Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Your Midweek Update for 06/16/21

Note to self: Murder Den’s need to be aired out more than once per month. The smell. I am used to horrible smells. I have been a serial killer for longer than I haven’t – and I was also the mother to a teenage boy. When I tell you this smell will haunt my dreams, I need you to believe me. Dried and congealed blood was in every corner of the room, bits of flesh that hadn’t been properly washed away, vomit and feces and air coolant from the unit’s leaking vent all in a metal container when the weather has been unusually hot. I think it seeped into my skin. I can still smell it. We are a family of strong stomachs but this room got all three of us.

Oh yeah, my plan to get Casey out of the house went over incredibly well. Apart from introducing her to the less-glamorous side of murder, it was actually a success. The three of us spent the entire weekend power-washing the storage unit. We got the industrial-strength bleach that we only bring out on holidays and special occasions and we cleansed that monstrosity.

For good measure, James went and killed a deer so we could excuse why we were cleaning the storage unit of so much red liquid.

And the smell.

(It was my idea but no, I don’t have to like it and yes, I understand that it’s weird to feel guilty for killing a deer but not about killing a human. We all have our standards and this is mine)

It took us the entirety of Saturday and Sunday, and most of Friday and some of Monday to get the place back in working order. At the end of it, my dumb ass had a horrible sunburn of which I couldn’t even begin to describe the pattern. So now, I have a nice, tender reminder that just because my adopted daughter has been kidnapped by her psychotic birth mother, does not mean I can let my daily duties be neglected.

Believe me: between the burn and the smell – which I swear is in my hair – I will not be forgetting this any time soon. This was not what I intended for our family bonding weekend, but it worked nonetheless. I think I got a whole smile out of Casey at one point. She was still quiet and not entirely herself, but she’s in there. I saw her. For now, I have hope. And that’s enough.

Now if you will excuse, I’m off for my third shower of the day. It’s everywhere.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Monday, 14 June 2021

Book Release for The Siren Jewel by Karri Roberts

 

I am so excited that THE SIREN JEWEL by Karri Roberts is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for some AWESOME prizes courtesy of Karri, & Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.

About The Books:

Title: THE SIREN JEWEL: Spellbound Prison Saga

Author: Karri Roberts

Pub. Date: June 14, 2021

Publisher: Wicked Tales Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 161

Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon

Read for FREE With A Kindle Unlimited Membership!

Discovering I was a witch was my new beginning…

being locked away for it may be my end.

Will my father’s lies cost me my life?

Imprisoned for the ultimate crime, use of forbidden magic, should earn me some respect at Spellbound Prison, but when I refuse to join the Blood Coven no amount of street cred can save me from their wrath. Their reach extends far past the inmates, possibly all the way to the Warden himself.

I don’t stand a chance alone, but trusting people is not my strong suite at the moment.

Discovering my true heritage brings dangers of its own…

My powers can no longer be contained with binding spells. I can’t control them and my enemies know more about my magic than I do.

Could the family pendant that hangs from my neck be the key to everything?

Learning to control my powers will take some getting used to.

Being imprisoned with the worst criminals in the magical community will take survival skills.

You’ll love this gripping tale full of magic, mayhem, and mermaids because Jewels’ fight for survival and the truth will keep you on the edge of your seat. 

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Your Midweek Update for 06/09/21

I am allowed to breathe. That’s what I keep reminding myself. My mind continuously runs through all the ways things could have – and could still – go wrong. What if we had been caught sneaking into that woman’s house? What if she had fought harder and won (unlikely but it still lives under the list of worst-case scenarios)? What if Casey hadn’t wanted to go? What if we were too late to save her? What if someone recognized my sister and came looking? What if the police questioned out story about her running away? What if Casey wanted to return to her mother or resented us for taking her away?

I can’t stop thinking about what COULD HAVE gone wrong but the truth is: none of that happened. We did sneak inside, we did subdue the woman, Casey was weak but came willingly, no one recognized my sister even as witnesses described her to local police. Casey does not resent us nor has anyone come around questioning our cover story.

It’s okay to take a breather after such a stressful few weeks. This is the time to return to our normal routine. Most of her teachers have been understanding of the circumstances surrounding her absence – and yet, still insist that she make up the work that she lost in time for the end of the school year. I’ve offered to help but she’s still been quiet and isolating herself. Not that I would be much help with eleventh grade math. Despite being in a math-related field I have not had to apply trigonometry in quite a few years. I’m still giving her the space she needs. We’re both here for her if and when she needs us. Admittedly, part of my desire to support her is so I can find out what exactly happened in that room. She’s been tight-lipped about the entire affair – which, again, I understand – but I can’t do anything about it until she talks to me.

You see my predicament? You know I hate to be patient. For her, I’ll try but I want it stated for the record: I’m not happy about it.

I just want everything to go back to the way it was. Or at least, I want everyone to be okay. It’s heartless, I know, which is why I’ll never tell Casey any of this but I just want to put these past few weeks behind us. Forget it ever happened. I know we can’t and I know she can’t so for now, I will be patient.

I haven’t killed anyone since we got back, either. It doesn’t feel right. I’ll get back to it eventually but for now, we’re taking a moment to regroup. I told James we need to go check out the Murder Den and clean out anything that might be decomposing in there. Ants are a nightmare, let me tell you. One piece of flesh and suddenly there’s a swarm of ants under your porch for the rest of the summer. We’re going to go down there this weekend to air it out and do some cleaning. I wonder if we should invite Casey to come along. We never invited her before but maybe this could be a way to show her that we trust her.

I know I’m pushing! I told you: I’m an impatient person. But I don’t think it’s a good idea to get her out of the house for something other than school. If anything, she needs some fresh air – or semi-fresh since in a storage container at the edge of town that normally houses dead and rotting bodies. It’s supposed to be nice this weekend. Maybe a family outing will help.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Friday, 4 June 2021

Book Tour for Moonlit Nephrite by Eva Delaney and Mia Harlan

I am so excited that MOONLIT NEPHRITE by Eva Delaney & Mia Harlan is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for some AWESOME prizes courtesy of Eva, Mia, & Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.

About The Books:

Title: MOONLIT NEPHRITE (Moonlit Falls #1)

Author: Eva Delaney & Mia Harlan

Pub. Date: June 3, 2021

Publisher: Eva Delaney & Mia Harlan

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 310

Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle

Read for FREE With A Kindle Unlimited Membership!

My ex said I was a failure. I proved him wrong by opening a magical cafe. When it might get shut down, can my four fated mates help save it?

I woke up in bed with my best friend. He never wanted me, and neither did my ex. Will my other three fated mates reject me, too?

When every object in my cafe comes to life, my mates are the only ones who can help. But after a lifetime of betrayal, can I trust them to stick around?

Join Nephrite, her four hot-as-sin mates, and the quirky residents of Moonlit Falls on a magical journey filled with spelled lattes, possessed furniture, and laugh-out-loud moments.

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Your Midweek Update for 06/02/21

All right. I’ve had some sleep and my mind is marginally clearer, so I will attempt to describe the events I alluded to last week.

First of all, everyone is uninjured and Casey is home. She has been quiet and, I’ll say, ever since she came home. She goes to school, she comes home, she makes herself dinner (or grabs a plate of whatever I’ve made) and she spends the rest of the night in her room. I don’t blame her for needing time and a safe space but I feel like I can’t help her unless I actually know what’s going on in her head. I also don’t want to push her to talk about what happened so you can see the bind I’m in.

James says to let her come to us and I’ve decided to listen to my husband – just this once. When she’s ready, we’ll be ready to help her. Until then, let’s talk about what I found when we finally rescued her.

So, like I said last week, Casey’s mother did not make it. I spent so much time worried that this encounter would end with one of them dead and I was right. But Casey didn’t kill her. In fact, I’m not entirely sure she understands that her mother is dead.

With me, my sister, and my husband, we spent about a week surveilling the house. The woman’s movements were erratic and she clearly didn’t have a job that took her out of the house. In fact, she never left for more than a few minutes when she went to get the mail or pick up her groceries from the curb. But, it was during one of those excursions that we struck. It was a Sunday morning so we figured a lot of people would be asleep or, at least, inside. There had been zero activity on the block for the past hour or so. It was a risk, but our entire lives are a risk, so we took it.

The moment her back was turned, I snuck in through her unlocked door and headed straight for Casey’s room. James and my sister followed the woman up the driveway and forced her inside, locking all of us in. I know she put up a fight because James came back with nasty scratch on his cheek. I remember hearing tables clattering and class smashing, but all I was focused on was freeing my daughter.

She was right where I remember her, the same scared look on her face but instead of anger, I saw… sadness. Freeing her was the easy part, carrying her up the stairs wasn’t fun but I managed it well enough. I took her out the backdoor while my partners in crime subdued my daughter’s captor and took the surveillance equipment. I remember turning to look at their progress and saw the woman lying on the floor with blood staining her eyes and ears. She lay prone (a word which I only recently learned relates to something regrettable and not just something likely to happen) with her limbs twisted around her body. And she was staring at me – or her corpse was faced in my direction. I will never forget the red in her eyes and the way they seemed to follow me as I moved around the room.

James says it was my sister who killed her, but honestly, I don’t care who did the deed, only that it was done. What I do care about is the fact that a neighbour stepped outside with their morning coffee just as my sister was cleaning up one of the cameras. According to the news at the motel, they went to check on the woman and found her body, giving the police the description of the supposed intruder. At the time, they thought it was a robbery gone horribly wrong, but soon enough, they’ll discover what’s in the basement and start asking questions.

For the time being, my sister has gone back into hiding – not that anyone is likely to recognize her. I told you: my sister loves the shadows. She’ll be all right. The rest of us packed up and headed home, stopping frequently to makes sure Casey was staying hydrated and fed, wrapping her wrists with gas station medical supplies. She didn’t talk the whole way back and since then, she’s barely said a word.

I understand that… I don’t understand what she went through. But she’s my little girl and she’s hurting, and I just feel so helpless right now. I hope that things can improve with time.

I had to make a phone call to the local department to tell them they were right, Casey had just run off with her boyfriend but she was safe at home and there was no need to come around to check on her – I worded it less suspiciously, I promise. It appears this incident is finally going to be behind us.

More than that, we can actually move forward. No more woman stalking me, no more kidnappings or threats, no more surprise family members.

I realized I just jinxed myself but I really hope I haven’t. I want one week of peace and quiet. If not for my sake, then for Casey’s. The poor girl has been through so much in her life. Can’t we get a break?

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Your Midweek Update for 05/26/21

My baby is home, safe and sound. Relatively speaking.

I’m not going to beat around the bush – this rescue operation has been going on for way too long as it is. It was incredibly messy and quick – so much so, I’m not 100% sure on the details – but I know that the five minutes between breeching the front gate and walking out the side door with Casey in tow, resulted in her mother dying and my sister having to go on the run again.

I’m just so tired. We’ve been on the road since Sunday night and we didn’t get home until Tuesday afternoon and now I am just completely wired. I haven’t slept in a month and now that it’s all over, my body doesn’t know what to do. I can’t stop yawning but I’m also too restless to lie down. On top of that, I’m so worried for Casey. I’m always worried for Casey but I’ve only had her back for a few days and already, I’m so terrified of losing her again.

This last month has been a nightmare – though not much worse than any of the other horrible things that have happened to my family over the years.

I wonder if this was the last straw.

Will this be the thing that sends me over the edge? Have I already gone and just didn’t realize?

I just want to sleep. And I want to know ONE of my children is safe with me. But mostly, I need to sleep, I can barely keep my eyes open and yet I feel the need to go for a run.

Not at all a recipe for disaster.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Your Midweek Update for 05/19/21

I know that my life reads like a work of fiction but it is very real. And though I seem to dodge a lot of consequences, I can’t escape them all. I have also prided myself on being the most dangerous person in any room – baring my sister who, at times, scares even me.

When I met Casey’s mother, I was terrified of her. She was violent and unpredictable and had no qualms about hurting her own daughter to get her way. We know how I feel about parents who betray their children.

I spent days on the phone between my husband and my sister, trying to find a way to bring Casey home to us. Involving authorities was out of the question – though the query was posed about how we would explain Casey’s return once we got her back. We’re burning that bridge when we get to it.

We realized some sort of heist would need to take place, or else we had to lure the woman away from the house so someone could extract Casey from where she was being held prisoner. The latter would be difficult on a good day, let alone one where the woman was holding a child hostage. Getting her to walk out of her house for more than the mail would be nearly impossible.

The thought did cross my mind that we were going to have to “Ocean’s Eleven” this thing – or… “Ocean’s Three”, actually – but like I said: our lives are not fictional. It was, however, accurate to say that the three of us discussed how to break into a highly secured home and take a child. Presumably in the middle of the night considering Pandemic-times means there are way more eyes watching during the day. It’s annoying, really. Used to be, I could stuff a body into my trunk in the middle of the day without anyone noticing.

Stupid nosey neighbours.

The trouble is: we’re now in an unknown city – they drove up over the weekend – with no allies, few resources, and only my vague memory of the layout of her house, to figure out how we’re going to make some sort of daring rescue without being arrested for trespassing.

It has been an exhausting few days. We hooked up some surveillance equipment near all outer doors to we could monitor her comings and goings. So far, there isn’t a distinct pattern but it’s only been a few days. We’re also keeping an eye on her neighbours to see if she’s close to anyone or if there are any areas of concern. So far, they seem to be the quiet, rich type of people, which could be an asset but it could also be a deterrent. Rich people love their privacy and they hate strangers, which could mean that they won’t care what’s going on next door unless it involves them personally, but if they notice three people they don’t know hanging around their property, they’re going to call the police.

A daylight robbery may actually be our best option – despite my fears about additional eyes on the street. We just don’t know enough about the house or the area to make an attempt. I hate the thought of her being in there with that woman, but I can stomach the thought of losing her completely even less.

Casey is strong. And maybe she’ll escape and murder her mother before we even have a chance to rescue her. And I hate waiting – especially when I know what’s going on in there. I don’t believe that woman will kill her daughter unless she deems it somehow necessary. If we can do this without letting her know that her life is in danger, Casey stands a better chance.

Even as I type this, I understand how ridiculous it all seems. I’ve thought about just walking up to her front door and stabbing her in the gut. Who knows: maybe I’ll lose my patience and do that anyways. But the quieter we are, the safer we all will be. Because it’s not just about getting Casey out of that nightmare, it’s protecting myself and my whole family. Getting all of us home safely.

If we have to do it the hard way, then we’ll do it the hard way.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Your Midweek Update for 05/12/21

I found her. Of all the places I thought I would find her – of all the ways I thought she’d been taken – this never crossed my mind.

I found her mother. Or, my sister did. She’s very good at this – it’s a shame she could never turn it into something practical – my mother’s words, not mine. She never understood why my sister was the way she was. She never tried to understand her. For fuck’s sake, she reported her to the police. What kind of a mother does that? Mothers are supposed to protect their children. They’re supposed to understand their children’s needs and nurture them.

I suppose that’s why I never had children. I’ve lost all three of the ones I was meant to care for. Some people are just not meant to change diapers. I am one of them. My sister is the other, but only one of us figured it out before it was too late.

Nevertheless, she found Casey’s mother, so I made the two-day drive to meet her. She looked nothing like her photo. It was her, obviously. But the last time photos I had of her she was a broken woman just out of the hospital who had lost everything in her life. The woman I met carried herself like she had everything she could ever want.

A nice house, a nice lawn, a nice neighbourhood that was too rich to bother getting to know one another. She looked incredibly well put-together (a dress and heels and nails that could probably slice a man’s throat – which… props), but I recognized her eyes immediately. They were crazy and maniacal and intelligent beyond measure. Those were my eyes. Those were Casey’s eyes.

As we sat in her living room, drinking tea and staring each other down, I realized that we’d met before. Or, we’d almost met. I’d seen her photograph before.

She was the woman who had blackmailed Heather into finding me. All those month ago, the elusive woman I had to put in the back of my mind for my own sanity, was now sitting across from me, sipping tea with her pinky up. All this time, she hadn’t been looking for me. She’d been looking for Casey.

And it seems she found her.

Then, she told me a story. About growing up and seeing the world differently than other people. About being different and having no qualms about hurting others to get her way. She told me about manipulating her husband into thinking that he loved her so that she could start a family. About wanting nothing more than to continue her legacy with her daughter.

She talked about the night Casey slit her throat – even showed me the scar. How the spell on her husband had been broken when he fell in love with another woman, and he was going to take Casey away from her. How “her little girl” had overheard their argument and slit her daddy’s throat to keep them together. What she hadn’t counted on was Casey trying to kill her mother as well. “I had never been so proud.” She told me.

When she awoke in the hospital and heard the horrible news, she knew she had to find her daughter but it was too late. She has spent the last eight years looking for her daughter so that they could be together again.

And then she gave me a tour of the house. She showed me the guest bedrooms, the master bathroom (which had a gorgeous jacuzzi tub), the two dining rooms, the gardens. She showed me the basement above the cellar where there was a room set up. It had all the comforts of home, except for the lock and bars on the windows. And lying on the bed, tied up with nylon rope, was Casey.

She was so thin. And her eyes were big and red. And she looked angry. Scared and angry. She’d never looked more beautiful.

I said I found her. I didn’t say I’d brought her home.

Her mother wants to keep her. Wants to train her to be like her. I couldn’t allow it.

I remember going to Casey, going to untie her, and then there was a pain in my neck. And I then woke up in my car outside of my hotel. I went back to the house but I couldn’t get passed the front gate. She only let me through as a courtesy so I’d know my daughter was alive.

My daughter. Not hers. Not after this. And if Casey wants to kill her mother, she has my blessing.

But now, I am in my hotel room, chatting with my sister and my husband, trying to find a way to free my daughter. This woman is dangerous. She has spent nearly a decade hunting and hiding in plain sight and she is just crazy enough, that I can’t predict what she’ll do.

Casey looked so scared. And I feel helpless. For the first time, I don’t feel like I’m the scariest person in the room. I looked into her eyes and I saw myself if I’d lost everything. I’ve come very close in my life, but I’ve never lost everything.

I think I’m about to face my worst nightmare.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe 

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Your Midweek Update for 05/05/21

Don’t tell James but I’m starting to lose hope.

I’m scared and I’m tired and I feel like I’ve looked under every rock but there’s still no news. The gas station security camera was a bust and my sister has turned up no other leads. It’s like she’s vanished off the face of the earth.

I know how to make people disappear. Me and James and my sister, we are experts at making people disappear. No one is better than us. So how did they do it? How did they get her out without any of us being able to figure it out?

You know that voice in your head that tells you to do stupid things like jump out of a moving car, or stab your neighbour with an ice pick? You can call it the ‘Id’, or ‘Intrusive Thoughts’. Poe calls it the ‘Imp of the Perverse’.

That voice is telling me that Casey had a hand in this.

She has spent so much time with us, learning how to do what we do. And she’s good. I’ve said it: she could be better than me one day. If she wanted to get away from us, or go into hiding, she could do it.

But, if I let myself think that she did this intentionally and I’m wrong, I leave her in danger. If I keep looking and she doesn’t want to be found, I will lose my mind looking for the rest of my life.

So I will keep looking.

The problem is: I don’t know where to look next. Or I do. But I’ve been avoiding it for a month because there is no happy ending to be found there.

I have to find Casey’s mother. I think she’ll be a lot easier to find. Given how much work I got done on my own, having my sister and my husband supporting me will be more than sufficient. Either Casey went off to kill her, or her mother took her for some reason, there is no easy ending to this.

I didn’t think of it at first because I was so focused on some stranger who could overpower a trained killer. And then I was avoiding imagining that Casey could hurt our family like this. When the through crossed my mind, I avoided it, too.

The only way a reunion between mother and daughter ends is with one of them dead. As relieved as I was when Casey told me she didn’t want to go back to her mother, I never wanted her to kill her. As much as I fantasize about killing my mother, I wouldn’t ever.

There are some lines that can never be crossed.

If she’s gone where I think she’s gone…

I’m scared.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Release Day for Edenhart's Rivalry by J.N. Tomczak

I am so excited that EDENHART'S RIVALRY by J.N. Tomczak is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for some a $10 Amazon GC & a signed poster of the book cover courtesy of J.N. & Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.

About The Book:

Title: EDENHART'S RIVALRY (Kingdom of the Faeries #1)

Author: J.N. Tomczak

Pub. Date: May 1, 2021

Publisher: J.N. Tomczak

Pages: 388

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon

Read for FREE With Kindle Unlimited!

AN ANCIENT CURSE. A KINGDOM IN PERIL. ONE FAERIE TO SAVE THEM ALL…

Darkness is spreading across the kingdoms—and one faerie stands between destruction and survival. Aurora’s peaceful existence is shattered by an unexpected tragedy that leaves her as the last surviving heir to the throne. But her reign is threatened before it can even begin.

Her court swells with spies and traitors. There are growing tales of a mysterious blight. Strange riders abroad are hunting for something—or someone.

On the day of her coronation, she and her loyal friend, Percy, the newly appointed Flight Captain, discover an ancient prophecy sealed away and guarded in a secret chamber beneath the castle. There they uncover a sinister plot that will spiral her people into a war they cannot win on their own. Her courage and wit will be her greatest weapons if she hopes to succeed where others have failed. She must ask herself just how far is she willing to go to save her kingdom and at what costs?