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A Sickness in the Soul:An Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mystery

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A Sickness in the Soul: An Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mystery

by William Savage

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GENRE:  Historical Mystery

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BLURB:

“Many people wear masks. Some to hide their feelings; some to conceal their identity; and some to hide that most hideous plague of mankind: a sickness in the soul.”

Ashmole Foxe, Norwich bookseller, man-about-town and solver of mysteries will encounter all of these in this tangled drama of hatred, obsession and redemption.

This is a story set in the England of the 1760s, a time of rigid class distinctions, where the rich idle their days away in magnificent mansions, while hungry children beg, steal and prostitute themselves on the streets. An era on the cusp of revolution in America and France; a land where outward wealth and display hide simmering political and social tensions; a country which had faced intermittent war for the past fifty years and would need to survive a series of world-wide conflicts in the fifty years ahead.

Faced with no less than three murders, occurring from the aristocracy to the seeming senseless professional assassination of a homeless vagrant, Ashmole Foxe must call on all his skill and intelligence to uncover the sickness which appears to be infecting his city’s very soul.

Can Foxe uncover the truth which lies behind a series of baffling deaths, from an aristocrat attending a ball to a vagrant murdered where he slept in a filthy back-alley?

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Cover_A Sickness in the Soul

Excerpt:

Naturally, all this affability ended the moment Foxe stepped into the Great Hall itself. Sir Samuel would have used this as the meeting place to impress his influence and social status on all his visitors, and on Mr Foxe most of all. Now he received Foxe standing, his back to a large fireplace with an elaborate alabaster surround. Above him could be seen the coat of arms of the Valmar family. I may be a man like you, all this seemed to proclaim, but I am not just your social superior. I am a Valmar too. Remember that.

The baronet had dressed himself in a suit of fine brown wool embroidered in gold, over a pale cream waistcoat sprigged with tiny flowers. From his leather shoes with their golden buckles and his spotless white silk stockings up to his freshly powdered wig, he was the embodiment of the rich landowner suffering the attentions of some troublesome tenant. He was also in a combative mood. He launched his attack at once and without preliminaries.

‘Say what you have to say, sir, then get out!’ the baronet barked. ‘I am only suffering your presence because my wife begged me to do so. According to her, you have some important information affecting the Valmar family. My family heritage is everything to me. We Valmars came over with the Conqueror and have been here ever since. In all that time, no one has dishonoured the family name. No one ever shall, while I live and breathe. Now, get on with it — and be brief!’

When Foxe had stood before this man the last time, Sir Samuel had affected an air of complete indifference. Now all was different. What he wanted was to send this meddlesome tradesman about his business; preferably with his tail between his legs. By the end of his opening speech, his face was suffused with red and purple from the effort of holding his temper in check. Foxe noted how the other man’s breathing was shallow, his fists clenched tight and his eyes narrowed with fury. He had expected some such display of temper, but even he was taken aback by the vehemence of Sir Samuel’s attack. Still, he had determined in advance nothing would shake his calmness. He therefore replied in a quiet voice, his words measured and his tone mild and reasonable. To his quiet satisfaction, he observed immediately how much this gentle manner seemed to inflame Sir Samuel even more.

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AuthorPicture

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I started to write fiction as a way of keeping my mind active in retirement. Throughout my life, I have read and enjoyed hundreds of detective stories and mystery novels. One of my other loves is history, so it seemed natural to put the two together. Thus began two series of murder mystery books set in Norfolk, England.

All my books are set between 1760 and around 1800, a period of turmoil in Britain, with constant wars, revolutions in America and France and finally the titanic, 22-year struggle with Napoleon.

The Ashmole Foxe series takes place at the start of this time and is located in Norwich. Mr Foxe is a dandy, a bookseller and, unknown to most around him, the mayor’s immediate choice to deal with anything likely to upset the peace or economic security of the city.

The series featuring Dr Adam Bascom, a young gentleman physician caught up in the beginning of the Napoleonic wars, takes place in a variety of locations near the North Norfolk coast. Adam builds a successful medical practice, but his insatiable curiosity and  knack for unravelling intrigue constantly involve him in mysteries large and small.

I have spent a good deal of my life travelling in Britain and overseas. Now I am more than content to write stories and run a blog devoted to the world of Georgian England, which you can find at http://www.penandpension.com. You can also follow me on Twitter as @penandpension.

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RZBGQ0K

The Ashmole Foxe Mysteries

All https://penandpension.com/my-writing#foxe

The Ashmole Foxe Mysteries http://bit.ly/2Abn1Ks

The Fabric of Murder http://relinks.me/B00W3SDJW8

Dark Threads of Vengeance http://relinks.me/B01FPQ2Q1Y

This Parody of Death http://relinks.me/B06XDNY81B

Bad Blood Will Out http://relinks.me/B079RCVQ4X

Black as She’s Painted http://relinks.me/B07H1SZN37

A Sickness in the Soul https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WF3Y4VJ

Getbook.at/SoulSickness

The Dr Adam Bascom Mysteries

All https://penandpension.com/my-writing#bascom

The Dr Adam Bascom Mysteries http://bit.ly/2k43dSQ

An Unlamented Death http://relinks.me/B00RXGWIY0

The Code for Killing http://relinks.me/B01A2BY1LU

A Shortcut to Murder http://relinks.me/B01M1R78L3

A Tincture of Secrets and Lies http://relinks.me/B075LM2TZP

Death of a Good Samaritan https://relinks.me/B07NLCGK2Y

Blog

Pen and Pension: http://bit.ly/1Kb1Q4k

Author Page

Amazon Author page:  https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RZBGQ0K

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Much Ado About A Widow


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jenna Jaxon will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Lady Georgina Kirkpatrick defied her family, jilted her fiancé, and married the man she loved. But when her husband died at Waterloo, she was delivered right back into her father’s power . . .

Victory is sweet—but England’s triumph was Georgie’s rout. Now that she’s widowed, the loathsome marriage her father first arranged has simply been renegotiated. With neither money nor rights, and nowhere to flee, all she can do is cherish her last weeks of freedom. . . . Until a band of ruffians overtake her carriage and kidnap her. When she escapes in seaside Brighton and encounters her brother’s rather wild friend, Lord St. Just—whom she suspects aspires to be a pirate—she’s prepared to entertain more of his adventurous suggestions than usual . . .

St. Just knows his mind and his duty, and he loves a challenge. Helping a fair lady make her farewells to hoodlums suits his talents well. Within the hour he has Georgie, her lady’s maid—and her little dog too—sailing for his castle in Cornwall. Meanwhile, the lady’s entire family, her kidnappers, and her scheming intended are in pursuit. But as he and the indomitable Georgie grow closer, he begins to suspect that together they will prove a match for them all . . .

Read an Excerpt

“What is all this fuss about, Lulu? You can’t need to go out again so soon.” Peering over the dog’s head, Georgie looked at her father’s outrider cantering beside the carriage.

“Goodness.” The maid stretched and stifled a yawn. “I must have fallen asleep.”

“That’s quite all right.” Georgie’s attention was fixed on the rider. “Look at the man riding alongside us, Clara.”

The maid glanced out the window and shrugged. “What about him?”

“He’s not one of my father’s outriders.” Frowning as she pressed her face against the cold window pane, Georgie moved her head this way and that, seeking a better look.

“He’s not?” Clara slid over to gaze out the window as well. “Then who is he?”

“He’s the man I told you about, the one with the flattened nose who was watching me in the inn yard.” Georgie bounced over to the other side of the carriage, panic rising at the sight of another unfamiliar outrider. “This one too. Folger!” She leaped to her feet and banged on the trap. “Folger! Who are these men? What is going on?”

The chilling silence that ensued was punctuated by the high crack of a whip. The carriage shot forward, throwing Georgie back into her seat, where she narrowly missed Lulu, who was barking wildly.

“What’s happening, my lady?” Eyes wide and wild, Clara clutched her arm.

Georgie’s composure slipped, and dread threatened to engulf her, but she took a deep breath to steady herself and announced, “I am very much afraid we are being kidnapped.”

About the Author:
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

Links:

Blog: http://www.jennajaxon.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jenna.jaxon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jenna_Jaxon
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/passionistimeless

Book Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Much-about-Widow-Widows-Club-ebook/dp/B07Q6VM63Q/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0

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The Wrong Kind by Austin S. Camacho

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The Wrong Kind

by Austin S. Camacho

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GENRE: Mystery

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BLURB:

A distraught woman hires private investigator Hannibal Jones to track down her daughter who has run away, trying to escape the homeless shelter life her mother has come to accept. When Hannibal finds Connie Blanco she is entwined in a gang war and somehow connected to a murder. The corpse is barely cold before a second murder follows and Hannibal finds himself entangled in a complex plot revolving around stolen drugs…but who is the mastermind of this twisted scheme?

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Excerpt:

As Chico’s foot hit the first step he noticed Sophia for the first time. Just as his eyes met hers, Hannibal’s right foot thumped into Chico’s chest, slamming him back into the man whose jacket said he was Dave. Then Hannibal leaped from the porch, smashing his right fist across Billy’s jaw. A side stamp dislocated Jimmy’s right knee. Dave swung past Chico and clipped Hannibal’s cheek. Sophia gasped at the flesh-on-flesh sound of the blow.

Hannibal blocked the follow-up punch and snapped two crisp jabs into Dave’s face, staggering him into the tree growing up out of the sidewalk. Chico tried to slip past Hannibal, still driving for the door.

“Not tonight,” Hannibal said through clenched teeth. Sophia didn’t think Chico ever even saw the three punches, left-left-right that put him on his back, barely conscious.

With no standing attackers, Hannibal stepped back up onto the porch. “That was fun, but now I’m running out of patience with you boys.” Hannibal reached inside his suit coat, under his right arm, and pulled out a pistol. He pointed its muzzle down at Chico’s face.

“There is nothing lower than a man who beats his woman, although anybody helping him is mighty close. I’d beat your asses some more, just for fun, but I don’t feel like answering questions at a hospital. Now, all of y’all, drag your sorry asses out of here. And if I ever hear you came back here, or if you tell anybody where this shelter is, I will hunt you down and end you.

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  1. How long have you been a published author?

I’ve been a published author for 20 years. To be fair, that first novel was self-published but soon after I finished my second mystery both were picked up by a small press.

  1. Do you have any new releases coming soon?

I expect my next novel to hit bookstore shelves late in 2020. The title isn’t finalized yet but it will be a thriller, not a mystery, and it stars a woman named Skye, who is a professional assassin. Skye is hired to take down a criminal mastermind and it’s action all the way.

  1. If you could co-write with another author who would it be?

I would love to write a book with Jeffrey Deaver. I love the way he builds his characters, and every book is filled with twists and turns that I think my writing would fit well with. Not only do I think we could team up to write one hell of a good book, but I would learn so much in the process that I know the experience would raise my writing to a whole new level.

  1. Do you listen to music while writing? If yes, what songs are your favorites?

I have to have music to create good prose, but I’m not sure I have favorite songs. I tend to listen to a weird mix of classic rock and R &B, with other genres occasionally thrown in (but not country.) While I can’t settle on a song I can say that my favorite bands are Steely Dan and Aerosmith, for very different reasons.

  1. What genres do you write in?

I generally alternate between mystery novels and thrillers. The mysteries (like THE WRONG KIND) follow the adventures of Hannibal Jones, a Washington-based, African American private eye. Any of those novels will keep you guessing right to the end. I also write a series of international thrillers featuring ex-mercenary Morgan Stark and retired jewel thief Felicity O’Brien. I’ve also ventured into stand-alones like Beyond Blue and the hired assassin novel I mentioned above.

  1. If you could write anywhere in the world, where would it be?

It’s hard to imagine any place better suited to my writing than my own home office. It’s the right size and I control the environment and music. When I’m writing, the world outside the room I’m in doesn’t matter. So that office could be anywhere on earth, as long as the space inside those four walls was exactly as I like it.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Austin S. Camacho is the author of seven novels about Washington DC-based private eye Hannibal Jones, five in the Stark and O’Brien international adventure-thriller series, and the detective novel, Beyond Blue. His short stories have been featured in several anthologies including Dying in a Winter Wonderland – an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Top Ten Bestseller for 2008. He is featured in the Edgar nominated African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey. Camacho is also editorial director for Intrigue Publishing, a Maryland small press.

https://www.facebook.com/austin.camacho.author/

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Austin S. Camacho will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Tears We Never Cried


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A mother’s tragic diagnosis.
A daughter’s life on hold.
An ending and a new beginning …

Cassandra McDowall’s mother has been forgetful for a while, but she never anticipated rapid-onset Alzheimer’s to come out of nowhere and shake their world to its very core.

As Cassie puts her already-lackluster life on hold, her mom’s indomitable will and spirit of adventure prove to be a handful.

And as her mother fades, the two embark on one last adventure—a journey that reveals secrets on the brink of being lost, the joy of foreign sunsets, and love where she hadn’t thought it possible.

Read an Excerpt

The door shut and I turned around to face Russ.

“The pizza is on the table.” He stopped. “What’s wrong?” He didn’t wait for an answer. Instead he came over and put his hands on my shoulder. “You can’t do this nonstop. It’s taking a toll. Maybe I could take you out—there’s a show you’d love…”

“Russ,” I said cutting him off. I would’ve liked nothing better, but that wasn’t going to happen. “I’d love to, but I can’t. I have to be here for Mom.”

He frowned.

“You’re not alone, Cassie. I’ll be there for you every step of the way if you’ll let me.”

“Russ, I can’t …”

He hauled me against his chest and kissed me. His lips were soft and then hard, hot with passion. Feeling his strength, his heart beat against mine, my breasts rocking against his chest and it was all too much. I wanted him. And nowhere in my life was there room to have him.

When he let me go I just stood there—shell-shocked, my heart pounding in a good way.

“And not just as friends,” he finished. “I want you in my life, Cass.”

“You can’t think of me like that, Russ.” I shook my head. “Like what?”

“In a romantic situation. It’s never going to happen.” And as final as that statement was I knew by the look on Russ’s face and how I felt when I looked at him, that neither of us believed it.

About the Author:
The winner of her city’s writing award, Ryshia Kennie’s novels have taken her characters from the depression era prairies in her first book “From the Dust” to a across the globe and back again. There’s never a lack of places to set a story as the too long prairie winters occasionally find her with travel journal in hand seeking adventure on foreign shores. While facing off a Monitor Lizard before breakfast or running through the Kasbah chased by an enraged Water Carrier aren’t normal travel experiences and might never find a place in one of her stories, they do make great travel stories. When not collecting odd memories from around the world, she’s writing mainly romantic suspense and women’s fiction.

Website: http://www.ryshiakennie.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ryshiakennie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author.RyshiaKennie/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ryshiakennie

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Tears-we-Never-Cried-ebook/dp/B081HWTVF3/ref=sr_1_6

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Salvaging Love


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Animals aren’t the only thing that need rescuing when a sexy veterinarian encounters a hot-headed attorney…

Perfectly content saving animals at her clinic in a charming but run-down neighborhood, veterinarian Ellie Blevins slams into new landlord, Jackson Kincaid, who plans to turn her beloved block of buildings into condos.

Intrigued by Ellie, hot-shot defense attorney Jackson gives her one month to convince him not to put his gentrification plans into progress. Attraction soon sizzles between them, but when Jackson makes his desires known, Ellie’s vulnerable heart doesn’t know what to think.

She wants to trust the sinfully handsome Jackson, just as he wants to gain her trust, but finding their way to love isn’t easy when her traumatic past and his criminal clients could sabotage their relationship for good.

Can the enchanting veterinarian and the brooding attorney fight the demons from the past…and build a new future?

Read an Excerpt

“Jackson?”

“I want to be the only one who gets that soft, intimate ‘Hey’ from you.”

What? “I’m confused,” she said quietly.

“I’m not,” he said. “I like the way you look, your gorgeous skin, that cute break in your nose, although I doubt I’d like the way you broke it.”

No, he absolutely would not, she thought, sucking in a breath.

“I like the way you talk to your dogs, the way when you say ‘Hi’ to people you make every single one of them feel special. I fucking love the way your hazel eyes get darker when you’re fighting with me, the confusion in your face when I catch you off guard. You’ve got a fucking fantastic body, and that’s only from seeing you in your scrubs and your sexy yoga pants and I bet I’d like what’s hidden underneath. I like the way your soft voice hits me, the way you smile at everything, except when you’re pissed, which I might like even more. I don’t want the month to learn why a bunch of buildings are worth saving, I want to spend the month getting to know you. Still confused?”

Stunned was more like it. He liked her in her yoga pants? Her nose that was so far from model perfect she could not even go there?

“Ellie? Are you still confused?”

“No?” she squeaked out, but it was definitely a question, because, hell yes, she was still confused. Was he high? Or blind? Maybe both?

He laughed. “We’ll get there. How was the rest of your day?”

About the Author:
Puget Sound based writer, Sara Ohlin is a mom, wannabe photographer, obsessive reader, ridiculous foodie, and the author of the contemporary romance novels, Handling the Rancher, Salvaging Love and the upcoming contemporary romance Seducing the Dragonfly.

She has over fifteen years of creative non-fiction and memoir writing experience, and you can find her essays at Anderbo.com, Feminine Collective, Mothers Always Write, Her View from Home, and in anthologies such as Are We Feeling Better Yet? Women Speak about Healthcare in America, Take Care: Tales, Tips, & Love from Women Caregivers, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Although she’s the author of many essays about life, grief, motherhood and the connections we make through delicious food and shared meals, Sara loves creating imaginary worlds with tight-knit communities in her romance novels. She credits her mother, Mary, Nora Roberts and Rosamunde Pilcher for her love of romance.

If she’s not reading or writing, you will most likely find her in the kitchen creating scrumptious meals with her two kids and amazing husband, or perhaps cooking up her next love story.

She once met a person who both “didn’t read books” and wasn’t “that into food” and it nearly broke her heart. You can learn more on her website.

Website: https://saraohlin.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaraOhlin222
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/saraohlin222
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saraohlinwriter/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/saraohlin/
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sara-ohlin
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19491440.Sara_Ohlin

Buy Links

Totally Bound: https://www.totallybound.com/book/salvaging-love
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Salvaging-Love-Rescue-Me-Book-ebook/dp/B07YV7QCY7/
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/salvaging-love-sara-ohlin/1133989420?ean=9781913186852
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/salvaging-love
iBook: https://books.apple.com/us/book/salvaging-love/id1485236324
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Sara_Ohlin_Salvaging_Love?id=GL60DwAAQBAJ

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His Salvation Book Blast


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be presenting a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Will the woman he left behind a decade ago be His Salvation?

Seth McCullough left behind his high school sweetheart, Krista Chancellor, determined to keep her safe. Running from his own demons, Seth joined the military, hoping for a new start.

Ten years later, after experiencing psychological and physical trauma, Seth takes a trip to Mexico for rest and relaxation. Waking up one morning confused, bloody, and linked to multiple high profile murders, Seth is sure he’s lost what little sanity he has left. Determined to find answers, Seth reaches out to the only person he ever trusted, his old flame, Krista.

Now, Krista and Seth find themselves embroiled in an agenda too terrifying to comprehend. Not sure who to trust, and looking for answers, will the woman he left behind over a decade ago be His Salvation, or his ruin?

PLEASE NOTE: This is the second edition. It has extensive rewrites and has been re-edited.

About the Author: Michelle King lives in the Pacific Northwest with her four quirky and beautiful children. She loves coffee, Superman, rollercoasters, and has an addiction to chapstick.

She works as a registered nurse and in her spare time writes novels. As a multi-genre author, she has written in the categories of romance suspense, young adult, women’s fiction, and literary fiction. She has won four literary awards. You can visit Michelle’s website at https://www.authormichelleking.com/

Social links:

https://www.authormichelleking.com/
https://www.facebook.com/michelle.authorpage
https://www.facebook.com/Michelle-King-Author-544448685599147/?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/Michelle_King_1
https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004TZ0CUK
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5061809.Michelle_King
https://plus.google.com/u/0/105101655597839729577

Buly Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0815R79LT/ref=x_gr_w_bb_sin

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The Portal to Thenitiwan


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ada Stone will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Over 9,000 years ago, an ancient spiritual energy leaks through a link in time entering Thenitiwan, destroying the barrier between the past and future. The spirit enters a host or Hawopas to block the portals spiritual gravity through carnal energy of a living body to survive.

Over the centuries, a powerful civilization called Sagerowa emerges knowing that history favors the rise and death of great nations throughout time. Sagerowa eventually gained control of the gateway and entered future eras and destroyed them to weaken them and sought to freeze their era in time forever.

Many years later in the midst of the tension of the nation’s most recent war, Joie tries to return home with the assistance of Xuca who escorted her to safety. Xuca however is unable to look after her and be loyal to his goals and let her go as a priority. She soon finds comfort and resolve in a stranger named Keogx from the pain of missing the soldier she felt had her back and unknowingly more parts of her heart.

Read an Excerpt from Book Two:

“Is there something wrong soldier?” asked head to the soldier who just arrived finally.

“No, no. I am fine,” Lahi said.

“Where have you been, soldier?” asked head.

“I was worried about Suyoke. He is still irresponsive,” She said with difficulty.

“Have you seen General Daeli by any chance?” asked the head to Lahi.

“Sir. He left on the mission with Ero. I was going to go with him. But he suggested I stay here to watch Suyoke and be here for the army if they never made it back,” she said.

The head looked at the general who last seen Daeli then at Lahi standing before the court suspiciously.

He then directed his eyes back to Lahi who tried to hide her pain for her fellow soldier Suyoke.

“Lahi, you must have heard at some point that the mission was cancelled right?

“No sir. I wasn’t informed. I was last told it was the mission was official and was excited to go but…” Lahi stated.

“General Daeli didn’t tell you?!” said a council member.

There is a great clamoring throughout the court room. There was random talking and voices of disproval and surprise.

“We have a problem. They could be out there anywhere, by now. In danger or an unauthorized battle with the enemy army, or worst. We will have to send a search team. They couldn’t have gotten far. Unit 1 shall be asked to go. Please take off tonight. Or we might lose them…all,” said the head council member.

The doors swung open a second time and everyone looked in that direction wondering who would enter.

“No need for that head council,” said Captain Rhena.

Everyone stood up and stared at the entrance.

Walking into the court room after her was General Daeli who stated, “Nobody has to go anywhere.” He said with a look of assuredness on his face. We’re back now from the mission. Following them was Ero and then Guesa.

The court was astounded and relieved.

Staring at them surprised for a while, the head council member then said, “Welcome back.”

Rhena smiled and said, “Thanks.”

Rhena said, “I have a message from the other side of this war. The enemy are making their plans to weaken us. They have new strategies. I must inform the army on what we can do. I am prepared to update the S.S. They are ready to bring us down and will if we step into their traps. They’re out there.”

Unit 1 General said, “I am glad they showed up when they did. Because I wasn’t going to budge,” folding his arms looking at Daeli who stared back in opposition and then turned away.

Xuca stood among the rest of the crowd of soldiers celebrating. He looked at Daeli whose eyes met his and then looked away trying to ignore his fixed look of “Told you so.”

“You may report,” said the head to Rhena. “But you four soldiers must recover from the expedition first. For now, this court is dismissed. Returned first thing tomorrow,” he hits the hammer. The members and soldiers stood and gradually exited the door.

Rhena looked at General Daeli and said, “Thanks, for being loyal to your comrades Daeli. You showed me something today. It’s never too late for people to change. People do change,” said Rhena to him.

“Or begin to show their true colors?” Daeli replied sternly then slightly smiled.

Rhena turned to Ero and Guesa, “You must all soon get rest, understand? And I will do the same.

“Yes captain,” the unit said together.

Guesa looked at Xuca who looked back at her for a while. As they looked at each other. He felt guilty for not joining the cause to bring her back. He now knew it was risky but worth it. He looked over at Lahi thinking.

“Guesa,” shouted Lahi who ran towards her and hugged the soldier. “We thought we’d never see you again. I can’t believe you’re ok! It’s been just so long.”

“I’m here now though,” said Guesa.

“Come. I will update you on everything,” said Lahi.

Through the crowd Xuca walked by. “Xuca, I am glad to see you again and that you’re safe. …” said Guesa.

“Same here, thanks,” he continued to walked.

“I heard you were being targeted while gone away. I went after you to help but then I was capture, I am sorry I couldn’t help,” she said.

“No its ok. I was alright,” Xuca said.

The new leader then brushed shoulders with Xuca and said, “Since you are no longer leader. You are just “a” soldier. But don’t worry. I will soon take your given seat as leader. Just watch. I heard it never truly belonged to you anyway.” The leader then walked out the court room along with the rest.

“Ignore it Xuca…he is just talking and nothing more…..right?” said Guesa wondering.

“I have got to go, goodnight,” Said Xuca cutting the conversation short and walked out of the court room.

About the Author: I am Ada Stone and have been writing since high school and interested in societal problems and of course, fiction. The ability to make up a world and share it means a great deal as the real world is what it is.

Book 1 paperback: https://amazon.com/dp/1698876203/ref=sr_1_3
Book 2 Paperback: https://amazon.com/dp/1698877552/ref=sr_1_1
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Ada-M-Stone/e/B07TCK375J/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18939378.Ada_M_Stone

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