Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Redemption Multipled by Three #NewRelease #EroticRomance

Spotlight feature--a new box set to ignite your inner fire via the always sizzling Pandora Spocks!


Rannigan’s Redemption is the story of the complicated relationship between sexy high-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and sassy red-haired fellow lawyer Maggie Flynn. 
Michael and Maggie meet at a job fair, where he hires her practically on the spot.  She’s smart and good her job.  But there’s more to it than he’s willing to admit.  He’s attracted to her.  Which doesn’t make sense.  She’s nothing like the women he dates.  She’s way too smart, for one thing. 
And Maggie’s in love with him, too.  Realizing the situation is all but hopeless, she contents herself with working with him.
One night tears them apart.  And from that point they’re both just running rogue, each making questionable decisions in their professional and personal lives. 
A moment of desperation brings them back together.  After Michael has burned all his bridges, Maggie’s the only one willing to stand by him.
And he’s grateful.  He knows he needs to make it up to her, to somehow find redemption for himself. 
Although Rannigan’s Redemption was intended to be one book, this story was too long and covers nearly ten years of Michael’s and Maggie’s lives, so it was originally released as three separate novels. 
This boxed set includes all three Rannigan’s Redemption novels: Resisting Risk, Running Rogue, and Ransoming Redemption. 


Maggie strode purposefully across the lobby of Michael’s building.  It had been a shit week and knowing that she had to work all weekend to make up for what she’d missed, all she wanted to do was to check in on Michael, deliver his soup, and head home to a nice hot bath and a large glass of wine.  Ahead of her a man was just stepping into the elevator and she increased her pace, hoping to make it before the doors closed.  He turned and their eyes met just as the doors slid shut.
            “Well, shit!” she muttered, juggling her purse, her brief case, and the bag from the deli.  Just then the doors slid back open.
            “Sorry about that,” the man said, “I didn’t realize you were right behind me.”  He held open the door as she stepped in and turned around.  “What floor?”
            Maggie glanced up at him.  He was tall with broad shoulders, muscular without being muscle-bound, with wavy brown hair and sparkling blue eyes framed by the longest lashes she’d ever seen on a man.  She’d noticed a bit of a drawl when he spoke.  Dressed in a t-shirt and sweatpants, he’d apparently been working out in the gym.  He stood beaming at her with a boyish grin on his face and he seemed to be waiting for her.  She realized she was staring. 
            Oh, shit!  What floor?  “Oh, sorry, um, twenty-one, please.”
            He grinned again.  “Twenty-one.  That’s my floor, too.”  He held out a hand.  “I’ve only been here a couple of months.  We haven’t met yet.  I’m Bobby.”
            Maggie shifted the deli bag and grasped his hand.  “Um, I’m Maggie.  I don’t actually live here.  I’m visiting a friend.”  She paused.  “Do you know Michael in 2101?”
            Bobby’s eyes widened and he took a step back.  “Oh.  You’re one of Michael’s girls.”
            Maggie frowned.  “No.  I am absolutely not one of Michael’s girls.  Nope.  Not me.  No way.”  She shook her head emphatically.
            Bobby grinned wryly.  “So you’re not one of Michael’s girls.”
            She felt her face flush.  “I’ve known Michael for a long time.  We used to work together.  He’s a little…under the weather, and I told him I’d stop by, bring him some soup.”  She held up the deli bag for emphasis. 
            He flashed the boyish grin, blue eyes sparkling with amusement.  Maggie felt her pulse race and a warm flush crept up her neck.  What the hell?
            “So you’re a lawyer.”
            She nodded.  “Yep.  Sorry.”
            “Why sorry?”
            “Everybody hates lawyers,” she replied as the elevator doors opened on the twenty-first floor.  She stepped out into the hallway and immediately went down hard on her left knee. 
            “Motherfucker!” she cried out.
            Bobby was beside her instantly.  “Are you alright?  What happened?”
            Maggie looked around.  “My shoe.”  The heel of her right shoe was caught in the space between the elevator and the hallway.  It had snapped off as she stepped forward.  Bobby grabbed it before the doors closed, then gently took her arm and helped her up.
            “Did you hurt yourself?” he asked, concerned.
            “I’m alright, really,” she replied shakily.  Blood was dripping from her knee and running in rivulets all the way down her shin.
            “You banged up your knee.”
            “But I saved the soup, so there’s that,” she quipped.
            He placed a hand on the small of her back and walked her down the hall, stopping at a door.  “This is me,” he said.  “Come in and let me at least bandage you up.”  Maggie regarded him warily. 
            “I’m not an axe murderer, I promise,” he laughed.
            She frowned.  “Isn’t that exactly what an axe murderer would say?” she said as he unlocked the door.
            “Tell you what–we’ll leave the door open.  You can sit right here.”  He pointed to a bench in the foyer.  “If I make any sudden moves you can run for it,” he chuckled.
            Sheepishly, Maggie sank onto the bench.  Truthfully, her knee hurt.  She set down her things and glanced up at him.  “Thanks,” she said quietly.
            Bobby smiled and gestured to his right.  “I’ll just…go get my axe.”
            She could hear him in another room rummaging around through something.  She removed her broken shoe and held up the dismembered heel.  It had come clean off the sole.  An image flashed through her mind of the shoe repair shop just around the corner from her apartment. 
            “I can fix that for you.”  Startled, she looked up.  Bobby had returned with first aid supplies.
            “Oh, you don’t have to do that,” she said quickly.  “There’s a shop near my place.”
            He poured alcohol on some gauze and knelt beside her.  “It won’t take me two seconds,” he murmured, dabbing at her knee.
            Maggie breathed in sharply.  “Ouch!  Ow ow ow!” she protested softly.
            Bobby looked up at her.  “Sorry, cher,” he said, “we’ve got to get it cleaned out.”  Gently he grasped the back of her calf and raised her leg, wiping away the streaks of blood. 
            Maggie stared at him, scarcely breathing.  There was something electric about his touch, so strong yet so tender.
            He finished cleaning her shin and returned to her knee, carefully placing a large bandage over the scrape.  “There you are, good as new.  Well, almost,” he smiled. 
            He took the shoe and heel from her.  “I really can fix this for you.  I’d just have to find my tools,” he nodded his head toward the other room.  “I should really unpack anyway,” he smiled ruefully.
            Maggie rose from the bench and stood lopsided on one heel.  “I don’t want to be more trouble than I’ve already been.”
            Something tells me that you’re all kinds of trouble, cher.  “It’s no trouble.  Besides, I’d be worried about you limping along like Quasimodo on your way home,” he laughed.
            She laughed, too.  “Well, alright then.  Thank you.  And thanks for…”  She glanced down at her knee.
            “It’s my pleasure, cher,” he said quietly.
            Maggie felt as though suddenly all the air had gone out of the room.  She stared up into his amazing blue eyes.  She opened her mouth but no words came out. 
            He spoke.  “Just stop by when you’re finished at Michael’s.  If I have to leave before that, I’ll bring you your shoe.”
Get it now!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Hunter Becomes The Hunted in Bounty, an Erotic #ParanormalRomance

Peeking inside the delicious collection of erotic short stories at Bounty--story 2--in Daydreams. He's a bounty hunter hot on the trail of jewel thief who's ditched bail...but little does he know that she's a witch who's playing a game with him. The hunter becomes the hunted in an erotic twist of wits in Dakota Skye's Bounty. 

An excerpt...18+ content

I can't believe I'm chasing a black cat. He exhaled a long sigh and shook his head with disgust over his level of desperation. 

With an eeny-meeny-miney-mo level of decision-making, he chose the one to the left—the dark, empty looking one—and jumped onboard as silently as possible. Creeping low, he found the door on the stern that led inside, pulled on the handle, and frowned when it was open. 

This could be another trap, he thought briefly before dismissing the idea. Why would she assume he'd follow a cat? No one in their right mind...

He froze at the menacing click in the otherwise silent boat.

"Hands up. Turn around. Slowly. No tricks."

He'd know that voice anywhere. 

He complied and smiled when he came face-to-face with his prey. 

She held a gun, but it trembled in her hands. She'd changed into a black dress with a zipper going across her chest diagonally from left shoulder to right hip. Black hair partially covered her face illuminated by the outside light. 

"You're not going to shoot me. That's not your style," he said softly. 

"There's a first time for everything." She frowned, her confidence from earlier slipping. She used both hands to try to control the shaking gun. "How did you find me?"

"Finding people is a specialty of mine." 

She gritted her teeth and motioned for him to step further into the room. 

"Why didn't you take your gifts and go?"

"The bigger question is why are you giving me gifts in the first place? I can't be bribed."

They circled around the small space—her holding a gun in her trembling hands and him raising his hands out to his sides. 

"You're alone. Always."

"So are you, what's your point?"

"Go to hell, Jakey."

Round and round they went. He kept his gaze locked on the gun while trying to figure out what she was trying to say. 

"I can't be bribed," he said again.

"Never assumed you could. Can't a gift just be a gift? No strings attached?"

"Not from you." 

"Such a cynic."

"Side-effect of the job."

"You should come to my side. I'm the eternal optimist—no limits, no rules. This situation is unexpected, but I'm confident I'll be leaving you behind tonight, Jake. Optimism. Give it a try."

Taking a chance that she wouldn't accidentally shoot him, he lunged forward and grabbed her wrists. The gun dropped almost immediately, but she fought back using her high heels, claws, and teeth. 

They collapsed in a tangle of limbs on the ground. 

He pushed her face into the carpet, grabbed her wrists, and searched his back pockets for the handcuffs he hoped like hell he'd remembered to bring. Still she kicked and writhed beneath him, a wild woman with nothing to lose, fighting him until he had her hands secured behind her waist. 

"Stop it. I've got you and I'm not letting you go."

"I'll let you think that." She twisted her head and peered at him through a veil of black hair and shadows. 

Tired of this bullshit day, he rolled off of her and panted at the ceiling. He needed a minute to relish the victory. 

She wiggled until on her knees. "I wouldn't get too comfortable if I were you."

"No? Meeting Carl? Or some other accomplice?" 

"You don't have me."

"Yes, sweetheart, I do." He moved to turn on a light so he could get a good look at her. 

He could barely believe that he'd finally won. 

Her chest heaved; hair fell across her face, revealing only one green eye that flashed menacingly at him, high cheekbones led to a full mouth that remained unsmiling at his perusal. 

He knew now was the time to call in the Feds, deliver her to an agent, and go home to collect his fat paycheck. 

But he couldn't quite find the motivation to do that. 

"How'd you manage to get bail in the first place?" he asked. 

"My secrets are for no one else's ears." She tossed her hair over her shoulder and glared at him from half-closed eyes. 

"Why did you set me up? I wouldn't have known how close I was if you hadn't. You could have just sailed off into the sunset without me being the wiser. Why this game?" He straightened his legs out in front of him, still on the floor, and watched her gaze skim over him. 

"I already told you that. I wanted my goodbye to be memorable." She caught her lower lip between her teeth, her gaze roaming over his body. 

"How do you travel around with a cat? A pet of any kind? Doesn't that make being on the run difficult?" 

He sighed at her continued silence. 

"Were you really leaving town tonight or was that whole stunt this afternoon purely for your enjoyment?"

When the corners of her mouth turned upward in a barely there smile, he answered with a grin of his own. His lingered on that mouth of hers and wondered what it would feel like sucking his cock. Of course, that would violate any ethics he had left. 

"You were talkative when our positions were reversed, now you're mute. Interesting." He tapped his fingers on the floor next to his hip. He wanted answers, damn it. After following her all over the country for two months, he needed them. 

She scooted forward on her knees and further into the light. She leaned forward, her hair tickling the side of his face and whispered, "We have a few hours to play, Jake. Isn't that what you really crave? My body, my lips, my hands, my heat?" 

He gulped and leaned his head away from hers until he could look her in the eye. "Seduction won't change how this ends."

"I know." She sat back on her heels. "Why have I been toying with you all this time, Jake? Because I want what you want." 

He knew that this had to be another one of her manipulations, yet his cock twitched in response to the suggestion. 

"Do you ever stop lying?"

"The key to a successful con is to always mix in some truth."

He decided to test the dare by reaching out and grabbing the top of the zipper on her left shoulder. "Is this what you want me to do?"

She arched an eyebrow. "Isn't it what you want to do?"

Oh, hell, yes, it was. He'd fantasized about it ever since she'd skipped out on him in Denver—allegedly with a half-million dollars worth of stolen jewels. 

He pulled down the zipper, telling himself that he was simply testing her but knowing he wanted to fuck. The idea of her willing and hot beneath him boiled his blood. 

Zzzzzzip---the sound ripped through the silence. 

The sight of her full breasts above the bra removed any trace of self-control. He pushed the dress open and skimmed his fingers over the fleshy curves. Her nipples pointed out from the lace. He brushed his thumb over them and heard her gasp. 

"You really do want this, don't you?" he asked, sliding his gaze to hers. 

She answered by leaning forward and sweeping her lips across his. 

He pushed the dress down her arms, exposing her chest even more, reached under the fabric and unsnapped her bra. He wanted her tits in his mouth. Ached to roll his tongue over the hard nipples.

She crawled over his lap, straddled him, and grinned. The hem of her dress rose up her hips. 

Keep reading Bounty from the short story collection, Daydreams

-->Daydreams, moments of what-ifs and possibility.

Imagine...a ghostly mariner haunting the shores of Ireland who reminds a lonely woman how beautiful life is...a bounty hunter who gets more than he bargained for with his bail-jumping witch of a jewel thief...and a bar owner who discovers the joy of being loved by two other-worldly visitors trapped in a desperate situation...Daydreams, a collection of paranormal erotic short stories.

Escape the madness of the world, indulge your naughty side, and lose yourself in fantasy.

**sexually explicit, paranormal, and some dark themes**

Thursday, July 14, 2016

One of the Hottest #Romance Book Boyfriends of All Time on #TantalizingThursday

Who doesn't love a hot book boyfriend? The uber-sexy man with a dark past but a heart of gold who's so ready to love you if only... Well, if I could manifest any fictional boyfriend into being my personal boy toy, it would be Noah Reynolds from Riptide. Hot, hot, hot! More than that, he's smart, rich, humble, and funny, too. *heavy sigh*

Here's an excerpt of Riptide and a sexy glimpse of Noah...

He toweled himself off, his thoughts centered around Lauren and their last date. It hadn’t exactly gone as planned given the dead guy face down amidst the fish. Not that he’d helped the situation with his not-so-smooth-moves-on-the-beach later. The past two days had given him perspective. He wanted her. Right or wrong, mistake or not, he needed to see where this could go. He couldn’t get her out of his mind. Maybe tonight he’d get another chance if he could track her down. 

“Noah.” Lauren cleared her throat from where she stood outside the open bathroom door. She leaned against the wall in a Caribbean blue tank dress that hugged her body in all the right places, legs exposed from mid-thigh down, ankles crossed, long hair glistening over lightly tanned shoulders, gaze averted to the floor and smile playing across lips he desperately wanted against his skin. “Sorry to barge in. You left the deck door wide open.”

“No problem.” He cinched the towel around his waist and wondered exactly how long she’d been standing there. The thought of her watching him shower and dry off did crazy things to his nervous system. “I’ve been looking for you.”

“Erin told me.” She leaned her head back against the wall and dragged her gaze from his toes upward. “Heard you were on a private charter for the past few days.”

He leaned his shoulder against the doorframe and let her gaze soak him up. He liked the way she looked at him as if he were dessert. 

“About the other night...I’m sorry. Can I make it up to you? Dinner tonight? Etcetera?” he asked.

She caught her lower lip between her teeth, gaze lingering on his chest. “Are you sure this time? No running away when things get hot?”

Electricity zapped in the three feet separating them. 

 Damn, the woman did insane things to his rational thinking. He’d decided on the boat that he needed to see her, make things right, take it slow, get tangled up in some strings. Seeing her live and in person threw common sense out the window. 

“I can’t decide if you’re hotter when wet or dry...I’m thinking it might be a tie,” she said. 

Oh, what the hell. With an opener like that, how could a man resist? He crossed the space between them, slipped his hand behind her neck, and kissed her on that mouth he’d been fantasizing about all week. 

Her hands slid over his damp chest while her mouth moved slowly beneath his, her teeth lightly catching his lower lip. Eyes open, they smiled against each other’s mouths.

“Miss me?” he asked.

“It would be very uncool of me to answer that.” She slid her hands over his abdomen and lingered on the towel. “Are you still wanting to back off, or have you come to your senses?”

He braced his hands over her head. The only thing he wanted to do was kiss her slowly and make her beg for more. He looked into her eyes. “You’re making me forget all of the reasons this is a mistake.”

“A sexy mistake.” Her fingers touched his chest in a featherlike caress. She licked her lips. 

“Good point.” He smiled. “We’re headed into the danger zone.”

“You have no idea how dangerous.” She tugged on the towel, a wicked grin in her eyes. 

Oh, he had an idea about the level of danger. He’d thought of nothing else for the past forty-eight hours and ranked this situation a solid Level Red. Despite that, all he could think about was how good it would feel to have her long legs wrapped around his hips while her nails clawed against his back. He needed to pull the emergency brake. Slow, he reminded himself. Slow. 

He leaned against her, enjoying the way her body arched toward his like a magnetic pull. He tangled his fingers in the hair at the back of her neck. “What do you want, Lauren? After the other night, you know I’m more complicated than I seem.”

Her gaze flicked up to his. “I know what I’m doing.”

“You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.” 

“Show me. Let’s make some mistakes together. We’re both consenting adults. What the hell?” she whispered, her teeth pulling at his lower lip. 

“You’re reckless.”

“Does that scare you?” she asked.

He paused a fraction over her lips and looked into her eyes. Yeah, she was scary reckless, but that turned him on more than he could say. So what if she wanted to use him for a distraction from her own demons? He knew that had something to do with it—the woman oozed intensity. 

Her mouth widened, taking his like a woman starving for the taste of him. Ravenous. Her fingers fisted in the back of his hair. Her bare foot slid up the outside of his leg. Tongues clashed in a passionate dance that left no doubt about mutual desire. 

He pressed her against the wall, uncaring about the slipping of the towel down his hips. This woman made him want more than he had dared want in years. His hands roamed up her sides, thumbs caressing the outline of her breasts. Closer. He couldn’t get close enough. 

  She pressed her hips against his. “Five days ago I didn’t think I’d feel any emotion ever again. Now here I am making out with you. Insane.”

“A little bit of crazy is good for a person.” He wrapped his hands in her hair, holding her face close to him. “What do you feel now?”

“You. I feel you.” 

“You say all the right things,” he said against her mouth. His skin rippled beneath her touch. He couldn’t explain his reaction to her...he felt like an addict in desperate need of a fix.

From the back cover...

One violent night shatters Lauren Biltmore’s life. As an anchorwoman, she's accustomed to reporting the news rather than being the lead story.  She escapes the spotlight by fleeing to her brother's home in the Cayman Islands. Haunted by nightmares, all she wants is a distraction from reality.

Distraction arrives via sexy screenwriter, Noah Reynolds. His take-me-to-bed looks mask a past ripe with scandal. He knows he should stay away from Lauren, especially when the worst night of her life unlocks his writer's block and while he's dealing with a stalker of his own, but ethics are his weakness.

Attraction sizzles beneath Caribbean sunshine. As their relationship grows, Noah's stalker intensifies her torment. Lauren wonders if her paranoia is justified or a carryover from her past. What's real? What's imagined?  Tentative trust is tested as their love is swept up against a riptide of deceit, murder, and revenge. 

Be swept away with Noah on Grand Cayman today! 


Friday, July 8, 2016

Would Your Younger Self Like the Adult You've Become? #BookReview #MustRead

Featuring the brilliant new releases, Butterfly Bones and Dream Journal on the blog today. More than that, I've reviewed each one, too. For those of you familiar with my blog, you know that's not common for me. I try to avoid posting book reviews for a multitude of reasons, but when I read a book so fantastic that I am blown away, then I am compelled to do something about it. Enjoy the features--book reviews are below each one. These are definitely worth your time!   
From the back cover....

They come in threes; death, tragedy, premonitions.

Life is good for Amanda, normal, just the way she wants it; until she’s awakened on the back lawn by a ghost from her childhood and her dog.

Nightmares and premonition dreams have returned with a sickening dread of change.

Events push her. Dreams pull her.
Her past and future are only a nightmare away.
When the unthinkable happens – reality slams into her with jarring force – she realizes everything can change in less than a day.

The thin walls between reality and imagination begin to blur with the psychological twist of her dreams.

She’s on a dangerous path that threatens everything.
The life she’s worked so hard to create begins to crumble.
Her mind dangles by a damaged thread.

Is there another life she’s supposed to be living?
If there is, will she live to see it?

An excerpt...

“What a fucking mess you’ve made,” shouts a scruffy girl about eight, with spiky blonde hair, standing in the center of a gravel parking lot. A heavy fog swirls around her, and, for a moment, she disappears into the mist. I look down and see my lap covered in broken windshield glass and leaves. I look back toward her, she waves her arms and jumps around wildly as if she’s trying to get my attention.

I’m dizzy. I try to focus. I can see her mouth move but — “Sorry, I can't hear you.”

She shouts, “No shit!” She gestures with her whole body like a kid having a temper tantrum, her mouth moves again as if she’s shouting, but there is no sound. Then she laughs and I realize she has been mouthing the words like a muted television. She laughs again, brushing hard at the hem of a faded green dress that hangs on her small frame two-sizes too large. “You haven't listened in so long – the fucking sound’s been turned off!”

The fog thins and there’s something about her that’s disturbing. “Do I know you?”

She exhales, looks up at the sky, shakes her head and sighs dramatically.

She’s standing several yards away from me in a sunny parking lot surrounded by old oaks, yet I can hear her sigh? It doesn’t seem right – the distance.

“If you don't — I'm one-hundred-percent fucked.”

“You have a potty mouth.”

“It's inherited.”

“Who are you?”

“Child of a rock star. Or blues singer.” She chuckles. “Or demented, drugged-out-dreamer. Sort of depends on the year.” She does a pirouette in her tattered tennis shoes, sending up a cloud of dust around her feet. “No, wait. I’m a wizard!” Twirling on both feet around and around with her arms out. She stops, staggers, gains control of the wobble and whispers, “Did you like the yellow butterfly? Beautiful against the chrome, wasn't it?” She scuffs the gravel with her toe. “Shame to kill it. But the grill would seem too nightmarish without it. No one wants a plain-old chrome Freightliner grill, a gnat’s fuzzy ass from their nose, etched into their memory, for-ev-ver.”

Liz was in the car with me, laughing, pointing to the water spraying up from the tires of a semi, and then the butterfly battered by the wind and rain on the grill of the truck. “What do you mean, you killed it?”

“Had to, but just this once. Butterflies were our thing – don’t you remember? There wasn’t one we couldn’t name in our rope-scarred neck of the woods.”

“We never killed them.”

“I’m desperate here. Okay?” She sighs loudly and bats at the hem of her dress. “Anyway. Back to who I am. I’m your Fairy Godmother – here to rescue your sorry ass, Cinderella. Oh, no, no. I know! I'm your sensitive inner-child.” She laughs insanely bold. “I really love that, inner-child, how’s that even possible when I’m older? You notice how no-one ever says poltergeist, juvenile delinquent or inner demon.” She shouts holding her arms up to the sky, “Hallelujah! Praise Jeez-Sus!” Then places her hands on her hips and stares at me a long unblinking moment. “No? Nothing? You don’t remember? Seriously? If I was the monster-under-the-bed, or spit green-pea soup at you, would you get it? No, fuck, guess not.” She steps in close with an exaggerated Mother-may-I step.

I realize with a start that she’s me. I was ten, waiting in the parking lot outside the church. Talking, bitching, to an imaginary friend, one I had created on Zita’s instructions to be older and wiser version of myself, we were playing Mother, may I, but the imaginary older me was acting stupid and it was pissing me off.

How is this possible? Seeing my younger self, talking to an older me that I’d invented. And now I am the older – talking to the younger from the other direction.

“This is unreal.”

“NAAAAH! Wrong again! This is as real as it gets, princess. I'm trying to save your charmed ass. Actually, my ass. I’m selfish like that.” Raising her arms, she turns in a circle, shouting to the bright blue sky like a circus Ringmaster. “Ladies and Gentlemen, can we have your attention, please! We need some fucking help here!” Then she turns to me and whispers, “Am I blurry?”


“Shit. I don't know if that's good or bad. I think I should be a little blurry or misty. A tiny bit wavy or something. I’m not? You sure?”

“You're not. You’re loud. You're giving me a headache.”

“No, I'm not touching you. It's the tree. The oak tree is giving you a headache, probably angry with you for hitting it with your damn car. Or maybe the bent steering wheel’s complaining. Don't go blaming me. Blaming me is not good. Especially if I'm the last thing you see.”

My review...

Butterfly Bones is one of the most creative, evolved stories I've read in a long time. The story brought up a lot of emotions for me personally, actually, as I, too, feel as if I'm standing on a crossroads in life where I'm questioning my choices and goals---just like Amanda. In the story, she grapples with loyalties, love, longing, and loss. The writer weaves an eloquent story that both enchants and challenges us to look at our own lives. What would our younger self think of us now if we could meet? 

This is more than a five star read. The characters are vivid and three dimensional. The writing style is brilliant. The story is a mix of emotionally complex women's fiction with quirky paranormal twists that pushes this to another level of story-telling that is truly extraordinary. I highly recommend it! 

From the back cover...


As a child Amanda dreamed of her funeral. She was there, a spirit hiding behind the honey suckle watching the mourners, listened to their comments, ‘too young... only thirty-two...’
She turned thirty-two on Christmas.

She hasn’t sleepwalked or been woken up by her ghost and his cat in years but this one dream haunts her. She tries to brush it off as a childish fear, but she knows the difference between a nightmare and a premonition dream. This was no nightmare.

Against the odds, she’s created a normal life; an investment adviser, living with her husband in a comfy bungalow with a yard large enough to plays Frisbee with her dog. Life is good.

Until one hot August night.
In the predawn hours, she’s awakened under the old oak tree of her back yard by her childhood ghost, from a dream with the sticky webs of a premonition.

They’ve returned. The thin wall between reality and imagination begins to blur.

She starts this dream journal to help untwist the dangerous symbolism buried deep in the dreams. Will they come true? Will she live to see thirty-three?

This is a collection of dreams by Amanda J. Wilde, a character in the novel BUTTERFLY BONES. This is Amanda’s journal, her thoughts and fears, because as adults, there are very few people we can discuss ‘premonition dreams’ with (and expect to keep our job) and even fewer still that will help untwist their meaning. She keeps this journal to herself (mostly) even as the life she’s created starts to crumble around her.
 A spin-off short story, from the novel Butterfly Bones – Visions are the voice of the soul

An excerpt...

Holding onto clumps of grass, slipping at the rain-slick muddy edge of the cliff, I’m on the verge of hysterics as I slide further, slowing losing my grip.

The heavy, blowing rains have carved a cave into the earth under the slick grassy edge. The cliff face has sheared off, crumbled away and fallen into a deep river gorge.

Each time I grab a handful of grass to pull myself up, it pulls out in a muddy clump.

I slip further and scream, “Help!”

I can see over my shoulder to a rocky riverbed a hundred or so feet below with a muddy thread of a river frothing and tumbling between boulders.

My right leg dangles free in the air, I struggle to touch anything with it and only find more air.

It seems I’ve been struggling, hanging on by my fingernails for hours.

I scream help again and hear laughter.

I look up to see my friend Kerry with Brad, looking over the cliff’s edge, laughing at me.

They must not realize how much danger I’m in.

“Help! I need a hand please! It’s too muddy. I can't get a grip to pull myself up.”

Kerry laughs and slaps her thighs. Laughs too hard to speak.

Can’t she see the drop below me?

Brad says, “I told you to lose weight, get in shape. How many times have I told you to workout harder, you've lost all your muscle tone, you let yourself go to flab. This is your fault fat-ass.” He turns and walks away.

Kerry smirks at him, stops laughing and says, “Don't worry, Sweetie. I'll help you out of this mess. Always have, haven’t I?” She turns and walks away.

She’s gone for so long that I start to worry she’s left.

I’m at the very edge now with both feet kicking at the wind, my hands are slick with mud, and fingernails are broken off at the quick from digging so hard into the grass’s muddy roots, trying to find a grip. I’m panicked. Tears of fear, anger and frustration blur my vision. I can’t pull myself up and the more I try, the more I slip. My muscles burn, my fingers cramp in pain and sting.

I’m an inch now from the muddy edge and the concaved slick earth carved out under me. The line where the grass and mud have given away is curved down to eye level. There’s nothing to grab should I slip an inch. My pulse hammers in my ears as fear rises.

I’m going to die here.
“Hey!” Kerry extends a thick stick out over the edge of the cliff. My breath catches as I dangerously slip, reaching for the stick with one hand.

I grasp and tear, struggling to find a handhold in the slick grass, crawling with my arms and elbows, as she pulls, digging her heels in the muddy ground. She’s chuckling, shaking her head.

The humor escapes me.

She’s pulling me up inch-by-inch.

My breath is ragged and my heart pounds as I inch my way up to my ribs on the cliff's muddy edge, holding onto the stick now with both hands. I’m so grateful my chest aches and my eyes blur with tears of relief. My panic begins to subside as my hips near the grassy slope where I’ll finally be able to pull myself up onto the muddy ground.

Kerry says, “You’re as gullible as ever,” and lets go of the stick.

I gasp and fall back into open-air.

I'm so shocked — I can’t scream.

I fall, watching a half smile on her face, her eyes looking directly into mine, until all I can see is a tiny silhouette of her at the top of the cliff, backed by bright blue sky.

My review...
 I couldn't get enough of these short stories. A few of them actually made me cry. The emotional impact is like a sledgehammer to the gut--I loved them all! The talent of this author truly surpasses most. Literary in style, almost lyrical at times, yet approachable. They are weird in a quirky paranormal way, but if you love opening your mind to the idea of premonition dreams and fantasy, then you will love this collection as much as I did. I guarantee it. Any great lover of literature will find these stories compelling and heart-wrenching. Wait until you read the one where she's in Belize swimming with dolphins...I cried like a baby. Or the one with the doll on the beach or the monks in the mountains...seriously, I cannot find a flaw. They are all profound in their own way. This is a five star read, but I'd give it ten if I could.