ean=2940148463177

http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=2781

Book #2: Submitting to Bryan

Janis Lincoln found the man of her dreams in handsome co-worker, Bryan Walsh, until he tells her exactly the type of marriage he expects. She is shocked. Can she submit completely to him? A free spirit, she balks at his first attempt to discipline her.

Returning to her old college crowd and an old flame, she finds herself caught up in the club scene once more. Realizing her heart is with Bryan, she nearly loses her life before she has a chance to decide if she can be the kind of wife he wants.

When the couple announces their engagement to his parents, another storm is brewing. Janis is not the girl they’ve chosen for their son. On Thanksgiving night when Jan walks in on her fiancé and the girl his parents want their son to marry, she bolts a second time and calls off the wedding.

Will Bryan be able to convince Janis she is the only one for him? Can Janis submit completely to Bryan?

http://www.amazon.com/Submitting-Bryan-Desire-Discipline-Book-ebook/dp/B00LXM1MRY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/submitting-to-bryan-isabella-kole/1119975673?ean=2940149741601

http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=2916

Book #3: The Longing Within

The conclusion to Accepting His Terms and Submitting to Bryan, this is Lyndsey’s story. Orphaned at the age of four, Lyndsey Greene was raised by her parents’ best friends, Bob and Maeve Walsh. They’ve given her a good life and an education, but there has always been something missing, a longing she can’t quite put her finger on.

When she’s about to marry the love of her life, John Gordon, she discovers her fiancé lived the life of a Dom before he met her. When he presents the idea to her of living the lifestyle once they’re married, she agrees without qualms. Her own adopted brother and his wife practice DD in their marriage, so the idea does not frighten her. Lyndsey has the perfect balance in her life, a fulfilling career with a local publisher, where she maintains control, and her submissive life at home, where she has willingly relinquished control to John.

But when she is let go from her job with no warning, her life begins to spin out of control. She no longer has the best of both worlds and is having a hard time finding any semblance of balance.

Will she go against John and make a move that will end their marriage and all they’ve built, or will John’s love be the force that keeps her on track and ultimately brings balance back into her life?

http://www.amazon.com/Longing-Within-Desire-Discipline-Book-ebook/dp/B017X5GGPM/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-longing-within-isabella-kole/1122940821?ean=2940156682386

http://www.blushingbooks.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=3588&welcome=1

About the Author:

Isabella Kole lives in southern Indiana, where she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Always an avid romance reader, she began writing several years ago and although she has had several sweet romances published under a different pen name, Accepting His Terms is the first erotic romance in her collection.

When not writing, Isabella can be found traveling around signing books and meeting her readers, working at her day job, or simply enjoying life.

You can find Isabella on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Isabella-Kole-Author/580591041984962?ref=hl

Other books by Isabella Kole:

The Highlander’s Curse

The Marshall and the Heiress

The Seduction of E.J.

Rescuing Raven

REBECCA’S SIGN…my latest inspirational romance…

Rebecca's Sign cover

Welcome back! I have a new book release to talk about! Yes, that’s right, my twenty-fifth book released this week, an inspirational romance about a young widow who is unexpectedly forced to begin a new life with her two young children. Rebecca’s Sign was released earlier this week by LazyDay Publishing and I’m going to share the blurb and an excerpt with you tonight.

BLURB:

Suburban housewife, Rebecca Long, has lived the American dream for several years. When her world suddenly comes crashing down around her after the sudden death of her husband and she is left to fend for herself and her two young children, she makes a drastic change and moves her family across the country. Settling on the Texas ranch of her aunt and uncle, she accepts a job keeping the books for neighboring rancher, Seth Winters, leaving behind the life she’s grown accustomed to.

Seth has been left at the altar by a fiancée who couldn’t face life on the ranch. Can two lonely hearts find the courage to give love another chance? Or will circumstances beyond their control keep them apart forever?

Wow, are you wondering about the details? Will the children adjust to life on a ranch after living in the suburbs? Will Rebecca be able to survive? And Seth…well, now that’s a whole other story…

EXCERPT:

Rebecca Long checked her pot roast in the oven again. Looking at the clock on her bright
yellow kitchen wall she sighed. If Roger didn’t get home soon, their dinner would be ruined.
Where could he be? He hadn’t called to tell her he’d be late, which was very unusual. If her
husband was anything, he was dependable.
“Mommy, I’m hungry,” her daughter, Kaci, said as she ran into the kitchen.
“Get your brother and wash up. I’m going to go ahead and let you guys eat. Daddy’s
running late.”
As Kaci ran off to find her older brother, Matthew, Rebecca reached for the potholder
once more and opened the oven door. Pushing her dark, shoulder length hair out of the way, she
stood back, waiting for the steam from the hot oven to escape before taking their dinner out.
She had just filled the children’s plates when the doorbell rang.
“Who on earth could that be right at dinnertime?” she asked aloud as she wiped her hands
on a dishtowel and walked the distance from the dining room of her modern, midwestern home
to the front foyer. She opened the door, expecting to see one of the neighbors, but instead found
herself looking at the two police officers standing on her doorstep in surprise.
“M…may I help you?” she asked.
“Mrs. Roger Long?” one of the officers asked solemnly.
“Yes, I’m Mrs. Long,” she replied hesitantly.
“May we come in, ma’am? We need to talk with you,” the officer continued. Both men
proceeded to show her their identification.
“Of course, come on in. What is this concerning?” she asked as she stepped aside to
allow them to enter her home.
“Are you here alone? Is there a neighbor or a relative you could ask to come over?” the
other officer asked.
“My children are having their dinner. I could call my next door neighbor, but I’d imagine
she is feeding her family dinner right now.”
“Would you ask her to come over, please?” the officer asked kindly.
“You’re frightening me. Has something happened?”
“I’m afraid so, ma’am.”
With shaking hands, Rebecca picked up her cell and phoned her next-door neighbor and
friend, Marci. “Marci, please, I know you’re probably in the middle of dinner, but could you
come over here? The police are here, and they are saying I shouldn’t be alone. I’m not quite sure
what’s happening.”
Within minutes, Marci and her husband, Charlie, were at the door.
Charlie looked at the officers and asked, “What’s going on?”
“Please, could we all sit down?”
Rebecca led the officers into the living room and as they all took a seat, Marci held
tightly to Rebecca’s hand. By now, both women were frightened.
The officer who’d been doing most of the talking spoke quietly. As he looked from
Charlie to Marci to Rebecca, he said, “There is no easy way to say this, ma’am. Your husband,
Roger, was in an accident this afternoon. His car apparently went left of center and over an
embankment. We don’t have all the details yet, but it is being investigated.”
“I need to go to him. Why have we wasted all this time? What hospital has he been taken
to?” Rebecca screamed as she stood up.
The officer looked at Charlie and shook his head. Charlie immediately put his arms
around Rebecca. “Sit down, hon, we need to listen to what he has to say.” He looked at Marci,
who by now had figured out what was coming next.
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Long. Your husband was killed instantly in the crash. No one else was
injured; he managed not to collide with any other vehicles.”
“This can’t be happening. You’ve made a mistake, it wasn’t my Roger. It has to be a
different Roger Long.” Rebecca was wide-eyed and shaking as she clutched onto Marci and
Charlie for support.
“Are you positive?” Charlie asked the officer.
“His identification was in his wallet and in the vehicle. We’ll have his personal effects for
Mrs. Long once the investigation is completed. I’m very sorry.”

Of course, there is a mystery surrounding the death of Roger, and the things revealed to Rebecca in the days that followed his death were shocking to her. I hope I’ve piqued your interest enough to want to one click and find out the rest. Will she find the strength to move forward for the sake of her children? Will she receive the signs from Roger she needs?

Buy Link:

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Happy Reading!!!!!

Love, Anna

A Special Birthday, An Anniversary, and A Celebratory Sale…

RIP blingHi again from Anna’s world! It’s the first day of August, and like everyone else I know, I’m wondering where this year has gone! I have a lot of things on tap this month, finishing my current book, starting on a Christmas novella for an anthology I am proud to be a part of, my 25th book release, which I’ll talk about in another post, and a conference later in the month. Busy, busy times in the life of this author. Today, though, I want to tell you about a very special birthday. Rebel Ink Press, the very first publisher I received a contract from three years ago, turns five this month. All kinds of exciting things are planned to celebrate, including the fact that several books are on sale for $0.99 on Amazon the entire month. That’s a great gift to our readers, don’t you think? This month also marks the second anniversary of the release of one of my favorite books, Remember Our Promise. The book was so well received when it debuted in August of 2013 that some readers asked if it was going to be a series. Actually, I had no plans of that nature, but after thinking about it and talking to the folks at Rebel Ink Press, it was decided to make it a trilogy. That’s how The Promises Trilogy came to be. Book two released earlier this year and to celebrate the birthday of the publisher, it will be included in the lineup of $0.99 choices this month. I’m excited to bring you A Cowboy’s Promise at a discounted price. Get caught up, because next year the final book of the trilogy, The Forgotten Promise, will be added. Here’s the blurb for Remember Our Promise:remember-our-promise-jpeg.jpg Lily Wells has been in love with David Black since she was fifteen years old. When she was eighteen, he broke her heart, leaving her with a promise that the year they turned thirty, if neither was married, they would find a way to reconnect. As fate would have it, twelve years later, while she is in her hometown for her grandmother’s funeral, she runs into David. Still as breathtakingly handsome as ever, now a prominent Texas attorney, he makes it clear he’s a confirmed bachelor. After one perfect, romantic weekend together, Lily returns to her job as the acquisitions editor for a New York City publishing house, knowing that a life with David is still her heart’s desire. Believing that to him she’s only one of his many female companions and that he has no recollection of the promise she’s clung to for the past twelve years, she goes on with her life in the Big Apple. She and David remain in contact with each other, however, seemingly growing closer. Will he break her heart a second time or is it possible that she’s misreading the signs? And now the blurb for A Cowboy’s Promise:Cowboy's Promise-flat Valerie Kennedy is feeling restless. Bored with her life in New York City, she finds herself searching for something more. She dreams of peace and serenity. Love has eluded her until she decides to pay a visit to her old friend, Lily Black, in Texas. There she is introduced to hot cowboy, Levi Ridgeway. Her first impression of him isn’t good, but as she spends more time with him she discovers that Levi and Texas might just hold the key to her happiness. The pot is sweetened by an offer to join Lily as a partner in her publishing company. When one crisis after another forces Val to stay in New York and put important decisions on hold, will she let her dreams fade away and give up the only man she’s ever loved? Buy link to the sale… http://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Promise-Anna-Kristell-ebook/dp/B00S1PRIPQ/ref=la_B00B1LK14W_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1438456239&sr=1-2 Enjoy the romance and let’s meet back here in a few weeks when I tell you all about my twenty-fifth book… Love, Anna

THE LEGEND OF BLACKHAWK MANOR

Blackhawk Manor coverThis has been a busy week in Anna’s World, starting with the release of Abraham’s Soul from LazyDay Publishing earlier in the week and my first book with Mystic Books, The Legend of Blackhawk Manor, yesterday! This one is a little something new for me, as it not only has a little bit of romance in it, but also an unsolved murder mystery from the fifties and some paranormal activity…

Let me tell you where the idea sprang from first of all.

 

Several years ago, while visiting with our son and his family, my husband and I were guests at the famed Blackhawk Hotel in Davenport, Iowa. It was an eventful weekend, with several unexplained things occurring in our room. We were later told by employees of a neighboring hotel that it was common for guests of the Blackhawk to experience the paranormal…

And so, building on that experience, The Legend Of Blackhawk Manor came to life. Yes, some of the things in the story actually happened in our room on that weekend long ago…

Are you curious now, maybe a little skeptical, perhaps a whole lot intrigued?? Let’s go on and I’ll share the blurb with you.

BLURB:

On the banks of the Mississippi, in a small Iowa town known as LeClaire, sits a quaint, two-story brick building. Known as Blackhawk Manor, a lucrative local inn, the establishment has housed many a famous name, actors and actresses, as well as singers.

Perhaps the most famous of guests, however, was a young construction worker named Robert Thorndale. Robert and his bride were spending their honeymoon at the inn when the handsome young bridegroom met his death at the hands of an unknown man. The murder was never solved and many years later, when two young college friends decide to spend a week at the historic inn, they find themselves in the middle of a fifty year old mystery. Strange appearances begin to occur, clues are left and it is up to Hannah and her friend, Cassie, to solve the crime.

Will they find the killer before it’s too late?

If that wasn’t enough to get you interested, how about a little excerpt?

EXCERPT:

Along the Iowa banks of the mighty Mississippi, in the small historical town of LeClaire, sits a quaint two-story brick structure. Known as Blackhawk Manor, the cozy inn was built in the year 1918 and in 1942 was converted by the family of the original owner to the business that continues to provide a lucrative income for the current generation.

Actors, actresses, and singers have graced the rooms of the beautiful establishment. With the Adler Theater not far away in Davenport, many sought to relax in the small river town rather than the city when their night’s performance was done. Perhaps the most famous of names to be seen on the register was not one of those theatrical types, but rather a young businessman named Robert Thorndale. Robert and his bride had signed the roster hours after their wedding. They had planned to spend a week enjoying the shops and scenery before returning to the apartment waiting for them at their home, not far from the inn. Robert was a builder for a major construction company several miles up the river. His new wife, Pamela Sue, was looking forward to making a home for her husband and the children that would surely follow soon.

Neither of them could have known that their time together was to be cut short. But, as fate would have it, on a cool summer evening in 1954, Robert met with a death too abominable to comprehend, and the life they had planned with such excitement and high hopes ended. Pamela Sue returned to their home for the funeral, but no one seemed to know what had happened to her after that. The locals would have you believe that Robert’s ghost still walked the halls of Blackhawk Manor, searching for his bride.

The current year was 2015 and two young college girls were planning a week-long stay in the quaint little town.  It was the summer between their junior and senior year and the two roommates had scrimped and saved in order to spend their last summer of freedom, as they called it, traveling and having fun. They had chosen to stay in LeClaire at the famed bed and breakfast for the first adventure of the summer. Hannah Stone was interested in the local folklore and had heard of the legend surrounding Blackhawk Manor. She had convinced her reluctant friend, Cassie Sharp, to accompany her.

“I want to know if the things they say are true. You know this stuff interests me,” Hannah said as she turned her car off Interstate 80. “This is our exit.”

“I don’t know why, but if it makes you happy, I’ll humor you,” Cassie replied with a laugh. “I can see it now, old Robert will be roaming the halls at midnight, calling out for his dear Pamela, and you’ll be recording it.”

“It’s kind of a sad story, you know. Think about it. They were on their honeymoon and they are out walking along the river one evening when someone appears from behind and tries to kidnap his precious new bride. He does the chivalrous thing and defends her, fighting off the man, only to be stabbed in the heart. He fell to the ground, dead as a doornail.”

“I know, I know, and then the would-be kidnapper runs away, leaving poor little Pamela screaming for help.”

“How do ghosts haunt, do you think?” Hannah asked as they pulled into the parking lot of the beautiful brick home.

“I guess you’re about to find out. This could turn out to be one hell of a week,” Cassie said teasingly.

“Then again, it may be boring as all get out,” Hannah answered with a giggle.

The two girls pulled into a parking spot near the front of the building and got out of the car. As they took in the sights all around them, they had to agree it was a gorgeous setting.

“Perfect for a romantic honeymoon, don’t you think?” Hannah asked.

“Don’t go getting any ideas. I have my room and you have yours,” Cassie teased as she walked around to get her bag from the trunk.

“Very funny, I don’t swing that way. You just aren’t my type. Besides, I think Chad might have a thing or two to say about that,” Hannah replied. Chad was her current boyfriend.

“I doubt that Alan would approve either,” Cassie retorted.

“Are you guys going to get married, do you think? I mean you’ve been dating forever,” Hannah asked as she lifted her own bag out and slammed the trunk closed.

“Maybe,” Cassie said with a flip of her shoulder length red hair. She was a pretty girl, with flashing emerald eyes to go with the gorgeous red mane.

The two friends walked onto the porch of the house and went inside. They were greeted by the sight of a beautifully decorated lobby. A brick fireplace graced one wall with a china blue couch and two blue and yellow floral upholstered winged chairs in front of it. The fireplace was flanked with bookcases full of books on either side and there was a table with coffee, juices and cookies for the guests. On the other wall was the check-in desk. They made their way over so they could register.

“Hi, I’m Hannah Stone and this is Cassie Sharp. We have reservations for the week,” Hannah said to the man behind the desk in a confident tone as she pushed a loose strand of her blonde curly hair out of her face. She was cute with her short, bouncy blonde curls and snappy blue eyes.

He scanned the computer. “Ah yes, we’ve been expecting you. Let me print up some paperwork for you to sign, get you some keys and you’re all set.” Once that had been taken care of, he told them his name was Steven and dinner would be served at seven. The young man was fairly good-looking, probably in his twenties and obviously interested in the inn’s newest arrivals.

“We not only serve breakfast here, but lunch and dinner,” he explained. “Of course, if you prefer to check out some of the local spots, you’re most welcome to try them. Between you and me, you won’t find any better fare than our dining room, though, and the pool is open until ten.”

“Thank you,” Hannah said as she accepted the key he held out to her.

“You’re in room five and Miss Sharp is right next door in seven,” Steven informed them.

“Thank you, if you could just point us in the right direction,” Hannah replied with a sugary smile.

“Certainly, just take a left down the hallway and you can’t miss them on the left side of the hall. Enjoy your stay. I’m on duty until midnight if you need anything. Maria will be here during the night.”

“Thank you so much,” Cassie said with a flutter of eyelashes. When they were out of earshot, she giggled. “Not bad for a sample of the local fare,” she whispered.

“Cassie, really, you are such a flirt. How have you and Alan stayed together so long?” Hannah teased.

“It’s all in good fun, harmless,” Cassie replied.

The girls found their rooms and arranged to meet in thirty minutes. Hannah walked into her own room and the sight that greeted her simply took her breath away. Cherry furnishings, polished to a high gloss, the bed was covered in a stunning dark blue and maroon paisley comforter. A dark blue throw lay at the foot of the bed and the draperies at the window matched. In front of the window sat two maroon winged chairs and a cherry table. The cherry armoire held a television set and there was a bureau for her clothes. She quickly unpacked and found hangers and a tiny closet for the things she preferred to hang. Wandering into the bathroom, she wasn’t disappointed when she saw gleaming white fixtures and marble counters. The floor was tiled and there was a Jacuzzi tub and a separate shower stall.

Slipping off her flip-flops, she let her feet sink into the thick, luxurious deep blue carpeting. “I could get used to this,” she said aloud as she grabbed a menu from the table and plopped down on the bed. “Seafood and steaks, makes sense,” she said as she perused the dinner choices. Glancing at the dainty gold watch on her left wrist, she saw that it was nearly time to meet her friend. She jumped up and ran into the bathroom, where she splashed her face with water and dried it. Taking her makeup out of the cosmetic bag she’d packed that morning, she touched up her face and ran a brush through her short blonde curls.

She was just walking back into the bedroom when there was a knock on the door. She ran to open it. “Cassie, come on in. This place is great. What’s your room like?” she asked as she stood aside to let her friend in.

Cassie looked around the room. “It’s similar, although my color scheme is gray and mauve. I’m famished. Did you look at the menu yet?”

“They have seafood, so I’m content to stay here and try out the dining room. They have an all you can eat buffet tonight.”

“Why doesn’t that surprise me? You and your love of seafood,” Cassie said with a laugh. “I’ll probably have a steak.”

“Your tastes are so boring.”

“Blame it on growing up in the Midwest, on a farm, no less,” Cassie told her. “Can I help it if you big city gals have different tastes?”

“How we ever became best friends in college is beyond me. They couldn’t have paired two more different personalities as roommates.”

“True, but after that awful first few months of adjusting to each other’s quirkiness, it just all sort of fell into place. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through the last three years without you.”

“This fall will be our senior year. We have to make a pact to stay in touch, no matter where our lives lead us after graduation.”

“Of course we will. Why would you think otherwise? Let’s go eat.”

Arm-in-arm, the two friends walked down the hall to the dining room, which was located beyond the lobby. They were seated after a short wait and the view of the river from their table was breathtaking.

“Look at all the boats on the water,” Cassie said.

“There’s a barge moving downstream,” Hannah pointed out.

After a delicious dinner, they walked around the grounds, marveling at the sights. The gardens and surrounding grounds had obviously been tended to carefully. Ending the night by sitting on the porch in rockers with some of the other guests, they listened to an older couple telling some of the other guests about the legend.

“You know they make such a big deal about the young man who died on his honeymoon defending his bride, but there was also a very famous actor who died in his sleep in this very place. They don’t talk about that much,” the woman said.

“Really?” another woman asked. “I have never heard that story.”

“It’s all kept very hush-hush. Apparently, he suffered a heart attack and the maid found him the next morning when she went in to clean the room. He was in his seventies, so I guess it wasn’t that big of a deal, but still, he was pretty famous in his day.”

“Who was it?” one of the other guests asked.

“Roman Carrington, I’m sure you’ve heard of him. He played in several movies years ago and also did some work on Broadway.”

“The name is familiar. I guess the story of the young honeymooners was of more interest.”

“Well, it is much more romantic than an old man dying in his sleep,” the woman telling the story replied. “You know, the murderer was never caught.”

Hannah listened intently, but she could see that her friend was growing bored with all the talk of the deaths that had occurred in the area.

Cassie yawned. “I think I’m going to my room to call Alan before it gets too late. Are you coming?” she asked.

“Yes, I’m sure Chad will call when he gets in from his shift at the hospital.”

When they were outside Hannah’s room they made plans to meet at eight for breakfast. “We’ll plan our day while we eat. I hope to work some shopping in. I know they have some really neat shops here,” Hannah said as she turned the key in the lock and prepared to go inside.

“Have a good night. Don’t get spooked by any ghosts, young or old,” Cassie said with a giggle as she headed for her own room.

“Very funny,” Hannah said as she went inside.

Okay, that’s all I’m going to share. You’ll have to one click and read it for yourself…

This weekend, LazyDay Publishing, Mystic Books, Anne Welch and I are hosting a double feature release party to celebrate both my new releases. Lots of fun and some great prizes are on the billboard. If you’d like an invitation, send me a message on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/anna.kristell.39 and I’ll make sure you get in.

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Abraham’s Soul…An Inspirational Love Story

Abraham's Soul coverWelcome back to Anna’s World! In just a few days, Lazy Day Publishing will release my newest book. Abraham’s Soul is an inspirational romance set in an area near where I grew up. I’ll share the blurb and an excerpt with you to let you know a little about it. 

BLURB:

When young Sarah Elizabeth Graber accepts a position in Abraham Miller’s household, she quickly realizes the handsome widower who employed her is a lost soul. A shell of the man he once was, estranged from his family for nearly twenty years, he has lost his faith in God and the will to go on. Aside from his friend and business partner, he finds the only other person he can talk to is his housekeeper, Sarah.
Sarah’s self-appointed mission is to bring Abraham back to the church and the family he left behind. What she didn’t plan on was falling in love along the way. Just when it appears a bright future lies ahead for the couple, tragedy strikes. As Sarah and Abraham are put to the ultimate test, will their faith bring them through it, or will Abraham slip away from God forever?

EXCERPT:

Abe looked at the tiny blonde girl in awe. Quiet little Sarah Elizabeth Graber had some spunk. She was right. Drinking himself into oblivion wasn’t going to bring Lynnette back. He sat up and took a sip of the strong brew. After he’d finished the cup, he set it down and went to his bathroom, where he stood under the hot spray of water, letting it fall onto his face and body. When he’d dried himself and dressed, he went down stairs to find that Sarah had prepared a sandwich for him.

“Eat,” she commanded.

“Why are you doing this?” he asked.

“Because someone has to wake you up,” she replied. “Ana has tried, Louis had tried, and you are estranged from your family, so now I guess it’s up to me.” She had retrieved his mug from the den earlier and now filled it again and set the coffee in front of him.

He watched as the small girl moved around the kitchen in her new floral skirt and bright blouse. Her blonde hair was pulled up into a bun, but she was one of the most beautiful creatures he’d seen in a long time. He had great respect for the young girl who had come into his mess of a house, put it back in order in no time, and now, was taking care of him. It wasn’t part of the job description, but she had taken it upon herself to come to his aid. She had been raised to see the good in others and to help those that were down, the same way he had been raised. She was a good girl and one her family could be proud of. Could the same be said of his family? Would they be proud of the man he’d become? For all the success he’d gained, would they be proud of the…man…he’d become?

Abe finished his sandwich and coffee. Again he apologized to his young housekeeper. “I’m sorry if I offended you, Sarah Elizabeth. That is the last thing I would ever wish to do.”

“It’s not me I’m worried about. You can’t go on like this, Mr. Miller. You’re living half a life, a life without the Lord, without a family. How much longer can you do that?”

Once again, she was right. But could he find it in his heart to forgive the God that had taken his Lynnette away from him? Could he find his way back to the family he walked out on years ago? Occasionally, he heard from his brother. He knew his parents were still living and that his siblings were doing well. The question remained, could he ever go back to visit, would he ever go back? 

If you like sweet, inspirational love stories, then this is definitely the book for you. Available July 8, 2015 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and http://www.lazydaypub.com.