Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Book Review: A Madman's Lectures on Humanity by Nicholas Powell

If you like reflective poetry, A Madman's Lectures on Humanity by Nicholas Powell is a thoughtful and thought-provoking read. This anthology has over 120 poems on various topics having to do with the darker side of humanity.
Take this verse from "A Crumbled Dandelion Road":
The world tells me that it will all be over soon,
as I drink my last bottle of vinegar and regret.
Are we still trying to fabricate masterpieces,
or have we decided that it's not enough?

To me, this epitomizes a sad artistic life. The poem goes on to examine the road one travels from innocence to maturity.

Lines like this one from "Dripping into the Memories" evoke clear visions:
So now here I will forever lay,
with shards of glass within my sea-stormed bay.

Poetry is not en vogue much anymore, it seems, and it makes me sad. It is a necessary component for reading and writing well. I heartily recommend this book as a great start for those of you who want to learn more or who enjoy good poetry.

Link to Amazon

Trad Tuesday: Only Our Rivers Run Free by Mickey MacConnell

This version is sung by Christy Moore though Only Our Rivers Run Free has been recorded by many Irish artists. Mickey MacConnell wrote this song in 1973 about the troubles in Northern Ireland though the song has a much older feel to it.

The lyrics are poignant and lovely:

Only Our Rivers Run Free
When apples still grow in November 
When Blossoms still bloom from each tree 
When leaves are still green in December 
It's then that our land will be free 
I wander her hills and her valleys 
And still through my sorrow I see 
A land that has never known freedom 
And only her rivers run free 

I drink to the death of her manhood 
Those men who'd rather have died 
Than to live in the cold chains of bondage 
To bring back their rights were denied 
Oh where are you now when we need you 
What burns where the flame used to be 
Are ye gone like the snows of last winter 
And will only our rivers run free? 

How sweet is life but we're crying 
How mellow the wine but it's dry 
How fragrant the rose but it's dying 
How gentle the breeze but it sighs 
What good is in youth when it's aging 
What joy is in eyes that can't see 
When there's sorrow in sunshine and flowers 
And still only our rivers run free

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Launch, Excerpt, and New Cover Reveal: Casting in Stone by Morgan Smith


They said ill winds blew at her back. They said she was cursed, a hex, a jinx, a hissing in the dark. And it was true: everywhere she went, no matter what she did, misfortune seemed to follow in her wake. But that, of course, wasn’t the worst of it.
The evil that seemed to track Caoimhe throughout her life had caused so many tragedies. She fled her old life, trying to lose herself in anonymity , but the unholy circumstances of her birth, and the machinations of those who sought to use her existence to further their own schemes followed her still. Can she overcome a long-dead evil and finally be free?

                  Link to Amazon

Bio:  Morgan Smith has been a goatherd, a landscaper, a weaver, a bookstore owner and archaeologist, and she will drop everything to travel anywhere, on the flimsiest of pretexts. Writing is something she has been doing all her life, though, one way or another, and now she thinks she might actually have something to say.

An excerpt from “Casting in Stone”
He strode at me the way he always started a bout, using his bulk to reinforce his supremacy. His first shot would start with a feint to the left, it always did, he was good at it and I had had to find and practice a way to make it look as if only luck succeeded in making him miss that first punishing shot, wherever it came from. I skittered clumsily to the right, got slightly behind him and made him turn quickly.

It’s a problem for bigger fighters, having to maneuver. It throws them off their game. On a battlefield, your enemy is generally right in front of you and there isn’t any finessing it, but one on one, with no distractions, it’s a completely different tale. You need to be able to move and move quickly, and, accustomed to his opponents following his lead, he simply wasn’t used to it. I threw a tentative-looking blow towards his midsection as he came at me again, a shot I knew he could easily block, and then I hopped out of his range.

He started towards me again, this time with purpose. He was going to use his second trick, and try to force me off my feet by virtue of his weight, which was considerable. I danced away and ended up behind him again, and he stumbled, a little, as he turned.

His brow was furrowed, puzzled now, and just a little bit wary. I couldn’t afford that, it was too soon, and I had to get him back to a place where his arrogance would make him commit to something risky. I swung wildly, missing by a mile. He grinned, any momentary doubts erased. He was sure, now, that he had my measure.

He moved back a half-step to adjust the distance and I let him. I knew exactly what I needed to do. I moved sideways fast, tracking his sword, and let him strike.

I felt the blow, as the tip of his sword slid past and under my shield, robbed of most of its force by my meeting it sooner than he wanted. I’d misjudged the angle by a hair, but I was now as committed as he’d been and he let his shield drop away a little as he began to step back, as so many fighters will when they’re sure they’ve hurt you, and he was still smiling.

I was moving with him, inside his range and further, and my sword sank in, deep into his chest, and I pressed it all the way home.

He was already dead when I pulled it free.

Friday, March 25, 2016

New Release: IA Initiate by John Darryl Winston with Excerpt & Giveaway

Welcome to my tour stop for "IA: Initiate" by John Darryl Winston.  This tour runs from March 21 to 25.  Please refer the tour page for the full list of bloggers who are participating in this tour.

Name: IA: Initiate
Author: John Darryl Winston
Publisher: Purple Ash Press
Release Date: April 19, 2014
Genre: Science Fiction
Buy @ Amazon

IA: Initiate is origin story and a hero’s journey that follows thirteen-year-old orphan Naz Andersen and his nine-year-old sister, Meri. They live in a present day alternate Detroit/Chicago-like city known as the Exclave where they are surrounded by poverty, gang violence threatens every corner, and drug dealers rule the streets. Naz thinks he is ordinary except that he hears voices, has nightmares, and walks in his sleep.

The most important thing in the world to Naz is protecting Meri and getting her out of the Exclave and into the prestigious International Academy. But Naz has a secret, one that he is oblivious to, and only Meri knows. When Naz becomes the target of a notorious street gang he begins to discover the voices in his head, the nightmares, and sleepwalking are actually telekinesis and telepathy at play, a gift from his father of whom he has no memory.


Now, standing in the mirror, he studied himself as he picked up his toothbrush with one hand and the tube of toothpaste with the other. As he fumbled with the toothpaste, he looked down and noticed that there were more things on the bathroom sink than there were on his bedroom nightstand, and his temper flared again.
“They were my things,” he said, once more looking at the bathroom door. “My things!” Then he let it go at that.
He put some toothpaste on his toothbrush and began to brush his teeth. Yes, there was something different today. As he brushed his teeth and studied his reflection in the mirror staring back at him, he noticed, out of the corner of his eye, that the tube of toothpaste he had put down was rising again in his reflection, but this time on its own. What was even stranger was that the toothpaste, which he saw hovering in midair next to his face, did not seem all that odd to him.
In the back of his mind he could hear his mother saying something, but between brushing his teeth, the water running, and the suspended toothpaste, her words stayed right there—in the back of his mind.
Again in the mirror, he noticed on the other side of his head that a bar of soap was mimicking the toothpaste, and it began to amuse him. He smiled and began to twist his hair with his free hand. He decided to step back and take it all in, when he noticed that he could not feel the floor, or at least he wasn’t standing on it anymore. He, along with the soap and toothpaste, was suspended in midair. And if things weren’t interesting enough, he noticed a bottle of mouthwash floating by on its side, and in the mirror a towel sailing just over his head.
He became concerned when he heard a rumbling sound growing steadily in the distance and making his mother’s words through the closed bathroom door even more indistinct. It finally dawned on him, it’s an earthquake, and fear began to overtake him for the first time. An earthquake? No, never in the Exclave … a tornado, which would explain that rumbling sound getting louder. He had heard about tornados before but never experienced one. Is this what it’s like … slow motion and things floating all around you? Momma must’ve been trying to warn me, direct me to safety. Is it too late for me to take cover?
He began to panic, and his mind raced, but all about him was in slow motion. He quickly reached for the door, or so he thought, but it was as if his mind and body were separate, and when he looked at his hand, it seemed like minutes went by as it traveled to reach the doorknob. When his hand finally reached the doorknob, he turned it and kept on turning it round and round. It spun around as if broken. He decided just to pull the knob, but the door wouldn’t open. He tried a second time and then a third. He tried to pull it with all his might, but the door still would not budge. It wasn’t locked, but he figured, somehow with all that was going on, it must’ve gotten jammed.
He began to yell, “Ma … Ma … Ma!” But he couldn’t hear the sound of his own voice, even though the rumbling sound that now resembled that of a train didn’t seem loud enough to drown it out. He continued to yell, “Ma … Ma … Ma!” and wondered if she had given up on him.She wouldn’t have left me here, would she? She wouldn’t have left me here to … to … unless she had good reason … a really good reason.
After wrestling with the door for what seemed like an eternity, he let go of the doorknob and noticed the floor coming apart beneath him. Feeling gravity return and take him down with, and through the floor, he tried to grab the doorknob once more, but it was too late. As he plummeted below, he noticed seven distinct shadowy figures. He closed his eyes and braced for impact.


John Darryl Winston is a recording artist, turned educator, turned author. He dates his love of storytelling back to reading the bible with his father and sisters and later when he first saw Superman The Movie as an 11th grader in his high school auditorium. He got the idea for his debut series while piloted a Boys’ Read program as a Detroit Public School teacher. He is the founder of the Adopt an Author program, which has as its mission to create an atmosphere where boys and girls learn to love reading and writing.

He has written songs with and for Grammy winner David Foster and record mogul Clive Davis. He has been a recording artist on Arista and Polygram records, and has written and/or produced songs for Gerald Levert, Jordan Hill, Gerald Alston, and many others.

He’s a graduate of the Recording Institute of Detroit, The Motion Picture Institute of Michigan, and Wayne State University. He has his MA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University and will be graduating, June 2016 with his MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes. He lives in Detroit with daughter, Marquette and plans to buy an African Grey Parrot when he conquers his irrational fear of birds and name him or her Tony or Toni.


John is offering ecopies of IA: Initiate to the 5 winners of the below Rafflecopter.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Fantasy Worlds emag

The April Issue is out now!
 Get your copy here Fantasy Worlds emag

Book Review: Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors by H.L. Burke

Read the review in Fantasy Worlds emag

Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors by H.L. Burke is a YA Steampunk story full of twists and turns. Nyssa is an electrical apprentice working in a shop on Clockwork Row that repairs videophones, radios, and signal sending devices. It's a step up from the cat burglar that she once was.
The book starts with a mysterious man who comes into the shop to procure Nyssa's services, but not as a repair person. He's looking for a burglar. When Nyssa doesn't agree, she is forced to escape where she falls into the hands of his rival. She agrees, since she has no choice at this point, to break into Dalhart Mansion, a deserted estate that belonged to Professor Dalhart, the famous inventor of the videophone, computers, and robotics. She's to obtain his papers that detail his inventions - the only problem is that the mansion is booby-trapped. Numerous people have tried to break in and no one has come out alive.
Nyssa does manage to get in far enough that she can activate the house computer which she calls 'Hart'. Hart has huge chunks of memory missing and his circuits have been cut off, but he tries to help Nyssa navigate the huge house which is filled with special mirrors. I don't want to give away any more of the story, but there are many surprises. There is also some violence as the stakes get higher and higher.
H.L. Burke does a wonderful job portraying the world Nyssa inhabits. There are steam engines and corsets along with the older technology (to us) that is so new to the people in the book. Nyssa is an engaging heroine, spunky and brash, and she makes a fine team with Hart. This is a well-written and enjoyable adventure story and I look forward to the next book about Nyssa's adventures.


Book Review: Feyland: The Complete Trilogy by Anthea Sharp

Read the review in Fantasy Worlds emag

The Feyland trilogy is an urban fantasy by Anthea Sharp that merges tales of fairies with computer gaming. It is set in a future with g-boards in place of skate boards and wrist chips implanted in rich people's arms.
Jennet Carter is one of the rich kids who has moved to Crestview with her father who is the program manager for a new immersive Sim game called Feyland. His best friend, Thomas, is the lead programmer. Jennet is the first to play the prototype and she finds out right away that it is more than a game. She goes through a portal into the Dark Realm where she battles the Dark Queen and loses part of her essence. She needs to get it back or she will die, but she needs help.
Tam Linn is the best sim gamer around, but he comes from the poor section of Crestview, commonly called the Ex. He doesn't trust Jennet, but he is fascinated by her. Eventually, he agrees to help her. He is hiding his own secrets, a mother who is often lost to drugs and he has the responsibility of his younger brother, called 'the Bug'.
Tam and Jennet battle the Dark Queen of the Unseelie court in the first book of the series. The story is based off the old Scottish ballad called Tam Lin who has to be rescued by his true love from the Queen of the Fairies.
The second book, The Bright Court, has Jennet and Tam struggling to close down the portal and stop the release of the game, else the Fey will be released on humankind. The CEO of the gaming company has a son who has also been playing the game, but he allies himself with the Bright Court of the Seelie king. Jennet and Tam must battle in Feyland while still contending with their everyday efforts in school and homelife.
The third book, The Twilight Kingdom, tells of the final quest against the united courts of the Dark Queen and the Bright King. Jennet and Tam are now part of beta team meant to test the game before its release. They are desperately trying to stop it as the Fey world starts to bleed into their own human world.
Ms. Sharp uses a lot of themes of Celtic mythology and lore in this series. Puck, the Wild Hunt, and changelings are just some of the characters introduced in parts of the story. She does so masterfully, combining the game with these elements in a way that never strikes a false note. I heartily recommend this series as well as the additional books she's written about some of the other characters she created for this series.


New Release, Excerpt and Giveaway - The Purse by Julie Burns

The Purse
by Julie A. Burns


GENRE: Mystery Thriller



When Lydia Blackwell visits her dying father for the last time, he reveals the deeply hidden truth about her mother. After the funeral, the stranger Derek Meade gifts her with a gorgeous antique purse. But before she has the chance to connect with the man who knew her father intimately, Lydia finds Derek murdered in his home.

Lieutenant Sonja MacIntosh is assigned to investigate Mr. Meade’s death, but her career on the force never prepared her for Lydia Blackwell. As Sonja works to solve the murder, Lydia takes the greatest risk of her life in leaving Chicago to search for clues to her mother’s past. Their instant attraction surprises them both, but even through the chaos Lydia can’t deny the intensity of her feelings for the strong willed Lieutenant.

Lydia’s possession of the antique purse throws her already chaotic life into a whirlwind of kidnapping, blackmail, vengeful mob bosses, and mind-numbing revelations. Through it all, Lydia must find the strength to accept herself – and those closest to her – despite their darkest secrets.



As she walked into the bedroom, the smell of her father’s cologne lingered even through all the sickness that had been in the air. Stepping over to the deep walk-in closet, Lydia opened the double doors to reveal her father’s suits, ties, and shoes. She made a mental note to have Rosita donate her father’s clothes so they didn’t hang like a shrine. She stared at every inch of the closet until her eyes fell on a small shoebox buried on the top shelf. Lydia retrieved the step-ladder from within a hidden compartment in the closet’s wall and stood on it to pull down the shoebox. Without thinking, she strolled over to her father’s bed, sat down, and went through all the memories kept in the cardboard box.

Many were just baby pictures of Lydia, and then she discovered a picture of her mother when she was pregnant. How beautiful she was; she looked so happy and carefree. What in the world could have happened? More questions, no answers. Lydia decided to keep the picture with her. Digging deeper yet into the box, she also found pictures of her father and Derek together. They made a handsome couple, though it was still difficult to believe her father had been involved with a man. At least true love hadn’t escaped him as she’d previously thought.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Julie A. Burns is a native Iowan born in Marshalltown, Iowa and raised in Davenport, Iowa. After her parent’s divorce at age 7, she took to writing, whether it was her diary or poems about people she met or situations that bothered her. After graduating from high school in 1983, she spent time working as a Nurse’s Aide in different nursing homes in Iowa. In 1989, she gave birth to a daughter, Brittany and raised her as a single parent. In the same year, she enrolled at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology in 1994. Since then, Julie has spent time working with developmentally disabled adults and the mentally ill throughout Iowa and also in Wyoming, where she lived for 6 years. Julie currently lives in Waterloo, Iowa with her spouse. When she’s not writing, she enjoys being a grandmother to 3-year-old Sophie.



Julie will be awarding 1 printed book of The Purse or 2 ebooks (The Purse and a second of their choice) from RRPI to a randomly drawn winner (international) via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

New Release: Finders Keepers by J.J. DiBenedetto & Giveaway

FindersKeepers   1,400 miles. 3 countries 2 men she can't trust. What could go wrong?    FINDERS KEEPERS is the first book in the new Jane Barnaby Adventures series:
It should have been a simple job. All archaeology student Jane Barnaby had to do was pick up a box her professor needed and deliver it to him at his dig site, along with his new car. Yes, his office was in Oxfordshire, and his dig site was in Spain, a trip of 1,400 miles across three countries and two bodies of water. Still, it should have been simple. And it was, until Jane discovered she picked up the wrong box by mistake. Not the one with boring pottery samples, but instead the one with priceless ancient Egyptian artifacts. The one that a team of international art thieves is after. Now she’s chasing – and being chased by – the thieves. And she’s picked up a pair of passengers who claim they can help her outwit them, get her professor’s pottery back and return the artifacts to their rightful owner. If only she could figure out which one of them is working with the thieves and which one she can trust in this high-stakes game of finders keepers.
James047It's available everywhere eBooks are sold: Amazon (Kindle or Paperback) Smashwords Barnes & Noble (Nook or Paperback) Apple iBookstore Kobo  

About the author J.J. (James) Dibenedetto's fans would swear he's got a sixth sense when it comes to seeing into the minds of others and often wonder if his stories could possibly be fiction. He enjoys suspending disbelief with suspenseful paranormal tales that are a perfect blend of reality meets fantasy. His popular Dream Series continues to delight readers with each and every exciting installment. Born in Yonkers, New York, he currently resides in Arlington Virginia with his beautiful wife and a cat he is sure has taken full advantage of its nine lives. When it comes to the cat, he often wonders, but then again it might just be his imagination. You can follow him at his website, on Facebook and on Twitter. And you can find all his books (including the complete Dream Series) on Amazon and on audiobook at Audible.com   Here's an excerpt from Finders Keepers:
JaneThe thieves simply made a mistake. Whether Tom had put his box in the wrong room, or whether the thieves had gotten their wires crossed, who knew? She’d had trouble reading Professor Welldon’s writing; she hadn’t been sure if she was meant to go to Room 16 or Room 18 herself. It hadn’t mattered because the thieves had already gotten there and made the choice for her. “When they finally got where they were going, they opened it up, and you can imagine their surprise.” Jane noted the vagueness there; she assumed Alex knew exactly where that was and, for whatever reason, didn’t want to say. She didn’t challenge him; she kept up her happy fa├žade instead, and he went on. “They knew they couldn’t go back and steal the right box, but they had the label on your pottery, they knew where it was supposed to go.” “They’re headed to Mallorca!” Jane couldn’t help herself; the words just poured out. “They’re going to wait there until I show up and try to trade, the pottery for the artifacts!” She knew she’d said too much. Alex’s eyes lit up, just for an instant, when she mentioned Mallorca. That was something, obviously, he hadn’t known. But he caught himself almost immediately, and so did she. She wondered if he knew that she knew he was putting on an act. She wondered if he knew that she knew that he knew she was, too. And she wondered if she had any aspirin in her purse, because that train of thought was giving her a headache.
Last, but not least, to celebrate the launch of FINDERS KEEPERS, I'm giving away a signed paperback copy of either this new book, or any one of my Dream Series novels (winner's choice). For your chance to win, just click HERE to enter!)        

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Trad Tuesday: The Lonesome Boatman by Finbar & Eddie Furey

The Lonesome Boatman was written by Finbar Furey around 1963 when he was nineteen years old. It has no words, but the tune poignantly conveys the idea of a solitary man on the seas.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Regency Romance Book Giveaway and Free Short Story!

Welcome and good luck! Abandon is a sweet but spicy Regency Romance
 that I hope you will enjoy!
See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: Abandon (Kindle Edition). https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/d1ae7d3bf87f6b7e
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Apr 17, 2016 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.                                 

New Free Short Story

Spinster Anne Grey is in London to help her younger sister, Cecily, find a husband.

Richard Blount, Earl of Wakefield is looking for a wife. 
Can Anne win the stern Earl for herself?


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Book Review: Her Imaginary Husband by Lia London

Nikki Fallon has just gotten her dream job: teaching high school English and literature. It's a big change from the deli counter where she's been working and fending off advances from Flip-Flop Man (you'll see when you read it).  Nikki has been in a dating slump, pretty much since high school, so when she meets Will, Coach of the football team, she's pretty impressed by his strong pecs and alluring cologne. Problem is that Will is coming off a bad divorce and is a bit of a womanizer. Nikki panics when Will comes on to her and her imaginary husband is born.
This is a sweet and funny romance about a shy woman sticking her toe into the relationship pool. It doesn't help that the campus cop, Officer Ross, is also attractive and genuinely nice.  There's a nice subset of characters: her best friend, Janna, the other teachers at the school, and above all her students. This is a funny book, but it has its moments of seriousness as Nikki wends her way through the new and often bewildering maze of teaching high school students.
If you're looking for a quick read, pick up a copy of Her Imaginary Husband. You won't regret it.

Link to Amazon

Friday, March 18, 2016

New Release: A Madman's Lectures on Humanity by Nicholas Powell

"When I was younger, I tended to stay quiet about my own problems or romanticized the problems so people wouldn’t worry. Feeling worthless and the only people you know enforcing those thoughts didn’t help much to be honest. I tried once to tell people about when I was hurt and broken. I gave them my shattered heart, told them I was broken, showed them my bleeding wings, and gave them every chance to help me like I helped others. Instead of helping they shattered the remains of my crystal heart, held me against the ground, poured Vaseline on my bleeding wings, and they lit them ablaze until the very feathers were nothing more than crimson ashes and splintered bone. Tell me madmen, where were you then? "

'A Madman's Lectures On Humanity' is a poetry anthology consisting of over 120 poems along a wide range of topics including depression, humanitarianism, anarchy, regret, love, hopelessness, and loss.

Release Date is March 22nd, but you can pre-order here: Amazon

Check out his website where you can order a limited print Handbound Hardcover version!

Nicholas Powell's website

About Nicholas Powell:

Nicholas was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts. He's since moved to Gardner Massachusetts and currently is attending Mount Wachusett Community College towards his associates degree. 

Nicholas Powell first began writing at the young age of thirteen. Eager to learn from the world that surrounded him, he was often the 'voicebox'; the one who people came to when they needed to talk to someone. Even at a young age, he would often give advice to the people who came to talk to him about their problems, while having no one to talk to about his own. This, combined with his writing talents drove him to become more acute about his surroundings, often figuring things out far before his peers. After being hurt by people close to him, he decided to turn the fun hobby of writing into something more formal and serious. He was often ignored when he spoke about the people who abused him or hurt him, so he took to the writing as an escape. By the age of 16, he compiled over 150 poems. By the age of 18, he had compiled over 250.

In 2015, some his poetry was put in a compilation along with other poets into a book entitled 'Soul Stains'. His love for literature went later into submitting poems to multiple magazines he found "Intriguing". Eventually, one of his works was accepted by PearTree Press for their 13th issue of 'The Literacy Hatchet' later in 2015 with the poem 'A Youthful Old Soul'. Despite his attachments into literature and writing, he considers himself a "...Man of many hats...".

He has delved his hands into different careers, from boutique computer construction to carpentry, and encourages others to "explore the interests around you. Not necessarily to master them, but to understand them."

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sneak Peek: Playing with Fire by Emily Robertson

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Title: Playing With Fire

Series: Portwood Brothers, #2

Author: Emily Robertson

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: March 22, 2016

iscream PWF ecover
iscream blurb
Jackson wants the one thing he can’t have, his brother’s girlfriend. He tried to forget her, but even spending nine months Afghanistan didn’t make him want her any less. Now he was heading home, a home he shares with his brother and the woman they both want.

Emma believed that you should never follow your heart. She tried that once, and she ended up alone and broken. After she put the pieces back together, she decided she’d rather forget about love and just have fun. Who needed someone special anyway? Certainly not her.

When both of them realize they are on the same page, they embark in a hot, no-strings arrangement that satisfies their needs without getting their hearts involved. But when you play with fire, someone always gets burned.
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 iscream excerpt
Pulling open the door to the local bar Jackson was hit with a wall of sound.  Josh hadn’t told them they were going to a karaoke bar, but he was cool with that.  He loved karaoke bars.  While Josh had a voice that would make grown men cringe and have babies crying, he had been lucky enough to end up with a pretty decent voice.  Get a few beers in his system and his inhibition usually went out the window.
He couldn’t see who was on stage at the moment, but they were tearing it up.  The duo was damn good.  When he finally got to a place where he could see the stage, he was shocked to see that it was Emma and some guy singing with her.  He never would have guessed a voice that powerful could come out of such a petite woman.  And just like that, the awe he had for her was replaced by annoyance when he saw how touchy she was with the jack off she was singing with.  Sure they were singing about needing each other, but it didn’t mean they had to touch each other like that.  In fact, she was so into the song, she didn’t even see him come in and take a seat at their table.
When the waitress came over, he ordered a beer and listened as Josh introduced the people at the table.  Then he found out that it was Blake, the same Blake who asked Emma out a billion times, on stage with her, and he was just irritated.  He shouldn’t care.  He knew that, but he did.  He didn’t care if they weren’t really in a relationship or not.  The guy looked like a weasel.
Blowing out the breath he was holding when the song ended, Jackson finally sat back in his seat and tried to relax.  Seeing the stunned look on Emma’s face was all he needed to put his mind at ease and be ready to enjoy the rest of the evening.  He could tell as they walked off stage and as they walked to the table that while they may have been chummy on stage, they didn’t look like anything more than friends off.
Emma took her seat, and thankfully it was next to him.  He wouldn’t have wanted to spend his evening next to Blake the Snake.  Payton had just finished telling a horrible joke when Jackson saw Emma’s hand up on the table.  The urge to touch her came on strong so he reached up and laced their fingers together, loving the way their hands fit.  Emma tensed up and when she gave him a dirty look, he dropped her hand like an electric current had just run through it.  He wasn’t sure what had just happened.  A few seconds later his phone buzzed in his pocket.
 What the hell are you doing?
Jackson smiled as he read the text.  She was getting worked up over nothing.   Uh, why are we texting?  You’re sitting right next to me.
 Because I don’t want to have this conversation with others listening.
 Sorry, I didn’t realize we were secret friends.  What’s it matter if I hold your hand?  You’re damn sexy, and I just couldn’t help myself.
When he saw her crack a smile, he knew all was forgiven.   Just didn’t think it’d be a good idea to present ourselves as a couple when we aren’t.
That made him laugh.   Too late.
 Josh and Payton think we’re dating.
Emma choked on her drink and Jackson patted her back until she caught her breath.  After she had recovered from her coughing fit, she went back to her phone.  This was stupid, but he’d let her do things her way.  They were, at least, getting somewhere.
 I didn’t know that.  Well, guess you can hold my hand since we both know what’s really going on here.
That was more like it.  Jackson reached over and grabbed her hand and this time, Emma laced their fingers.  A smile spread on his face when he saw Blake’s eyes widen and the smirk on Josh’s face.  Smug bastard.

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The story flow is perfect and really highlights the effect of how true love can literally knock you on your ass when you least expect it!!!
~Tracy (Ladies of Love Blog)

Emily Robertson (evil genius and author of this gem) starts off letting us know that Jax is in love with Payton, his twin brother's girlfriend.
~Becky (Reviews from The Heart)

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Payton always had one rule she lived by, no boyfriends until after college. No one seemed to agree with her, even her own mother who had her at age sixteen. Returning to school after an accident that flipped Payton’s world upside down left her feeling out of control. Holding on to her rule seemed to be her only lifeline.

Josh had been letting the past rule his life for too long. Finally being at school, he’d become his own man, and he’d been putting all that behind him. Just when he thought he had it all put together, life got crazy. Not only did his ex show back up, but Josh also found he couldn’t get Payton Whitmore out of his head.

Once Josh convinces Payton to give him a shot, she’s so closed off that he wonders if it’s even worth it. Josh can tell there’s something special about Payton though, and as soon as he goes all in, he’s ready to show her that some rules are made to be broken.
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iscream about author
iscream emily
Emily Robertson graduated from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas with a degree in Theatre.  She is an avid reader and enjoys reading New Adult and Romance as much as she does writing them.  She currently resides in the Washington D.C. area with her husband and two children.  She loves connecting with and talking to other readers by e-mail, or on Facebook or Twitter.  You can get information on her upcoming works by signing up for her newsletter.
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