Monday, November 12, 2018

Book Spotlight & Giveaway~ Megan Slayer's Resisting the Rock Star


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Megan Slayer will be awarding a prize pack featuring a necklace made by the author and signed swag to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What the rock god wants, he gets—including her.

Mason ‘Kross’ Khan left the rock and roll stage to connect with the son he never knew existed. He’s used to electrifying crowds and romancing the ladies. Money’s never been an object. He’s not looking for a relationship, but when he meets the saucy brunette at a club, he’s smitten. Danya’s perfect—curvy, smart and has no idea he’s a giant in the music industry. The one-night stand is just what he needs and he’s convinced he’ll never see Danya again—until he attends conference night at the local high school.

Danya Littrell isn’t just his one-night stand. She’s also his son’s art teacher and the woman who sparks his muse. Can he balance parenthood, a relationship with Danya and his music career? Or will his secrets be too much for the relationship to withstand?

Read an Excerpt:

©2018 Megan Slayer, All Rights Reserved

“You seem fine to me.” He held her close once again. “You seem pretty great.”

She tipped her head to the side to look at him. His eyes flashed, then he captured her mouth in a kiss. Electricity shot from her head to her toes. She pressed against him. She’d never been kissed so deeply. Sparks centered in her pussy. He threaded his fingers into her hair and held her tight without crushing her. When he broke the connection, her knees quaked. She sagged into him.

“Damn.” He smiled. “Better than I thought.”

She wanted to say something snappy, but the words weren’t there. Instead, she settled for honesty. “For me, too.”

She draped her arms around his neck. She didn’t want to leave the dance floor or for the night to end. She could almost hear Kelly encouraging her to leave with him and live a little. He hadn’t asked her to go home with him, but the better part of her wanted that to happen.

“I can’t offer you forever, but I want to give you tonight,” he said. He kissed her again then cupped her jaw in both hands. “Very much so.”

“Who needs forever when one night can be everything?”

About the Author:
Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. Find out more about Megan and Wendi at: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm Sign up for the newsletter here: http://ymlp.com/xgjmjumygmgj

Website: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm
Blog: https://wendizwaduk.wordpress.com
Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/wendizwaduk.meganslayer/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Megan-Slayer/e/B008BJCFSC
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/megan-slayer
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wendizwaduk/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5330530.Megan_Slayer
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/MeganSlayer

Buy Links:

B/N: https://goo.gl/DeeVfd
Amazon: https://goo.gl/HhTDkH
Google Play: https://goo.gl/tHTPNn
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/resisting-the-rock-star/id1410019067?mt=11
Kobo: https://goo.gl/xtX5wQ
Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/162344134X/

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Check out Ilona Andrews' Next Book, Diamond Fire & Giveaway!



The next installment in the Hidden Legacy series is coming and you don't want to miss what Author Ilona Andrews has in store for their readers in Diamond Fire.



Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews
Series Hidden Legacy Novella
Genre Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher Avon Impulse
Publication Date November 6, 2018

Avon Romance  https://goo.gl/mPdWgd
Barnes & Noble  https://goo.gl/47SHkS

Google Play  https://goo.gl/tRTpU6


Nevada Frida Baylor and Connor Ander Rogan cordially invite you to join their wedding celebration. Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities strictly forbidden.

Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle.  Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan's extensive family overruns his mother’s home.  Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.

To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic.  But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn't do for her sister's happiness.  Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done.

Excerpt Teaser:

Chapter 1

Catalina
I fought my way through the hallway of Mountain Rose house trying to dodge the children. Everything I ever read about my future brother-in-law on Herald suggested that Connor Rogan was a loner with no immediate family besides his mother and his cousin, Kelly Waller, who didn’t count.
Herald lied.
The gaggle of children was coming right for me.
I clutched my tablet to my chest and braced myself.
They ran around me in circles, giggling, and dashed down the hallway, leaving a little girl holding a stuffed unicorn in their wake. I let out a breath.
Rogan had oodles of relatives, scattered all over the Mediterranean, and all of them descended on his mother’s house to attend the wedding. I liked kids, but there were somewhere between twenty and thirty children under the age of twelve on the premises and they traveled in packs. The last time I ran across this gang of preteens, they knocked the tablet out of my hands. Nothing could happen to the tablet. All of the wedding files were on there.
The little girl and I looked at each other. She was probably five and supercute, with brown hair and big dark eyes. She wore a pretty lavender dress decorated with tiny silk flowers. If Mom had put me into that dress when I was her age, it would be covered with mud and engine grease in about five minutes. When I was five, I either played outside or in Grandma Frida’s garage, while she repaired tanks and field artillery.
“Hi,” I said. “I’m Catalina.”
“Mia Rosa García Ramírez Arroyo del Monte.”
I had seen her before, I realized. She always seemed to follow Mrs. Rogan around. She trailed her to the porch, to the study, to the media room. She even wanted to sit next to her in the dining room.
Mia Rosa thrust her unicorn up. It was almost as big as she was and decorated with blue and silver plastic jewels the size of grapes and way too many sparkles.
“This is Sapphire.”
“She is very pretty.”
“She lives in the midnight clouds and her horn glows with moonlight.”
Of course. Jewel Legends. It was a popular kid cartoon with mythical animals. I was too old for it, but Arabella, my younger sister, caught the very beginning of it. Everything had to be Jewel Legends for a while: notebooks, backpacks, phone cases . . . And then she went to high school and that was the end of that.
“I want a sparkly gun,” Mia Rosa announced in a slightly accented voice.
“Um, what?”
“There is a gun that lets you put more sparklies.”
“You want a bedazzler?”
Mia Rosa nodded several times. “Yes. My mommy said you were the go girl and I should ask you.”
Go girl. I hid a sigh. “I’ll see what I can do. What is your mommy’s name, so I know where to deliver the bedazzler?”
“Teresa Rosa Arroyo Roberto del Monte. Thank you. But don’t give it to mommy. Give it to me.”
Awww. She said thank you. “You’re welcome.”
She curtsied and ran after the kids, dragging her unicorn.
My phone chimed. I glanced at the text message. Arabella has written, “Where are you??? Get here!!!” and added a gif of a crying baby with photoshopped rivers of tears. I took off at a near run.
It all started with Nevada firing the wedding planner. The first wedding planner.
Usually my older sister was a perfectly reasonable person. Well, as reasonable as someone can be when she is a human lie detector. However, two weeks ago Simon Nightingale disappeared, and House Nightingale hired us to find him. Just three months ago our family registered as a House, and our small PI firm went from Baylor Investigative Agency to House Baylor Investigative Agency. The Nightingale case was our first investigation. The entire Houston elite was watching us, and it drove Nevada a little nuts. A lot nuts. She was pretty much a nutcase.
The first wedding planner was fired because she argued with Nevada. My sister would explain the way she wanted things done and the planner would tell why they couldn’t do it that way. Most of the time “couldn’t” meant “we won’t do it because it’s a Prime wedding and it’s not the way things are done.” Finally, the planner explained to Nevada that it wasn’t really her wedding, but a wedding of House Rogan and she needed to stop impeding it with “ridiculous demands,” such as serving queso as an appetizer at the rehearsal dinner. The planner was promptly escorted from the premises.
The second planner was fired, because she kept lying. Her approach to wedding planning was to pacify the bride by pretending that everything was under control even when it wasn’t. She didn’t want to be micromanaged. But, my sister was an epic control freak and her attention to detail was legendary within the family. Nevada would ask if something was a problem, and the planner would repeatedly assure her that things were fine, despite being warned that Nevada could sense her lies. Things came to a head when Nevada asked her point-blank if she and Mrs. Rogan had come to an agreement on the caterer. After being told for the tenth time to not worry about it, Nevada snapped. I realized that the second planner was let go when I saw her running to her car in five-inch heels with a look of pure panic on her face. My sister had burst onto the porch behind her, yelling, “Is it fine now? Is it still fine?”
We didn’t bother with a third wedding planner. Arabella and I took a weekend, armed ourselves with takeout, and after thirty odd episodes of Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? and four seasons of Bridezilla, we decided to plan the wedding ourselves. It was that or there would be no wedding.
Unfortunately, while Rogan and his mother treated us with perfect courtesy, the rest of his family wasn’t quite sure about our status. Both Arabella and I were registered as Primes, but our records were sealed. Also, our family wasn’t wealthy, and Rogan was a billionaire. With me being eighteen and Arabella turning sixteen, they didn’t feel we had any authority. I had a feeling we ranked as “poor relatives who run errands,” somewhere just above hired help. Apparently, I was the go girl. I didn’t even want to know what Arabella was.
Just what I needed. I already felt like a clumsy trespasser in all of this beautiful luxury. This wasn’t my home. My home was in the loft of the warehouse. If there was any way to not be here, I would’ve taken it. But I loved my sister.
It would be a lot easier if we could do all this in Rogan’s house, but Rogan and Nevada declared Rogan’s home a wedding-free zone and hid there whenever they could.
I turned the corner and walked into a room where Nevada stood on a dais, wearing high-heeled shoes and the in-progress wedding dress, which currently was muslin marked with blue pencil lines. Two people crawled around her, pinning the hem.
Arabella stood in front of her, her arms crossed over her chest. Both Nevada and Arabella were blond, but Nevada’s hair was closer to clover honey, while Arabella’s resembled gold corn silk. I was the only brunette in the family, besides Mom. Right now the similarities between my two sisters were really apparent, and if you didn’t look at their faces, Arabella seemed like a shorter smaller copy of Nevada.
Ooo, I should tell her that next time we fought. She would hate that.
“What is it?” I asked.
“She wants lilacs in her wedding bouquet.”
“Okay . . .” Nevada had said she wanted carnations, but we could stuff some pretty pink lilacs in there. I didn’t see the problem.
“Blue,” Arabella squeezed out. “She wants blue lilacs.”
No and also no. “Nevada . . .”
“I had to hide in a bush of French lilacs yesterday and they were very pretty and smelled nice. The card on the tree said, ‘Wonder Blue: prolific in bloom and lush in perfume.’”
I googled French lilac, Wonder Blue. It was blue. Like in your face blue. “Why were you hiding in a bush?”
“She was being shot at,” Arabella said with a sour face.
“So you stopped to smell the lilacs while people were shooting at you?” I couldn’t even.
“Mmm. I was in a greenhouse and they made a lovely hiding spot.”
I decided to go with logic. My sister was a logical person. “You asked for a spring wedding. You chose pink, white, and very light sage green as your colors. There is no blue anywhere in the wedding.”
“Now there is.”
“Your bouquet has pink carnations, pink sweet pea flowers, white roses, and baby breath.” Three varieties of pink carnations, because she couldn’t pick one. And Nevada would never know the panic in the floral designer’s eyes when we told her it had to be a carnation bouquet. Apparently, carnations weren’t upscale enough for Mad Rogan’s wedding. Poor woman kept trying to suggest orchids.
“And blue lilacs,” Nevada said.
“It will clash,” Arabella growled.
I googled sage bridesmaid dress, held the tablet toward Nevada, and scrolled through images. “Look at the flowers. Pink and white. Pink. Pink. White. Pink and white.”
“I don’t care,” Nevada said. “I want blue lilacs.”
And I want to fly away from here, but that wouldn’t happen anytime soon, would it?
“Anyway, I have to get back to the office,” Nevada said. “Text me if anything.”
“The queen has dismissed us,” Arabella announced.
I dropped into a deep curtsy. “Your Majesty.”
“I hate you guys.”
“We hate you back,” Arabella told her.
“We hated you before the wedding.”
“Before it was cool to hate you.”
“Get out!” Nevada growled.
I walked out of the room.
Arabella caught up with me. “We can’t do lilacs. It ruins the theme.”
“I know.”
“What are we going to do?”
“Sleep on it,” I told her. “Let’s go home.”
“Catalina,” a woman called.
I turned toward the sound. Arrosa Rogan, Nevada’s future mother-in-law waved at me from the doorway, from her wheelchair.
“May I speak to you in private, dear?”
Oh-oh. This couldn’t be good. “Yes, ma’am.”
“I’ll wait for you outside,” Arabella said.


TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY

To celebrate the release of DIAMOND FIRE by Ilona Andrews, we're giving away one paperback set of the Hidden Legacy trilogy!




GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to internationally. One winner will receive a paperback set of the Hidden Legacy trilogy by Ilona Andrews. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 11/12/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted.  


ABOUT ILONA ANDREWS

ILONA ANDREWS is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.) They have co-authored two New York Time sand USA Today bestselling series—the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and the romantic urban fantasy of The Edge. They live in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

AUTHOR LINKS




Saturday, November 10, 2018

Book Spotlight & Giveaway~ The Kinsey Scale


Title: The Kinsey Scale
Series: Campus Connections Book 1
Author: CJane Elliott
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 11/9/18
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 89 pages
Genre: Romance, New Adult, contemporary, friends to lovers, college

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Life is good for Eric Brown. He’s a senior theater major, an RA for a freshman dorm, and has a great circle of friends. Single since sophomore year, Eric isn’t looking for love. But then Will Butler—fellow senior, co-RA, and the cutest guy Eric’s ever seen—walks into his dorm. Will has a girlfriend he sees off campus—a minor disappointment that becomes a major problem when a housing shortage causes Will and Eric to become roommates, and Eric is forced to witness Will’s hotness day in and day out. For protection, Eric asks Jerry, his ex-boyfriend, to pretend they’re still together. Jerry warns him it’s a stupid idea, but he reluctantly agrees. Too bad it won’t save Eric from losing his heart. Will Butler has never believed in himself. His dysfunctional family saw to that. Although Will has loved music since childhood, he’s never seriously considered pursuing it, and the person he’s dating doesn’t encourage him. Then he and Eric Brown become roommates, and everything changes. Eric believes in Will and his talent. He’s also gorgeous and playful and fast becoming Will’s best friend. And that’s not good, because Will is hiding some big things, not only from Eric, but from himself.

Excerpt

“So how’s it going with Hottie the Roommate?” Jerry asked. He lounged in the armchair at the coffee shop and took a languid sip of his latte. “Fine.” Eric made a face. “We stay out of each other’s way. It sucks, but nothing we can do about it now.” “I’m surprised you haven’t taken advantage of the situation.” Jerry arched his eyebrow. “He’s straight. He has a girlfriend who doesn’t go here. I guess he sees her on the weekends. I don’t know. We don’t talk about that.” “Don’t talk? Oh honey, that doesn’t sound like you at all. What’s up with that?” “I don’t know. Shut up.” “Touchy, touchy. God. You’re not usually this grumpy. Maybe you should look at changing this RA thing, because it sounds like it’s causing you stress.” Eric shifted in his chair and sipped his latte. Jerry knew him too well. He was grumpy lately, but it wasn’t the RA thing. He enjoyed being an RA and counseling the kids. He and Will functioned well as an RA team, seeming to know instinctively when one of them would do better than the other in handling a situation, and then debriefing about it later. They talked about stuff really easily, and laughed a lot, having discovered they shared the same kind of crazy humor. And Will composed his own songs, which Eric thought was totally cool. He loved lying on his bed listening to Will play his guitar and sing. “Yeah, it’s not that bad. We get along great, actually.” And it wasn’t true that they never talked about Will’s girlfriend. Her name was Jessie, and Will sometimes mentioned her in passing, but Eric never pressed for details. In fact he had a strange reluctance to regale Will with his own sexual escapades, the way he always had in the past with friends or roommates. It was a weird thing, almost like a force field or something. They both shut up whenever the conversation veered too close to sex or relationships. And then having to look at Will every day, with his bedhead when he woke up and his naked chest when he came out of the bathroom in his sleep pants, or when his face was animated and he threw back his head and laughed at something Eric said and…. God. No wonder he was grumpy. “Let’s go out tonight. You need to dance and get laid.” Jerry’s voice brought him back. “Okay.” It was Friday, so Will would be out of the room, thank God. Maybe Eric would even get lucky and bring someone back with him tonight… or go to their place, given the shitty dorm beds. He yawned, all of a sudden weary. “Oh yes.” Jerry peered at him critically. “We’ve got to get you back to your perky self, my dear. I’m getting you another latte, for starters.”

Purchase

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google

Meet the Author


After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending. CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming-out stories. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her family supports her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop. CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards.

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Friday, November 9, 2018

Book Spotlight~ Shades of Dragon


Title: Shades of Dragon
Author: Catherine Vale
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

Blurb:

Abandoned by his mother as a young boy, and taken in by the elders of the Redwater clan, Tegan isn't your typical hero. In fact, if you ask him, he wouldn't call himself a hero at all. Yet when he is asked to investigate the outcome of an attack on the nearby human villages, what he discovers invokes the rage of a thousand storms, and he finds himself on the run with a beautiful stranger.

Tegan may be half dragon, half human, but he's all heart. If he doesn't stay focused on the mission at hand, he will find that the curvy woman he's determined to protect, could be on her way to stealing it.

On the run, they must fight their way to safety before time runs out, and everything they love is destroyed.

If you love riveting storytelling, sensual alpha shifters, and paranormal romance that never quits, then you’ll love Shades of Dragon.


NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author Catherine Vale writes urban fantasy stories of magic and mayhem and paranormal romance.

Author Links:
Buy Links:

Thursday, November 8, 2018

WRITERS WRITE... WRITING PARTNERS FEUD ~ 2







***
We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at writingteamcw@yahoo.com (Write - Blog Dawn - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a free ebook (choose erotic or romantic thriller) and add you to any future mailings.



Angelica Hart and Zi ~ Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
www.champagnebooks.com - www.carnalpassions.com - angelicahartandzi.com










Welcome debut author Ivy Keating today

Please welcome new author Ivy Keating today to the blog. 


Camouflage
By
Ivy Keating and Scott Spotson
Blurb:
A missing man, a new police chief and an unexpected New England town mystery.

When Sean Dermott, the newly appointed police chief, sees the report that a popular local high school coach is missing, his growing fascination with the alluring Vanessa Strauss, who reported the disappearance, makes him determined to solve the case.

The investigation leads him and his team deep into Quarry Head Park, a local scenic preserve with nature trails and expansive views. There is no sign of the missing man, but what he does find terrifies him to the core.

From the depths of the park, a deadly prehistoric looking creature emerges, attacks swiftly and silently, leaving devastation in its wake. In the chaos which follows, it is up to Chief Dermott and a team of scientists to fight for balance by ensuring the safety of his town and preserving this remarkable discovery.

He will risk his career, his reputation and even his own life to stand by what he believes to be right. The question is, will he succeed, or will all be lost?

Buy Links:


Excerpt:


Excerpt:
The following week on Monday, when Sean returned to work, he found new information on the homicide in Lakeside Park in his inbox.
The fingerprints lifted from the evidence belong to Marcus Branca. He is now the number one suspect. He’s also the prime suspect in a robbery caught on tape in Litchfield. The security video from the drugstore robbery and a mug shot are attached.
The next paragraph got him thinking.
A current address for the suspect is not confirmed. His mother, Evelyn Branca lives at 201 Daleview Circle in Norwalk, Connecticut. A transcript of her statement is attached. She stated the last time she saw her son was two years ago in October when he asked her for money.

He’s robbing close to home. He has no confirmed address, and he last called his mother two years ago.

Sean’s gut told him—she’s lying.
He closed the email to focus on the open cases within his department.
The results of the forensic tests from the soil samples should be in.

He placed the call to the lab. The receptionist told him the tests were completed and transferred him to a technician who gave him the results. “The soil samples you sent over came up negative for synthetic and natural rubber. No trace metals either. We found nothing man-made in it.”
Sean thanked the woman. Nothing then.

He glanced at the time on his computer screen. In one hour, he needed to attend a seminar on emergency protocols as outlined by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, given at the University of Connecticut. He turned off his computer, preparing to leave when he saw Ryan standing in the doorway.
Sean waved him in. “What’s up?”
“I have the report I promised on Jason Kenner last week.”
“Including what happened to the car and the credit card statements?”
“Yes. And some information from recent bank records,” Ryan said, handing Sean a hard copy.
“Have a seat.”
“Remember the name on the account, Marsha Philips?”
Sean nodded.
“She’s an old girlfriend who lives in Albany, New York, about two hours away. I was able to speak with her.”
“What did she say?”
“They lived together, and she was crushed he’s missing. It sounded like Marsha cared very deeply about him, so I asked what the nature of their relationship was today. She said they’re just friends. They broke up because he has a gambling problem.”
“Is that why he has so many credit cards?”
“Yeah. He uses cash advances to get money. Marsha said he’s been doing that for years. He wanted her to open a card in her name and take out an advance for him. She refused and gave him an ultimatum. Get help for his addiction, or it’s over. He never got help.”
“Does she know there’s a credit card statement in her name going to his house?”
“She does. She knows he opened a card in her name illegally, but she doesn’t want to press charges. Two months ago, Jason told her that he owed someone money and they’re after him. He asked Marsha if she could loan him two thousand dollars, but she refused. He opened the card without her permission but then called her to confess what he’d done and closed the account. She feels terrible for him. She said he’s a good man; he just has a problem.”
“That’s very forgiving considering what he did,” Sean said.
“Yup, but the story checks out. I followed up with the credit card carrier, and they did receive a request to close the account. And there’s more. Marsha said when they first started dating Jason owed someone $11,000 for betting on football games. He was so scared they would come after him, he told her if he didn’t get the money he’d have to leave town. She gave him a small loan, and he took a second job to cover the rest. Marsha said he would tell her he stopped gambling, but she knows he never did. He was always short of money the entire time they were together.”
“I’m a little surprised none of his friends said anything. There’s nothing in the file about it,” Sean said, wondering if Vanessa knew about Jason’s addiction.
“From the way Marsha spoke—he was good at hiding it. He held a steady job, and for the most part they had a good relationship.”
“I can see that. Jason’s very popular around here. He was working with kids coaching the winning basketball team. Looks like a model citizen. Any idea who he owes money to?”
“Not yet, but his landlady said he hasn’t paid his rent in two months. I did some checking, and he’s behind on all his other bills. There are some illegal gambling operations in neighboring towns that local law enforcement is building cases against. I could contact them.”
“Yes. Do that.”
He nodded. “Right away.”
“Oh, did you find out what happened to his car?” Sean asked, standing and gathering his things.
“As a matter of fact, yes.” Ryan followed Sean to the door. “The car was repossessed for non-payment. He hadn’t paid in almost six months. It was pure coincidence it was taken away now.”
“See what else you can find and keep me updated.”
Ryan returned to his office, and Sean left the station. On the way to his police car, he detoured into the building next door which housed the Animal Control Department.
After exchanging greetings with Officer Benjamin Gibson, the head of Animal Control, Sean asked if anyone claimed the dog he found.
“No such luck. No one’s called, and the poor creature’s been staying at the animal hospital since you had him brought in,” Ben said.
“How come?”
“He tested positive for Lyme disease. He’ll be okay, but they wanted to start him on antibiotics so they kept him there.”
Sean rubbed his chin. The dog’s been through enough. “If no one calls you today, I’m going to pick him up and take him home.”

“Good for you,” Ben said with a smile. “Hey. Since you’re here, a video just came in of a mutilated animal in Quarry Head Park. Want to take a look?”
“Someone filmed it?”
“Yeah.”
“I don’t have much time. Is it long?”
“Not at all. Just shy of two minutes.”
“Sure. Let me see.”
“I just want you to be prepared. It’s pretty gross.”
“I appreciate the warning,” Sean said, even more interested.
Ben pulled the file up on the computer and turned the screen toward Sean.
The camera caught every angle of the gruesome sight. Sean flinched. What the hell?

The body in the footage looked like a deer. The features on its face were squashed; the eyes no longer clearly defined. The neck of the animal was bent in the middle—the head lay flat on the ground twisted to one side. Two stumps, which were once the deer’s front legs, jutted out just past its ears. Its back legs were crushed and wedged into position under its belly. Even more bizarre, the lifeless mass had a gelatinous looking coating over its entire body.
“Do we know what happened to it?”
“No. The footage was taken by a fifteen-year-old boy on his cellphone. He was riding his bike with a friend in Quarry Head Park. They went off the path, and his friend fell from the bike when he hit this dead animal.”
“Who gave you the video?”
“His mother sent it in by email. She wanted to make sure someone cleaned it up before anyone else got hurt. She said her son’s friend developed an itchy rash from the slime covering the animal’s body.”
Sean pointed to a marker on a tree in the video. “This is next to the yellow path,” he said. “Hold off on removing the animal for just a few hours. I have to go to a seminar at the University of Connecticut, but when I come back I want to take a look at it myself.”
“Sure. Hey, when you get to the school you should talk to Dr. Greg Mitchell. You can show him the video.”
“Why? Who is he?”
“Greg’s a professor at the University and the head of the Biology Department. He knows a lot about animals and specializes in herpetology.”
“Herpetology? The study of reptiles?” Sean asked.
“That’s right. Actually it’s reptiles and amphibians, so he covers both land and water. Greg lives right here in town. Last year he helped us relocate a Bog Turtle found in someone’s yard. They’re endangered, you know.”
“But even I can see this looks like a deer.”
“I know, but he’s very knowledgeable. He might be able to help. Anyway, it’s just a suggestion, and you’ll be there anyway.”
“Okay, can you send me the video?”
“Not a problem. I’ll email it to you now.”
Sean thanked Ben and left for the University. Once in his cruiser he scrunched his nose, mulling over the grisly video. Natural causes or foul play?



Author Bio:


Motivated by nature’s mysteries and the complexity of human behaviour, Ivy Keating writes science fiction and fantasy novels exploring the relationship between mankind and the natural world. A master’s degree in social work helps her explore the nature of her characters and give them added depth as they grapple with the repercussions of their actions. This novel was inspired by the landscape and natural beauty of New England. An area that inspired the question... what if?


Social Media Links:
www.ivykeating.com
Twitter @ivy_keating
facebook @ivykeating



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