Category Archives: Release Publicity: LGBTQ+

Audio Release: Brave For You by Crystal Lacy

Brave For You | Crystal Lacy

Oahu Lovers #2

Buy Links:

Audible US | Audible UK |

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 9hrs 4 mins 

Narrator: Iggy Toma 

Cover Design: Simply Defined Art

Publisher: Tantor

 

Blurb

Less than a year after moving to Hawaii, construction foreman Nate Ellison’s wife leaves him and their infant son for another man. Months into single-fatherhood, Nate meets Andrew “An” Hoang and is slowly drawn into An’s life. Through An’s friendship, he finds himself finally enjoying his new home in paradise.

An Hoang hasn’t had a real relationship in years. With his pediatrics practice and a niece to care for on his days off, he doesn’t have the headspace for more than a simple roll in the sack.

But when he meets Nate – who just happens to be the gorgeous construction worker he encountered in the lobby of his apartment building – something about Nate makes it impossible for him not to care. When Nate needs An’s help with his son, An doesn’t refuse.

What happens when Nate’s past and An’s old-fashioned parents interfere just as the two men begin to fall for each other? Will they find the means to be brave and give their love a chance to flourish?

Crystal Lacy lives with her loving family in Hawaii, where it is always either drizzling or sunny and never snows—which is a shame, because she prefers being cold to being damp and hot unless it’s for Very Good Reasons. She writes queer romance, mainly M/M, but also some F/F.

She has aspirations to one day write a YA novel about cats. Crystal is a long-time fangirl and writes slash fanfiction for the Harry Potter and NBC Hannibal fandoms. She has a deep love for fandom culture and can be frequently spotted on Twitter and Tumblr reblogging pretty fan art.

Join Crystal’s readers group on FB for sneak peeks, bonus content, and ARC opportunities or subscribe to her newsletter for monthly book giveaways, recs, news, and more!

You can also follow Crystal on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.


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Blog Tour: From These Ashes by Davidson King

From These Ashes | Davidson King

Haven Hart #4

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RELEASE DATE: 28.11.18

Universal Link: mybook.to/FromTheseAshes

Cover Design:

Covers by Designs by Morningstar https://www.facebook.com/groups/CoversbyDesignsbyMorningstar/about/

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BLURB

A product of his past, Black spends half his time saving lives and the other half taking them. Every day, a hard choice must be made and he’s the man to make it. Long ago, he vowed to never love again; one-night stands with a willing body was all he ever needed.

But along came Quill, and Black’s life is irrevocably changed. He never expects something as simple as Quill’s persistence to alter the way he not only sees the world, but how he lives it.

Quill has bad taste in men and equally horrible luck. Growing up wasn’t easy, surviving is even harder. When his past and present collide, he’s convinced he’ll finally witness his own destruction.

But when an unlikely anti-hero steps in to protect him, his life is turned on its head. He’s spent months flirting with the man of his dreams and hoping he’d take notice. But it turns out, being on Black’s radar isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and his idea of protection varies greatly from Quill’s.

Unknowingly sharing the same goal—burying their own pasts deeper than the fires of hell can reach—they’re both unaware that jumping into that fire will do more than ignite their feelings, it could lead to their own demise. Will Black and Quill be consumed by the flames, or from these ashes, will they find their own happily ever after?

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EXCERPT

Black

I parked my car as close to Joker’s Sin as I could. I took my leather jacket off the seat and quickly put it on, hit the alarm, and made my way toward the club. There was still a line after midnight. The place closed in two hours, why would people wait that long? Well, I wasn’t.

“Can I help you?” the large bouncer asked.

“No.” I barreled through him and made my way into the club. It was like dubstep nation in there and so much fucking leather.

“Hey.” I felt someone tap my shoulder. I whipped around and grabbed whomever it was by the neck. It was the bouncer from the door.

“Not today, Junior. You tell Atlas, Black is here. Now fuck off.” I pushed him away and made my way to the bar. I hadn’t been inside Joker’s Sin before, I only knew how it looked based on Mace and Bill’s description.

I liked the concept and would’ve taken more time to appreciate it if I wasn’t hell-bent on finding Quill.

“Can I help you, handsome?” I turned and looked down. A small guy with pink hair and barely-there black leather shorts had spoken.

“No. Where’s Quill?”

The small man slid his fingers down my arm. “Mmm. Quill didn’t tell me he had a God for a boyfriend. You’re better than most I see him with.” He jerked his head to the right. I followed the direction and there before me, was Quill.

He was dressed in red leather. I couldn’t see below the waist, but the vest he wore was tight against his pale skin. I knew he loved his bracelets, and he had them all on tonight. His arms were covered in red and silver glitter, making him stick out like a gorgeous disco ball. It looked like he had put all of his piercings back in, and I could see when the light shown on his face, he also had glitter on his cheeks.

“I’ll just leave you to it,” the small man said with a chuckle, and I took the few steps to where Quill stood mixing drinks.

He hadn’t noticed me yet, and I got a chance to see he had red eyes and black liner on his lids. He looked like pure sin. I was surprised when I felt my cock stiffen. Until now, I was never sexually interested in Quill. Okay, to be fair, I admired him. He was stunning, but there was a line cut somewhere between admiration and want. Why was I feeling something now?

“Are you following me?” Quill’s voice snapped me back to attention.

“I thought you wanted me to follow you.”

Quill narrowed his eyes, but I saw how he swallowed as he took me in. He was a flirt by nature and no matter how peeved he was at me, he could never sustain that anger.

About The Author

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Davidson King always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling.

When she’s not writing you can find her blogging away on Diverse Reader, her review and promotional site. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children.

If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rwA9E8

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidsonKing11

Personal Page: https://www.facebook.com/DiverseReader

Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/DavidsonKingAuthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davidsonkingauthor/?hl=en

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DavidsonKingsCourt/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17286464.Davidson_King


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Review Tour: Shrewd Angel by Anyta Sunday

Shrewd Angel | Anyta Sunday

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Buy Links:

 Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 70,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

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Blurb

Pax Polo is the swashbuckling guitarist for Serenity Free.

Correction: Was the swashbuckling guitarist for Serenity Free.

Now he sports a black eye and his bros have kicked him out of their band—three weeks before Christmas. It’s an unfamiliar kick to his over-inflated ego, but . . . whatever.

No problem.

Thanks to some stellar eavesdropping, an unexpected angel ornament, and a bribe to open for his favourite band ever, Pax will weasel his way back into his mates’ good graces.

All he has to do is friend Clifford, the neighbourhood man-shrew, for the summer. Distract him a bit so Clifford’s younger sister can sneak around.

It sounds like a piece of beginners Beethoven. Jolly good fun.

Easy.

Because, Pax totally knows how to friend people. He has heaps of friends. This shrew’s no match for his shrewd ways. Or is he?

The Christmas Angel Series

In 1750, a master woodcarver poured all his unrequited love, passion, and longing into his masterpiece—a gorgeous Christmas angel for his beloved’s tree. When the man he loved tossed the angel away without a second thought, a miracle happened. The angel was found by another who brought the woodcarver True Love.

Since then, the angel has been passed down, sold, lost and found, but its magic remains. Read the romances inspired by (and perhaps nudged along by) the Christmas angel through the years.

Whether it’s 1700s England (Eli Easton’s Christmas Angel), the 1880’s New York (Kim Fielding’s Summerfield’s Angel), the turn-of-the-century (Jordan L. Hawk’s Magician’s Angel), World War II (L.A. Witt’s Christmas Homecoming), Vietnam-era (N.R. Walker’s Soldier’s Wish), the 1990’s (Anyta Sunday’s Shrewd Angel), or 2018 (RJ Scott’s Christmas Prince), the Christmas angel has a way of landing on the trees of lonely men who need its blessing for a very Merry Christmas and forever HEA.

Christmas Angel – Eli Easton – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Summerfield’s Angel – Kim Fielding –  Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Magician’s Angel – Jordan L. Hawk – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Homecoming – L.A. Witt – Amazon US | Amazon UK
A Soldier’s Wish – N.R. Walker – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince – RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Dec 2 – Boulevard des Passions, OMGReadsUrban Smoothie ReadDec 4 – Cupcakes & BookshelvesMegan’s Media MelangeDec 8 – The Book CorpsDec 10 – My Fiction NookXtreme DelusionsLelyana’s ReviewsDec 12 – Mirrigold: Mutterings & MusingsOpen SkyeSexy Erotic XcitingRainbow Book ReviewsMM Good Book ReviewsDec 14 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue WordsDec 17 – Bonkers About BooksDec 19 – Lillian FrancisMaking It HappenMomma Says: To Read Or Not To ReadThe Secret KoThe Written Voice of IsTwo Chicks ObsessedWicked ReadsDec 21 – Bayou Book JunkieBook Corner ReviewsAmy’s MM Romance Reviews

About The Author

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A bit about me: I’m a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.

Some of my favourite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.

I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy.

My books have been translated into German, Italian, French, Spanish, and Thai.

Contact: http://www.anytasunday.com/about-anyta/

Sign up for Anyta’s newsletter and receive a free e-book: http://www.anytasunday.com/newsletter-free-e-book/


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Review Tour: Christmas Prince by RJ Scott

Christmas Price | RJ Scott

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Buy Links:

 Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 40,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

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Blurb

Prince Raphael, the youngest son of the Montaunoit royal family, is the custodian of his country’s history. At a Sotheby’s auction, he outbids Marc on an item he doesn’t even want. Just because he can.

Meeting the museum curator turns Raphael’s world upside down, and when lust turns to love he knows he has to change.

Can Marc be the one to show Raphael that he doesn’t have to stay the lonely prince forever, and that love is always an option?

This story is one of seven stories which can all be read and enjoyed in any order.

The Christmas Angel Series

In 1750, a master woodcarver poured all his unrequited love, passion, and longing into his masterpiece—a gorgeous Christmas angel for his beloved’s tree. When the man he loved tossed the angel away without a second thought, a miracle happened. The angel was found by another who brought the woodcarver True Love.

Since then, the angel has been passed down, sold, lost and found, but its magic remains. Read the romances inspired by (and perhaps nudged along by) the Christmas angel through the years.

Whether it’s 1700s England (Eli Easton’s Christmas Angel), the 1880’s New York (Kim Fielding’s Summerfield’s Angel), the turn-of-the-century (Jordan L. Hawk’s Magician’s Angel), World War II (L.A. Witt’s Christmas Homecoming), Vietnam-era (N.R. Walker’s Soldier’s Wish), the 1990’s (Anyta Sunday’s Shrewd Angel), or 2018 (RJ Scott’s Christmas Prince), the Christmas angel has a way of landing on the trees of lonely men who need its blessing for a very Merry Christmas and forever HEA.

Christmas Angel – Eli Easton – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Summerfield’s Angel – Kim Fielding –  Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Magician’s Angel – Jordan L. Hawk – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Homecoming – L.A. Witt – Amazon US | Amazon UK
A Soldier’s Wish – N.R. Walker – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel – Anyta Sunday – Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Dec 2 – Megan’s Media MelangeLelyana’s Reviews, Dec 6 – Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Dec 8 – Mainely Stories, Dec 10 – Bookaholic & Kindle, Dec 12 – Mirrigold; Mutterings & MusingsMy Fiction NookThe Secret KoMM Good Book Reviews, Dec 14 – Valerie UllmerXtreme DelusionsSexy Erotic XcitingOpen Skye, Rainbow Book ReviewsAmy’s MM Romance Reviews, Dec 19 – Bonkers About BooksScattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Dec 21 – Momma Says: To Read Or Not To ReadMaking It HappenLillian FrancisBayou Book JunkieWicked ReadsTwo Chicks Obsessed

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USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

Email RJ rj@rjscott.co.uk
Facebook
Twitter
BookBub
Instagram
Pinterest

 


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Review Tour: All That Has Flown Beyond by Marina Vivancos

All That Has Flow Beyond| Marina Vivancos

Natural Magic #2

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 78,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

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Blurb

Kaiyo’s bloodline has been part of the Garrow pack for generations. He has been destined to be shaman, to anchor the werewolves to the land, and lend aid with the force of his Ousía. When Kaiyo is fourteen, however, an attacking group kills all of the adults in the pack, leaving young Ahmik, only fifteen, as leader.

Their worries don’t end there.

Smelling blood in the water, enemies hunt the decimated pack from all sides. Kaiyo grows increasingly reckless in his desperation to defend his pack, to finally grow into his shaman powers, and to protect Ahmik: the boy he loves.

In the end, Kaiyo loses his pack anyway.

Packless, landless, Kaiyo drifts. For ten years, he fights to remake himself into the shaman, and the man, he was meant to become. One phone call from his old pack, though, and he is forced to return.

Something is killing children and Kaiyo is the only one strong enough to stop it.

Kaiyo never thought his journey would take him back to his old land, his old pack, and to Ahmik. Forced to face his past, and the wounded love that still aches for Ahmik, Kaiyo will be tested like never before.

Content Warning: This story contains themes of depression and associated thoughts and behaviours. However, as always, it focuses on recovery and strength.

This book takes place in the Natural Magic world but can be read as a standalone.

Natural Magic Series

Book #1 – In This Iron Ground

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Dec 3 – Megan’s Media MelangeArchaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!On Top Down Under Book ReviewsDec 10 – Bonkers About BooksWicked Faerie’s Tales & ReviewsDec 12 – Mirrigold: Mutterings & MusingsBayou Book JunkieMM Good Book ReviewsBook Review by Virginia Lee

Author Bio

When Marina was a child she couldn’t sleep. Night after dissolving night she just couldn’t sleep. Nothing much worked – until she started making up stories in her head. Suddenly, the transition into unconsciousness was a smooth dive into calm waters.

Marina is currently in a period of sleepless upheaval, and she hopes writing down the stories in her head will cast the same spell it did decades ago.

Marina hopes to write in a variety of romance sub-genres, from contemporary to supernatural to sci-fi. Her style, however, tends to focus on character-centred stories that explore different facets of the human experience, such as mental health. She also enjoys writing explicit, drawn-out sex scenes, so expect those to be a prominent feature of her stories.

Marina tends to keep to herself unless prompted, so don’t be shy in approaching her!

Twitter | Facebook | Website


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Release Blitz: Dedicated by Neve Wilder

Dedicated | Neve Wilder

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Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Ecxc33

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2C2wNyP

Length: 92,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Mayhem Cover Creations

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Blurb

“Our greatest hit is a love song I wrote for my bandmate. And he has no idea.”

Messy-haired, soulful-eyed, off-kilter lyricist Les Graves holds tight to the hedonist’s credo of consumption in every avenue of life. He has trouble staying still, trouble staying sober, trouble turning down a good time—but put a pen in his hand, and he’ll set a page on fire.

Music was Evan Porter’s ticket out of the backwater mud puddle he was born in, the passion keeping him warm as he busked on street corners, fueling him through a dead-end bartending job.

Every chord, every song, every ounce of sweat has been devoted to making Porter & Graves a success. He’s the level-head, the quiet maestro, the seatbelt that keeps Les from flying too far out of control. And he’s getting pretty tired of playing savior.

Their chemistry onstage is electric, but offstage it’s another story.

Angst, snark, and nuclear levels of unresolved sexual tension combust in this tale of two rockers, a handful of secrets, a bombed album, and a publicity nightmare thrown in a remote cabin with one shot at redemption.

Can Evan and Les find harmony or will they—and their music career—go down in flames?

Dedicated is a 92k standalone bisexual friends-to-lovers romance that also plays on the fake relationship trope, contains a cockblocking greenhouse, really poor decisions involving social media, and a borderline over-the-top HEA.

*Please note: This book contains reference to and depiction of an MMF scene*

About The Author

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Neve Wilder lives in the dirty South, where the summers are hot and the winters are…sometimes cold. She is a mom to three rambunctious weebeasts who have joined forces in a mission to carpet the family home with toys and small items that really suck to step on at six in the morning.

She reads promiscuously, across multiple genres, but her favorite stories always contain an element of romance. Incidentally, this is also what she likes to write. Slow-burners with delicious tension? Yes. Whiplash-inducing page-turners, also yes. Down and dirty scorchers? Yes.

And every flavor in between.

She believes David Bowie was the sexiest musician to ever live, and she’s always game to nerd out on anything from music to writing.

And finally, she believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.

Social Media

Website

Facebook

Twitter


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New Release Blitz: The Island Angel by Alex Slorra

The Island Angel | Alex Slorra

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 10, 2018

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 72,900

Genre: Contemporary, thriller, fraud, conspiracy, framed, stranded, Lindisfarne, lesbian

Add to Goodreads

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis

Jessica was a successful IT Director, but now she is on the run. Accused of fraud and orchestrating her company’s downfall, she travels as far as the island of Lindisfarne in Northumberland before breaking down.

There, an American, Anna Meyer, takes her in and offers kindness without questions. As they become closer, Jessica soon discovers Anna has her own much bigger problems and a past that comes knocking.

Excerpt

The Island Angel
Alex Slorra © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Anna’s eyes were shut tight. She held a coffee cup in both hands below her chin.

It had been a mistake, a huge rotten awful mistake, and now, as some additional sadistic punishment, Anna would have to pay. No, make that two mistakes. First, marrying him, and second, buying an overpriced dump she couldn’t afford to sell.

She remembered a third, signing the divorce papers without really understanding what they had owed on the farm. No, the last wasn’t a mistake. It was the only way out.

Forcing herself to lift her gaze above the rim of her cup, she focused on her mother across the table. Tourist season had not yet started, and they were the only people in the Crown Hotel.

“Honey, sell and come back to the States,” her mother pleaded.

“You know I’m not doing that!” Anna slammed down her cup, before noticing the shock on her mother’s weary face. “I’m sorry.”

Her mum had flown all the way from Michigan after hearing how distressed she’d been on her daily calls home. “Anna, how are you paying the mortgage at the moment?”

Anna leaned back in her seat. “In the divorce, John signed the house over to me with enough money for six months. So, right now, I only have four months left.”

“I don’t understand why you would agree when you don’t have any income. He’s a lawyer, you should’ve asked for a lot more.”

“Mom, I’d expected to get the business going, you know, I told you… And I wanted to see the back of him. But now, I couldn’t even sell up if I wanted to. When I had it valued, the farm was worth thousands less than what we paid for it. And then I found out what we owed. If I sell, after all the costs, there’d be nothing, and I’ll still owe what is on my cards.”

Anna rested her chin on her chest, and her blonde hair fell forward, concealing her eyes. She hated that her marriage had ended. Hated that all her plans to turn the old farm into a business were now broken. Her sanctuary had become a burden.

“Oh, darling, talk to John. Can’t he—?”

“Mom, I’m not talking to him.”

A moment passed before her mother continued. “Why not come back home and wait for prices to go up? They always do, you know.”

“I can’t. I feel safer here. Abbie is safer here.”

Her mother leaned forward. “Just come back. It would be all right. He won’t bother us, I’m sure.”

“He was released last month, you said. And he’s still in Michigan?”

“As far as I know… But enough about that. You know, you could just default on your house payments, and it’ll be repossessed. The banks won’t chase you.”

Anna had considered the idea of going back home, but she couldn’t face it. She knew the fear would return. Especially now he’d been released. She had to keep Abbie safe. But also, the thought of being a barista at twenty-nine, while listening to whispers about her British husband leaving her for a younger woman, made her stomach turn. She’d rather drown in the cold North Sea outside her kitchen window.

She put on a brave smile. “Well, I’ve got four months. Things will improve. Maybe I can make enough from pony trekking this summer.” She didn’t want to worry her mother more than she had, so she didn’t mention she only had one pony and the stable’s roof needed to be repaired. It was another thing she couldn’t afford.

“There you go.” Her mum squeezed her hand. “Darling, do you have a friend here to help you?”

“Yes, a few.” It was a blatant lie, but she couldn’t have her mother concerned that she was alone. The truth was the people here weren’t very friendly. They seemed to stick together in groups as if they might catch the Black Death from someone new. Being the American who had bought a croft on their holy island, she hadn’t been welcomed into the tight-knit community.

Anna reached into her pocket to retrieve her watch and check the time. The strap had broken earlier in the day, and it wasn’t as if she needed it. She had her phone, and there was always a clock somewhere. It was just, since she was sixteen, she’d always worn it. The thought reminded her of her older sister, Emma, and caused tears to well up in her eyes.

She blinked to clear them and forced herself to damp down her emotions before her mother noticed. “I’m sorry Abbie wasn’t here to say goodbye.”

“I understand. The timing wasn’t good,” her mum offered. “It was nice to see her on the weekend. It must cost a lot to have her go to boarding school?”

Anna shook her head. “It’s free. The council pays, it’s the local government. There’s no secondary school on the island and, because of the tides, it’s nearly impossible to cross and get back during a normal school day. So, kids older than ten have to go to the boarding school on the mainland. Right now, there’s only three students from the island who do it, though.”

“She’s happy there?”

“She never says she doesn’t want to go back and she’s picking up an English accent.”

“I noticed.” Her mum chuckled. “She’s becoming an English rose. Emma would be proud.”

Anna didn’t want to disagree. At fourteen, Abbie was more like a thistle than a rose, at least with her anyway. One minute they were fine and having fun, the next they would be at loggerheads. Perhaps, in the holidays, things will be better between us.

Anna remembered why she had looked at her watch and touched her mother’s arm. “It’s time for your bus.”

“I wish I could have stayed longer.” It was her mum’s turn to lie. Anna knew her mother thought England was too cold, as well as expensive and inconvenient.

Anna’s mother got up and took hold of the handle of her cabin bag. “I know you don’t want my help with money, but it’s there if you need it. And do come home. I worry about you and Abbie.”

“I know. But you don’t need to. We’re fine, really.”

Outside, they hugged goodbye. It was still pretty cold for mid-May, and the wind cut through the fibres of Anna’s burgundy all-weather coat. She buried her hands in her pockets and watched as her mother boarded the small bus that would cross the mile-long causeway back to the mainland before the tide covered it.

Anna’s hair was blowing into her eyes. She brushed the wavy strands aside, before bursting into tears and darting back in the direction of her home.

Hurrying through the small village with her head down, she soon left the few buildings of the hamlet behind.

The island was small, only a few miles in both directions. In the winter, no more than a few hundred people braved the North Sea storms. Spring was not much better, with high tides and cold easterly winds from Norway. It was a suffering romantic’s paradise. For Anna, only the suffering part seemed true now. She passed the ruins of the old monastery, said to be the birthplace of Christianity in Britain. Beyond it, waves crashed against the rocky coastline.

She tried to put her predicament into words, but all she could think of was a swimming lesson from her grandfather at his cabin in Michigan. As was the tradition, Grandpa Brent had the job of teaching the younger family members how to swim. Anna had begged her way out of swimming until, at eight years old, her mother insisted she must learn. It was apparently a necessary life skill.

So, there she was standing in her newly purchased white-and-pink one-piece at the end of the dock with Grandpa Brent behind her. He was explaining how to move her arms and legs. Looking back, she should have questioned why the man was fully dressed. Next thing she knew, he’d picked her up by her waist and had thrown her off the end of the dock into the lake.

Anna would have drowned if it wasn’t for the end of a bamboo fishing rod the old idiot offered her when she managed to surface. She’d desperately grabbed the thin yellow pole and used it to get back to the dock. Sobbing and hunched over, having literally been fished out of the water, she looked at the person she had trusted and screamed at him before running back into the cabin where her mother and older sister were making lunch. She still hadn’t learned how to swim and, now, she felt like she was underwater again.

On the exposed barren land, she followed a single-track road that hugged the jagged coast until Lindisfarne Castle could be seen on the south-eastern corner of the island. It was perched on a pinnacle, half-hidden by sea mist.

Anna found some solace in the old fortress, knowing it had been there for four hundred years, withstanding all that had been thrown at it. But more so, it comforted her knowing people had lived, worked, and survived in its walls. If they could, so could she. She turned down a narrow muddy lane and scampered towards the eighteenth-century farmhouse that was her home.

Meet the Author

Alex is a lesbian fiction novelist based in the UK. She grew up in Canada and completed a BSc degree in Nova Scotia, before moving back to work in central London. Alex has also lived in the United States and France.

Since a young age, she has consumed a mixture of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance. Alex enjoys music creation, photography, painting, and the guitar, but most of all, things she doesn’t understand.

For her, writing is a way to inspire virtues that should happen more often. Follow Alex on Twitter.

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