$0.99 BOOK BLAST: “Crystal’s House of Queers” by Brooke Skipstone. $20.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included!

99c BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Crystal’s House of Queers

Author: Brooke
Skipstone

Publisher: Skipstone
Publishing

Cover Artist: Cherie Chapman
@ccbookdesign

Release Date: May 24,
2021

Genres: LGBTQ Fiction, Lesbian Fiction/Suspense, Lesbian Romance,
Coming of age

Tropes: Friends to lovers, found family, power femme

Themes: Forgiveness, no secrets, overcoming past abuse, fight because
we love

Heat Rating: 3 – 3.5
flames

Length: 93 000 words/ 330
pages

It is a standalone
story.

Add on
Goodreads

99c for a limited time

June 26 – July 2

Buy Links – Also available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Three senior girls in rural
Alaska escape their abusive pasts by raising their dyke flag for themselves and their
community.

Blurb

Crystal Rose woke up at three in the morning today,
drenched in sweat and breathless after another sex dream with Haley Carson.
Later at school in the
tiny town of Clear, Alaska, Crystal saves Haley from an assault by her abusive
boyfriend.

The two girls renew a love started years ago that had to
stay hidden until now. But with Crystal’s grandparents in the hospital with Covid and the
possibility of her drug addict parents returning from a 14-year absence, Crystal needs Haley
as much as she needs Crystal.

They connect with Payton Reed, a gun-toting artist who
helps them feel proud to be gay and willing to stand up to anyone. Together they struggle to
make Crystal’s house safe for those who are hated for their love.

Excerpt

Crystal’s room is small with drawings and photos
stuck randomly all over the walls—closeups of leaves, flowers, and berries; intricate natural
designs created by Labrador tea, spider webs, and lichen; every local animal, including a
grizzly sow and two cubs digging through trashcans from this past June; sunrises and
sunsets plus northern lights; and, of course, line drawings of her house and family, along
with pages of self-portraits. Crystal’s entire world greets her every morning and evening.
Nothing is ever removed or covered, just added to, now up one corner of the ceiling. A large
white board on one wall displays a self-portrait drawing of Crystal sitting.

Haley stands in the doorway, open-mouthed, trying
to absorb it all. “Damn, Crystal, you are something. I love this.”

Crystal smiles. “I’m glad. So do I.” She opens her
closet to show Haley her clothing options, including a never-worn pair of stretch jeans
Crystal bought at Value Village in Fairbanks—a size too big for her, but a size too small for
Haley.

“I’m not sure my butt can fit into these,” says Haley,
holding the pair waist high. “You’ll have fun watching me put these on.”

“Oooh, do I get to watch?”

“Certainly.” Haley raises a brow and half smiles as
she pulls off her sweatshirt.

Crystal’s breath catches in her chest as her mouth
gapes open.

“Oops! I forgot to pick out a shirt. Can I use your
robe until I find something suitable?”

Crystal’s face reddens. “Sure.” She removes her
robe and tosses it to Haley, who then tosses it on the bed. “Now we can stare at each
other.”

Crystal licks her lips. “You are so evil.”

“I’m just getting started.” She tilts her head and
cocks a brow. “Do you like evil?”

“So far.” Though she’s afraid her heart will burst,
it’s beating so fast.

“Great.” Haley moves toward Crystal until their
chests touch. “I love your drawing on the white board. Would you do another of me? Maybe
one of us kissing?” Haley touches her lips to Crystal’s.

“Yes.” She struggles trying to pull her phone out of
her pocket while Haley rubs her tongue tip over Crystal’s bottom lip. Gasping for air, Crystal
asks, “Do you want me to take a pic or not?” Haley smiles and steps back a little. Crystal
props her phone against the mirror on her dresser and sets the timer. “We have five
seconds.”

Haley moves her hand to Crystal’s neck as they kiss.
The camera takes the picture, but they don’t separate.

After a few more seconds, Haley pulls back just
enough to speak. “You are the best kisser. Even in fifth grade I liked kissing you. Think of all
that time I wasted.”

“We have plenty of time now.” She grabs her
phone and shows Haley the photo. “I like that. I can draw it now, if you want.”

“Yes, please.”

“Hold it for me.” Crystal takes her drawing pad and
pen from her desk and sits in her chair.

Haley holds the phone against her cleavage, her
boobs hanging over her arms. “Is that good?”

Crystal stares and shakes her head. “Evil. Pure
evil!”

“Just focus on the photo, Crystal.” Haley slowly
sways her torso, making her boobs jiggle close to Crystal’s face. “Can’t you focus?” Her voice
drips with seduction.

Crystal clears her throat and closes her eyes. “I
think I can. I think I can.” She takes a deep breath, opens her eyes, and places her pen on the
paper. Haley sways faster. Crystal starts a line then runs it off the page. “Can you please stop
moving?” she pleads, unable to turn away from Haley’s breasts. “Just for a few minutes?”
She rips off the page and readies another.

Her voice coy, sweet, and sultry—“As you wish. I’ll
stand perfectly still.” She holds the camera away from her body, partially covering her
breasts.

Crystal starts a line under her chin, sweeps down to
make hair, then her face and lips before moving to Haley’s lips, hair, and then ending with
her hand. She stares at the drawing for a few seconds then turns it around. “What do you
think?”

“Oh, my god! I love it. We look good together.” She
gives Crystal a kiss. “Thank you. Thank you.”

About the Author

Brooke Skipstone is a
multi-award-winning author who lives in Alaska where she watches the mountains change

colors with the seasons from her balcony. Where she feels the constant rush toward winter
as the sunlight wanes for six months of the year, seven minutes each day, bringing crushing
cold that lingers even as the sun climbs again. Where the burst of life during summer is
urgent under twenty-four-hour daylight, lush and decadent. Where fish swim hundreds of
miles up rivers past bear claws and nets and wheels and lines of rubber-clad combat fishers,
arriving humped and ragged, dying as they spawn. Where danger from the land and its
animals exhilarates the senses, forcing her to appreciate the difference between life and
death. Where the edge between is sometimes too alluring.

Crystal’s House of Queers
is her third novel.

Visit her
website
for information about her first two
novels,
Some Laneys Died and Someone To Kiss
My Scars.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website | Instagram

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter
Giveaway for a chance to win

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one of three audiobook promo codes

a
Rafflecopter giveaway

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Continue Reading $0.99 BOOK BLAST: “Crystal’s House of Queers” by Brooke Skipstone. $20.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included!

RELEASE BLITZ: “Crystal’s House of Queers” by Brooke Skipstone

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Crystal’s House of Queers

Author: Brooke Skipstone

Publisher: Skipstone Publishing

Cover Artist: Cherie Chapman @ccbookdesign

Release Date: May 24, 2021

Genres: LGBTQ Fiction, Lesbian Fiction/Suspense, Lesbian Romance, Lesbian Coming of age

Tropes: Friends to lovers, found family, coming of age, power femme

Themes: Coming out, forgiveness, no secrets, overcoming past abuse, fight because we love

Heat Rating: 3 or 3.5 flames

Length: 93 000 words/ 330 pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

Three senior girls in rural Alaska escape their abusive pasts by raising their dyke flag for themselves and their community.

 

Blurb

Crystal Rose woke up at three in the morning today, drenched in sweat and breathless after another sex dream with Haley Carson. Later at school in the tiny town of Clear, Alaska, Crystal saves Haley from an assault by her abusive boyfriend.

The two girls renew a love started years ago that had to stay hidden until now. But with Crystal’s grandparents in the hospital with Covid and the possibility of her drug addict parents returning from a 14-year absence, Crystal needs Haley as much as she needs Crystal.

They connect with Payton Reed, a gun-toting artist who helps them feel proud to be gay and willing to stand up to anyone. Together they struggle to make Crystal’s house safe for those who are hated for their love.

 

Excerpt

Crystal and JD are very happy to be back in school. They’d been online from mid-March through May and then from late August until Monday, two days ago. During that time, Crystal had seen virtually none of her classmates. She’d never been very social, but she had missed seeing her art teacher and especially Haley. They’d been close friends in the elementary grades but had drifted apart in high school.

Crystal unties her hair and shakes her head. “One reason we went back this week is that special needs students don’t learn as much in remote learning.”

“Who said that?” asks Summer.

“SPED teacher.” Crystal bends over the table to grab her computer and feels her grandmother’s eyes searching her, just like she felt the moose eyes earlier.

“Crystal, why aren’t you wearing a bra?”

She lifts her eyes to Summer, who signals to hold her shirt against her chest. “Why are you looking?” She stays bent as she shoves books and her computer into her bag. “No one cared about me wearing a bra before. What difference does it make now?”

“Crystal, we’ve talked about this. You developed over the summer. You can’t be flashing everyone.”

“Am I flashing, or are you making a special effort to look down my shirt?” She feels blood rushing to her face. Her eyes throb.

“Please stand up straight.”

Crystal finishes stuffing her pack without hurrying, drags the zipper closed then swings her pack onto her shoulder as she stands. “Better?”

“Please put on your bra.”

Mac coughs. “Just don’t bend over in front of the boys, Crystal, and keep your jacket zipped.”

Crystal cocks a brow. “Because it’d be my fault if they stared at my boobs?”

JD laughs. “Gena calls them boobs too. A lot of my friends call them tits.”

“JD!” Everyone flinches when Summer slaps the table. Crystal can remember only one or two other times when she screamed at JD. He now stands with his mouth open, breathing noisily. His eyes bulge. “There’s no need to be crude. Why are you and Gena talking about her . . . breasts?”

Because they’ve been having sex for the past six months, thinks Crystal so loud she wonders whether anyone hears her. “C’mon, JD. We need to go.” Crystal pushes a chair farther under the table and heads for the door.

Summer grabs her arm. “Why are you being so defiant about this?”

“I’ve gone my whole life without my chest being strangled and bound. No one cared. Now if I don’t crush my boobs all day and much of the night, there’s something wrong with me. Guys go shirtless at PE all the time. Why can’t the girls?”

“That’d be embarrassing,” laughs JD as he moves through the door. “Hope you feel better, Mac.”

Summer releases Crystal’s arm and wrings her hands. “Now you want to go topless? Where are you getting these ideas?”

“Why do I have to get them from somewhere besides my own head? Cause I’m too dumb?” Her heart pounds in her chest and lips tighten against her teeth. She wants to say much more but is afraid to start another argument. She tries to slow her breathing. “Hope you feel better, Mac.” She exits the house and heads toward her Honda 4-wheeler where JD sits sideways behind the seat.

“I think it’s my turn to drive,” he says, just like every morning.

Crystal straddles the seat and starts the motor. “It’s not your turn until you’re older than me.”

“And what day will that happen?”

“Exactly.” She zips up her jacket, shifts gears, and races away from the house down her long driveway, bordered by spruce and aspen.

Last weekend, Kato told her she needed to wear a bra when she returned to school. He said he didn’t want guys staring at her all day. They’d been best friends their whole lives and had never even kissed. Then her boobs grew over the summer, and he couldn’t keep his hands off her. He complained she was teasing him, being coy, making him think dirty thoughts. All during July and August, she’d felt excited and confused, sometimes angry. Before this past weekend, they’d only kissed, and honestly, she’d never wanted to do anything more.

But she finally relented. The experience wasn’t very exciting, certainly nothing like her dreams of girls. Or kissing Haley in fifth grade.

At first, the dreams bothered her. Could something more be wrong with her brain beyond what school told her? She’s never fantasized about a boy. After Saturday’s session with Kato, she believes she understands why, but doesn’t know what to do or who to tell.

Maybe Haley?

What’s the worst that could happen?

She could laugh. Walk away. Tell others.

What’s the best she could say?

Me too.

How amazing would that be?

When the best option offers so great a reward, Crystal always ignores the danger. Witness—her encounter with the moose this morning.

Maybe she’ll talk to Haley today.

 

About the Author

Brooke Skipstone is a multi-award winning author who lives in Alaska where she watches the mountains change colors with the seasons from her balcony. Where she feels the constant rush toward winter as the sunlight wanes for six months of the year, seven minutes each day, bringing crushing cold that lingers even as the sun climbs again. Where the burst of life during summer is urgent under twenty-four-hour daylight, lush and decadent. Where fish swim hundreds of miles up rivers past bear claws and nets and wheels and lines of rubber-clad combat fishers, arriving humped and ragged, dying as they spawn. Where danger from the land and its animals exhilarates the senses, forcing her to appreciate the difference between life and death. Where the edge between is sometimes too alluring.

Crystal’s House of Queers is her third novel.

Visit her website for information about her first two novels, Some Laneys Died and Someone To Kiss My Scars.

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website | Instagram

 

 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

a $20 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Continue Reading RELEASE BLITZ: “Crystal’s House of Queers” by Brooke Skipstone

BOOK BLAST: “Midas Touch” by Alex Hall. $25.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Included!

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Midas Touch: A Christmas Romance

Author: Alex Hall

Publisher: Madison Place Press

Cover Artist: Rebecca Slather

Release Date: November 9, 2020

Genre: F/F Romance

Themes/Tropes: Christmas, childhood friends to lovers

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 75 000 words/ 208 pages

It is a standalone book.

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Gwen Cook has returned to Williamsburg, Virginia, after more than a decade away from her family estate. Frankie Porter has spent the last year renovating that same estate, turning the dilapidated Cook mansion into a showpiece. Gwen and Frankie shared a childhood full of hard secrets and ripe with first love. Now adults, their paths cross again and sparks fly.

A HEA with content warnings for PTSD and implied child abuse.

Excerpt

The boathouse had barely changed in twelve years. The creek ran quite a bit deeper and wider. Brown water had swallowed up much of the far bank and licked in pools about the base of the boathouse itself. Frankie had to shove back kudzu and sumac as she walked. The soles of her boots sank inches into mud. Tiny pink-and-white wildflowers grew up between the trees, and here and there she spotted a drooping hedge bright with red berries.

She made her way cautiously through the undergrowth until she could touch the old building. Standing against the foundation, she cocked her head and squinted up along brick walls. The boathouse seemed as sturdy as she remembered. Two stories high and crumbling on the outside, it was ruler straight and strong except for the roof, which still sagged but hadn’t given in to the elements and fallen.

“Used to be, they knew how to build to last.” Frankie patted the warm brick.

The structure didn’t tower the way it had in her childhood, but she supposed it wouldn’t. She had grown—her bones had lengthened into adulthood. She’d managed to top five feet, barely. At sixteen, she’d feared she would be stuck forever just above four.

Frankie hesitated, glancing up into the sky. The trees had grown tall, and she could see less of the sun than she remembered. The place was definitely cooler, definitely shadier; but on a warm summer afternoon, shade wasn’t such a bad thing.

She leaned against the boathouse and untied her boots. Stripping off her shoes and socks, she stood barefoot in the mud, regarding the brick walls. Twelve years gone and she was no longer a child. Could she do it?

Of course she could. Was it wise?

Probably not.

But her fingers and toes found the old cracks easily, and before she knew it, she was halfway up the wall. The brick brushed her khaki shorts, leaving brown stains. A branch streaked her white shirt with sap. Frankie didn’t notice. At the top she hoisted herself over the edge of the roof and onto the shingles. She sat very still, holding her breath, waiting to see if the roof would protest. The shingles held, even when she rose to her feet and tiptoed across the top of the boathouse to her old perch.

She looked up and around first, admiring the oak and the dogwood and the ash with their green-as-grass leaves. She sucked in the fragrance of the creek as she brushed her bangs from her eyes. Then she took a deeper breath and looked down.

James Creek glittered below, cut into geometric shapes by dim sunlight. Shadows gathered at the edges of the water and then spread away along the bank. From where she stood, the water looked deep and inviting.

About the Author

Sarah Remy/Alex Hall is a nonbinary, animal-loving, proud gamer Geek. Their work can be found in a variety of cool places, including HarperVoyager, EDGE and NineStar Press.

Author Links

Blog/Website | Twitter: @sarahremywrites

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RELEASE BLITZ: “My Ticket Out” by J.N. Marton

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: My Ticket Out

Author: J.N. Marton

Cover Artist: 100Covers

Release Date: November 17, 2020

Genres: Contemporary F/F Romance, Coming-of-age

Tropes: Forbidden love(ish) and friends to lovers

Themes: Coming out, Embracing who you are

Heat Rating: 2-3 flames

Length: 260 pages

It is a standalone story.

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

A senior basketball player. A mysterious new girl. A secret romance…

Blurb

Charlie Baker wants out. She wants out of her small, southern hometown of BluHaven and she has her sights set on a basketball scholarship to a college as far away as her dreams can take her. Everything is going according to plan until she moves to town.

Aspen Sullivan is breathtaking. She is beautiful, smart, talented…. She evokes feelings in Charlie that she hadn’t thought possible. When their friendship blossoms into something more, Charlie discovers a new truth about herself. But with Aspen’s mysterious past, they must keep their relationship a secret.

Will their love be strong enough to endure the trials of deceiving those closest to them? Do they have what it takes to escape the constraints of the south and the closet together?

My Ticket Out is a Young Adult, LGBT story about love, and self-discovery. If you enjoy stories that include romance, heartbreak, and embracing who you are, then you will definitely love this book by author J.N. Miller.

Pick this book up today to see if Charlie will find her ticket out.

 

Excerpt

Chapter 1

“We did not come this far to roll over like a bunch of pigs! Take the ball and put it in the damn basket!”

Falcons on three… one… two… three… FALCONS.”

Twelve seconds left on the clock.

One more shot.

One more play.

One last chance.

Twelve seconds is all the time we need.

Defense pounces the second the ball is inbounded like a leach latching itself to the only available life source.

The fast break is swift–over before it even started. One hard dribble towards the middle and the ball is launched to the center of the court.

Seven seconds left.

What comes next is second nature. A hard cut to the basket and back out to the wing, my hands raised in the air as I catch the ball before defense has time to adjust.

Four seconds left… Three seconds… the ball rolls off my fingertips.

Two seconds… it swirls around the rim.

One second… and falls to the ground.

The sound of the buzzer erupts through the gymnasium, solidifying our defeat. Final score thirty-six to thirty-seven.

I inhale the musty stench of sweat, perfume, and hairspray as we sulk into the locker room and take a seat while we wait for the aftermath that is Coach Stewart. I lean forward, resting my elbows on my knees and focus on the sweat dripping from my forehead, plummeting to the ground, leaving a minuscule puddle between my shoes.

One shot.

That’s all we needed. And I blew it.

My main priority from the second this year started was getting a basketball scholarship out of this small town. From our very first game, it’s felt like my life has been dependent on one specific goal. A single accomplishment–like making the game winning shot–is going to make or break my future.

Coach Stewart charges through the door, letting it slam against the concrete wall as he steps in front of us. His gaze is intentional and cold, his demeanor full of discontent and indignation. His eyes trace over us, one by one, pausing just long enough for us to feel the misery set in.

He dips his head, slowly shaking it back and forth, before he holds up his index finger. “One shot. One damn shot. That’s all we needed to be undefeated this season.” He lifts his head, settling his hands on his hips. “We made mistakes tonight. And sometimes one mistake is the difference between winning and losing. The season’s not over yet. We’ll just have to practice a little harder to end it on a high. We’ve got a few games left, don’t give up now. Practice tomorrow after school. Bring it in.

Falcons on three… one… two… three… FALCONS.”

I shuffle to my locker, ignoring the hushed conversations happening around me, and begin gathering my stuff.

“That was a nice shot, Charlie,” Riley says as she pulls off her jersey, tossing it to the growing pile on the floor and retrieves her tshirt from the locker next to mine.

“Thanks,” I mutter, “I’ll see you tomorrow,” and sling my bag across my shoulders, heading for the door.

I get about three steps away from the locker room when I’m cut off by Ben. He’s wearing faded jeans, a red and black flannel over a plain white shirt, and boots with dried mud on the sides. The typical wardrobe of the boys that live around here. He’s taller than me by about three inches, with chocolate brown hair falling in his face, and forest green eyes that can’t seem to focus on what’s in front of him. “Hey, Charlie. Nice game.”

“Thanks,” I say, trying to brush past him.

He takes one long stride to the right, blocking my path. “I was thinking about checking out that new movie this weekend. Thought you might like to join me?”

“No thanks, I’m busy.”

He leans in closer, the smell of popcorn lingering on his breath, “C’mon, Charlie,” He whispers, “It’ll be fun. It wasn’t too long ago you jumped at the chance to go out with me.”

That’s not actually true. I only went out with him because Riley insisted and I finally agreed in order to get her off my back, not because I found him even remotely attractive. Of course, he doesn’t realize that, which isn’t all that surprising when I really think about it. We did the typical dinner and movie date but he couldn’t hold a conversation that didn’t revolve around him. Within the first twenty minutes of the movie, he’s shoving his tongue down my throat. I managed to wrangle him off before awkwardly sitting there trying to pretend I was somewhat interested in the film playing on screen. I haven’t gone out with him since.

“Ben, I need to get home. Can we talk about this some other time?”

“So,” he says, straightening up, his tone chipper as a smile plays around his mouth, “You’ll think about it?”

I stagger past him, picking up my pace as the EXIT sign beacons above the door, hoping my silence will answer his question.

I step outside, breathing in the bitter, frigid air of late February and make my way to my old grey Sedan. I pull out of the parking lot and head towards downtown. BluHaven is a small, southern town where the same families, shops, restaurants, and business have been here for generations. There’s a church on nearly every street corner, everything shuts down on Sundays, high school sports are the main source of entertainment, and everybody knows everything about everyone.

They say you have the freedom to be whoever you want to be, to express yourself in your own way. But if that goes against the belief system that’s been set in stone since before I was born, then don’t even bother. It’s not that I hate living here. It’s just that I never felt like I truly fit in, like my place has always been somewhere else in this world.

 

About the Author

J.N. Marton graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor’s degree in education. Along with educating the future of our nation, she enjoys taking her daily morning run, reading any book she can get her hands on, and binge watching the latest shows on Netflix. Marton happily lives with her wife, Hollis, and their Lab/Basset Hound mix, Sam.

Email her at jnmartonauthor@gmail.com and follow her on her favorite social media platform, Twitter @jn_marton.

 

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Continue Reading RELEASE BLITZ: “My Ticket Out” by J.N. Marton

BOOK BLAST: “Trust” by Aprille Canniff

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Trust

Author: Aprille Canniff

Publisher: Page Publishing Inc.

Genre/s: Crime, Lesbian Romance

Trope/s: Forbidden love

Themes: Crime, trust, betrayal

Length: 119 679 words/ 328 pages

Heat Rating: 3 flames

It is a standalone book.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N

When everyone has something to hide, who do you trust?

Blurb

In the military and law enforcement, the line between right and wrong is clear. Who you trust absolutely has never been questioned…until now.

Air Force Security Forces Master Sergeant Alex Thomas just got back from a rough deployment and already has a new assignment-to train a new team in everything she knows. Much to her dismay, her new team is not military but members of the Boston Police Department. When she finally meets them, she realizes why the military and local law enforcement don’t team up. Officer Jen Miceli doesn’t play by the rules and is all too willing to take risks. The two women are locked in a battle of the wills, but when the team comes across a large stash of weapons and drugs, their world is turned upside down by who it implicates. As members of the Boston PD are ambushed and friends are fighting for their lives, Alex must find a way to complete the mission and keep her team alive.

What do you do when the lines that you have always counted on become blurred? When you don’t know who to trust?

Excerpt
Her kidnappers grabbed her hair, pulled her head back, and lifted the bag off her face just far enough to take the tape off her mouth. “Yell and you will get hurt, cooperate and you will be let go.” The same voice that held the gun to her head earlier spoke into her ear. She couldn’t pick up an accent indicating where her attackers might be from, and all that she knew at this point was that they were silent, specific, and cold. Every move they made so far was deliberate, and she had no doubt that these people would follow through on any threat they made. She was getting scared. She mentally evaluated her situation—she could not feel her hands, her legs were tied together, she didn’t know where she was, and she was outnumbered at least three to one. If they would just take this damn hood off, I might be able to figure a way out of this.

“What is your name?”

“Jennifer O’Malley.”

“So you like to tell lies, do you?” the unknown voice asked with a hint of anticipation. “Do it.”

The chair was pulled out from under her, and the moment she hit the floor, she felt three punches, all landing in the gut. She was coughing and still trying to suck in air when she was lifted back up and on to the chair.

“What is your name?” Her captor’s voice was like the calm before a storm.

She took a minute to catch her breath and then sat straight up. “You already know, so why don’t you cut the crap and tell me what you want.” She spat out her words with as much venom and calm restraint as she could find.

“It looks like we have a lively one here.” He laughed a controlled laugh before continuing. “Okay then, what is your new sergeant up to these days?”

They are after the sarge? Not a chance in hell am I saying anything. “Who?”

“Sergeant Thomas, the woman who has been training you. What is she teaching you and why?”

She smiled. “I don’t know who or what you are talking about, asshole.”

“You will, little girl, you will. That you can trust me on.” The tape was put back over her mouth, and she was thrown back onto the floor before he even stopped speaking.

What felt like hours later, the only things that had changed were the number of times she was prodded in the ribs by someone’s boot and her temper. Fury replaced fear, and determination replaced doubt. They are not getting anything on the sarge no matter what. The “or what” was the part that she was trying to prepare herself for when she was grabbed again.

Tossed on the chair and tape ripped off again, she was asked, “What is your teacher teaching you?”

This time, she laughed. “Don’t know, I’m not a good student.”

After a short moment’s pause, her captor said, “Drink,” just before what tasted like water was forced into her mouth. “I am not going to poison you. I just want information, and how can I get that if you die of dehydration?” her captor said with a hint of humor in his voice. “Drink.”

She did her best to try and spit it out, but a hand pressed against her mouth, preventing her from being able to. For the next hour, she was made to drink water and asked the same

question. “What is she teaching you?” Jen changed her answers from simple laughter to blatant insults. “Well, I think I will just have to come back to her. Are her friends still upstairs?”

About the Author

Aprille Canniff is a deputy sheriff and member of the Air National Guard. Trust is her first published novel, which she wrote while deployed to Afghanistan. She currently lives in Virginia with her wife and “ninja” cat. When she isn’t writing or working, her passion is fishing and bragging about how big the one that got away was.

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Continue Reading BOOK BLAST: “Trust” by Aprille Canniff