#Excerpt from Taunted Souls by Janice Ross

Taunted Souls: A Friends to Lovers Romance

For the past five years, Lucas Akins has been in love with his best friend Shayna Davies. Anyone with eyes could see, even Shayna. Yet she’s been fighting off her own feelings too!
As they attempt to continue a life together as just friends, the universe steps in and forces them to own up to their feelings.
But life is never that easy.
Bad choices and dark secrets filter into their lives to shatter the only real happiness either has ever known. And they are forced into circumstances neither is prepared to take on, though they must; otherwise, love might be lost. Forever…

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Excerpt –

Shayna:

Shots fired. I dropped to the ground as a shower of the worst kind poured around me. Gunshots! The men that had been guarding me took off. After several rounds of machine gun bullets and maybe ten seconds of deathly quiet, I got enough courage to get up on my knees.

My bag was on the floor of the vehicle. I slowly pulled it out, unable to see much else. As I made slow movements, the beating of my heart pulsed through my eardrums. Remaining low, I shifted and nearly fell over a body. Blood tainted my hands as I clambered to get up and keep moving.

I gasped but nearly tripped over another. Only then did the stench of death hit me. I crept low, away from the truck. Not once did I think to look back. I could’ve been seconds away from death but didn’t care. I only wanted to get away.

When I reached the sidewalk, I paused for a few deep breaths. The tears had finally stopped flowing. I felt optimistic about survival.

“Taylor . . .” It was Van. He limped toward me, his clothes torn and soiled.

“You’re okay?” I jumped up and into his arms. Pulling back just enough, I searched for bullets or blood. I thought he signified safety. I cried. A gush of tears rushed down my face, some soaked up whatever part of his body I was leaning up against. And for the first time since meeting him, I considered having him take me all the way home.

“Can’t nothing or no one take me out,” he swore. Rubbing his thumb on my chin, he asked if I was all right.

I parted my lips to reply. My throat was dry. I took a few seconds to think on my answer because even though I hadn’t gotten hurt, my mind was totally fried. I was still scared and shaking and ready to end living, just so I wouldn’t have to go through anything like this ever again.

“Did you think it would be that easy?” a female voice kinda whistled at us. In slow motion, I turned my head to the voice and zoomed in. She was dressed in black, with strands of blonde hair streaming through a cap. It was pulled low enough that you couldn’t quite make out all of her features, but it was obvious that she was gorgeous.

“Who the hell are you?” Van asked. His arm snaked around my waist as he yanked me into his groin. I could’ve thrown up right there, but I swallowed hard and forced back down the vomit.

“No time for that. I need you to take a walk with me.”

Van laughed kind of shaky.

“It’ll be even funnier when this place starts swarming with police and you’re forced to explain these dead bodies,” she threw out.

I’d forgotten Van had a gun until he pulled it out and pointed directly at her. As much as I was scared out of my mind, I couldn’t help but mentally trace the sleek design. I was inches away from something that could end a life. Silent alarms sounded in my mind. I squirmed around, but his grip grew tighter.

“What’s this, Van?” I mumbled, turning my head just enough until I was able to see him from the corner of my eyes. “You’re squeezing the hell out of me.”

“Don’t move.” He yanked me closer into him. “Stay quiet.”

My tear ducts burned as I searched out some kind of hint from the stranger. I didn’t know if she was a friend or enemy. Right now, Van had me feeling like he was nothing but an evil and twisted bastard for doing me this way.

 

 

 

Interview with author Janice Ross

Janice Ross was born in Guyana, South America and migrated to the USA in 1980. Although her citizenship certificate now reads the United States of America, she considers herself a citizen of the world. Sure she has not physically been around the world and back, but she’s travelled in her mind and dreams.

Janice enjoys Zumba, Kickboxing, and most exercise classes. When she’s not pushing her physical limits, Janice spends time working on her craft, as well as lending a hand to other aspiring writers.

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Storm by Gurpreet Kaur Sidhu #stormbooktour #stormiscoming #itsacursetoremember

The first in a series, Storm is a twists-and-turns thriller driven by compelling characters challenged by dangerous forces, both external, internal, and eternal.

Evan Storm had been confronted by his past (an unpleasant one at that) in his dreams, and now in his waking life. He is struggling to reconcile the evil that lurks in his soul. Shadow Hex is his new neighbor, who also fears a dangerous past – her former fiancé who works for the Secret Eye Agency (which is as shadowy and sinister as it sounds). Does Shadow hold the key to Evan’s redemption? Is redemption even possible?

 

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Antoinette’s Review – Right off the bat this book grabs you if you have ever considered past lives. The idea that we learn from each life and how that precious life effects our decision making. This has been an obsession of mine since a child. Evan comes from a family of people who can see in different ways. But he struggles with his recent past life. It effects his own relationships and his personal life almost in an unhealthy way. I enjoyed this book so much. And am so thrilled to have been asked to read and review this book. At times the details can really hit home and can be hard to witness… But we’ll worth every minute of reading. Looking forward to other books by this author

 

 

Born and raised in California, Gurpreet Kaur Sidhu always had an insatiable appetite for reading and writing. She would often be reprimanded for working on literary ventures when she should have been paying attention to teachers. In addition to being a highly accomplished writer, Sidhu is a passionate businesswoman, holding a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and running a women’s clothing company with her younger sister.

 

 

Author site pricing:

pre-sale now until July 23: paperback $14.99, signed by author $16.95           on sale July 24: paperback $16.95, signed by author $19.95

For more information about Storm and Gurpreet Kaur Sidhu, please visit and follow:

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Excerpt The Last April by Belinda Kroll

Spontaneous, fifteen-year-old Gretchen vows to help heal the nation from the recently ended Civil War. On the morning of President Lincoln’s death, Gretchen finds an amnesiac Confederate in her garden and believes this is her chance for civic goodwill.

But reconciliation is not as simple as Gretchen assumed. When her mother returns from the market with news that a Confederate murdered the president, Gretchen wonders if she caught the killer. Tensions between her aunt and mother rise as Gretchen nurses her Confederate prisoner, revealing secrets from their past that make Gretchen question everything she knows about loyalty, honor, and trust.

The Last April is an entertaining, thoughtful novella of Ohio after the Civil War, meant to encourage readers to reflect on themes of fear and hope in uncertain political times.

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Read an Excerpt –

Everyone else would remember that Saturday as the day President Lincoln died. Gretchen Miller would remember it as the day the ragged man collapsed at her feet.

Gretchen was tugging at weeds and swatting at gnats when a thud made her whip around. The war was over, but Confederate supporters were everywhere. They lingered after General Lee’s surrender, and President Lincoln’s reconciliation speech, and in pro-Union Columbus.

Gretchen swung from her hunched position to lean back on her barefoot heels. Her skirts puffed out with the movement. She slapped them down, annoyed.

Sharp sunlight made it difficult to see. Gretchen thought she saw a collapsed man just yards from her hem. She adjusted her straw hat so it shaded her eyes.

The man was sprawled across the oak tree roots. Gretchen could not tell his age or condition from where she crouched. His back was to her, his dark head resting on his outstretched arm. He was not moving.

“May the angels have charge of me,” Gretchen whispered. She patted the revolver in her skirt pocket.

His leg twitched.

Gretchen’s heart leaped. That dark, matted hair gave her a turn. Maybe it was her brother Werner, returned from war at last. A hundred men from the Grove City area had answered President Lincoln’s call for soldiers. Everyone was afraid of the number that would return.

Gretchen grabbed her skirts as she scrambled to standing. She flailed her arms at the log farmhouse she called home. She could not shout, in case the man had faked his injury and was waiting for an excuse to attack.

Her aunt, Tante Klegg, stuck her head out the kitchen door. “What is it?” Tante Klegg’s heavy German accent was strident in the quiet morning. It matched the severity of her hair braided and twisted tight against her head.

Gretchen put her finger to her lips. She cupped her hands around her mouth so her whisper would carry. “There is a man.” She waved at her aunt to come outside.

Tante Klegg tiptoed across the rocks Gretchen had overturned gardening. She held her skirt layers high above her ankles.

The man remained quiet, only his twitching foot letting them know he lived. Gretchen did not know if that meant he was dangerous or that he was too injured to move.

Gretchen brushed a strand of reddish hair from her mouth as the breeze picked up. Though it was April, the humidity was heavy and stifling. The wind still carried the scent of cooling bonfires from yesterday’s elaborate celebrations.

Last night, Gretchen had danced until her feet ached and sung until her voice was hoarse. She had been ready to do anything to help her country heal. She held onto the president’s words of reconciliation that she read in the newspaper. She hoped everyone could see the Confederates as prodigal brothers and sisters. She hoped the Confederates would be humble and welcomed home.

With a stranger at her feet, Gretchen realized such things were easier said than done. She gripped the revolver hidden in her pocket and held out her other hand to stop her aunt from advancing. Holding her breath, she crept closer.

The man perhaps could have been her brother, once upon a time. His body was gaunt, worn thin by trials Gretchen suspected she would never understand. His left hand did not bear Werner’s distinctive strawberry-shaped birthmark.

This was not her brother.

Belinda Kroll is the author of Victorian fiction for kids and teens. She grew up in a home where reading was encouraged and Jeopardy! was on every weeknight. Both activities fostered her love of history. Some of her titles include Catching the Rose, Haunting Miss Trentwood, short story Haunting Miss Trentwood: The Seance, and contemporary short story Mad Maxine. She lives in Central Ohio with her husband and two step-dogs. Go Bucks!

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