CELTICLADY'S REVIEWS   

20 September, 2017

Ryder Lyne - Adam: The Divine Bloodline Trilogy Promo Blitz!



Science Fiction, Dystopian
Date Published: September 19, 2017

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When the unearthing of the Ark of the Covenant results in the discovery of the bones of an angel, a government program seeks out descendants of the divine being. Scientists confirm the existence of Nephilim, descendants of the Divine Bloodline who exhibit unique supernatural abilities. These individuals soon find themselves at odds with society.

Sisters Piper and Wren knew they were different, but after the discovery, the two have evidence to explain their maturing abilities. But the government has the power to condemn and crucify Nephilim, locking them into ADAM compounds across the globe. The sisters are next, and Piper and Wren will need to act quickly to avoid being captured. In order to survive the two must embrace the stigma and master the very gifts that God has bestowed (or cursed) upon them.

Mysterious forces who have been plotting these events for decades shift the balance of power, and soon all parties involved will need to pick a side.


About the Author


Ryder Lyne was born and raised in the Grand Canyon State and currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona. Her state has influenced many of her literary works including ADAM.

She enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, hunting, golf, and spending quality time with her husband, two shiba inus, and immediate family members. Ryder played collegiate golf and lived in the woods for several months in an extreme survival bootcamp. All of these things and so much more have influenced her writing.

Contact Links

Purchase Link



Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Cats & Dogs - Part 1 By: Jess Molly Brown Cover Reveal!

   Title: Cats & Dogs - Part 1
By: Jess Molly Brown
Publication Date: October 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
#cats&dogsrelease
Young veterinarian Nathan Brooks spent every childhood summer with his neighbor’s granddaughter Julia Hart. As a small boy, he’d been impressed by her attack on him with a plastic bat after his border collie attempted to eat her kitten. He knew he’d marry her someday. Childish spats evolved into something sweeter until suddenly, cats and dogs didn’t seem so incompatible. But Nathan’s mother succumbed to cancer and his father and brother took solace in addiction. For Nathan, golden days grew few, and far between. Cast out of his home, Nathan had to make his own way in the world. For the first year, he managed to keep everything together. The year after that, his life fell apart and he left behind the only girl who ever mattered. Three years after Nathan left her, Julia Hart is living in her grandmother’s house next door. Nathan has returned home to open his own practice. They have a lot of unfinished business. Evidently, neither has been able to move on. But what can he offer her? They haven’t spoken since the day he walked out with no explanation, and Julia’s not about to let bygones be bygones. Not after she’s spent three years shoring up the walls around her broken heart. Besides, he’s not exactly convinced he’s the best bet. But fate has a way of knocking down walls when it gets good and ready. Even if Julia and Nathan are not. This is the first of two novellas containing animal antics and a second chance romance. Partial proceeds will be donated by the author to children’s cancer charities.
Don’t be fooled by the seeming tranquility, Jess is scheming. There are a lot of characters in her head and all of them want out. A best-selling author, she edits for professional authors and is always tutoring somebody. She got her start ten years ago, in Twilight fan fiction, and is proud of it. Four great kids, one husband *coughbiggestkidofallcough* and two dogs ensure that the house is always messy. The garden’s overflowing with blooms, but weedy. The grass always needs cutting, provided it’s not buried beneath snow. She lives in Canada, eh? The dogs are walked, the kids get fed, the hubbs hasn’t killed anybody yet, the books Jess reads she reviews, and somehow, the people in her head manage to make it into stories. Occasionally, she embarrasses her kids by doing Zumba in front of their friends. It’s just how she rolls. 

Come join her quest for world domination at http://www.jessmollybrownauthor.com

Eff This Diet by Krissy V Cover Reveal!

EFF THIS DIET
by Krissy V.


BLURB:
“Big girl you are beautiful”

It feels like Mika is singing about me when I hear his song, except I’m not beautiful … I’m just fat!

When someone asks you to describe yourself, I bet you say, ‘blonde, brunette, tall, short.’ I just say fat.

You can picture me now: blonde, medium height, and fat. I didn’t want to be fat, no one ever does, but I am, and I have to either live with it or do something about it.

Believe me, I have tried to do something about it. I think I’ve spent enough money at ‘Fat Club’ over the last few years that I could have paid for liposuction AND a couple of tummy tucks.

So, enough about me. This is my story, and I hope you enjoy it.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON!

SNIPPETS:
I know we’re friends, but come on, when you see someone that gorgeous in barely any clothes, you’re going to think about how he is under the engine, if you know what I mean. He gets my engine started all the time.



AUTHOR BIO:
I hated English at school! Really hated it! I gave up on English Literature in fourth year because I hated writing stories; couldn’t make them up to save my life. I hated writing precis and I was horrendous at grammar. Having lived in Norway when I was younger, English was my second language.
When I received my iPad six years ago I started reading on the kindle app and wrote to an author about how much I enjoyed her book. That opened up the whole facebook author world to me. I started reviewing books (ironic, right?)  and then started beta reading (even more ironic) after pointing out some big mistakes in a book plot I was reviewing before release.
I realised I had a story in me, yeah I know everyone says that, but I really believed I did. Fourteen books later …. Welcome to the world of Krissy V!

SOCIAL MEDIA:
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Raven's Feast by Eric Schumacher Blog Tour and Giveaway!


Publication Date: May 1, 2017 
Creativia eBook & Paperback 
Series: Hakon's Saga, Book 2 
Genre: Fiction/Historical

      

Raven’s Feast is the sequel to God’s Hammer, the true story of Hakon Haraldsson and his quest to win and keep the High Seat of Viking Age Norway. 

 It is 935 A.D. and Hakon Haraldsson has just wrested the High Seat of the North from his ruthless brother, Erik Bloodaxe. Now, he must fight to keep it. The land-hungry Danes are pressing from the south to test Hakon before he can solidify his rule. In the east, the Uplanders are making their own plans to seize the throne. It does not help that Hakon is committed to his dream of Christianizing his people - a dream his countrymen do not share and will fight to resist. As his enemies move in and his realm begins to crumble, Hakon and his band of oath-sworn warriors must make a stand in Raven’s Feast, the riveting sequel to God’s Hammer.

“At its core, Raven’s Feast is more than a story about a young king holding firm to the power he has won in Viking Norway,” said Eric Schumacher, author of Raven’s Feast. “It is the story of a young man holding true to one’s self and convictions in the face of extreme challenges -- something to which, I hope, many people can relate.”

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise for God's Hammer (Hakon's Saga, Book 1)

"Eric Schumacher has created the most evocative tale in his stunning novel — God's Hammer. This book completely drew me in. The research that has gone into God's Hammer has to be commended, and it is incredibly rich in historical detail. It was as if I was looking through a window into the past as I read the pages of this remarkable story. Hakon's portrayal is both realistic and believable. Schumacher has obviously researched the life of Hakon in great detail, and this certainly came through in the writing. Schumacher brought Hakon back to life. Well Done!" - Mary Yarde, the author of The Du Lac Chronicles "Author Eric Schumacher put together a rousing story of warfare, religious strife and tested friendships." - Mercedes Rochelle, author of Godwine Kingmaker and The Sons of Godwine

About the Author

Eric Schumacher was born in Los Angeles in 1968 and currently resides in Santa Barbara, CA with his wife, two children and dog. He is the author of two historical fiction novels, God’s Hammer and its sequel, Raven’s Feast. Both tell the story of the first Christian king of Viking Norway, Hakon Haraldsson, and his struggles to gain and hold the High Seat of his realm. More information on Eric and his Hakon Sagas can be found on his website. You can also connect with Eric on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and AuthorsDB.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, August 1
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Thursday, August 3
Guest Post at The Writing Desk
Friday, August 4
Spotlight at WS Momma Readers Nook
Monday, August 7
Interview at I Heart Reading
Wednesday, August 9
Feature at A Book Geek
Sunday, August 13
Review at Must Read Faster (God’s Hammer)
Wednesday, August 23
Review at Must Read Faster (Raven’s Feast)
Thursday, August 31
Guest Post at Jathan & Heather
Monday, September 4
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, September 14
Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog
Sunday, September 17
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, September 20
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Monday, September 25
Review at Mary’s Bookcase
Review at The True Book Addict

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a signed paperback copy of Raven's Feast! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. 

  Raven's Feast

Branded Trilogy by Kat Flannery Pre Order Blitz!

Branded Trilogy Tour Graphic
Now Available for PRE-ORDER
from award-winning author Kat Flannery
Check out the Special Promotion below!
BRANDED TRILOGY
Kat Flannery
Genre: Historical Romance, Suspense, Western, Paranormal
Publisher: Imajin Books
Publication Date: October 1, 2017
Branded Trilogy
Will courage, love and honor be enough?
LAKOTA HONOR (book 1): In the small town of Willow Creek, Colorado, Nora Rushton spends most of her days locked up in her home with a father who resents her and fighting off unwanted marriage proposals from the wealthy Elwood Calhoun. Marked as a witch, Nora must hide her healing powers from those who wish to destroy all the witkowin—crazy women. What she doesn't know is that a bounty hunter is hot on her trail.
Lakota native Otakatay has an obligation to fulfill. He has been hired to kill the witkowin. In a time when race and difference are a threat and innocence holds no ground, courage, love and honor will bring Nora and Otakatay together as they fight for their freedom. Will the desire to fulfill his promise drive Otakatay to kill Nora? Or will the kindness he sees in her blue eyes push him to be the man he once was?
BLOOD CURSE (book 2): Four years after the Blood Curse, Pril of the Peddlers vows to protect her child against the evil men who hunt her. With her clan unaware of the branded girl among them, Pril has to keep the identity of her daughter a secret. When her child is kidnapped, she is forced to ask Merchant runner, Kade Walker, for his help.
Kade Walker needs to find the gypsy child. Blackmailed and pushed beyond his own moral code, he is determined to do whatever it takes. When he comes across the Peddler clan, he is sure the girl is there, however all hope is lost when the gypsies capture him. Time is running out—until Pril makes him an offer he cannot refuse.
Amidst greed, lust, revenge and love, Pril will need to trust Kade. But as the evil nears and doubt creeps in, will she discover that the enemy has been standing next to her all along?
SACRED LEGACY (book 3): Desperate to escape the memories that haunt her, Tsura Harris returns to Jamestown, the very place her mother forbade her to go. A gifted Chuvani, Tsura has sworn off all magick, thus making her vulnerable to the Renoldi clan, who wish to kill her and take the pendant that is the key to her power.
Red Wolf is hell-bent on living his life on the sea, until he runs into Tsura on the docks. His pride wounded from her rejection years before, he hoped to never see her again. But when the evil Corsair, Romulus Black, demands to know where she is, Red Wolf must protect her, as is his duty.
But is duty and honor his only reason, or does Red Wolf still carry a flame of love in his heart? And will Tsura finally discover her destiny?
Kat Flannery is a very powerful storyteller and this series is a testament to her skills as a writer.
- Jan Baldocchi, Goodreads Reviewer
Ms. Flannery has crafted a deeply heartrending tale.
- Kristy McCaffrey, Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PROMOTION!!!
With every pre-order of the Branded Trilogy:
- You will receive 3 novellas for FREE, courtesy of Imajin Books
- Your name will be entered into a draw for a ruby necklace (similar to the one in Blood Curse and Sacred Legacy) and author swag. (Drawing of winner will be on Oct 1.)
To collect your free eBooks, email your proof of purchase to kflannerybooks@gmail.com.
Pre-order your copy now now. Releasing on October 1, 2017.
Branded Trilogy Teaser

Giveaway

WIN $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD
Branded Trilogy Giveaway Graphic
Contest runs from September 20 - 30, 2017.

About Kat Flannery

Kat Flannery
Kat Flannery’s love of history shows in her novels. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. She has her Certificate in Freelance and Business Writing.
A member of many writing groups, Kat enjoys promoting other authors on her blog. Kat loves to teach writing classes and give back to other aspiring authors. She volunteers her time at the local library facilitating their writing group. She’s been published in numerous periodicals throughout her career.
Her debut novel CHASING CLOVERS has been an Amazon Top 100 Paid bestseller twice. LAKOTA HONOR, BLOOD CURSE, and SACRED LEGACY (Branded Trilogy) are Kat’s three award-winning novels and HAZARDOUS UNIONS is Kat’s first novella. Kat is currently hard at work on her next series, THE MONTGOMERY SISTERS.
Connect with Kat Flannery on social media:

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Between You and Me By Lynn Turner Book Blitz and Giveaway!


About the Book

Between You and Me
By Lynn Turner
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Love, at first sight, strikes Seattle Scientist Finnegan Kane at the worst possible moment, paralyzing him as he’s pitching his cutting-edge idea to powerful New York venture capitalist Emanuela Monroe…

Finn survived the crash that killed his parents when he was sixteen. Twenty years later, his smart devices are about to redefine what it means to be disabled. 

Emanuela makes dreams come true for a living but still longs to fulfill her own. Despite Finn's stunning secret, she thinks his idea might be worth the risk...and he’s determined to show her that he is, too.
Book Trailer



About the Author
Lynn Turner inherited her writing gene from her mother, who created fantastic tales about witches, invisible worlds, and talking animals, and read them to her children at night. Lynn isn’t as great with the voices as her mother, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

She discovered romance far too young when a mission to find a young adult fantasy title led her to historical romance. She spent hours skimming those sumptuous pages, drinking in the vivid descriptions of settings and clothes, feisty heroines and looming lords, and poetic language. (She may or may not have enjoyed the PG-13 bits too, tucking a new title beneath her pillow at night).

She enjoys character-driven narratives most, and anything that transports her someplace else. Passionate about food and travel, she features healthy doses of both in the stories she crafts. Above all, she is dedicated to writing inclusive stories that explore what it means to be imperfectly human.

When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling, dreaming of traveling, or watching old Samantha Brown travelogue videos and wishing she had her job. She and her husband share their home in California with their two extraordinary children and hope to add a floppy kitty to the family very soon.



AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY
The author is giving one lucky reader chocolates and a custom-made coffee mug with a poem on it, PLUS an ebook!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

An Excerpt:
All the emotions from that night washed over him and the onslaught churned his stomach. “It was the same for me. But at the same time, I wanted to get far the hell away from you.” He watched her face for any sign of hurt, but to his relief, she just nodded.

“I know.” She frowned. “It was so strange. Almost made me sick.”

He drew in a sharp breath, noticing her stiffen in response.

“What?” she asked.

“That’s exactly how it was for me. It’s how I’m feeling right now.”

She nodded again. “We were both a little off. But your pitch was one of the more memorable ones I’ve had.”

“Don’t remind me. I don’t think I’ve ever botched it like that before.”

“Excuse me?” She smacked his chest. “Maybe I should rescind that offer.”

He chuckled. He knew she was wide open, and he wanted her to trust him. It was his turn to be exposed. He tapped his leg. “This is the best one I’ve had so far, except I can’t deep sea dive with it.”

She reached for his hand. “How many do you have?”

“Just one. But I’m waiting for the military to finish developing those bionic legs so I can lift cars with my foot.”

Her slim fingers traced his bigger ones. “You don’t have to do that, you know. Self-deprecate. You’ve already seen me naked.”

His eyes raked over her, his pulse jumping at her words. “You have no idea how much I’d like to see that again,” he said, sensing her shiver. “But first I want you to see me too. The real me.” He looked down at their hands. “Only if you’re comfortable.”

“I want to see. I just didn’t know how to ask. Or if I should ask.” She smiled. “I didn’t want to offend you.”

“You haven’t asked me to spank you with it, so this is already an improvement from my last date.”

Emanuela gasped. “No…”

He laughed at her horrified expression. “’Fraid so.” He gently removed her legs from his lap and stood in front of her. “And that was an improvement from the date before that.”

“Oh my God.” She snickered. “That’s awful.”

“Well, some kinky stuff is fun.”

“Ugh.” She narrowed her eyes. “Just drop your pants already!”

He grinned and turned away to do just that, bending to tug them off before coming back to sit beside her. Without further ceremony, he pushed on the front of the leg and a tiny motor whirred. “It’s vacuum sealed,” he said. “The button is hidden beneath this sleeve.”

He pulled down the flesh-colored skin covering his knee and the prosthetic leg. Then, he removed the prosthesis and propped it against the end table, glancing at Emanuela.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“It’s a sock. Just makes it more comfortable. Tighter fit.”

“How does it feel to take it off? Is it like taking your shoes off at the end of the day?”

“Wow.” He smiled wide. “That’s not half bad… It’s more like taking off a snug pair of jeans. Just by the way it feels.”

She nodded and he removed the sock, then peeled off the liner to leave his stump bare.

He watched her a moment, letting her take it in. Her eyes widened. Much of his leg was intact, halfway to his shin. It was smooth and conical, with a long pink scar at the tip of the stump.

“Some assembly required,” he said.

She made a sound that was half-gasp, half-laugh. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. I was shocked the first time I saw it too.”

Her lips parted and closed again, darkness clouding her eyes. Finn could read everything in her face, and he silently agreed with the conflict he saw there. Part of him wanted to share the details about what happened, but another part of him wanted to preserve a moment that was new and exciting and full of promise. Another time. If she gives me a chance.


Nerve Damage by J.L. Meyers Book Tour and Giveaway!



Nerve Damage
by J.L. Meyers
Genre: Psychological Thriller

A fatal car crash. The sole survivor. And the dark hooded stranger that wants her dead.

When a terrible accident—not accidentstole my parents’ lives, my whole perfect life changed. My memories are hazy, and there are scars on my wrists. I’ve been locked away for my own protection…until I prove my sanity, until I lie. There was no hooded figure on the road that day, no one standing over me as I lay paralyzed watching my parents burn.


I am Cassidy Lockheart…20-year-old orphan.

Determined to free my caged mind, I find myself far away on an unexpected trip to help return my forgotten past. The snow was part of my life before, but now it’s like a blank slate, until an avalanche changes everything. But I’m not alone. These other ‘lucky’ trip winners may not be the strangers they pretend to be. And my hooded attacker…I see him everywhere.

Is this real? Or delusion caused by head trauma?

Either way, I’m being watched. I can sense it. I can feel it. Someone is after me; maybe they’re after us all. The avalanche was no accident. It was staged to deliver us to this abandoned place. A place where the walls whisper dark secrets of a sinister past…a past no one can escape. Trapped, this snow won’t let up…it won’t let us leave. My lost memories hold clues, but they’re buried so deep, polluted and twisted in my every waking nightmare. What is real? I don’t have the answers. But I need them. Time is ticking and if I don’t figure this all out soon it will be too late.

The past is coming for us all…and it wants blood.


Warning - This book contains some graphic scenes that are only for an adult audience.
Psychological Thriller / Horror


"Think of the tension of Silence of the Lambs combined with the horror of Carrie and you have Nerve Damage. This is a psychological thriller that won’t let you put it down, yet you are almost too scared to turn the page!”

Diane Richmond (devoted bookworm) ★★★★★
This chilling tale from J.L. Myers is a suspenseful and twisted addition to other great psychological thrillers from the likes of Sarah A. Denzil, K.L. Slater, and Dot Hutchison.



Jessica L Myers' vivid imagination and quiet demeanor as a child led her to the imaginary worlds of books. Even at a young age, her love for the supernatural was prevalent, with her first loved books being R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series. Following that she took an interest in other non-fantasy fiction, including Virginia C. Andrews series Flowers in the Attic.

In her teen years, Jessica spent many school hours writing poetry and dark short stories and took up sketching some of the terrifying things that came from the graphic night terrors she’d grown up with.

As an adult and after meeting the love of her life, Jessica got married and started a small construction business with her husband. With the birth of her son, Jessica suffered PPD and found escape in her books and their fantasy landscapes. It was at this time that her need to write flourished. In 2009 the decision was made and the first words to her New Adult Paranormal Romance novel What Lies Inside were written.

When Jessica isn’t immersed in writing about extraordinary characters with dangerous abilities and deadly obstacles to overcome, she likes to spend time with her two kids and husband, curl up with a good book, or watch anything and everything supernatural.


Website * Facebook * BB Series Facebook * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads

Nerve Damage Excerpt 1

I trudged along a scenic, tree-winding road that saw at most a few cars every hour. In gray jeans and a black hoodie, I blended into the dreary surroundings, just another shadow below the early morning ashen clouds.
A deep ache settled in and I shrugged my clanking backpack higher once, twice, three times after a few more steps. My gloved hand on the strap kept the heavy load from sliding back down. My car was well out of reach now. Out of sight too, down over the steep drop-off to the right in an isolated parking lot no one used in these colder months of the year. Safe and hidden…until I needed it. The rain that fell was ignored, the crunch of wet gravel under my combat boots lost to the sway of wind-battered trees.
Though I stared ahead, what I saw was not the hardening downpour or the flying of loose leaves. Instead, I saw a girl’s face. Young. Innocent. Twentyish with forest-green eyes and long, almost black hair. Her smile had been infectious and the words from her pretty mouth had set my course. “…Saturday morning. At the crack of dawn. My dad doesn’t believe in waiting for sunrise. Not when the whole day is waiting. That Kananaskis Trail…”
Now I was here. Soon I’d be the one waiting.
Right before a hairpin bend on this less-traveled road, my booted strides stopped. Anticipation filled me with a flood of warmth, but a deep breath of brisk air tightened my chest. I ignored the discomfort as raindrops trickled down my brow and cheeks. After days, months, and years this was it. There was no turning back now. This was my only escape, my only way to make the past right.
Dropping my backpack with a clatter and quick stretch of my back, I bent over. A flash of cold metal came free, long like a chain but not as smooth. The long length jangled as I stretched it out over the asphalt and then the weedy grass beyond before tucking the end behind a bush.
Road spikes.
A quick jog delivered me back across the road and I reclaimed my lumpy backpack. Then I was back at the bush and crouching behind it. A quick grab and click cemented the scene as my Polaroid camera hummed out a happy snap. A memento. As I tucked the device back out of the rain, a set of headlights shone around a smooth bend back down the road and brought my head up.
“Shit!” I spat from beneath my hood as an old sedan sailed too fast up the rain-slicked road. My gloved hands tugged the length of metal back just before the sedan’s tires could claim those sharp spikes. Heart pounding like a drum, I muttered as I watched the red taillights disappear around the bend. Wrong car. Then I ran out to string those spikes back in place. An approaching white glow had my hood snapping up to see another car coming.
Right on time.
Racing back over the road, I dove for cover behind the bush. The headlights of the approaching white Merc flashed on highs for two beats.
I’d been spotted.
And then the front tires hit the spikes. With a hiss of released air, traction was lost. The man driving yanked the steering wheel and anchored on the brakes, the tires barely squealing on the wet asphalt. But it was too late. The drenched road provided a slippery passage as the sedan fishtailed then spun, sliding sideways over the edge too fast to stop. It tipped on the sudden drop-off, tumbling guts over roof, guts over roof.
The tall cypress tree that halted its descent with a deafening clap wasn’t a Godsend. Metal cried out as it curved around the tree, reshaping the driver’s side and shattering the windshield.
And then there was a moment of pure quiet, nothing but the sound of peaceful whooshing wind as the rain eased off.
Tugging back the spikes and concealing them behind the bush, I hoisted up the backpack and unhurriedly made my way down the slippery path to the wreck. The next part to come was a means to an end. My anticipation lied in the aftermath but not in this act. And yet with each step, I felt nothing. No uncertainty. No regret. Those feelings I’d shed long ago. I’d had no choice.
Reaching the wreckage, red was visible beneath the mud-caked windows. My backpack was dropped to gain a closer look. The middle-aged female in the front passenger side was out cold, with cuts that leaked blood down her face to her blouse. In the driver’s side, the man’s features were unrecognizable, covered in glossy red. There was a creak of movement. It wasn’t him. In the back, there she was, her perfect lips no longer smiling and dark bruising puffing up her pale face. With a blink of her lids over her bloodshot green eyes, she wasn’t dead.
Unfortunate for her…she was coming around.
I tugged the car’s back door open and reached in, taking hold of the young woman and dragging her out. She was pretty out of it, eyes dazed and lids twitching. She was injured too, with multiple cuts and bruises on her face and arms. A bump on her forehead was ballooning beneath the skin. Her feet trailed as I dragged her by her arms across the mushed-up ground.
Then I noticed the object she somehow clutched in her tight fingers. A phone. Relieving her of the device once we were well out of reach, I positioned her to face the wreck.
“Don’t worry. I’ve got you now.”
My combats squelched through the mud back to the car, and with a lean over the dead man, a click sounded as I unlocked the fuel tank. Back around the Merc, I found the fuel lid open and unscrewed the cap. My black Zippo lighter came free of my pocket along with a long rag. A minute or so after soaking the rag and I was yards away, the Zippo’s flame fighting the wind and rain and losing.
“Cassidy…” The woman still in the car—the young woman’s mother—was waking up. Still alive. She moved as her hand came up to her head. “Cas…talk to me.” She groaned, and then sucked air as she twisted to get a better view, seeing her husband and the empty back seat. “Cas!”
The girl’s eyes fluttered then went wide. Her voice was a painful rasp. “Mom…”
“Time to say goodbye.” There was a crunching scrape as the Zippo sparked back to life. The flame met the material’s end and I returned to the girl, turning to see the fire retreat.
“Mom!” The girl’s voice was shrill, and she swayed as she scrambled to get up. Her eyes rolled like marbles, bringing her back down. And then it was too late. With a whoosh the soaked rag below the sedan ignited in a fiery ball, climbing up the metal walls and curving inside the dry cab. The woman’s shrieks cut through the dying rain as my camera immortalized this moment in time. But the sounds of her death faded all too fast, the fire taking her pain away. Taking her life away.
As the girl I’d saved from the wreck whimpered, I readied what I needed before returning. Standing over her, the small boulder in my hands blocked the view of my face. The hefty weight of the rock returned that ache to my tired shoulders. “Don’t worry, Cassidy. This isn’t the end. I need your help…to bring them all to me.”

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