Hello Snippeteers! My offering this week is from Gone Away, book 4 of the Circles romantic suspense thriller series.
“We’re going to survive. Both of us. Together. Don’t think anything else, even for a second,” Mason whispered.
Riece nodded. “I know.”
“Did they take your water purifier?”
“No. They searched me and my bag and left me everything except the locator beacon.” Riece studied Mason for a few seconds. “I guess they wanted us to have some supplies to survive longer.”
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Gone Away is available in eBook and paperback
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Damned if you do, damned if you don't...
A solid career, a loving, supportive father and older brother, the best friends in the world, and the love of a special man.
Kane Scott—son of Nathaniel Scott, the Kingmaker, one of the most influential and powerful men in the country—has everything he ever wanted and more. But soon, his happiness becomes clouded by shadows of the past. His husband's past.
From the start, Kane’s heart was captured by the beautiful, emerald-eyed redhead emanating an inner sadness. When Willard asked for Kane’s promise to never inquire about his past, Kane was quick to make that promise.
Now, that forbidden past stands at Kane and Willard’s doorstep, threatening everything they have built together… leaving Kane with two choices: Break his promise and his husband’s trust by pressuring Willard to reveal secrets buried deep within his soul… or stay true to his word and watch helplessly as the man he loves falls to pieces.
Two choices. Two consequences. Kane must determine before it’s too late, which path will lead to healing… and which will lead to destruction. Choosing the wrong path could cost him more than he’s willing to lose.
Nick wasted no time disarming the man. He nudged the other man’s rifle to the side with his foot. Looking around at the others, Nick said softly, “I’m trained as a doctor. That man’s wound is serious, and I can stop the bleeding.”
“Leave him,” the woman snapped. “They’ve been tracking us and picking us off for two days. We’ve got three wounded and have buried two more because of them. We have children they’re shooting at.”
“You all need to be put down.” The wounded man struggled to get up as he talked.
Todd nodded at the man carrying rope. “Can you take care of this one?”
“Of course,” the man said and smiled. Todd got a better look at him. He was barely more than a kid. Todd wondered if he was even the required age, twenty-two, to be released from a slave village.
“What’s your name, kid?” Todd asked.
Todd held the captive tightly until Kells had him tied securely, then shoved him to the ground. While they did that, Nick knelt beside the other man. He reached out and tried to move the man’s clothes away, saying softly, “I need a better look at this.”
The man shoved Nick’s hands away and scrabbled for his gun. Nick pushed it farther out of the way, and the woman retrieved it. “Get your hands off me! You’re the one who caused this,” the man snapped.
“I…you’re bleeding,” Nick insisted. He looked up at Todd, exasperation all over his face. More struggling from the man drew Nick’s attention back to him. “No, don’t do that!” The man grabbed Nick’s knife and yanked it out of his shoulder, screaming through clenched teeth.
Nick nodded, slowly inched to the side of the bed, and stood up. “Todd, are you okay?”
Todd uncurled from the chair and paced close, but not close enough to touch or be touched. Nick watched, uncertain what to do as Todd’s fists clenched and his face reflected some inner struggle. “We have to…get rid…of it…today.”
Hunts using pheromones.
“It knows I’m a sentry.”
Whirling to face Nick, Todd nearly knocked himself over. “It touched you!”
Taking a step back, Nick nodded and ignored how the backs of his eyes pricked and stung. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I didn’t…” He had to explain. He begged, “Please, Todd, listen, five minutes, that’s all I—”
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My Tuesday Teaser this week is from Chained Hearts!
“You will address me as Jah’lar and never, ever tell anyone what you see in me, understood?”
Nick glared at Jah’lar, refusing to agree.
The slight change in Jah’lar’s facial structure, how his eyes flickered from one color to another for a few seconds, were details Nick knew he alone saw. Those small signs told him it wasn’t the drug affecting his breathing. It was Jah’lar himself.
Jah’lar’s eyes brightened from their original pale gray to a sharp, bright, deep blue for a few seconds.
Nick leaned forward, gasping for air, but Jah’lar’s hand on his head prevented him from doubling over and collapsing to the floor. His throat constricted even more, pain flaring along its length as if Nick was being stabbed with tiny needles from the inside.
“Let me try again. I’ll make it simple for you. I am nothing more than a regular man named Jah’lar, understood?”
Vision graying out, Nick saw bits of twinkling light at the very edges of his periphery.
“Understood?” Jah’lar’s voice was soft, kind, even. He skimmed his fingers over Nick’s hair, each time moving down and back up Nick’s neck.
Nick nodded once. Jah’lar leaned down, warm breath blowing against Nick’s ear. “That’s it, not so difficult. I’ll take care of you.”
Chained Hearts is available in eBook and Paperback.
My snippet this week is from Scintilla!
“I like my wife, she likes me, and we’ve had an understanding since the beginning,” Lynch said. “You must appreciate that sort of life, I hear werewolf packs often have such unions.”
“Packs are an invention of Hollywood, we have families.” Not unlike the Mafia has families. Raul didn’t address the part about arranged unions for profit not fun. “But, back to you. You broke the rules and got one of your flings knocked up. But Brandon had the potential for special skills both you and your wife and by extension your families could put to good use. So, your wife let it slide in return for a sparkly new billion-dollar creation,” Raul sniped. He was lining up the dots. Brandon was an indiscretion who turned into the goose who laid the electronic golden egg. Mr. Lynch, douche would be a step up for you. “Does Brandon’s mother have contact with him?” Lynch’s eyebrows went up and Raul snorted. “Please, Mr. Lynch, he’s not the first rich kid I’ve had to track down. Putting jigsaw pieces together is what I do. Did you pay her off to never contact him again, or did she have visitation?”
There are many more snippets on the Rainbow Snippets Facebook group!
Scintilla is available in paperback, eBook and Kindle Unlimited!
S. R. Cronin has a new queer fantasy out (lesbian, poly, demi/bi, ace), The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Susters book 5: She's the One Who Can't Keep Quiet. And there's a Giveaway!
Do you know what your problem is?
Celestine, the fifth of seven sisters, is tired of hearing about hers. Father thinks she’s frivolous because she likes pretty clothes and caters to the crowds in the taverns who adore her music. Mother thinks that because she’s the most social daughter in the family, she can’t keep quiet about anything.
They’re both wrong. Celestine has hidden a secret for most of her life.
As the family beauty and a talented musician with a lyrical voice, she is Mother’s best hope for a son-in-law prince. When a liaison with a prince never happens, everyone assumes Celestine is too picky. But even in somewhat tolerant Ilari, a daughter hates to disappoint her family. How can she tell them she’s in love with a princess instead?
Lucky for Celestine, all six sisters have become obsessed with an invading army headed to their realm. Celestine would rather ignore the threat, and enjoy the freedom their lack of attention gives her. But, her voice can unlock a power that may help save Ilari. And the woman she loves wants to fight these invaders. And her family, for all their talents, seems clueless about how to motivate the masses.
Celestine knows she can inspire the citizens of Ilari to do what needs to be done. Is it time to put her inhibitions aside and use her voice to save those she cares about?
Warnings: There is lightly handled consenual sex bewteen two women (no details) and some violence in the final battle scene (nothing graphic). no other triggers
About the Series:
Can seven women stop the most powerful army the world has seen?
It’s the 1200’s in Ilari, a small mythical realm somewhere between Europe and Asia. Peace and prosperity have reigned for generations. That doesn’t mean every citizen is happy, however.
In the outer nichna of Vinx lives the seven troublesome daughters of an intellectual farmer and his ambitious wife. Ilari has no idea how lucky it is to have this family of misfits, for the Mongols are making their way further westward every winter and this prosperous realm is a tiny plum ripe for picking. Desperate, the seven sisters will devise a way to save their realm. Can their preposterous ideas possibly work?
The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters consists of seven short companion novels. Each tells the personal story and perspective of one of seven radically different sisters in the 1200s as they prepare for an invasion of their realm. While these historical fantasy/alternate history books can be enjoyed as stand-alone novels, together they tell the full story of how Ilari survived.
Which sister do you think saved the realm? That will depend on whose story you are reading.
How did they manage it? Each sister offers surprise information on why this didn’t go the way anyone planned.
S. R. is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card and a gift copy of book one in the series:
I knew music went down better when the audience was on your side. If they didn’t start that way, a good singer had to get them there.
“Hey!” I yelled after a few numbers. The last one had a been a popular jig, yet hardly a finger or toe had tapped while we performed. Most unusual.
“I’ve never seen soldiers so quiet. Did you all party so much last night that you’re still worn out?”
I got a few laughs, but not as many as I expected.
“Come on. Somebody tell us poor troubadours what’s going on. Is one of your commanding officers coming in to check on you?” I looked to my left, then to my right, then gave the crowd an exaggerated look of alarm. “Is he here now?”
Even fewer laughs. Maybe I’d lost my touch.
One young man spoke up. “You seem like a nice lady, so I’ll tell you. Stop trying to cheer us. We got horrible news today and nothing’s going to make us feel better.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. Did someone tell you we’d run out of ale in our realm? No more until Kolada?”
I got more chuckles this time.
“No, Miss. The commander of the Mozdols told us that our lands are in the path of a huge marauding horde of thieves. They’ve been burning and pillaging their way towards us for years and now travelers say we ought to expect them this year or next. We’re to begin training tomorrow for this onslaught.”
For several heartbeats, I stood speechless. I’d never done that on a stage before. But how does one respond to such news? I thought it couldn’t be so dire or so certain. Yet, I sensed arguing with the soldier would hardly win over my audience. What would?
“Then, sir, you should know that the musicians of the realm are at your service.”
I stood tall, as if I were a soldier myself, awaiting a command. This earned me a few derisive laughs.
“No offense meant, but musicians can’t do much in a war.”
“What? Of course we can.” I knew where I was going now. “We can inspire you as you assemble to fight.” I began to tap a slow beat against my leg with my hand. Zamarran figured it out. He added his own strong drumbeat and then I thanked the Goddess I hadn’t misjudged Mirva. Her flute began to sound out a war march to match and I added my voice, choosing random phrases about honor and patriotism and weaving in bits of melodies from well-known songs about the beauty of Ilari. It was a mess, but it conveyed the general idea.
“And as you fight, if some do fall, as some may, we will be there to mourn with you,” I said as the other two moved into the saddest of melodies. I knew enough to only do this for a few breaths. No soldier wanted to dwell on the need for funeral music.
“And, when you’re victorious, and you will be victorious, we’ll be there with you, with a rousing song to celebrate your bravery and our freedom.” At that all three of us found an appropriate joyful noise to make and the room broke into applause. We bowed, we collected some tips, and we got ourselves the Heli off the stage and out of there before anyone had time to think too much about my logic.
As we walked back to campus, Zamarran looked at me in wonder.
“That was one of the best varmin improvisations I have ever seen, and I’ve seen some good ones.”
I shrugged. I’d been doing this sort of thing since I was in basic school. Not with soldiers, of course, but with classmates, teachers, and the parents of my friends, who’d all found themselves standing up and applauding for me and one of my causes over the years.
Zamarran stopped walking and he looked directly at me. Hard.
“This isn’t easy for me to say, but it’s better said now. This will be your trio, not ours.”
“No, we both agreed ….”
“It doesn’t matter what we agreed. You’ve become our voice, and the whole realm will consider it yours no matter what we decide.” He smiled. “I might as well learn to live with it.”
Sherrie Cronin writes stories about people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had. She’s made a lot of stops along the way to telling these tells -- living in seven cities, visiting forty-six countries, and working as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. She’s lost too many beloved cats to mention, but has acquired a husband and three children who are all doing fine, despite how odd she is.
Today she lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina where she writes, answers a hot-line, and occasionally checks her phone for a message from Captain Picard. She still hopes to get the chance to pursue her remaining dream in life and become Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise.
Book Series Blog: https://troublesome7sisters.xyz/
Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/46Ascending
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/cinnabar01
Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s.r.cronin/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5805814.Sherrie_Cronin
Author Liminal Fiction: https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/s-r-cronin/
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sherrie-Cronin/e/B007FRMO9Q
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Family Meal Planner
52 weeks of meals. Log favorites and special pages for recipes, cocktails and more!
This week my teaser is from Electric Candle, book 2 of The Sleepless City.
“You guys have a dog? I love dogs.” Blair was out of the car as soon as it stopped. He wasn’t ashamed to show his exuberance. The realization that he was going to meet people he’d known for several years and thought of as friends was sinking in. “This is like going to Comic-Con and meeting all my gaming buddies.”
Forge had followed Ben to the back of the car and was helping unload the bike. He turned and glared at Blair. “Yes, we live here, and yes, I have a dog. His name is Moose. Let’s get something straight.” Forge slammed the trunk shut and started up the walk to the front door. “We have rules. Rule one, we don’t drink human blood. Rule two, we never drink dog blood or that of any domestic pet unless it died of natural causes and it’s an emergency. Rule three, and this one is an important one, we do not change animals. There will be no vamp-dogs flying around like in those cartoons.”
“Graphic novels,” Blair and Ben corrected. Blair added, “That was Krypto. He wasn’t a vampire.”
Ben laughed. Forge grumbled something and ground his teeth together. Their few moments of being at ease around one another vanished. Forge jammed the key into the lock and shoved the door open, stalking through. Blair followed, barely turning when Ben grabbed at his arm. Ben’s grip slid away almost immediately.
Something hard hit Blair in the chest, and he bounced backward, lost his balance, and landed on his ass on the front porch. “Huh?”
“When did you turn into such a wanker?” Ben snapped at Forge, who suddenly took on the appearance of a gigantic two-year-old chastised for stealing a cookie.
Forge pulled his lower lip between his teeth and mumbled, “Sorry.”
Ben and Forge helped him up. The arm Forge’s hand rested on for a few seconds tingled, sending a jolt of lust through Blair. The way Forge jerked his hand away and turned so Blair couldn’t make eye contact made Blair think he’d felt the same thing.
“What happened?” Blair demanded.
Once Blair was on his feet, Ben let go and rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah, one of the 15 percent that’s real is you have to be invited into a human’s home. I live here, so….” Ben’s voice trailed off.
“Really? That’s what’s true?”
Ben nodded and pulled a face. He gestured grandly at the door, where Forge was hovering on the threshold. “Please, Blair, come in, and welcome to our home.” Ben leveled a harsh look at Forge, then slapped the back of his head when he walked past him into the house.
Electric Candle is available in eBook, paperback and in Kindle Unlimited. This month the eBook is on sale for $2.99, that's 50% off!
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