Family of the Tri-Rune by Charles E. Yallowitz

Read that part where Luke Callindor takes on a strange warrior on Tzefira’s behalf.
Genres:  Fantasy, Adventure
About the book:

The magical adventure continues after Luke Callindor and his friends recover from their battles in Haven.

Nyx still has nightmares about casting the genocide spell in Hero’s Gate. Every night her heart is gripped by the sensation of hundreds of goblins dying by her magic. By the request of Lord Highrider and Duke Solomon, she is returning to fix the damage she caused. With Luke Callindor and Sari by her side, Nyx is ready to face the vengeful goblins and opportunistic thieves that plague Hero’s Gate. Yet, there is a darker threat that was born from her violated magic: The Krypters.

It is another action-packed, character driven story that will reveal one of our heroes has been lied to for their entire life.

In this scene:

Read that part where Luke Callindor takes on a strange warrior on Tzefira’s behalf.

Conrad claps his hands over his head and the mercenaries behind him scatter to let a large, lumbering form through. At first, Tzefira thinks it’s an ogre, but the towering warrior lacks the horns and body hair of the primal beasts. All of the mercenaries shrink away from the man, whose body is covered in black, swirling tattoos. His only articles of clothing are a pair of leather boots and brown breeches that are torn in several places. The sun glints off his bald head as if it is made of polished steel, which Tzefira would not be surprised to find is true. This imposing warrior reaches behind his back and pulls out a pair of crimson tonfas. He spins the unique clubs fast enough to send a gust of wind at the mercenaries, who stubbornly refuse to let the show of strength intimidate them.

“Choose your champion,” Conrad requests, reveling in the fear-filled expressions of his enemies. “If you can even find one brave enough to fight my man.”

“I’ll be her champion!” Luke shouts, cutting Tzefira off from speaking.

“You’re not eligible,” the calico quickly states. His tail twitches nervously as he watches the half-elf. “You’re only a temporary member of this army.”

“He’s still a member, Conrad, so I can call upon him to be my champion,” Tzefira points out while stepping in front of Luke. “Unfortunately, he quit before your revolt began, which eliminates him.”

With a victorious sneer, Conrad leans forward and licks his lips. “Then you must choose a new champion.”

“No she doesn’t,” Luke says as if the reason should be obvious. He can see the confusion on the faces of everyone around him. “Your guy isn’t a member of Salamander Army either. Don’t try to tell me he is, Conrad. You would have taken a monster like him on the krypter hunts and I never saw him there. That means being a member of Salamander Army isn’t a requirement to be Tzefira’s champion. If that isn’t enough to convince you, I should point out that you didn’t initially state that the champion has to be one of her men. You simply said she needed a champion and I’m more than qualified to accept the title.”

“He has you there,” Tzefira mentions. She turns on her heels and quietly goes back to the safety of her loyal army. “Feel free to continue arguing with him, Conrad, but you can tell the young man has made up his mind. Slaughter that monster, Luke.”

Conrad scowls at Luke before snapping his fingers and pointing in the forest tracker’s direction. The large man spins his tonfas faster and charges at the smaller warrior. It is an amazing speed for someone so tall and massive, forcing Luke to clumsily jump to the side and block one of the unique clubs. The glancing force is enough to buckle his knees, so he rolls away instead of blocking another attack. He watches the tonfa smash into the ground, sending chunks of earth flying in every direction. With a fluid motion, the large man twists and leaps into the air, his weapons raised above his head. Luke dashes under the tonfas and slams the hilt of one of his sabers into his enemy’s exposed stomach. It feels like he punched a castle wall as a numbing quiver runs up his arm. Luke dances away from the warrior, struggling to keep away from the constantly spinning tonfas.

“Something isn’t right here,” Luke mutters as he runs and slides between the man’s legs. He flips to his feet, spinning around to kick the back of the other warrior’s knee. A dull pain tells him that his foot is broken while his enemy barely stumbles forward.

“What’s going on here, Conrad?” Tzefira asks while she watches Luke frantically hop away from another attack.

“My champion is very strong and durable,” Conrad cheerfully answers. “It’s not my fault your champion is fragile.”

Luke rushes toward Conrad with the tonfa-wielding warrior a few steps behind him. He skids to a stop in front of the calico, nimbly stepping around him and crouching. The mercenaries laugh as Conrad topples over Luke in a panicky attempt to get away from his own champion. Luke rolls toward his opponent as the tonfas strike the ground between Conrad’s legs. The forest tracker slams his heels into the big man’s groin, which has less of an effect than his previous attacks. Luke gets his sabers up in time to block another strike, the earth sinking beneath his feet. Forcing the tonfas to the side, Luke leaps away and cautiously eyes the stone-faced warrior.

“Not even a grunt of pain,” Luke whispers to himself as he moves further away. “This man is either a mute eunuch with magical enhancements or he isn’t human.”

“Stop muttering to yourself,” Conrad snaps at the young warrior.

“How much trouble will I be in if I kill this guy, Tzefira?” Luke asks with a worried glance. “I really don’t want to, but I don’t think he’s giving me a choice.”

“You can kill him, but you’ll have to live with it,” she answers, concerned that Luke is hesitant to kill his opponent.

“I think I can live with it,” Luke says. He does not see any emotion in the man’s cold eyes. “Let’s see how fast you really are, big man.”

Luke sidesteps another attack and immediately spins back toward the man, his sabers slicing into his enemy’s exposed side. A spurt of black blood erupts from the man, causing all of the nearby mercenaries to back away. With a wide grin, Luke gracefully dances around the man, rapidly slicing into him. The man roars and jumps high into the air, flipping backwards to attempt a quick strike at Luke’s head. The half-elf flips to meet his enemy, feeling a tonfa graze his chin as he plants his feet into the man’s surprisingly malleable face. The mercenaries cheer as the large man’s body twists awkwardly and Luke uses him to launch higher into the air. As the man crashes to the ground, Luke spins with his swords out at his sides. Before the fallen warrior can get up, a spinning saber cleanly slices through his head and Luke lands on his twitching body.

Read more

Echoes by Therin Knite

Read that part where Adem and Dynara are interrogating a hit man when they are interrupted by a SWAT team.
Genres:  Sci-fi / Mystery
About the book:

Washington, District of Columbia
United Republic of Earth, 2712

Twenty-three-year-old Adem Adamend has it rough. His name is ludicrous. His friends are few. And the only thing his “kid genius” status has gotten him at the Interdistrict Bureau of Intelligence is a boatload of extra work with no credit in sight.

Then hotshot lawyer Victor Manson is burned to death in his own back yard, and Adem finds himself using his unique skills to piece together the strangest crime he’s ever seen. Strange because the only possible suspect Adem can pin the murder on…is a mythical beast. A dragon.

Before Adem can unravel the mystery of Manson’s death, the Bureau loses jurisdiction to the secretive EDPA, an organization that investigates weird and deadly events. But Adem isn’t one for giving up, so he takes it upon himself to delve deeper into EDPA’s machinations, into the series of unfortunate events that led to Manson’s demise.

And what he finds may change the way he views the world — and himself — forever.

In this scene:

Adem and Dynara flee from an IBI Swat team that interrupts their interrogation of a hit man.
Warning: Mature Language Read more

Casting the First Stone by Lisa Hess

Read that part where Jim decides to seek custody of the daughter he abandoned thirteen years ago.
Genres:  Romantic Women’s fiction
About the book:

Marita Mercer and Angel Alessio are linked by only one thing — a relationship with the same man. When Angel’s husband decides to pursue custody of the child he fathered with Marita, both women are forced to consider what they will — and won’t — do to protect the lives they have built and the families they have created.

In this scene:

After thirteen years of infrequent visitations, Jim Alessio has decided to seek custody of the daughter he fathered out of wedlock. Determined that the man who abandoned them once won’t get a second chance to hurt them, Marita Mercer plans to do everything in her power to keep that from happening. Meanwhile, Jim’s wife, Angel, wonders if there’s a connection between Jim’s sudden desire for custody and her inability to get pregnant. Read more

Blackness Takes Over by Norma Jeanne Karlsson

Read that part where Shannon learns the consequences of taking risks.
Genres:  Romantic Thriller
About the book:

This is the story of a woman, not a damsel in distress or a naïve young woman brought into her own by a man. An orphaned Midwesterner, Shannon Kelly is the fighter in her life, the guide to her own strength, and the center in her personal battles.

After her life is viciously altered at the hands of others, Shannon finds herself living with three new friends (her guys). These men offer her love and support, witty banter and constant entertainment fill their days together.  The last thirteen years Shannon has been satisfied with these friends that have become family and working as a successful attorney, never having wanted for a lover. When Dylan Kellerman enters Shannon’s life he changes its course in more ways than one.

Dylan left six years ago filled with pain and regret when Mia was beaten into a coma, but he’s back to make sure she’s safe now that her attacker has won a retrial. When Mia’s attorney walks into the hospital room (pause for dramatic effect) everything changes. Shannon is vibrant, stunning, and about to rip his head off. After convincing her that he means Mia no harm, their unlikely meeting sets Dylan and Shannon on an unconventional journey to find love.

Their budding romance is hindered when Shannon’s life is threatened due to her connection with Mia. Now, Shannon and the men in her life must battle to keep her safe from unidentified perpetrators before…blackness takes over.

In this scene:

Freshman Shannon Kelly is going to her first college party. Meeting three new potential friends and wanting to step outside her norm, she’s excited for what this night will hold. This evening turns out be a brutal lesson in the consequences of taking risks.

Warning: This scene contains mature language and graphic violence. Read more

Conned by Janette Harjo

Read that part where their little boy vanishes.
Genres: Romanticism, Historical, Paranormal, Fantasy
About the book:

In CONNED, the trilogy’s second book, Valerie and Alecksander meet again, except this time they seem to know more about each other.  In this episode, he is an 18th century con man with supernatural abilities, and she is a childless school marm who loves her “children” to a fault.  Especially a little boy who has no family.

Neither Valerie nor Alecksander trust one another, yet they are drawn to each other.  Regardless of what her inner voice tells her about her feelings for Alecksander, Valerie must protect her “children” from the con artist in town.  Will shadowed memories be enough to foster trust between them and ensure their connection in this time?

And what will happen to the little boy?

In this scene:

Taken from CONNED, the second in the CONNECTIONS Trilogy (expected out in December 2013).  This is the part where their little boy vanishes! Read more

Snowbound by Sarah Winter

Read that part where, caught in a freak blizzard, Liam decides to run for a nearby ranch. It may be a mistake.
Genres:  Contemporary Romance
About the book:

Liam built a successful career as an actor, but has been too busy to slow down and enjoy life. He travels to western Wyoming, where he has been dreaming of going since he was a child in England. He nearly makes it to his destination when a freak spring blizzard strikes hours before it was expected, and is forced to make a choice that could either kill him or save him.

River is a widow who moved away from friends and the lively city of Cody to an isolated ranch to heal. She has made a good life here, learning new skills and earning new responsibilities. She even has a boyfriend who loves her and makes her friends jealous, but there is something missing. She just can’t put her finger on what.

The storm that brings them together may also change their lives forever. It all comes down to a choice.

In this scene:

English actor Liam is on vacation in western Wyoming and is caught in a freak spring blizzard. He has decided that instead of waiting the storm out in his car he will hoof it to a nearby ranch. He is beginning to realize that he may have made a grave mistake.

Mild adult language is used in this scene. Read more

Four Rubbings by Jennifer Hotes

Read that part where Casey dodges Cupid’s arrow.
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, YA/Teen, Women’s Contemporary Fiction
About the book:

Fourteen-year old Josie, haunted by the death of her mother, leads her best friends to an ancient cemetery to rub graves on Halloween night. Convinced she will come away with proof of her mother’s spirit at last, the evening takes an unexpected turn as the teens gravitate four ways into the haunted grounds. Set against the backdrop of the rainy Pacific Northwest, four graves will be rubbed, touching off a series of events that will rattle their once mundane lives. From the lonely World War II hero to an accused witch, the people buried beneath the stones have stories that need an ending. The journey to unravel the mysteries leaves the friends wondering if the graves would’ve been better off left alone.

In this scene:

It’s been four months since the teens rubbed the tombstones. Everything is different. And everything is the same. And on Valentine’s Day, the mysteries behind the tombstones take backstage to make way for budding romance, epic fails and awkward moments.

Read more

I Blame Italy by Lucy Bartholomee

Read that part where our student group discovers delicious, glorious Rome!
Genres:  Travel, Education, Literature, Humor
About the book:

Episodes in Student Travel is a fictionalized account of my authentic experiences traveling overseas with students and families. The names and characters have been completely changed to protect, well, me. To protect the comedy, the events are described pretty much exactly as they happened.

In this scene:

This is the part where I first get a taste of what it really means to take students on an overseas trip, and my students get their first taste of glorious Rome. Read more

Rapunzel by Molly Greene

Read that part where Bree decides to follow the CEO to a clandestine meeting in Sausalito.
Genres:  Mystery, romantic suspense
About the book:

Cambria (Bree) Butler shelved her dream of becoming an investigative journalist long ago. But when she finds a young biotech executive dead on his office floor, she begins to think she might have another shot at it – even though she’s a suspect in the homicide investigation. Bree and her old college friend, Detective Gen Delacourt, begin a danger-filled quest to unravel the puzzle. The deeper they dig, the more truth about their own personal lives is revealed along with the dead man’s. They will both begin again after this is solved … if Bree makes it out alive.

In this scene:

This excerpt of Rapunzel reveals Bree Butler’s spontaneous decision to follow Elergene CEO Taylor Vonnegon to a clandestine meeting in Sausalito. Her decision ultimately causes Vonnegon’s downfall and changes the course of Bree’s life forever … Read more

Fated Folly by Elizabeth Bailey

Read that part where Clare Carradale has inadvertently become compromised herself.
Genres:  Historical Romance, Traditional Romance
About the book:

When youthful Clare Carradale beards the ogre in his den, she is instantly smitten with Sir Rupert Wolverley’s raw and powerful attraction. In an attempt to prevent her brother eloping with Sir Rupert’s niece, Clare is herself compromised. She must either marry his young cousin, Lord Ashendon, whom she detests, or Rupert himself. Can Clare’s hopes of a radiant future be realised in this uneven and improbable match? Both Fate and Ashendon conspire against her. But Clare’s true battle lies in overcoming Rupert’s inner demons, if she is to save her marriage and win through to a promise of happiness.

In this scene:

In trying to prevent her brother’s elopement with Pippa Wolverley, Clare Carradale has inadvertently become compromised herself. Rejecting with loathing the idea of marrying Lord Ashendon, whom she dislikes and who engineered the elopement, Clare is shocked when Sir Rupert Wolverley, Pippa’s uncle and guardian, offers for her instead. As she is already half in love with Rupert, despite the gap of years, she is thrown into an impossible dilemma: Read more