Monday, June 27, 2016

Author Glen Craney Stops By: Some Q and A about Virgin of Wind Rose

Q: Just read your book and loved it.  How on earth did you put this whole thing together?  What piece of the mystery inspired you?
A: Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Dina. I get inspiration for many of my books in dreams. These dreams are vivid and contain symbols and images that initially baffle me. One night, I kept hearing the word "SATOR." I awoke and wrote the word down, not knowing what it meant. I thought it might be an abbreviation of "Satori," the Japanese Buddhist term for "awakening" or "enlightenment." I set upon a detective quest, but the "satori" path was a blind alley. Then, a few days later, I stumbled on a reference to an ancient Latin palindrome called the SATOR Square. That clue led to others, and soon I had my plot for the thriller.
Wow!  Like the Akhashic Record!

Q: Have you been to Lalibela?  
A: Unfortunately, no. I've visited many of the places in the novel--Jerusalem, Chartres, Tomar--but my plans for Ethiopia were cancelled because of unrest on the border. I still hope to see the underground churches there.

Q: Who has the Ark and where is it?
A: If I told you, I'd have to induct you into the Knights Templar and swear you to silence. Seriously, I have no clue. If I were given only one place to search, I'd start digging under the Temple Mount. 
Q: How long did it take you to write this novel?
A: About two years of research, and another year to write it. 

Q: Are you a Virgo?  Do you know a lot about astronomy?
A: I'm a Scorpio. Scorpios are said to be drawn to mysteries, so I suppose that I fit the profile. I worked as a lawyer and a journalist before turning to historical fiction, but the skills I learned in both professions have helped me, particularly in the research. Before writing Virgin, I knew very little about astronomy. I had to learn about Age of Discovery theories of astrology and astronomy, and about how the stars were used for the sailing method known as dead reckoning. I also took celestial navigation and sailing classes to better understand my 15th-century characters.

Q: Do you believe in your Christopher Columbus theory?  
A: "Believe" is one of those words that causes me to cringe; perhaps it's because religious enforcers have used it as a hammer. I built the novel by threading and weaving suppositions offered by many historians and researchers. So, I don't claim the Columbus hypothesis as my theory. I've been taught to see all sides of a question and to maintain a healthy skepticism. Still, the deeper I delved into the Columbus mystery, the more I came to suspect that we don't know the full story. His coded signature alone raises so many fascinating questions. 

It's one HELL of a THEORY!

Q: Your Amazon biography says you a member of the press.  Are you writing for a TV news channel or newspaper?
A: In the 1980s, I was a member of the Washington, D.C., press corps and covered national politics and the Iran-contra trial. For the past twenty years, I've been writing scripts and novels full-time.

Q: Do you think the media is biased?
A: It's difficult to generalize. With the rise of cable, the television media has consolidated and splintered into smaller networks that maintain ratings by promoting opinion talkers. Fox News pursues viewers from the conservative Right, MSNBC draws viewers from the progressive Left. We could really use an Edward R. Murrow or a Walter Cronkite right now, but gone are the days when Americans followed one or two network anchors. As for newspapers and magazines, I found that most reporters and editors I worked with were dedicated to finding the truth. They certainly didn't go into the profession to become rich.

Q: Why do you think that the history books got so many things wrong?
A: As the old saying goes, history is written by the victors. For centuries, the royal courts and the Church employed the scribes and monks. It was rarely the mission of the early chroniclers to record impartially what happened; they were charged with portraying their masters and sponsors in the most favorable light. Today, we would call it propaganda. So, our modern concept of history as a scientific endeavor would have been incomprehensible to earlier eras. One of the responsibilities of a serious historical novelist is to champion those whose voices have been suppressed.

Q: What kind of scripts do you write?
A: Historical stories and thrillers. I wrote several of my novels first as movie scripts. Perhaps that's why readers often tell me the books have a cinematic feel.
Q: What other books have you written?
A: Unlike most historical novelists, I write across many eras and go where a good story (and the dreams) takes me. My first novel, The Fire and the Light, is set in 13th-century Occitania and follows a family of Cathar holy women hunted as heretics by Rome. 
My second novel, The Spider and the Stone, set during the Scottish Wars of Independence, unfolds what happened after the events celebrated in the movie, Braveheart. The third novel, The Yanks Are Starving, is the story of the Bonus Army, a ragamuffin band of homeless World War One veterans who marched on Washington in 1932. They were driven from the city by Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the only violent clash between two American armies under the same flag. I've also written a second thriller with my former Columbia University classmate, John Jeter. In The Lucifer Genome, the Black Stone of Kaaba is stolen by a mysterious cabal intent on cornering the global market for the oldest human DNA.

They all sound phenomenal!

Q: What are you working on now?
A: Another historical novel, set during the last days of the American Civil War. 

Q: Where can we stalk you?

Author website:
Author blog:
Author Facebook page:
Author Goodreads page:
Twitter: @glencraney

Author bio: Glen Craney holds graduate degrees from Indiana University School of Law and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He practiced trial law before joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to cover national politics and the Iran-contra trial for Congressional Quarterly magazine. The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences awarded him the Nicholl Fellowship prize for best About the Author new screenwriting, and he is a three-time finalist for Foreword Reviews Book-of-the-Year Award. His debut historical novel, The Fire and the Light, was honored as Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Awards. His books have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, to the Scotland of Robert Bruce, to Portugal during the Age of Discovery, to the trenches of France during World War I, and to the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Book Review: Glen Craney's The Virgin of the Wind Rose-A Christopher Columbus Story

The Virgin of the Wind Rose is set up with two story lines that eventually merge.  The first story line is about a boy Pero from 15th century Portugal.  He and two other boys get caught up with a Templar-esque secret society.  The boys have different talents and learn the ways of sea navigation.  Cristobal Colon or Christopher Columbus enters the story at the end.  Without giving anything away, the author writes about how Queen Isabella tries to usher in the Apocalypse herself so that she can meet Jesus.
The second story line's main character Jaq Quartermane works for the state department.  Her fiance Paul is killed in Lalibela for sketchy reasons.  She takes matters into her own hands, and finds out Paul wasn't telling her the whole truth about why he was even in Lalibela.  Jaq visits the place for answers and then gets swept up into a mystery involving the Ark of the Covenant while meeting Elymas, a Jewish treasure hunter.  Their travels take them around the world.
My Review: Glen's tale has a lot to do with the SATOR square.  The square spells SATOR, ROTAS, AREPO, OPERA, and TENET.  Glen spoon feeds the reader about the significance of the square which is really a puzzle or hidden message.

The square is believed to be the key to finding ancient treasures such as the Ark of the Covenant around the world.  How Glen took this square and created an amazing historical mystery out of it is an amazing feat.  But he doesn't stop there.  Conspiracies and theories about the Templars, Freemasons, Oak Island, Islamic Mehti, Notre Dame churches, Lalibela, Christopher Columbus, star constellations, and much, much more are weaved into the plot.  The characters are realistic as they find clues and unravel the many details to this intricate story.  

It's just about impossible to not compare Glen to Dan Brown's DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons.  He's got a similar style of a fast paced mystery that is jam-packed with research.  Throughout the book, I kept Googling all of the places and things Glen writes. learning more with each chapter.  This is a must read for history fans who are sure to learn something new.  I loved this book and am an instant fan of Glen Craney.  5/5 Star No-Brainer!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Brexit: U.K. Putting on the Brakes to New World Order

The world now knows that the European Union has lost a member, a rich member.  The U.K. has many reasons for their exit (also known as Brexit), but I sense that nationalism and sovereignty are at the core of the citizens' discontent. 
Those who voted to leave barely won despite being indoctrinated and bullied into how poor and unsafe they would become without the EU's membership.  With the world watching this historical referendum, the Brits gracefully exited stage left.  Bye, bye, Brussels!

So why would any country want to leave the E.U.?  Here are some of the U.K. reasons:
1) U.K. spends 12.9 billion pounds a year for EU membership. The way the E.U. works is much like a socialist dictatorship.  Countries who are "rich" pay more in EU fees than countries who are poor.  Some might even argue that countries who are rich pay for countries who are poor. 

2) Big Brother style of rules-only certain kinds of toasters, vacuum cleaners, and hair dryers in the name of the environment can be used.  Eggs are sold by weight and not by the dozen.  Diabetics cannot drive.  These rules are some of the many examples of governmental harassment.

3) Sex and hate crimes committed by the rising influx of Muslim immigrants are being covered up.  One of the most notorious scandals is the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal.  Around 1400 children fell victim to rape, sex trafficking, abduction, and torture from a large gang of immigrants between '97-2013.  The scandal was initially concealed in fear of giving more oxygen to growing "racism" against Muslim immigrants.

4) The immigrant problem as a whole is not working out.  Middle Eastern immigrants set up their own communities with their own laws, failing to assimilate with the rest of the U.K.  They come and they take.  With taxes strangling the working class, the immigration policy of the E.U. is unsustainable.  Hmmm, I think I heard this complaint somewhere else....

As some of you already know, in order for the world to be ruled by the elite, a New World Order needs to take place.  Getting rid of borders and cultures is a big part of that.

Obama even campaigned for Cameron, asking/warning Brits to "stay" within the Union in the name of prosperity and security.  He warned Brits that they would "go to the end of the queue" in terms of trade dealings.

David Cameron stepped down immediately today after the votes were in.  He has been a long time friend to the New World Order movement in Europe.  Below is one of his famous New World Order statements in a Conservative Party speech (2007):

“The other feature of our modern world, of this new world, is the sense of insecurity and danger, particularly in foreign affairs and security. The world that maybe some people dreamed of at the conference back in Bournemouth when it looked as if maybe history would end, that Liberal democracy would triumph, that free market economics would slowly progress and we would have a new world order, that world is not going to happen."
Is Brexit not just a win for the U.K., but a win for the world?

If you like conspiracy theories, buy one of my books.  The Best Seller touches on New World Order but also has Nazis and aliens.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Pope is at it Again: NWO Update

Pope Francis is still following the NWO (New World Order) script while creating more questions about his role in Christian religion. My friend, Ms. Ronda T., brought it to my attention that the pope held a prayer meeting at the Vatican with Muslims and Jews on June 10th.  For the first time in Vatican history, the Koran was read during a service.  This was done in the "name of peace."  He has in the past praised the Koran for being as valid as the Bible.
The Bible says that the anti-Christ will come in the name of peace as will his side-kick, the false prophet.  The pope has set the stage for a unification among the three great religions.  The intended result would of course be a one-world religion.  This hums the tragic ballad of End of Days prophecy.
Pope Francis remains a controversial figure throughout the world.   His biggest world criticisms are climate change and poverty. Socialism seems to be his government of choice.  He is a big supporter of open borders and has even chastised what little control the United States currently has with Mexico, claiming that all should be able to come in.  Ironically news that has to do with religion has little importance to the outspoken pontiff.  For example, the pope hasn't said much if anything about the persecuted Christians and Jews in the Middle East.  Reminder-this pope got the job after Pope Benedict mysteriously resigned.
Before Pope Francis was even the Pope, many were suspicious of him because of an ancient prophecy.  Malachy, a 12th century Irish bishop who was later declared St. Malachy, predicted Peter the Roman would be the last pope before The End of the World.  Pope Francis's father was Peter of Pietro and was from Italy before the family moved to Argentina.  
For the last 900 years Malachy batted a thousand in terms of pope predictions.  He had a vision on his way to Rome that enabled him to name every pope, 112 total, who would rule until Pope #113 also known as the last pope before The End.

Is this pope the last pope?  Will he incorporate other religions into Catholicism?  Does he fit the profile of the false prophet?  
Leave a comment!

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Best Seller-Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Best Seller by Dina Rae

The Best Seller

by Dina Rae

Giveaway ends July 31, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Saul Alinsky: Who the Hell is He? By Frank Fontaine

Saul Alinsky Summary by Frank Fontaine
I've heard the name Saul Alinsky before, but had no idea of the legacy this man left in the political realm.  His work is about world domination and like some of his predecessors such as Machiavelli, Marx, and Lenin, he has caught the attention of key political hacks such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  They have the power to carry out his plan.
Bio: 1909-1972, Jewish American author, writer, archaeologist, and community organizer
Saul supposedly wanted to improve America's ghettos.  He did work in Chicago, Michigan, California, and New York City.  He was exceptional at organizing groups of people.  He wrote a book called Rules for Radicals that is still studied today.  Here's a quote that scared the shit out of me.

Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.

So Saul admires Lucifer....Now there's a role model....

Saul likes to believe his methodology is about the poor rising up and taking down the rich, but it's actually a playbook for Big Brother.  There are 12-24 "rules", but here are how the rules play out in today's society.  
1) Class Warfare: Make the rich out to be evil and the poor out to be oppressed....  So if you work hard and become successful you are to be despised.  Better to stay lazy....
2)  Religion: Remove God from the government.
3) Gun Control: No one should be able to defend themselves.  The police state will do that for you.
4) Debt and poverty: Poor are easy to control.  Increase the debt, then you can tax more and make more people poor.
5) Education: Control what youngsters learn-indoctrination.

So good ol'Saul is about socialism and socialism is about poverty.  All of this sounds like the foundation for New World Order.
Dina Rae, thanks for letting me rant.  LOVE THE NEW BOOK, THE BEST SELLER!
Leave a comment!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Genetics for Dummies (and Science Fiction Writers)

When writing The Best Seller, I wanted to add some realism to creating a hybrid alien and human inside of a laboratory. Genetic engineering and/or genetic modification gave me a semi-believable way it could be done.  Here are some of the tidbits I learned.

1) DNA-Most of it is found in the cell nucleus, some of it is found in mitochondria.  It has four chemical bases-A (Adenine), G (Guanine), C (Cytosine), and T (Thymine).  A and T pair up and then C and G pair up within a strand.  These chemical bases are the "rungs" of the ladder they form.  The vertical sides of the ladder are formed with sugar and phosphate molecules.  Together, they create the double helix.  DNA strands can replicate themselves.

2) Splicing-One part of an organism's DNA is cut out and replaced with another organism's DNA.

3) Hybrid-When two or more organisms form a new organism.  Happens naturally with plants and sexually with animals.  It also happens inside of a lab.  Sometimes hybrid animals are called chimeras.  Manmade hybridization is being done right now in some countries that allow human/animal cross breeding.  There are several ways scientists can go about it such as fertilizing animal eggs with human sperm or  implanting animal eggs with human genes.

4) Genetic Modification: I learned a great deal about this when writing Big Pharma, Big Agri, Big Conspiracy.  Food is the best example of how this is used.  Monsanto Corporation is the international king of perfecting this new kind of food into agriculture.  The general concept consists of splicing genes that protect crops from bugs, drought, frost, etc., into crops that are vulnerable.  The modification could also make certain foods bigger, such as Franken-fish or giant farmed salmon.  Can we genetically modify ourselves with other genes that will help us live longer, be more healthy, or even reverse disease?  Yes.  Designer babies will be here in 2017.  Right now scientists claim to be able wipe out a degenerative eye disease with gene therapy (another fancy term that essentially means gene modification).  

Is it possible to splice a human and alien?  It sure looks that way!


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Goddess Fish Presents: Fueled by Lust: Geleon by Celeste Prater

Fueled by Lust: Geleon
by Celeste Prater
Celeste will be giving away a $20 GC! Leave a comment!


GENRE: Erotic Romance



Hey! Yeah, you! Want in on a juicy secret? Geleon Thaice sure does. Why is the mysterious female of his dreams, wet or otherwise, constantly slipping through his hands? All he craves is to shower her with love and make her his own. Is that so bad? Is it just the fingers of fate doling out yet another allotment of misery upon his head? Or has destiny slyly laid a precise path that’s been waiting patiently for centuries?

Jaelyn Areeda just wants to peacefully survive another day, but the cosmos have her violently colliding with forces out of her control, falling into the capable, muscle-packed arms of a sinfully sexy alpha alien hell bent on inserting himself into her life… as well as her heart, mind, and soul. Will she run—or stay?

Book 9 in the Fueled By Lust Series doesn’t fail in delivering up another scrumptiously hunky male to whet your appetite, make you drool, and dare to love.


His eyes flicked up, and he let loose the most erotic sounding string of foreign words as he licked and nibbled along the edge of the material.

“Donec volueris vesci glutiam unaquaevis stilla dulci sucus.”

Jaelyn didn’t have a clue what the hell he was saying, but she hoped it involved his tongue and a lot of licking and sucking on her very eager clit. She cried out as he slipped a finger under the material to quickly swipe against a very saturated pussy before retreating and pushing the glistening digit into his mouth. His low groan of approval of her taste had her trembling and ready to knock him backward so she could impale herself on his fat cock.

Geleon snapped her out of her madness by popping lightly against her ankle. She hadn’t even realized he’d slid the panties down. She stepped from the material and quickly grabbed his thick shoulders as he rose like a tower, gripped her waist, and tossed her onto the bed. He was breathing heavily and stroking his cock again by time she lifted and braced on her elbows.

“Open your legs. Wide.”

Hell, yeah. Jaelyn spread them without hesitation. His intense green eyes zeroed in on her pussy, pink tongue flicking out just enough to wet his bottom lip.

“I love that you’re hairless. You’ll feel me loving you. Spread those pretty lips with one hand and rub your clit, my foemina. Show me my prize.”

Moaning at the first sensation of her fingers slipping across the hardened bud, she arched her back and dug her heels into the mattress.

“That’s it,” he groaned. “Mmm, I love seeing you touch yourself. Rub it hard, baby. I want to see the pleasure consuming your body.”

The strokes to his cock sped up, igniting her desire to come completely unglued for him. Jaelyn rubbed in a tight circle, clenched her teeth, and moaned as the fire built into a raging inferno, overriding any logical thought.

“Ah, look at that. You’re glistening for me. I can see your pussy flowering and clenching in your need to come. Do you want to come, sweetness?”

“Yes, Geleon,” she panted. “I want to come for you. I’m so close.”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I was born and raised in a small town between Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin. Wanting to see more than her small Texas town, I joined the Marines, which satisfied my craving to see more of the U.S. and my drive to see if I could be one of the few and the proud.

A firm believer in educating the mind, I’ve achieved several advanced degrees, the latest being a master’s of science.

My true love is writing erotic romance, especially about alien hunks that know how to treat their females. Drusus, Severus, Cato, Lucien, Caelius, Maxim and many more have swirled in my dreams until I had to bring them to life and allow them to find love within the pages of the Fueled by Lust book series.

Book 1 DRUSUS was nominated as Top 5 Finalist and placed 3rd in the 2014 RWA Passionate Ink’s 9th Annual Passionate Plume Book Contest in Erotic SciFi/Fantasy Category, Book 2 SEVERUS achieved BEST BOOK review rating and won April 2014 BOOK OF THE MONTH Reader Poll at LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, Book 3 CATO won the May/June 2014 BOOK OF THE MONTH, LUCIEN won the September 2014 BOOK OF THE MONTH, and MAKAR AND BARUCH the SEPTEMBER 2015 BOOK OF THE MONTH Reader Poll at LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS. All currently released books in the series have made it into the Top 5 Bestseller Lists at within days of release as well as making it into the Top 10 Hottest New Releases in Erotic Science Fiction on Amazon.

I would like to give a big shout out to my gorgeous model, Anthony Zuniga, and the awesome cover photographer, David Erickson. You can catch Anthony on Instagram @anthonyzuniga1_ and David at @david_erickson8.

Buy Links for Book Series:

Releasing 5/24/2016 exclusively at and 6-8 weeks later at major retailers.



Barnes & Noble



You can find Celeste at:









Celeste will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Goddess Fish Presents: From Fake to Forever by Jennifer Shirk

From Fake to Forever
by Jennifer Shhirk
Giveaway Below!  Leave a comment!

GENRE:  Contemporary  Romance



Sandra Moyer’s preschool is struggling, so she reluctantly agrees to let super-famous actor Ben Capshaw research a role there. Ben’s always joking around, never serious, but there’s something about the buttoned-up, beautiful Sandra and her young daughter that makes him want to take life more seriously. But Sandra won’t trust him—what if it’s all an act, research for the role? As the lines between make-believe and reality blur, Ben will have to decide if love is worth casting aside the role of his life for a new role…that could last a lifetime.



“C’mon, Uncle Bens. I’m wide-open.”

Ben Capshaw lowered his throwing arm and glared at his agent’s son, Todd. “Will you stop calling me that?”

“But you are my uncle Bens,” Todd said with a frown.

“Yeah, I guess. But when you say it like that I feel like a side dish at a Chinese restaurant.”

The boy snickered. “I know.”

Ben quickly raised the football again and pretended to whip it at him. When Todd flailed his arms and ducked, Ben had his revenge. “Nice move,” he called out with a laugh.

Todd laughed, too. “Okay, c’mon, throw it for real this time. I’m really ready.”

Ben lobbed the football in the air and watched with budding disappointment as it sailed right through Todd’s arms and bounced on the ground. Ben shook his head. The kid obviously needed more practice. “You almost had it,” he lied.

Todd picked up the ball and ran it back to him. “You know, I’m so glad you’re coming for dinner, Uncle Bens. Are you and my mom sure I can’t tell anyone you’re here?”

Ben looked up at the sky and sighed. A sigh that clearly said, if we go through this one more time I’m going to find your entire stash of Twinkies and eat them all without remorse. If the kid were a little older, he’d understand that threat and let the question lie. Instead, Todd continued to gaze up at him with big, hopeful brown eyes.

“No,” Ben told him firmly. “Not your BFF, not even your dog. No one. Got it?”

Todd’s young face looked crushed.

“Look, it’s like I told you before, I don’t want the paparazzi buzzing around here. I’m officially on vacation.”

“In Wood Manor, New Jersey?”

“Hey, the beach here is just as good as Los Angeles, and after a few days I’ll drive up to New York City.” He loved New York in September. He’d get a haircut and a shave, a massage, meet a few women.

Speaking of meeting women…

Ben’s gaze lingered again on the tasty-looking blonde sitting on the bench. He’d been checking her out since he and Todd first arrived at the park. Couldn’t help himself. He had a real thing for blondes, and most—thank you, God—had a real thing for him.

“Hey, Todd, why don’t we go to the slide over there?” Closer to that blonde.

“No way.”

He turned to the boy in surprise. “Why not?”

“That slide’s for babies.”

“No, it’s not. Look, there’s an adult over there,” he said, pointing the football toward the bench.

Todd looked over and made a face. “You want to go talk to that woman, don’t you?”

“Wh-what?” Ben spluttered. “No, no. No way. Hey, stop listening to your mom about me.” Besides, he didn’t want to talk to her, anyway. “Flirt” was a better verb choice. He wanted to flirt with that woman. There was a difference. Anyone could spew out words and just talk. Flirting required talent, always used with the sole purpose of letting the other person know you’re interested. And he was very interested in her.

However, as much as he was tempted to go over and introduce himself, he wouldn’t. He didn’t want to risk his anonymity. But he didn’t see the harm in getting a better look at an attractive woman. After all, if he was in a museum, he’d certainly want to get closer to a work of art, wouldn’t he? And from what he could tell, that woman was a bona fide masterpiece.

She had the kind of straight, shiny blond hair his fingers itched to feel and run through, and a body that was slender in an athletic kind of way—built more like a runner than a centerfold—and not at all fake like most of the women in L.A. He was positive there was nothing cosmetically enhanced on her. Not that she wore anything revealing to bring that kind of attention to herself. Yet, dressed in sweatpants and a Red Sox T-shirt, she’d managed to get his attention just the same.

“Um, Todd, are you sure you don’t want to go over there?” he asked again, trying to rein in and saddle his raging testosterone.

Todd took off running. “You have to catch me first,” he called out with a laugh.

That little bugger. Ben dropped the football and ran after him. Todd was fast, weaving his way around the wooden maze of forts and playground equipment and then disappearing from his sight. Ben climbed up the rope to the wooden platform and scanned the area. From the corner of his eye, he caught sight of Todd ducking into a tube slide. Ha! Gotcha now, kid. He ran over and climbed into a slide himself, hoping to catch him by surprise.

The only problem was he didn’t slide down.

He began to twist, realizing his shoulders were wedged in tight. With one arm pinned down and the other arm up, he tried shifting his hips to wiggle back up. That didn’t work, either. Okay, he wasn’t sure how he’d managed this strange, bizarre feat, but he needed some help.

Crap. He could see the headline now: “Career Not Only Thing Going Down Tubes.” Oh, man, his agent and publicist would have his head on a platter if that happened. He’d be lucky to get local theater work after that. Served him right for showing off and acting like a ten-year-old instead of the thirty-four-year-old he was.

Where the hell is Todd?

Ben heard movement above him. Thank goodness. He looked up, ready to ream Todd out for leaving him hanging so long. But he clamped his lips shut when he stared directly into the face of a cherubic little girl instead.

“Excuse me. Now it my turn,” she said in a tiny voice.

“Uh…well, you have to wait. See, I can’t move right now.”

She frowned. “But I said excuse me.”

“Yeah, I know, but—”

Her little face puckered and those big blue eyes filled with tears, which set the alarm bells ringing. No, no, please. I beg you! Oh, man, the kid was going to cry on him.

Where the hell is Todd!

The little girl did begin to cry—not with the loud, obnoxious wailing he half expected, but with a quiet, trembling frown and dime-size tears that fell like an H5 hailstorm. It made him want to break down and cry, too. He didn’t need this right now—stuck as he was—especially since he had no clue how to convey he was telling the truth to such a young child. About to send out a verbal SOS to Todd, he saw the blonde from the bench spring out before him.

Thank you, God. Maybe it wasn’t exactly how he wanted to meet this woman, but at least she would understand the situation, and he could finally get some help. But when he gazed up into the woman’s ready-to-kill eyes, he doubted very much that the cavalry had arrived.

“What did you do to my daughter?” she accused in that stern mother-cub-protecting-her-baby voice.

Oh, great. Her daughter. More bad PR. Now they were going to add child abuse to the headline. “Nothing,” he insisted. “Honest. Look, she just wants to go down the slide.”

The blonde folded her arms. “Well, let her, then.”

The woman’s demand gave him pause. Okay, she obviously didn’t understand his predicament any better than her kid had. “I…uh…can’t,” he said with a sheepish grin. “I’m kind of stuck. Maybe a little help?” He waved his one free arm, but she looked at it as though it were covered with warts.

“Maybe I should call the police for help instead,” she said, drawing her daughter to her side.

“No police!”

The woman flinched from his outburst. He didn’t mean to freak out on her, but the police equaled the press in his book. Then bad headlines. Then unhappy agent. Then less work. The list went on.

He cleared his throat. “No police, please,” he repeated more calmly. “In fact, don’t call anyone.”

An odd expression—somewhere between nausea and hysteria—crossed her pretty features, and she grabbed her daughter’s hand. “Let’s go.”

Go? Go where? He watched in disbelief as the woman began to lead her daughter away. Did she think he was faking it? Didn’t she recognize him? The woman was actually turning her back on him.

“Wait!” he shouted. “I’m not kidding! Come back! What about me?”

His complaints and shouts didn’t even register on her radar. The woman had to have heard him—heck, upstate New York had to have heard him—but she didn’t turn around. Didn’t so much as pause. In fact, she picked up her little girl and ran.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. She won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC's Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her first book, THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME. Recently, her novel SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM won the 2013 Golden Quill Published Authors Contest for Best Traditional Romance.

Lately she's been on a serious exercise kick. But don't hold that against her.

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