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Fredo’s Dream by Sharon Hamilton

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Fredo's Dream Cover PhotoSharon Hamilton’s newest release is here! Fredo’s Dream continues Sharon’s bestselling series about the fictional Navy SEAL Team 3.

Get your copy of Fredo’s Dream now:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2eLB4e5
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2fBgL0O
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fd7BL0
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2fBkNWQ

 

Fredo’s Dream

Navy SEAL Alphonso Manuel Esquidido “Fredo” Chavez has the heart of a lion and would do anything to protect and honor his beautiful bride, Mia. He’d fought for her love tirelessly, even after his Team buddies suggested he give up. But it’s more than pride that wounds him when he discovers he can’t father children. He is raising another man’s son as his own, but can never give Mia what she wants more than anything else in the world. He has kept this a secret only unto himself and his best friend, Cooper. And he knows time is not on his side.

Mia Guzman has come a long way from wild child girlfriend of San Diego drug dealers, to become the devoted mother and dutiful wife to the man who’s always been there for her, and always will be. She yearns to have a child with Fredo, to honor him with her body in every way she can, perhaps making up for the years she discounted his devotion.

Their beautiful love and marriage will be tested to the limits through twists and turns, though, before the dramatic final outcome that readers will love.

Find out more about the wonderful Sharon Hamilton!

Sharon HamiltonSharon Hamilton is a NYT and USAToday bestselling author most known for her SEAL Brotherhood series.

A lifelong organic gardener, Sharon lives with her husband in the Wine Country of Northern California, where most of her stories take place. When she’s not writing, she’s getting verra verra dirty in the mud or wandering Farmer’s Markets looking for new Heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers.

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Own Your Vote

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by Kim Jones

I’m very pleased to welcome guest blogger Kim Jones today. Kim has a long history of service to his country and to his fellow human beings, and is well-respected by virtually everyone he meets. Oh, yes, and I’ve been married to this wonderful man for almost 25 years. 😊 This post is reprinted with his permission:

To all those who voted for the President-Elect:

I am not judging you.

I am not blaming you for anything, as that would be absurd.

I am not calling you names.

I will not denounce Donald Trump as not-my-president. On the 20th of January President Trump will be my president as well as yours. The process has spoken; I accept the results.

I will not unfriend you on social media or stop talking to you because of your vote. The right to vote your opinion and conscience is key to the survival of our Great Nation, and I respect that right – AND your opinion.

I am not moving to Canada. Having worn the cloth of the nation and served in her defense, I still believe in this great experiment. I feel that my service has earned me the right to live here at least as much as the next person. So no, I’m not going anywhere.

I accept that neither candidate was ideal; that you voted for an issue that was important to you; that campaigns have an effusive amount of rhetoric – on both sides; and your prayers for the President-Elect and his leadership. I have neither issue nor disagreement with any of this.

But it is not enough.

I need more from you.

I need you to “own” your vote, and all that it represents.

I stole that phrase – “own your vote” – from a friend and former colleague of mine. As Dave H. so eloquently put it, “Did [your vote] send a message? Sure did. To the “elite” and the “Washington status quo”? Yes, I suppose. But it also sent a message to a lot of women, minorities, and the economically challenged.” That message is one of fear and uncertainty re: our place in this Great Nation.

The strength of that message has emboldened certain elements in our society. Reports of anti-Muslim graffiti, swastikas, and black men being hung in effigy popped up this past Wednesday and Thursday in increasing numbers. While the President Elect’s campaign denounced the endorsement of a KKK newspaper one week before the election, the President Elect’s own language and remarks created a cacophony of concerning messages re: what would and would not be tolerated in President Trump’s “Great America.”

The concern is real, folks. While I’m not leaving for Canada, many of my non-Caucasian and LGBTQ friends are making certain their passports are up to date (“just in case”). As for me? While pro 2nd amendment, I made a personal choice when I left the service not to pick up another firearm…

…but I spent yesterday pricing shotguns out of fear for my family and my home.

Again, this isn’t a matter of guilt or blame…not even a little. But understand that I’m also not being paranoid and hyperbolic in my reaction. Understand that part of “owning your vote” is owning that part of the message as well at the results.

It also means doing something about it.

See, the reason that many are reacting so offensively and isolating y’all from their lives is because your vote constitutes an affirmative action whose consequence (among other things) has been to reaffirm a very scary message. You’re more than your vote, I get that, but let me ask you: what affirmative actions have you taken in, oh, say the last year to show your solidarity with the downtrodden, with minorities, with women, with the LGBTQ community? NOT passive acceptance but a positive, definitive, affirmative step to make things better?

For some of you, answering this question is easy; indeed, it’ll be easy for many of you whom I count as friend. Still, there are many (dare I say, a majority) who read this that will struggle with this question. If you’re having a hard time thinking of that answer, don’t sweat it. Again, there’s no blame here…but I want you to understand that the concerns raised by those of us who did not vote with you are not simply exaggeration or paranoia.

You are more than your vote, absolutely. But if your vote is the only affirmative message you’ve sent on these issues, are you truly being misjudged and misunderstood?

I will be the first person to admit that the pendulum re: political correctness had swung way too far…but I also remember a time when people, left unfettered and unchecked in this Great Society, were openly discriminatory and abusive to their fellow man. In swinging the pendulum back toward center, will we go too far in the opposite direction?

It would be nice to believe the collective assurances of “of course not” that I hear when I ask this question. But history is not on your side. Worse, as the President Elect has no record of public service I cannot look toward his past for any indication of the future. For now, I can only believe his words…

…and his words concern me.

Now is the time for affirmative action, folks. To take proactive, definitive measures to ensure that this new Great America has a place for all. Let your leaders know that your version of a Great America is no place for hate or derision. When those who would speak of hate shout from the heavens, join with me, shoulder-to-shoulder, to drown them out and let the hate-mongers know that they are not welcome. Be the first in line to erase the racist graffiti, to extend a hand to those different from you (WITHOUT hesitation or qualification). Let your leaders know that immigrants are not criminals by definition, that more than “some” of them are good people.

You took an affirmative action for very personal reasons that made (and still make) sense. I respect that and respect YOU. I know that you are more than just your vote, but the sum of your actions.

So…take action. Own your vote in its totality…and take action to ensure that only the positive, constructive points of your action are brought to reality.

My two cents…


Kim Jones HeadshotKim L. Jones
Director, Cybersecurity Education Consortium
Arizona State University

Kim L. Jones is a 29-year intelligence, security, and risk management professional with expertise in information security strategy; governance & compliance; security operations; and risk management.  A sought-after speaker and industry thought leader, Professor Jones is a former Chief Security Officer who has built, operated, and/or managed information security programs within the financial services, defense, healthcare, manufacturing, and business outsourcing industries.

Jones holds a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a Master’s Degree in Information Assurance from Norwich University.  He also holds the CISM and CISSP certifications.

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Bait Is a Kindle Monthly Deal!

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Bait CoverI’m excited to announce that Bait (Duty & Honor #2) is an Amazon Kindle Monthly Deal! From November 1st through December 5th, it’s only $.99!

“After several assassination attempts on an allied royal, the CIA sends in operative Christina Madison—who bears a striking resemblance to the monarch—to pose as the famous princess and draw out her would-be killer.

When Delta Force Lieutenant Gabriel Morgan’s team is assigned to Christina’s undercover protection detail, he’s less than thrilled. Gabe wants nothing to do with a woman whose rumored screw-up nearly got her last team killed. Not to mention there’s bad blood between Gabe and the CIA—he doesn’t trust anyone who lies for a living.

But once the trap is set and the assassin takes the bait, Gabe must protect her with his life … because danger lurks in the shadows, and now Christina is in the crosshairs.”

Available at HarperCollins Publishers, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

What reviewers are saying:

“Leslie Jones writes strong, passionate stories of the brave men and women who serve and defend our world. Only one so devoted could write such compelling stories of love and sacrifice.” ~Sharon Hamilton, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

“Readers are going to love Leslie Jones’ insight into the world of military intelligence, I loved her strong heroines and great heroes!” ~Kaylea Cross, New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author

“…the authentic voice of a veteran, the heart of a romantic and the soul of patriot. Outstanding!     ~ Erin Quinn, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

“Thrilling suspense and smoking hot attraction that is easy to get hooked on. Yet another suspense story I had a hard time putting down, and wasn’t ready for it to end.” ~ Books & Spoons

“The minute you pick this book up, you are sucked into the story…Bait is really hard to put down, and when you get to the last page, you aren’t ready to let the story go.” ~ Dreams Come True Through Reading

Click here to read an excerpt!

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A Medium’s Haunting

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by Faith Noelle

You know, when I was 8 years old and my teacher asked what I wanted to do with my life, I certainly didn’t answer, “Talk to dead people.” But that’s kind of what went down.

Hi, I’m Faith Noelle, and I’m your friendly neighborhood Medium, retired.

Before we get started, I should probably explain what a Medium is. A lot of TV mediums have a ready-to-go answer to explain what is that we do, but to be honest, I don’t. I don’t speak for other mediums. I only speak for me. So if I were to describe my “gift,” it would be to say I am the glorified Skype service between those alive and those who have kicked it old school and wound up six feet under. Simply put, I am the medium between the living and the dead.

Oh, I can hear it now. “Whaaaa! Why can’t I talk to the dead??? If I can’t talk to them, she can’t talk to them!” Look, it’s not that I’m more serene. There’s no super secret crystal ball I stare into. I swear I don’t have natural gypsy swag wafting from me calling the spirits my way. And I swear lies don’t leave these lips, unless it’s to say your hair looks nice on a humid day. All it is, is you don’t have as good spiritual WiFi as me, that’s all; don’t take personally. In fact I’m here to tell you ANYONE has the ability to speak to Spirit.

So, you want to talk to your dearly departed Auntie and find out where she stashed the family jewels? You want to know where Nanna kept that double fudge chocolate chip brownie recipe? Do you just need peace of mind that your loved one is okay? Here’s what you do. Before bed, I want you to hold your cell phone to your chest and think about the person you want to speak to most. Meditate on this. Try to clear your mind and think of only them and the phone in your hand. I’m not going to guarantee this works the first night but I have heard it working after a few nights of trying.

Now that I’ve shared secrets of the trade and the Medium Guild has put their laser sights on me, I’ll move on to why I was invited to write this guest post: To scare the crap out of you! Who knew Leslie was so Evil? Maybe Kim. Definitely Kim.

It’s October, the month of the spooky and the sweet candies I steal from my cousins’ pillow cases after their Halloween candy raid. So let me now tell you a tale that will make the socks run right off your feet to hide in the panty drawer.

The last house I lived in was large, and on a very big piece of natural desert property. When we moved in, my mother didn’t foresee it as being a pitchfork for the paranormal, but after 8 years of living there, that’s exactly what happened. Our house had become this weird freeway for Spirit. Ghosts and Entities alike came and went like a sibling who goes to school out-of-town but still doesn’t know how to do laundry. It was just constant in and out.

Sometimes, though, Spirit didn’t like to leave. Sometimes Spirit would come to pass through and would stay. I got lucky once with a 7-year-old boy who stayed for about a year. He wasn’t troublesome, and my dogs liked him. Then there’s the case of IT. I call this Entity, or Spirit IT because I couldn’t tell you which it was. All I could tell you was that what ever this thing was, it was old enough to know how to hide itself from most of my gifts.

This thing, IT, was a shadow that would lurk from room to room like a haze during a stormy day. Sunlight would vanish from rooms that had windows facing direct sunlight. Odd smells would drift from room to room. It hung in my hallway and I’d often remark to my mom, “I think something died in the walls.” This was a complaint I posted on Facebook after I started to wonder if I was having mold issues. It took me a night home alone to figure out the months of smells and dark rooms were caused by a paranormal influence.

It had been a relatively calm day. I had just separated from my husband, and my mom had chosen to spend the day with her fiancé across town. It was a nice day to relax and recoup. I spent it writing, drawing, and playing with my dog.

Okay, lies. I spent it with my boyfriend Netflix. Sue me.

Anyway, the hours kind of just slipped by as I caught up on some Doctor Who. I remember I was watching the Doctor do his timey wimey thing, because there was a spooky episode on Queen Victoria and I remember thinking, “So glad I haven’t been visited by any dearly departed un-amused British monarchs.” Though I hear King George is a literal scream.

I was about to make myself dinner when I received a call from my mom. She informed me she would be staying with her fiancé in Avondale, because she didn’t see herself being able to make the long drive back to our house in north Phoenix. Before we got off the phone, I remember there being a long pause before she asked, “Are you okay?” At the time I thought she was referencing my looming divorce, but later she told me she asked because she had a very unsettled feeling that night. I remember telling her I was fine, and wished her an early goodnight before getting off the phone.

Not a second after I put my cell phone down, I felt a shift. I say ‘shift’ because I was standing in the middle of my kitchen and I felt as if the foundation of my very house sank suddenly to the left. I reached out for the counter and steadied myself. As soon as I steadied myself and took a few deep breaths, the air seemed to clear and I felt as if I was able to once again return to preparing dinner.

I turned on my burner and went to grab the meat from the fridge when I heard a loud click. I turned back to the oven and tilted my head seeing the burner had switched itself off. I wondered for a moment if I’d even switched it on. I slowly reached out and made a mental note of myself turning it on before once again retrieving the meat for the tacos. My burner turned itself off 2 more times throughout my meal prep.

I want you to keep the number 3 in the forefront of your mind as you continue to read this, and carry with you the knowledge that when a ghost makes noise in increments of 3, it is usually in insult to the Holy Trinity. I have a theory, though, that the mocking of 3 is not solely a remark on the Christian faith, because there is the common occurrence of Threes in all walks of faith. In Judaism, Ham, Shem, Jabeth. In Buddhism, the triple Bodhi. In Hinduism, the Trimurti: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer. The examples go on and on.

After finishing cooking, I turned off the burner and went to my computer to start my next British show binge. I nestled down and instantly felt a sinking feeling wash over me. I was going to shake it off as home alone jitters when three loud bangs came from my kitchen. It sounded like three pans being thrown as hard as they could against the ground. I leapt to my feet and went to investigate. It wouldn’t be the first time I’d stacked the pans wrong in the pantry. I got to the kitchen and saw nothing amiss, except the damn burner on the stove was on and starting to smoke. My jaw clenched as I stared down at the stove. I remembered very clearly shutting it off.

I walked back to the living room and frowned. My tacos had been flipped onto the ground. I had five dogs at the time, all of whom were fans of tacos. I went to yell and swat the butt of the nearest pooch when I realized none of my dogs were anywhere in the room. I slowly looked around and listened, thinking they all had flipped the tacos together and had gone into hiding with one another.

“Schmalls?” I called for the puppy. After all, she was a puppy and therefore the biggest fan of mischief in the house. I waited for her to come before calling again. When she didn’t show, I sighed heavily and began to walk around the house, calling for any of the dogs who may have ruined my plans for a nice meal. I walked through every room and couldn’t find any of them. Five dogs, and not 1 was in the house. I started to panic.

I ran for the sliding door in the kitchen that led to the back yard. I wondered if we’d left a gate open, or maybe they’d gotten locked out. I flipped on the light to the back porch and went to throw open the door, only to see all five of my dogs at the door staring up at me. It was such a surprise how they were all lined up it made me jump.

“Oh no!” I laughed. “Did I block the doggy door again? I’m sorry!” I went to pull the doggy door free and stopped. It lay wide open. “Why aren’t you coming in?” I stood up straight and went to open the door to let them in when I caught the reflection of a looming shadow behind me in the glass. I turned quickly, a gasp catching in my throat as I came face to face with an empty room. I stayed still for a long moment while looking all around; I had definitely seen someone standing right behind me. It even felt like someone had been lurking behind me. But now there was no one.

“I’m…going…nuts.” I know I said this, because I say this every time. I also believe it every time.

“Hello?” I cringed, really not wanting an answer. “Hello?”

I heard my dog Georgia give the tiniest woof and looked over to see she was staring down into the living room with 2 of my other dogs. I wondered why they weren’t running in to fight over the plate of tipped tacos on the ground. I slowly walked over and stared into the living room. I felt the need to slink my shoulders under the weight of the room. The air hung stagnate and I took a deep breath, smelling the horrific scent that had been plaguing the house for months.

It was at that moment it clicked. For the first time ever, I was the one being haunted. I took a deep breath and squared my shoulders as I walked down into the living room. My stomach dropped when my dogs refused to follow. I took a seat on the coach and slowly looked around.

“I’m here… I’m willing to listen… You don’t have to be scary.” I knew I sounded like a child, and to be honest I felt small in that moment. I heard the smallest of noises and turned to look over my shoulder. My great grandmother’s chair was slowly rocking. “So I like the good old 80’s poltergeist tricks as much as the next girl, but—.”

A loud growl erupted through the hallway leading from my mother’s room.

My dogs started barking, running into the living room. My 17-year-old Jack Russel came scampering from the bedroom where the warning had come from. I myself, I couldn’t move. My hand was slammed over my mouth. I couldn’t tell you if I was trying to contain a scream, or trying to contain the sound of my breathing in an attempt to hide from whatever was messing with me. I heard another loud bang and shot to my feet.

“That was rude and I’m not dealing with it!” I shouted, going to run only to have a great blow connect with my stomach. My feet came up off the ground and I landed back against the couch with a heavy thud. I felt something hot pouring from my stomach and looked down. For a split second, it looked as though crimson blood was spilling from my stomach to pool out into my hands. I cried out in panic, but as soon as I did the blood was gone.

I stayed seated for a long moment. Unable to move, speak, or think due to fear. I let my eyes drift about. I couldn’t see anything but I could hear heavy steps coming from all corners of the house. It sounded like my house was filled with construction workers. Then, as soon as it had started, it was gone.

I got a text from my mom an hour later, asking me if I was okay. I lied, deciding to tell her the truth when she was at home and not across town where she couldn’t do anything. She’d later say, “I knew something was wrong.” As I cleaned up the tacos and did a check of my house just to make sure there was no one alive lurking about, I began to notice different things.

Photos of my face were either scratched, glass broken, or were hanging off the walls. I noticed there were sizable hand print left in reddish dirt against the lower part of the walls. As if someone had been laying on their stomach and dragging themselves through the hallways. At the end of the night I was left with a disturbed, unsettled feeling. Despite this, I tried to sleep.

It was a slow going at first, but after a while I felt myself relax enough that I was able to drift off. I was in the middle of Firefly season 2-land when I felt something tug at my chest. I grunted and swatted while turning in my sleep. It didn’t take much to wake me up, and I was wide awake now.

“Balls.” I clenched my eyes closed and tried to sleep once more, only to feel a pull on the sheet once more. “Derek, come on. It’s been a long night.” Just as the words left my mouth, I remembered that I had packed up my husband stuff a good week before. There wasn’t supposed to be anyone else in bed with me. My eyes slowly drifted to my phone to see 3:00 am flashing at me. My hands gripped onto my sheet as I began to feel the lightest of breaths sweep over the back of my neck. I flipped in the bed quickly and looked at a giant figure looming over me, a gnarled and threatening claw hand positioned over my body. It lunged towards me, and I rolled off the bed and ran for my light switch. As soon as it was on, I turned to see an empty room once more.

“I get it! You’re dark and looming and shit fuck!” I found myself shouting in a panic.

In the morning when my mom came home, I informed her of everything that had gone down, and then was informed of three long scratches ranging from my left shoulder-blade to right hip. We moved a few months later, but not before multiple family members went through their own exhausting paranormal experiences.

Happy Halloween!

Faith Noelle

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Fall Blog Hop Winners!

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Fall Blog Hop ButtonThanks to everyone who participated in our Fall Carnival Blog Hop! We had a fun time and hopefully you discovered some new authors to enjoy. 😄

Congratulations to Caryl K for winning the blog hop grand prize of an $80 Amazon gift card! We will be in touch to get details on sending the gift card.

Special thanks to all of you who signed up for my blog! The winner of a digital copy of any of my books is marionmpc@aol.com! Congratulations! Please email me at leslie@lesliejonesbooks.com and let me know which book you would like!

If you entered one of the author giveaways, below are links to our blog hop authors for you to check and see if you won one of the individual giveaways!

 

Camelia Miron Skiba

Shanyn Hosier

Anne A. Wilson

Jennifer Windrow

Sandy Wright

Mimi Sebastian

Maria Cox

Thanks for participating, and have a fantastic fall!

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