Sunday, March 31, 2019

Book Blitz: Jugend


Historical Fiction
Release Date: March 31, 2019
Publisher: Unsugarcoated Media

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In 1933, after Hitler's rise to power, the paramilitary HitlerJugend, or Hitler Youth, became the only permitted youth organization in Germany, then known as The Third Reich.   

It’s 1937 now, and a fourteen-year-old German youth, Ernst, is part of a secret mission which will send a group of teen-aged boys to London under the pretense of a bicycle tour to spy for the Nazis. The cyclists’ objective: identify both geographical and human targets for subsequent elimination as Europe approaches a flashpoint that Hitler intends to exploit by waging all-out war.  Ernst’s mentor, Officer Müller, considers him the perfect fit for a special assignment—spy on a wealthy British Jewish family considered a threat to the Reich as they shelter Jewish refugees from Nazi oppression.

In a parallel story, a modern-day American teen-aged orphan, Clark, has fallen under the spell of white supremacy ideology after a series of family misfortunes.  Having lost his mother as a child to cancer and then his father a couple of years later to war in Iraq, he is in the hands of his unscrupulous guardian who manages to plant him as a child-agent in a Muslim household.  Clark’s purpose: prove that the randomly-chosen Muslim family must be terrorists.

Each youth approaches his assignment with a masked heart filled with hate and a deep misunderstanding of who his hosts are, roiling the boys in emotional conflict as events unfold, and forcing each to face what will be the hardest decision of his entire life—help destroy what his handlers fear or find the courage to think for himself and face the consequences.  







Excerpt

Foreword
By Ben Parris

    In the 1930’s, the world was sinking into an abyss of bigotry and imperialism, each flawed concept nudging the other to the brink of global conflict. Eventually, virtually every country in a world awash in propaganda would be drawn into the coda of the Great War that could come to be known as World War II.

    Jugend’s story is wrapped in a little-known, fascinating true story of Hitler Youth trained to spy on England and Scotland in advance of the war the Nazis intended to start, roaming the countryside on bicycles to identify both geographical and human targets for destruction and assassination.  In Jugend, a Jewish family becomes the focus of a shameless mission to plant a boy in a household to work an agenda that is far from clear to him.

    In an eerily parallel story, Jugend also explores modern-day white supremacists in the United States who plant their own child-agent in a Muslim household. Here there is no multi-country alliance and state machinery to support a full-scale assault on decency, but the victims are targeted and the danger is real nonetheless.

    It’s the story of children caught up in an age-old conflict and used as next-generation guided missiles to perpetuate the agenda of hate.  It’s about how far we’ve come and where we need to be.  It’s about two individual children out of many who are forced to face moral choices to carry out missions of hate or to break their brainwashing through first-hand observation of those they were expected to revile.

    As a writer of historical fiction, I am always impressed when the flavor and details of an age are captured in both mood and accuracy; as an educator, I would like to see this particular insightful work in our public schools. With first-class, cinematic workmanship, Jugend provides a magnificent depiction of a course of events in a narrative that never flags or falters.

    This work, however, not only provides a tale of literary worth, but also occupies a higher plane of value by tackling the most complex aspects of the enduring human condition with both clarity and dignity.

    Here we find the ugliness and beauty of human nature, and the power and variability of culture to harm or heal. Jugend does not try to address all issues of racism and prejudice, and it shouldn’t.

    The story is a straightforward one that goes to the core of human understanding where light, tragedy and redemption can be found.


About the Author

AALIA LANIUS, a California native and convert to Islam in 1999, hails from a multi-cultural background, both German and Mediterranean, giving her first-hand knowledge of the topics addressed in her public speaking and creative works.  Her debut novel, Tough Love, a biographical fiction novel, has sold in countries around the world.  Visit the author online at www.UnsugarcoatedMedia.com.  Stay connected on Instagram: @aalia_unsugarcoated


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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Book Blitz: Native Companions: Dreamtime Mysteries


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World Literature, Historical Fiction
Date Published: August 2018
Publisher: Xlibris

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The prologue is a death-bed scene, where Rex Graham and his parents say goodbye to his beloved, Aboriginal grandmother. The young man promises to fulfill Granelda Yaraan’s dying wish to complete his doctorate degree in anthropology. While on study location in the Central Australian desert, Rex discovers a small Aboriginal artefact lying in a dry creek-bed bearing the markings of his tribal totem, whose territory is located in the south-easterly region of the continent.

On his return home, he lays awake, tormented by a vision of Gran’s face, urging him to discover the lost tribal dreamtime legends. He is planning a walkabout to the neighbouring bushland at Yaraan Grove, where an ancient, sacred tree is located, the resting place of his grandmother’s ashes.

Keen to discover some ground-breaking information for his thesis, Rex suddenly remembers a collection of old paintings that his Gran had treasured, promising to preserve them for him, until he was able to interpret their true meanings.

Rex crept down to the library safe, carefully unwrapping the very old parchments and spreading them out on the floor. There were 24 in all, a couple of mythical characters: a bunyip and a birdman known as a keeng-keeng, a hand-sketched map, and a mountain journey. The artist was Gran’s great-grandfather, yet he could obviously read and write because he had labeled some of his works in English grammar.

After carefully re-packing the collection, Rex returned it to the safe and slept soundly till day-break, when he loaded his back-pack and waved to his folk before departing on his journey of discovery. Rex spent the day exploring the magnificent lakeside National Park, but by evening, he was disappointed that he had not uncovered any clues about his ancestors, who had occupied the territory, other than the old scar-tree where his grandmothers remains rest, where a carving of the Booran totem ear-marked a large rock. Rex envisages Gran’s face in the scar on the tree-trunk, caused by Aboriginal boat-crafting. Feeling intoxicated by the bush atmosphere, he spreads his swag and reclines under ‘Gran Yan’s’ canopy.

As Rex falls asleep, the bush comes to life and Gran Yan shares stories with the young trees about the adventures and Dreamtime legends of the Booran tribe, that she learned from ancient priests who shared the mythology at corroborees.

The book is separated into six parts, each containing a glossary of characters involved in the odysseys. The preface contains an overview of Australian indigenous society, their philosophy of living, cultural traditions spiritualism, and language.

An index of tribal connection, names and a glossary of mixed Aboriginal languages and meanings are included at the end of the book, including a bibliography.

24 hand-drawn illustrations created by myself, are peppered throughout the book to keep the reader visually connected to events and characters as they transpire.



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About the Author

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I grew up in South Australia where I received an excellent education before training as a nurse. After a fulfilling nursing career, I spent several years working in the Flinders Ranges at Wilpena Pound where I learned a wealth of knowledge about Aboriginal history in the district. After marrying a farmer, I was kept busy raising four children before returning to my nursing career. It was at that point that I decided that too many people are over medicated with prescription drugs, and the pharmaceutical industry is over embodied in the medical discipline that is supposed to ‘do no harm’.

I undertook studies in traditional medicine and graduated with a degree in Naturopathy and herbal medicine, and went on to study Traditional Chinese Medicine practices including acupuncture, with which I am still a practicing therapist. Having written this story some years previously I was given approval by an indigenous friend to publish the story while living on Bribie Island, where I did most of my research.

After rewriting the story, I first published a junior version in 2017, but revised and rewrote the book, releasing it as junior to adult fiction book in 2018. I have also written a sequel, that was released concurrently, and the third book in the Dreamtime mysteries trilogy, Return to Eternity is almost completed.


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Friday, March 29, 2019

PROMO: The Bloodstone Series by Chris Karlsen @ChrisKarlsen1 #historical #thriller #giveaway


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The Bloodstone Series
Historical Thriller
Date Published: Feb. 21, 2019
Publisher: Books to Go Now

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The set contains three stories centered around Victorian Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone. In Silk, the first in the series and set in 1888, the same year as the Ripper murders, Detective Bloodstone is chasing his own serial killer. With little evidence to go on, his few leads bring him under political scrutiny when his investigation results in a clash with an influential Viscount.

Snifter of Death is book two in the series. When a rash of wealthy men who have nothing in common other than the cause of their deaths...arsenic poisoning, Rudyard and his partner struggle as every lead they have ends up a dead end. The tip they need comes from an unusual source and they must peel the layers of the case away to discover the revenge filled suspect.

Choosing Heart or Home is the one story in the set that doesn’t have Rudyard working a criminal case. It is a warm-hearted romance set during Christmas 1889, he decides to go home to Wales to visit his family for the holidays and take the opportunity to introduce them to his lady love. As so often happens, things don’t go as Rudyard envisioned.


About the Author

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I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books. My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.

  I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write three different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters. The newest is The Bloodstone Series, which is historical suspense with romantic elements. Each series has different time periods, which I find fun to write.

I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and four wild and crazy rescue dogs.


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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Blog Tour: Malak Desert Child by Paul O'Garra with my #review and a #giveaway #fiction @RABTBookTours


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The Boy Who Sailed to Spain Book 2
Fiction
Date Published: January 19, 2019

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A five year old girl-child living in poverty defends her family against the aggressive advances of a drunken and scheming father.

Set in the Moroccan and Algerian Sahara. Malak escapes with her family, to the Saharan birthplace of her mother Tanirt, guided and protected by a mysterious giant.

The feisty child has an unexpected effect on powerful people and becomes a mystically motivated catalyst in events that will have earthshaking consequences for the mysterious desert



Review

Real and to the point. I liked the writing style of Paul O'Garra. 



This is just an overall well balanced novel. The pacing and flow are spot on and I was thoroughly engaged throughout. 

This is a novel that while you think would be very cut and dry is actually not. I was surprised in several spots and the writing was superbly done. 


About the Author

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Paul O´Garra was born in Gibraltar on the 8th May 1952. So many Gibraltarian people exiled by war to the Uk, and to further off, and more exotic places such as Madeira, French Morocco, Jamaica, and Northern Ireland, were returning on troopships, heavy with tears of nostalgia for a homeland which had been, and would never be again.
They, Paul and his three siblings were the children of schoolteachers and were reared with English discipline, learning romantic literature on the one hand, with a large local family of uncles, aunts, cousins and a doting grandmother, who was Spanish from Cadiz, on the other.
Childhood was spent roaming across the Up South, Rosia, and Europa point areas of Gibraltar engaging in childish games and adventures, reading extensively books such as Enid Blyton’ adventure series, ‘Famous Five,’ ‘Secret Seven,’ ‘Swallows and Amazons Forever,’ John Buchan and the ‘Gorbals Die-hards.’ Saturday mornings were a day for avoiding the displeased grimaces of monocled and overweight colonels, delving and searching through the shelves of the old Garrison library to discover new horizons, characters, and stories. The journey of discovery that had begun with Baba the Elephant eventually began to grow richer as the classics were devoured.
 In 1967, he looked on as fellow students of Jewish persuasion prepare to leave for Tel Aviv to defend Israel. Shortly after, the arrival of General Moshe Dayan at the gates of Cairo, signaled to the world that Israel´s direst moment had been overcome. Paul, at the earliest time possible, set off in a steamer from Tangiers, sailing to Southampton. After a spell in London, he left the UK to discover his roots in Malta. In 1974 he wept with the crowds in the Athenian Coliseum the night the Colonels fell, and Nana Mouskouri sang a song to freedom, Verdi´s Nabuco. Later it was a case of returning to Gib. Only to fly away again to discover new places. He alternated callings as a tour guide of Morocco and recoverer of broken down rented cars in the desert, tour guide of south Spain and eventually running a flamenco club on the Costa del Sol, in the days when the Costa was still a new and exciting place to visit.
Eventually, he set off again to discover new places in the Middle and the Far East and the Philippines, and when Perestroika and Glasnost finally arrived at the hands of Mihail Gorbacheff and the Soviet Union was open, set off to discover the East there. He studied Russian at St Petersburg and spent time travelling to the Republic of Udmurtia, Kazan, Siberia and up an uncharted river to meet Tribes that still lived in the area. Nizhny Novgorod and the South Volga. Then to the Ukraine travelling from city to city, falling more and more in love with the great Russian writers and painters as he went. Seventeen years ago at the age of fifty, Paul contracted renal cancer. He was operated on successfully at the Bullfighters Hospital in Pamplona in North Spain. The operation had been a success as the tumour had been totally encapsulated within the removed kidney. Metastasis was practically impossible the surgeons happily reported. Two years later the cancer metastasised to his lungs on which he was duly operated, and half of his lungs were removed. Later for reasons undefined he suffered strokes in both eyes and lost partial sight in one eye and total in the left which he duly recovered by swimming and praying. Seventeen years have gone by since the renal cancer was first discovered, and seven years since his last operation and everything is fine, remission seems to be total.
Paul’s still swims at least one or two kilometres per day all year round, travels, practises martial arts and fervently believes that the Lord leads him by the hand. After leaving the hospital he spent some time in Tangiers, hairless, gaunt and on crutches, but enjoying the warmth and affection of many new friends there. Then off to Prague to study filmmaking, made several shorts but finally decided that he would first write and then make movies when the time came.


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PROMO: The Galactic Adventures of Hazel Gurecoa


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Science Fiction, Sci-fi Adventure
Publisher: Austin Macauley
Published: October 2018

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What is it like to live in 4519 AD in a suspended town in the Earth’s Stratosphere and commute to school in your Inter Galactic Vehicle? How far do the adventures take you? In this story, you will find yourself traveling with Hazel, Richie and their alien best friend, Dmitri, on an exciting roller coaster of a ride of electrifying but perilous adventures from Mars to Enceladus, from Gly to Drethna. You will have to deal with the annoying doorbell, alien creatures, and beings, while on a journey to understanding what Gurecoa is.


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About the Author

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Starlight is the author of the series, The Galactic Adventures of Hazel, which is an inspiration from her fascination of Space and the Unknown ever since her childhood. Through these series, she wants to bring imaginative adventures from different corners of the universe to young and inquisitive readers.

She is a software engineer and she has an MBA degree from Drucker School of Business, Claremont Graduate University. She also took a summer class from Oxford University.  With her knowledge of computer science and management skills, Starlight makes these galactic adventures not only a fascinating and entertaining story of future possibilities in artificial intelligence, technology and space travel, but also a tale crafted with problem-solving skills and ideas.  

She currently lives in California. She loves horseback riding and singing. You can follow her on twitter @starlight_4512.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

PROMO: The Golden Hour


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The Lady Evelyn Mystery Series, Book 4
Mystery, Historical Mystery
Date Published: March 26, 2019
Publisher: BookBaby

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Lady Evelyn Carlisle has barely arrived in London when familial duty calls her away again. Her cousin Gemma is desperate for help with her ailing mother before her imminent wedding, which Evelyn knew nothing about! Aunt Agnes in tow, she journeys to Scotland, expecting to find Malmo Manor in turmoil. To her surprise, her Scottish family has been keeping far more secrets than the troubled state of their matriarch. Adding to the tension in the house a neighbor has opened his home, Elderbrooke Park, as a retreat for artistic veterans of the Great War. This development does not sit well with everyone in the community. Is the suspicion towards the residents a catalyst for murder? A tragedy at Elderbrooke Park's May Day celebration awakens Evelyn's sleuthing instinct, which is strengthened when the story of another unsolved death emerges, connected to her own family. What she uncovers on her quest to expose the truth will change several lives forever, including her own.

With the shadow of history looming over her, Evelyn must trust in her instinct and ability to comb through the past to understand the present, before the murderer can stop her and tragedy strikes again.



Other Books in the The Lady Evelyn Mystery Series



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A Poisonous Journey
The Lady Evelyn Mystery Series, Book 1
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: August 2015


The year is 1925, a time that hovers between two catastrophic wars, a time of jazz and sparkle, and a time of peace and reflection. For Lady Evelyn, struggling to outrun the ghosts of her tragic past, it is a time of transformation.

Left orphaned after a fire when she was only four, Lady Evelyn Carlisle was raised in London by her stern aunt and uncle. Now, twenty years later she has grown restless and is keen to escape her chaperone's grasp. A letter from her cousin, Briony, living with her husband on Crete, comes at just the right time. Packing what she can, Lady Evelyn makes off for foreign shores.

Welcoming her are not only Briony and her husband, Jeffrey, but also his handsome and mysterious friends, Caspar Ballantine and Daniel Harper. Though the latter carries with him tragic memories of the Great War, Evelyn is glad to be in their company. With the sun warming her back and the dazzling sea in her sights, this fresh start seems destined for happy days ahead. Little does she know . . .

What starts off as a sunny holiday quickly turns into a sinister nightmare, when Evelyn stumbles across the corpse of one of her cousin's houseguests. Drawn into the mystery surrounding the murder, Evelyn embarks on a mission to discover the truth, forcing her to face her own past as well as a cold-hearted killer. With the help of her cousin, the handsome local police detective, and the mysterious Daniel Harper, will she uncover the truth, before another life is claimed?




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A Darker Shore
The Lady Evelyn Mystery Series, Book 2
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: December 2016


1926: A year has passed since the events of "A Poisonous Journey" and Lady Evelyn has made a home for herself in Greece, living with her cousin, Briony, her husband, Jeffrey and Daniel Harper. Disturbing this island idyll is a letter, which arrives from France with troubling information about the Daniel’s long-believed-dead brother, Henry. A new journey awaits! With the shadows of the Great War reaching out, Lady Evelyn and Daniel voyage to Amiens in Northern France with the aim of discovering the truth behind the ominous letter. Upon their arrival, they are met not with clarity but rather with crime. Murder, to be precise. Is it linked to their presence in France, or even worse, to Henry himself? Evelyn and Daniel must confront their history as they try to make sense of the present before the killer can strike again, and the secrets of the past are lost forever.




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The Study of Silence
The Lady Evelyn Mystery Series, Book 3
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: February 2018


Lady Evelyn Carlisle has returned home to England, where she is completing her degree at St. Hugh's, a women's college in Oxford. Her days are spent poring over ancient texts and rushing to tutorials. All is well until a fateful morning when her peaceful student life is turned on its head. Stumbling upon the gruesome killing of someone she thought she knew, Evelyn is plunged into a murder investigation once more, much to the chagrin of her friends and family, as well as the intriguing Detective Lucas Stanton. The dreaming spires of Oxford begin to appear decidedly less romantic as she gathers clues, and learns far more than she ever wished to know about the darkness lurking beyond the polished veneer. Can she solve the crime before the killer strikes once more, this time to Evelyn's own detriment?





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 Excerpt
Prologue



"The water is wide, I can't cross o'er.

And neither have I the wings to fly.

Build me a boat that can carry two,

And both shall row, my love and I.



There is a ship and she sails the seas.

She's loaded deep, as deep can be;

But not as deep as the love I'm in

And I know not if I sink or swim.



I leaned my back up against a young oak

Thinking it were a trusty tree

But first it bent and then it broke

Thus did my love prove false to me.



O love is sweet and love is kind

The sweetest flow'r when first it's new

But love grows old and waxes cold

And fades away like the morning dew."



A song dances through the valley, bouncing from crag to crag, across the placid surface of the loch. Emerald hills caress the edge of the water as it laps gently against time-worn stones. The day is drawing to a close, the sky a hazy purple where it meets the peaks. The sun's reflection, an orange orb dipping into a western descent sets the water aflame. A sudden burst of ripples, spreading a fire. The tell-tale plop of a sinking stone. A satisfied chuckle. The crunch of feet flattening the dewy grass.

         It is the way of the young to walk and laugh and stomp about, beauty taken for granted. But youth is not forever, and the performer of the lilting melody, the thrower of the stone, cheerily, blindly trampling across the green, is not immortal.

            A sudden change in the atmosphere, almost imperceptible, the mere beating of a butterfly's wings.

            Four feet now move along the path; two leisurely and two slowly, furtively, unrhythmic in their gait, stalking, preying. The rustle of a bush to hide behind, the quick dart towards a tree might tell of this new arrival. However, those who are happy rarely fear. Those who are good, rarely anticipate the evil lurking within another.

            The sun touches the lowest peak, resting, it seems, upon that precarious perch.

            A sudden start.

            Silence.

            Two voices.

            A Scream.

            Only two feet leave the glen. Two feet and their owner with blood dripping from trembling hands.



About the author:

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Malia Zaidi is the author of The Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.


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PROMO: Father of Contention


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Science Fiction and Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Date Published:  April 9, 2018
Publisher: Tellwell Talent

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There was only ever meant to be one Creator.

In 1972, German scientist Renner Scholz travels to Barbora Bay, Washington where he meets the love of his life, Milena Nowak. Only believing in things proven by science, he becomes obsessed with determining the underlying genetic basis of Milena’s psychic gift.

Stumbling upon an occult ritual, Renner is connected to the spiritual realm where he discovers an unrivaled power that fuels supernatural abilities. But, the answers he’s been searching for come at a cost—his soul.

Driven by new darkness that resides within him, Renner has a breakthrough in his research—able to genetically produce psychic abilities in humans. Milena helplessly watches as her husband becomes deceptive, volatile and both physically and mentally more powerful. Can Milena save Renner from this evil presence? Or will she become an unwilling participant in his next experiment—one of the darkest kinds?


Excerpt

Renner was wracked with an emotion he hadn’t experienced in a while—guilt. The sensation was pushing past a barrier, fighting for him to notice.

How could he have done that to Milena? He loved her. She was his wife. His beloved. He hadn’t meant to explode, lose control of himself, and even now was having trouble remembering all that had happened, parts of his memory missing. But he knew he had hurt her. Her blood had stained his knuckles.

Of course, his day had already been going badly. There was that.

First, catching Paul rummaging through his lab files. Problem number one.

The second problem—the catalyst to his fury—was the interrogation by his boss and the policemen. Renner felt he handled himself well, shirking suspicion from his shoulders. But, the meeting rattled him.

Renner couldn’t manage to calm down after that, unable to focus on his work, his mind completely distracted by Paul’s betrayal and the pending investigation. He ducked out early, wanting to go home and plan a way to get Paul off of his back. Just needing a drink to settle his nerves. A few minutes to himself. But, Milena just wouldn’t leave him alone.

She provoked you. It’s all her fault.

What the voice said was true. Stuck her nose in where it didn’t belong. Pressing and pressing. Problem number three. And hadn’t he asked her nicely to give him some space? If she had just listened, none of this would have happened. But, had she deserved what he had done to her?

Yes, she did deserve it. You did what you had to do. She was going to leave you.

But, he had reacted as his biological father would have. Where had that anger, that violence, come from? Never in a million years would he have thought he was capable of that depth of aggression. Milena was helpless against his fury.

I love her, he thought. I honestly do. How could I do that to her?

Would it have been better if you let her go? You need her, remember? She can’t leave. Not now, not ever.

It was true. He could never live without her. And he also needed her for his research. She was essential to his plans, and even though up until now he had gained her compliance through his elaborate ruse to fake her illness, he would not have to trick her anymore. Everything was much easier this way.

Slowly, his guilt—assuaged by the voice in his mind—abated, and his focus on the prize returned. The timing was actually opportune; did Milena’s last set of blood tests not tell him so? All of his preparations were leading to this point. She was finally ready.

It is time.


About the Author

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Lanie Mores resides in Ontario with her family, although she enjoys traveling to alternate realities through reading, binge-watching Netflix or playing video games.

She has worn many hats throughout her life: cashier, medical records secretary, psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, personal trainer, mom and now author.

Inspired to write by Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, Jean M. Auel, and Margaret Atwood, Lanie works diligently to complete her four-part FATHER OF CONTENTION series.

With her writing, Lanie hopes to inspire her readers to think and live outside the box, to be courageous in following their own passions, and live a life of purpose.


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