Category Archives: mystery

Day 13 of the Watch RWISA Write Tour: Amy Reece

 

Today is my day! Welcome to my blog! I hope you enjoy this super-short story!

 

 

CRAZY CAT LADY

by Amy Reece

 

CAT SITTER NEEDED

$50 CASH—One Night ONLY

Apply in Person

653 Silverwood Ln Apt B

 

 

Rita looked from the folded newspaper to the small adobe duplex in front of her. Well, here goes. My chances of getting murdered or sold into a sex trafficking ring are pretty good, but I need the fifty bucks. Need might be overstating it, but she wanted to go to the concert and she didn’t have the money for the tickets. Her meager paycheck from her work-study job didn’t stretch much farther than covering the bare essentials. If she wanted any fun money, she had to find other ways to acquire it. She’d done it all: research studies, selling her plasma, modeling for art studio classes. Answering a jinky ad in the college newspaper was nothing. She had left a note in her dorm room telling her slumbering roommate where she was, so at the very least maybe they’d be able to recover her body. She shook off the dark thoughts and approached the house.

A tall, thin elderly woman answered the door. “Yes? How can I help you?”

Rita held up the ad. “I’m here about the cat sitting job.”

“Oh, my dear, yes. Well, come in.” She opened the screen door and stood back to allow Rita to enter.

The living room smelled musty but looked tidy, with sagging, old-fashioned furniture covered with bright, hand-crocheted afghans and doilies. Several cats raised their heads from where they snoozed on the cushions, then lowered them disinterestedly. A tray with a flowered china teapot and matching cups was set on the coffee table.

“Have a seat and I’ll pour you a cup of nice hot tea. It’s so chilly out this evening, isn’t it?”

Rita sat and accepted the cup of steaming tea while she frowned at the woman. “Were you expecting someone else?”

“Oh, no,” the woman said breezily. “I was expecting you.” She smiled as she sipped her tea. “Or someone like you. I put the ad in the paper and I knew someone would be along presently.” More cats of every color had wandered into the room. There had to be nearly fifteen cats winding their way around her feet, perching on the back of her chair, and leaping into her lap.

“Oh.” Rita nodded dumbly and fumbled with the handle of the delicate cup, spilling tea into the saucer.  “So, when exactly do you need the cat sitter?”

“Well, tonight, of course. I need to go visit my sister in Santa Fe. I’ll be back soon after breakfast tomorrow. Now, let me show you where I keep their food.” She reached forward to set her cup on the table.

“But, but,” sputtered Rita, “don’t you want to know about me? About my qualifications?”

The woman laughed lightly. “It’s only feeding a few cats, dear. It’s not rocket science. Come along.” She stood, shooing the cats from her lap, and led the way into the kitchen. “The dishes are here.” She pointed to a row of small ceramic bowls lining a dish drain. “And the food is in this cabinet. They like to eat around nine and then you can wash up.”

“Okay.” Rita nodded and counted the bowls. There were only six. “Do they take turns eating? Should I refill the bowls after the first group eats?”

“I think you’ll find one round is more than enough. Most of these are ghost cats, of course. Poor dears.”

Rita stared at her blankly. “Ghost cats?”

“Yes. They seem to be drawn to me. They just can’t move on quite yet. They’re not like dogs, you know.”

Rita didn’t know. In fact, the only thing she was sure of was that this woman was obviously insane. Ghost cats? What the hell? But fifty bucks was fifty bucks, and if she had to placate a crazy woman to get it, she was glad to. “Great. No problem.”

“Now, feel free to help yourself to anything if you get a little peckish.” She led the way back to the living room, where she picked up a small, old-fashioned train case Rita hadn’t noticed before. “Be sure to lock up after me. Have a good night and I’ll see you early tomorrow.”

Rita stood in the middle of the living room and watched her leave. “Wait! How do I—” she wrenched the door open to ask her final question, but the woman was gone. She stepped onto the porch and looked upon and down the street, noticing red taillights at the stop sign at the far end. She must have had a cab or an Uber waiting. She shrugged and closed the door, locking it as instructed. Then she turned to address the room. “Well, cats and kittens, I guess it’s just us for the rest of the night. At least she keeps this place clean. With this many of you it could really reek.” She’d eaten an early dinner at the cafeteria so she wasn’t hungry. The remote was on a side table, so she grabbed it up and found a cat-free cushion to sit on. The woman didn’t have cable, but Rita managed to find a rerun of a show she enjoyed and sat back to while away the hours until feeding time. The cats, for the most part, minded their own business and left her alone. A few finally crept close enough to sniff her, but then stalked away. She’d never been much of a cat person, so she took no offense. Feeding time went off without a hitch and the woman had been correct: the six bowls were more than enough. Cats came and nibbled, but none cleaned out their bowls. Many of the cats simply came and stared at the food without touching it. Weird. Maybe they are ghost cats.

She got hungry around midnight, but found nothing but a few stale crackers in the cabinet. She took them with her to the couch, pulled one of the crocheted afghans over her legs, and fell asleep watching an infomercial.

The key in the lock woke her the next morning. She sat, rubbing sleep from her eyes.

“Good morning! I’m sorry I woke you. How did everything go last night?” The woman set her train case by the door as she walked in.

“Um, fine. Yeah, everything went great.”

“Oh, good.” She rummaged in her purse for her checkbook and a pen. “Now, I’ll let you fill in your name. Here you go.” She handed her the check.

Rita glanced down at it, noting the spindly handwriting, but satisfied that it was indeed for fifty dollars. Sweet. Easy money. She sat up and folded the afghan and laid it across the back of the sofa. “Thanks. Well, have a nice day.” She waved awkwardly as she let herself out of the apartment. I’ll just swing by the bank and cash this, then stop to buy the concert tickets on my way home.

“Can I help you?” The voice came from the house next door. “What are you doing?”

“Huh?” Rita turned as the woman marched down her front path to confront her.

“Were you in that apartment? How did you get in? That door is supposed to be locked! Oh, I’m going to kill my husband! He never checks!”

“Excuse me?”

“What were you doing in there?”

“No-nothing! I mean, I was watching that lady’s cats for her.” She realized she’d never asked the woman’s name. “She paid me. See?” She held up the check for the other woman.

The woman glanced at the check and frowned. “I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but you better get out of here before I call the cops!”

“What are you talking about? I didn’t do anything wrong! I answered an ad in the paper to come and watch that lady’s cats for the night. She paid me fifty dollars. See?” She showed the check to the woman again.

The woman snatched the check from her hand. “Nobody lives there! The woman with all the cats died two years ago! We’ve had a heck of a time getting renters to stay because they swear it’s haunted or some nonsense! Now, if you’re not here about renting the place then I’m going to ask you to leave. Now. Before I call the police.” She glanced down at the check, laughed briefly, and handed it back to Rita.

Rita took the check and looked at it to see what could have made the woman laugh. Her eyes widened as she saw it was not a check at all; it was nothing more than a piece of torn newsprint. It fluttered to the ground as she ran, the woman’s laughter echoing behind her.

 

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

 

Amy Reece RWISA Author Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Day 8 of the Watch RWISA Write Showcase Tour: Michelle Abbott

Welcome Michelle Abbott! I love this story! Enjoy!

 

The 136

 

I can do this. I can make it. Wet hair plastered to my head, gasping, I propel myself toward my target. The 136 bus. My heel catches on a crack in the pavement. My ankle twists sideways, sending a sharp pain up my leg. Wincing, I hobble towards the stop, just as the bus closes its doors and pulls away.

“Ahhh,” I scream in frustration.

“Here, use my umbrella.”

His voice startles me. I was so focused on catching the bus, I never noticed him until now. I must have had a serious case of tunnel vision, because he stands out a mile with his cornflower blue, spiky hair. He holds a large, black umbrella out to me.

Leaning against the post of the bus stop, to take the pressure off my throbbing ankle, I shake my head.

“Thank you, but you keep it.  I’m already wet, and it would be a shame to ruin your hair.”

He shrugs.  “It’s only hair. My umbrella is big enough for two.”

I get a sinking feeling in my stomach. Is he hitting on me? What’s wrong with the man? He looks twenty-five if he’s a day. I’m twice his age. Old enough to be his mother.

Mother.

I pick tendrils of damp hair from my forehead.

“I know what you must be thinking, but I’m just trying to do a good turn. You have nothing to fear from me, I promise.” He shelters us both with his umbrella. “You look like you’re having a bad day.”

As I listen to the rain split splat, I lean down to rub my sore ankle.

“Please let me help you.” He slips his arm through mine. “We can sit on that bench. We’ll be able to see the bus coming from there.”

With his assistance, I limp across to the empty, wooden bench that faces the road. “I just missed my bus; the next one won’t be along for an hour.” I sit down, past caring whether I get a wet spot on my skirt. “Are you waiting for a bus?”

He looks so calm, and serene.

“Yes, the 136.”

“Oh no. You didn’t miss it because of me, did you?” I frown.

“I wasn’t running for it.” He gives me a kind smile. “I have all the time in the world.”

A car drives through a puddle, splashing dirty water onto the pavement.

“I’ve got no one to rush home to either.” Maybe it’s his kind smile, maybe I just need to off load. “My husband moved out last week, left me for a woman your age.”

I hope he feels every bit his fifty-four years every second he’s with her.

“I’m sorry.”

What has it come to when I’m sitting in a downpour, telling my sob story to a stranger with blue hair? “She’s all form and no substance. If his head was turned that easily, he’s no loss.” I hold out my hand. If I’m telling the poor man my life story, the least I should do is introduce myself. “My name’s Carol.” I look into his ice blue eyes, surprised by the wisdom I see there.

“Do you have children together, Carol?”

Babies.

I stare at my feet. My heel is scuffed, and my stockings are damp. “Two daughters, they’re both grown-up.”

“Nothing beats a mother’s love for her children.” He reaches into the pocket of his long black coat, and pulls out a pack of mints. “Would you like one?”

We sit in silence, sucking on mints. The sky turns orange as the sun sets. I pull my jacket around me to keep out the chill. Behind us, a shop owner pulls down the metal security shutters of his store.

I’m curious to know more about this man, who claims he has all the time in the world. “It will be late when you get home. Do you have someone, or do you live alone?”

The street lamps come on. I watch the reflection of the light in the puddles.

“I have a loving family.”

Family.

In this moment, I feel so alone. Tears mingle with the raindrops on my cheeks. “I’m pregnant.”

The events of last week replay in my mind. Me, feeling sick every morning. Me, looking at the blue line on the pregnancy test. Me, buying a second test that gave me the same result.

“How does something like this happen to a woman my age? I’m going through the menopause; I haven’t had a period in a year. How can I be pregnant? How? Why? Why did this happen when my husband has left me?”

“What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” He rests his hand on my shoulder.

“That was my mother’s favourite saying.” I wipe my cheeks. “She passed away five years ago.”

He hands me a tissue. “I’m certain she’s watching over you, and that you make her proud.”

“Pregnant at fifty-one.” I blow into the tissue. “I’m sure she’s delighted.” I let out a hollow laugh.

“How old were you when you had your daughters?”

“I was twenty-two when I had Patricia. Diane came along when I was twenty-five.”

“You learn as you go with your first, don’t you?”

For the first time I smile. “Yes, I was clueless. None of the classes prepare you for being a mother. You hold the life of your child in your hands. It’s so much responsibility.” I turn to face him. “Do you have children?”

He shakes his head. “I’m sure you know more about parenting now, than you did then.”

“Yes I do.”

“It’s hard when you’re young isn’t it? You’re trying to make your way up the career ladder. Struggling to save for a home.”

I nod.

“Those things get easier as you get older, don’t they?”

“Yes they do.” I’m on a good wage. I own a spacious home in a good area.”

“You have more time, more understanding, and more patience.”

I nod.

“And you’re wiser. You know what really matters.”

I let out a laugh. “You make being old sound wonderful.” He really does.

He raises an eyebrow. “Isn’t it?”

I recall my childhood, how I hated having to do as I was told. How I would get upset at the smallest things. I remember my angst filled teenage years, being unhappy with my appearance. The heartbreak when the boys I thought I loved dumped me. I have a vivid memory of how stressful early parenthood was.

I study him. “You’re wise for someone so young.”

“Am I?”

The rain has stopped. He collapses his umbrella.

“Nothing is ever as bad as it seems, Carol. A child is a gift. A new start. Someone to love.”

Someone to love. A new start.

I sit up straighter. He’s right. I can do this. I have a nice home, money, and a heart full of love.

“Oh look, here’s your bus.”

Already? Have we been talking for an hour? I glance at my watch. Only twenty minutes have passed. The brakes of the bus screech as it pulls up.

As I root in my purse for my fare, I hear him say, “I’m glad I could help.”

“Let’s sit together.” I glance behind me. “I want to thank…” The words die in my throat. No one is there. I look left and right, but the street is empty. Goosebumps spread across my skin.

“Are you getting on love?” the driver calls.

 

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

 

Michelle Abbott RWISA Author Page

Release Day: WATCH OVER by Amy Reece

Title: Watch Over
Series: The DeLucas Family #1
Author: Amy Reece
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Suspense
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Melanie Blythe has a house, a career, and a cat. She doesn’t need a man. But she isn’t the only one who’s noticed the gorgeous cop down the street. When her faithless cat prances home from the cop’s house with a note tucked in his collar, it might be the beginning of something beautiful…or it might be Melanie’s death warrant.

Detective Finn DeLuca is stuck at home recovering from a hit-and-run accident, and has plenty of time to wonder about the woman two doors down. There’s something mysterious about the beautiful brunette, and he’s determined to get to know her. 

But someone else has other plans. 
As the two grow closer, someone is watching—and waiting. Sooner or later, their chance will come. 

And the two lovebirds will never see it coming.


Amy Reece lives in Albuquerque, NM, with her husband and family. She loves to read and travel and has an unhealthy addiction to dogs. She believes red wine and coffee are the elixirs of life and lead to great inspiration. She is the author of The Seeker Series (YA paranormal) and The Way to Her Heart (YA romantic suspense).


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Cover Reveal: WATCH OVER by Amy Reece (that’s ME!)

Title: Watch Over
Series: The DeLucas #1
Author: Amy Reece
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Suspense
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Melanie Blythe has a house, a career, and a cat. She doesn’t need a man. But she isn’t the only one who’s noticed the gorgeous cop down the street. When her faithless cat prances home from the cop’s house with a note tucked in his collar, it might be the beginning of something beautiful…or it might be Melanie’s death warrant.

Detective Finn DeLuca is stuck at home recovering from a hit-and-run accident, and has plenty of time to wonder about the woman two doors down. There’s something mysterious about the beautiful brunette, and he’s determined to get to know her. 

But someone else has other plans. 
As the two grow closer, someone is watching—and waiting. Sooner or later, their chance will come. 

And the two lovebirds will never see it coming.


CHAPTER ONE

Melanie

It was the cat’s fault. She certainly never would have gotten involved if it hadn’t appeared in her life, much preferring to keep to herself and mind her own business. She wasn’t even a cat person, for heaven’s sake! She wasn’t much of a dog person, either, but now she had one of each, apparently. Fluff had belonged to Aunt Karen, and Melanie had made a deathbed promise to take care of the small white mutt. Who else would understand Fluff needed his food heated for exactly eight seconds in the microwave and would only eat from the Blue Willow dishes? Of course Melanie had promised to continue to care for the elderly little mop. Sigh

As for the cat, she’d seen the paw prints first. She was rinsing her dishes in the sink and noticing how much dust had accumulated on the bay windowsill when she frowned and leaned in for a closer look. There was definitely a trail of small animal prints in the thick dust and what looked like a butt print where something had sat and stared out the kitchen window. What the…? Melanie glanced across the room at Fluff, curled up in his little bed, and shook her head. “Some guard dog you’ve turned out to be.”

 

The cat itself showed up the night after Aunt Karen’s funeral. It must have come in through the doggy door, but Melanie was too busy crying to notice. She’d held herself together all day long through the funeral and reception at the church, and was finally able to allow her emotions free rein. It scared the crap out of her when the cat jumped on the table and began purring and rubbing it’s furry little face against hers, as if trying to cheer her up.
She picked up the chair she’d knocked over and sat down to pet the ginger cat, who sat on the kitchen table staring at her. “Where in the world did you come from?” There was no collar. “You look like you’ve been through the ringer.” The cat had a torn ear and rough coat. She found a can of tuna in the pantry and added a small bowl of milk beside it as the cat made short work of the meal before leaping back on the kitchen table to lick its paws.
“Make yourself at home,” Melanie muttered as she put the cat’s dishes in the dishwasher. “Doesn’t this bother you at all? This cat just waltzed into your home and took over.” She addressed the words to Fluff, who continued to snore in his little blue bed. “Apparently not.”
She put it out before she retired for the night, but it was sleeping on the end of her bed the next morning. It left soon after breakfast, but returned later that night and every night for the next week. She started calling him Cooper, and finally broke down and bought him a blue collar and heart-shaped nametag. She’d made a vet appointment for him too, but they couldn’t get him in until next week.

The note was attached to his new collar; she felt it when she pulled him on her lap as they settled in to watch Wheel of Fortune the next day. She didn’t really care for the game show, but it had become a habit when Aunt Karen was still alive and she’d continued to watch for some reason. “What’s this?” She unfolded the small piece of notebook paper, Pat Sajak forgotten for the moment.

 


 

Dear Nice Lady,
I love my new collar and ID tag. Thanks for taking such good care of me and giving me a warm place to sleep every night. The nice man two doors down is writing this note for me on account of my not having opposable thumbs. He noticed me leaving your house this morning. He’s a pretty nice guy and I’ve been spending my mornings with him recently. I especially enjoy helping him read his newspaper. I like to lie on it and make sure it doesn’t get away, which is a very important job, let me assure you. Every once in a while I take a bite out of one of the pages if I dislike what is written there. This morning I felt compelled to bite the sports page when the man read the score from the Astros/Braves game and said a naughty word. I wanted to express my solidarity with him in his disappointment over the Astros’ loss.
It is with some regret that I have to inform you that, while I like the color blue, I am definitely a female and feel the name “Cooper” may be a bit masculine. The nice man calls me CJ. What do you think about it? I like it a lot.
Sincerely,
CJ Catson 
“What in the world?” She re-read the note and laughed softly at the way he’d written from the cat’s perspective. She bit her lip as she realized who the author must be. Two doors down to the left was an elderly widow, so it had to be the young guy two doors to the right, who’d moved in about six months ago. She’d only seen him from a distance, but she could tell he was good-looking: tall, dark hair, well built. He was a police officer—she’d caught glimpses of him in his uniform and he often parked his police car in his driveway—but he’d been gone for several months. She’d wondered if he moved or something. Actually, her writer’s imagination had dreamed up all sorts of scenarios that included him being deep undercover in a drug ring or organized crime syndicate. She’d seen several different young women coming and going when he was still there and figured he must be something of a ladies’ man. Should she respond to the note? What could possibly come of this? She shook her head and reached for a piece of stationary. Why should anything come of it? She would simply write back and that would be the end of it. She thought for a few minutes, then wrote quickly and folded it up before she could reconsider.

 

There. He could respond or not. It was totally up to him.


Amy Reece lives in Albuquerque, NM, with her husband and family. She loves to read and travel and has an unhealthy addiction to dogs. She believes red wine and coffee are the elixirs of life and lead to great inspiration. She is the author of The Seeker Series (YA paranormal) and The Way to Her Heart (YA romantic suspense).

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Introducing INKLO: Viral Reading Experience

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INKLO is a brand-new viral story-telling and reading app and I’m privileged to be one of 4 launch partners helping to get it started.

Here’s how it works: head over to the App Store or your Android app store and download Inklo. Then check out the authors and give them a follow. Be sure to turn on notifications so you’re notified whenever a new weekly episode drops. It’s a ton of fun! You can comment and interact with other readers. IT’S ALL FREE!

www.inklo.com

My story is called MOVING ON and is a young adult ghost story/romance. Check it out and give me a follow!

MovingOn

Kylie Davis is a high school senior who’s smart, pretty, and should be on top of the world. But her boyfriend’s death in a fiery car wreck at the end of their junior year changed everything. After a summer abroad, trying to learn to deal with her overwhelming grief, she’s finally ready to get back to her life. That’s a tall order when her boyfriend, who is extremely dead, shows up at school. Having Drew’s ghost follow her around is not the best way to get over him, but he says he has unfinished business before he can move on to wherever he’s supposed to be. He has no idea what this unfinished business is—only that it has something to do with her.

Her world is rocked again when the police announce Drew’s death wasn’t an accident. Kylie is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery and figure out who killed him, but is the danger all in the past?

SEER is FREE Oct. 28-31!!!

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Click on the image to get your free copy!

Book 3 in The Seeker Series is FREE Oct. 28-31! Head over to amazon and grab your FREE COPY!  Here’s the LINK.

Book 1: SEEKER is only $.99, so you’ll probably want to grab a copy OR sign up for my VIP email list and I’ll send it to you FREE!

 

Blog Tour: Amber Alert Series by Sara Schoen

 
AMBER ALERT (Amber Alert Series #1)
 
**Mature Content Warning** Recommended for ages 17+ due to
violence and sensitive subject matter.
Anna was taken…
Taken from her home to live out a sick game that a guy has been
playing for the last ten years.
With no certainty that anyone is looking for her, and seemingly
hours away from home, she’s forced to play housewife with a man that has had twelve other ‘wives’.
Each of them now dead…
With 12 rules and the obvious exits blocked, from the previous
girls attempts to flee. Is Anna’s only way out to play along and become a
‘loving wife’? Or will she die during the chase?
Would anyone even know what happened to her?
Or would she be labeled as a runaway?
And where is she in the
first place?
ABDUCTED (Amber Alert Series #2)
 
**Mature Content Warning** Recommended for ages 17+ due to
violence and sensitive subject matter.
Audrey Thomas had been raised by overprotective parents and is sick
of it…
After the kidnapping and recovery of her mother, Anna Cowles,
eighteen years ago, parents had a harsh awakening as they realized any child
could be taken for any reason.
New laws were set in place to protect children, but those same
children ignored the rules and went out of their way to get into trouble.
Audrey has always done what she wanted, no matter what the
consequences were…
But what happens when her choices lead her to being taken by the
one man people feared everyday for the last eighteen years, right up to his
execution.
Will she make it out like her mother did?
Or will she suffer the
fate of the previous twelve girls?

 

APPREHENDED (Amber Alert Series #3)
 
**Mature Content Warning** Recommended for ages 17+ due to
violence and sensitive subject matter.
There’s a copycat on the loose…
He’s playing the part of the notorious Steve Bennett, a serial
kidnapper and killer.
Twelve known girls have already been taken from all over the
country, but none have returned. With the orignial house of the mass kidnapper
and murderer destroyed, where is he hiding the girls?
Jessi Sparks is about to find out for herself…
This is the case she’s been waiting for, and she won’t let it
slip through her fingers. She will risk everything to finally put an end to
mass kidnappings.
But will she be risking
her own life?

 

“No! Andy…please!”
I was roughly shoved into the back of  a black car. The door slammed shut, the front door opened soon after and he got in. There was a click, as the car was locked. He threw the car into forward, and took off at an insane speed leaving everyone I knew and cared for behind.
I watched in terror as trees whizzed by, leaving the familiar surroundings behind as the road went from pavement to dirt and the buildings were replaced with large trees and fallen branches. I didn’t know where we were going, but I wanted to go home. The locks wouldn’t budge; the child safety lock prevented my escape the moment he had locked me in this god-forsaken car. I had lost my phone in the struggle, and I was stuck in here.
 There were scratch marks and dark spots on the seat. It looked as though someone had tried to claw their way out and I couldn’t blame them. Every hair on my neck were standing on end with fear blazing through me. My throat was sore from the screaming, but all the drivers had ignored my pleas for help. They simply kept driving without another sideways glance in my direction.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked again, my voice hoarse from the screams and crying. It was answered the same way, with silence that slowly crept in and made me shudder.
“Shut up!’
“Where are we going?”
“Be a good girl and take orders. Now shut up!”
I wished more than anything to be back at home and under my bed, away from him. The road turned to gravel as we came upon a rundown house, its shudders were falling of the hinges, but what caught me was the windows were boarded up. To prevent escape, I felt a shiver travel up my spine as the car came to a slow stop.
He got out of the car and didn’t unlock the doors until he was at the door. That small click would have brought me relief at any point in the car ride other than now. I pushed against the other side of the car as he reached one long hand in and grabbed me by my ankle and roughly yank me out of the car on to the gravel. A scream ripped through my throat as the gravel cut into my skin and my head hit the side of the car.
“Get up!” he ordered. My head was spinning from everything that had happened, but when I didn’t move, he moved me.
His hand grabbed take a large chunk of my hair before he lifted me out of the car, ignoring my cries of pain. He roughly dragged me to the house, I couldn’t get my feet to walk and fell often.
The door was solid, he had to slam his body against the wooden blockade and force it open. There was a creak as it slowly opened from his blows, and he threw me inside onto the hardwood floor. There was no carpet, anywhere It would be possible to hear every step from anywhere in the home. The house was bare to the bones, the walls held no photos or phones, rooms remained empty of furniture unless it was bolted to the ground. A new wave of fear ripped through me in realization that he had done this before, he had taken precautions for it.
Sara Schoen began writing in middle school, but did not officially dedicate herself to writing until high school when encouraged by her writing partner. Before then, Sara had not thought about trying to publish her works because it seemed unlikely that anyone would take a chance on someone so young. Despite her previous thoughts, she published her first book, Amber Alert, at the age of nineteen, and began rewriting and editing a spy series that she spent years writing when she was younger. With a lot of hard work and determination, now that same series, which is close to her heart, is a bestseller.
Sara is a Biology Major with a minor in Environmental Science and a minor in Spanish at James Madison University, and spends her time writing, studying, and ghost hunting.
While writing is a great hobby that turned into a passion to share with others,
school is her priority.
Throughout her publishing journey, Sara has had an amazing support system from her family,
friends, and significant other, who were with her every step of the way. She hopes to continue to write, and wants to inspire others to reach for their dreams no matter how far they may seem. She truly believes that dreams can come true at any age, if you put in effort and chase after what you want.
Social media links:
Twitter: @SaraNSchoen
Instagram:
@Stolen_Glances
 
Sara Schoen
 
Guarded Secrets Series
Suicide Mission (FREE): http://amzn.com/B011B1JMBY
Covert Operations: http://amzn.com/B0172DGCE0
 
Waking Up Blank: http://amzn.com/B00YTB0EZM
 
 
Sara Schoen and Taylor Henderson
 
 
 

Book Tour: The Way to Her Heart


Will a mysterious disappearance bring two broken hearts together…or tear them apart?


THE WAY TO HER HEART by Amy Reece 
YA Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Release Date: March 29, 2016
— SYNOPSIS —
No amount of counseling can bring Josh Harris back to his old self.
After a tragedy that changed his life forever, eighteen-year-old Josh has lived in a year-long fog of medication and confusion. It’s all he can do to not think about his dad—a culinary genius who raised him in the kitchen. Thankfully, Josh inherited his golden palate and sixth sense for cooking, which is the only thing that makes sense anymore.
For a seventeen-year-old girl, life can’t get much worse…
Bernie Abeyta is a senior in high school and lives with her drug-addicted mother, but has managed to keep her grades up so she can get into college. With her father in prison and her mom’s sleazy boyfriend getting too close for comfort, Bernie turns to her best friend Gabby Rodriguez for help, but discovers Gabby has gone missing. Distressed over her friend’s sudden disappearance, Bernie resorts to living out of her car while she looks for answers and tries to avoid foster care.
Part love, part mystery, part cookbook—and all heart.
During economics class, Josh finds himself captivated by his new project partner, Bernie. As they grow closer, he insists Bernie move in with him and his mother. Furthermore, he offers to help look for Gabby.
Bernie refuses to believe Gabby ran away, and she’s determined to get to the bottom of the mystery—no matter how great the danger to herself.
Will Bernie’s gritty life be too much for Josh to handle? Or will he fight for The Way to Her Heart?

 

— PURCHASE YOUR COPY! —

 

— EXCERPT —
October

Josh

She cut her hair. Josh realized he was staring at the girl in the next row and pulled his gaze back to his notebook as the teacher droned on about supply and demand curves. I don’t care for short hair on girls. Yet he couldn’t keep his eyes off her. He didn’t even know her name. On Friday her hair had been long, the silky black tresses reaching below her shoulder blades. Today, he could see the back of her neck. He could see how long and slender it was and watched as she reached around to feel it, seeming surprised, perhaps still unused to the short cut. She pushed the long front layer behind her ear. The purple streak is kind of cute, though. He once again forced his gaze back to his notes, reminding himself that he had a girlfriend; a beautiful girlfriend with long blonde hair. Focus, Harris. Get your mind off the pretty girl with the short hair. She was pretty. He’d always thought so, even though he didn’t know her name. He’d heard it; wasn’t it something weird? Enough! Supply, demand. That’s all you need to think about.“So, for the next few weeks you will be paired up with one of your classmates as we launch a new project designed to help you experience some of what it takes to create and stick to a household budget.” Mr. Griego picked up a stack of index cards from his desk. “I have created a scenario with careers and incomes for each couple. Some of you have children, and some don’t. Every few days you will get a new financial situation you have to deal with. Each week of this project will be the equivalent of one month for your budget. You will turn in a complete six month budget, along with a written report at the end of the project. Each couple will also give a five-minute oral presentation.” He started calling names and handing out index cards. There were groans and titters of laughter as the names were called because some of the couples were same-sex. “Josh Harris and Bernie Abeyta.” No one in the class said anything or laughed at the pairing. Josh wasn’t surprised; he had pretty much fallen off the radar over a year ago. He stood and walked to the front of the room to retrieve the index card.

“Who’s Bernie Abeyta?” he asked quietly. Great. I’m paired with a guy. Just what I needed.

The girl with the short, purple hair raised her hand. “Me.” She sounded bored.

“Okay. I’m, uh, I’m Josh.” He stood in front of her desk, awkwardly shifting from side to side.

“Yeah. I’m Bernie.” She glanced up quickly, meeting his gaze, then looked away.

“You have the last fifteen minutes of class to exchange contact information, phone numbers, email addresses, whatever you need to get in touch with your partner. Most of the project work will need to be on your own time as you will need to visit grocery stores and do some online research,” Mr. Griego said.

Josh sat down in the newly vacated desk in front of Bernie. “So.” He waved the index card. “One of us is a teacher and the other is an attorney. Which do you want to be?”

Bernie shrugged. “It doesn’t really matter to me. You choose.”

He looked at her, a half-smile on his face. Close-up he noticed that she had beautiful, smooth, light-brown skin and her eyes were so dark they looked black. She didn’t wear much makeup; she didn’t need to. “Fine. I’ll be the teacher. You can be the attorney.” She looked up quickly. “Is that okay?”

She shrugged again. “Sure. It doesn’t matter. Do we have kids?”

“Yeah, we have two: an eight-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son. So, I guess we should exchange phone numbers and email.” He scrawled his information on a page of his notebook and tore it out, handing it to her.

She took the page, staring at it blankly for a moment before tearing a piece of paper out of her own notebook. “Here’s my email.”

He looked at it. “What’s your cell number?”

“I don’t have one. Just the email.”“Oh. Okay.” Josh had never heard of anyone his age who didn’t have a cell phone. “So, do you want to get together tonight to get started on this? We could meet at my house. Or yours. Whatever you want.”

“Yours. Here.” She pushed the paper back at him. “Write your address. I have to work until seven. I can be there around seven-thirty. Is that okay?” She didn’t meet his eyes.

“Uh, sure. That’s fine. Here.” He handed the paper back. “Do you need a ride or anything?”

“No.”

“Oh. Great. So, I’ll, uh, see you tonight. I guess.” He had never been so tongue-tied around a girl.

“Yeah.” She turned her attention back to her notebook, clearly dismissing him.

Josh returned to his seat, chagrined. I seem to have lost my touch. Then again, he hadn’t really been trying very hard for a long time. He used to be much better at this whole thing: friends, girls, talking. Now he simply didn’t have the energy anymore. It was October of his senior year and he was biding his time until he could graduate and move on with his life. She’s really pretty, though. He groaned inwardly as he packed his notebook and shouldered his backpack. He knew he had no business noticing how pretty his new partner was; he should be thinking about how gorgeous his girlfriend had looked in her cheerleading uniform that morning during the pep rally. She was beautiful, sweet, and had stuck by him through a seriously dark time in his life. He had really been phoning it in lately with Kayleigh. Jeez, he could do better. He merged with the flow of humanity in the hallway, determined to do right by her, starting tomorrow at lunch.

 

— ABOUT THE AUTHOR —
Amy Reece lives in Albuquerque, NM, with her husband and family. She loves to read and travel and has an unhealthy addiction to dogs. She believes red wine and coffee are the elixirs of life and lead to great inspiration. She is the author of The Seeker Series (YA paranormal) and The Way to Her Heart (YA romantic suspense).

 

— GIVEAWAY —