Thursday, November 28, 2019

Review - Grasshopper Eye and the Lost Vial by Michelle Jester


GRASSHOPPER EYE AND THE LOST VIAL

MICHELLE JESTER

* CHILDREN *



Title: Grasshopper Eye and the Lost Vial

Author: Michelle Jester

Publisher: Yellow Duckie Press

Pages: 36

Genre: Children (Juvenile& general, Juvenile& social issues & feelings and emotions)

Synopsis: When the villagers first noticed that each of them had one item
missing from their homes, they set out on a journey that ends with them
finding something far more valuable than things. Go with Grasshopper Eye
on a journey through friendships, feeling, and fitting in.

My Thoughts:  A sweet children's book with a big message.  That it's okay to cry and let things out sometimes and not hold them in. Beautiful illustrations and I loved how the friends came together in a dilemma.

 

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/3657KIr






______________________

TEASER



______________________

EXCERPT

Grasshopper Eye lived in a village deep in the forest. He made small vials that villagers could put their sad tears in.




He felt that letting sad tears fall down your face or wiping them away was a huge waste of something that took so much pain to make.



 


______________________

TEASER




ABOUT THE AUTHOR





Michelle Jester is the author of several novels that fall into the
Coming of Age, New Adult contemporary romance, Social Issues, Women’s
Lit categories. Michelle’s titles, published through RopeSwing Press,
include The Funeral Flower, Love, Cutter, and Two Thousand Lines (due out November 21, 2019.) In addition, Michelle is releasing a children’s book, Grasshopper Eye and the Lost Vial, through Yellow Duckie Press on the same day as Two Thousand Lines. It is featured in the contemporary novel, however is a stand-alone publications for a younger audience.



Michelle also writes several professional and personal blogs, contributes articles for independent publications, and is the Editor-in-chief for Modern Grace magazine. In addition, she is a Media and Publishing consultant, photographer, and graphic designer.



In 2007, she received the Louisiana Distinguished Civilian Service Medal
for her work with military and their families. She has served as Public
Relations manager and volunteer to non-profit organizations geared
toward helping Veterans of war and their families. Michelle is a self
proclaimed hopeless romantic who lives in Louisiana with her husband,
high school sweetheart and a retired Army Master Sergeant. Together they
have

website & Social links

Websitehttp://www.michellejester.net

Twitter → http://www.twitter.com/michelle_jester

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/authormichellejester

Goodreads → https://www.goodreads.com/michelle_jester



http://www.pumpupyourbook.com



Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Book Tour/Giveaway - See Me by L. Simpson



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. L. Simpson will be awarding a $10 Boroughs Bucks to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Architect Ethan James's life is a mess. He's juggling being a single dad while fighting his infuriating ex who's trying to get full custody, while at the same time he's barely keeping his head above water in the job of his dreams. When he meets Mia Sullivan at a friend's engagement party, her bright spirit and kind heart shines a light into his life when he needs it most. With so much coming at him from all directions, he relies on Mia’s support but makes the heartbreaking mistake of not cherishing her love. Mia sees the writing on the wall and pulls back before her heart is shattered. Ethan can't lose the woman who makes his life complete, and shows her he is the man she needs him to be.


Read an Excerpt


After looping an arm through mine, she led me a few blocks before we came to an old building with a dodgy-looking doorway. I’d never been here before, but that didn’t mean much. We stayed joined as we walked up some old steps to a new-looking elevator with a security guard waiting in front. He pressed the button and we stepped inside.



“Don’t look worried, Ethan. We aren’t going to a CIA black site.”



I grinned. Eventually, the elevator stopped and we came out onto a rooftop in the CBD, which was bustling with people drinking and eating. It was another reminder at how much of the world I hadn’t explored yet. We walked to the edge and sat at a bar looking down over the busy city streets in the sunset.


“What’s your poison?” she asked.



I stood. “This is my shout. What can I get you?”



“Something white and dry. And can you get a menu? I’m starved.”



“How about I order?”



She nodded. I went to the bar and ordered fries, wings, and sliders, then brought my beer and her wine back. She smiled up at me, unguarded for a moment, giving me those sexy dimples that featured in my fantasies. Then the shutters came down, and what had happened between us hung heavy in the air.



“Mia, I want to apologise for how I was that weekend. I wasn’t meaning to lead you on. I was too drawn to you, having too much fun, and I forgot for a moment how my life actually is. I should’ve held back because I couldn’t do what we might’ve had any justice. I never wanted to hurt you. I was being selfish and I’m sorry.”



She didn’t speak for a long moment, taking a large sip of wine, and I held my breath. “I’m not going to lie, I was hurt. But when I saw you this afternoon, I got it. Complicated is right. Be kind to yourself. It looks like you have enough on your plate.” She gripped my hand and squeezed.



I squeezed it back, needing her to understand how much it meant to me, but knowing my words would come up short.



“But now it’s time to share your burden with me,” she said. “Tell me all about how you of all people ended up with a woman like that.”



I wanted to laugh as she said the word that like it was a bitter taste in her mouth. Instead, I sighed because I hated recounting the story of my life.


About the Author: As a girl growing up in Australia, Laura was lost in the world of Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. During high school, volleyball dominated her life. There had to be something positive about being 6’1” with red hair. Representing Australia from a young age she eventually took a scholarship at the University of Iowa. Living in America and being a full time athlete in a college town was an eye-opening experience and lots of fun (from what she can remember). #gohawkeyes



Returning from the States, her career took a different turn as she started working at the Red Cross and completed her Masters of Law in Human Rights. As one of the few non-lawyers in the class, her essays were far more floral than the rest, something that caused the discerning professors to shake their heads. Through working and studying, she realised there are other ways to win hearts and minds.



While she’s spent the last 14 years as an advocate against poverty and homelessness, the desire to change the world through storytelling has only got stronger. She now lives in the Alpine Valleys of North East Victoria, Australia with her husband, daughter, son, two dogs and seven chooks. When she’s not doing the whole mum thing, working at a homelessness agency, renovating her farmhouse, or trying to do laundry bleary-eyed at midnight, she is writing.



Say G’day to Laura:


Website: http://www.lsimpsonauthor.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/l.simpson.romance

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lsimpsonauthor

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/lsimpsonauthor

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-simpson-47278971




BUY LINKS:



http://boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/see-me


https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/see-me-l-simpson/1133838822?ean=9781951055202


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YDL2SV6


https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/960078


https://books2read.com/u/b5QBYR


https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/see-me-28


https://linkmaker.itunes.apple.com/en-us/details/1481621816






a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Tour/Giveaway - Hometown Girl Memories by Kirsten Fullmer


Hometown Girl Memories 
Hometown Series Book 6 
by Kirsten Fullmer 
Genre: Contemporary Romance  
Publication Date: October 1, 2019


"I was crying one minute and laughing the next. A definite must read!" 

Winnie is content in her role as the reigning matriarch of Smithville, but when a letter arrives from a long-lost friend, the door to her past is reopened. Memories come flooding in, drawing her back to 1968, her college days; a time filled with people and events she hasn’t allowed herself to recall. 

Tara knows her husband, Justin, is up to something. She may be crazy busy running her inn and trying to manage little Bella, but her gut tells her there’s more to Justin’s busy schedule than just work, and she’s determined to find out what it is.

Join in the fun as Smithville’s leading ladies unite in this charming, must-read novel filled with love; past, present, and future. 


**Only .99 cents!! ** 



Book Trailer: 






Hometown Girl at Heart 
Hometown Series Book 1 

Hometown Girl After All 
Hometown Series Book 2. 

Hometown Girl Forever
Hometown Series Book 3

Christmas in Smithville
Hometown Series Book 4

Hometown Girl Again
Hometown Series Book 5


Kirsten grew up in the Western US and graduated from high school in 1984. She married soon thereafter and quickly built a family. With three young children and number four on the way, she returned to college in 1992. Her career as a draftsman included many settings ranging from a steel fabrication shops to prestigious engineering firms. Balancing family life with the workplace forced her to become the queen of multitasking. In 2001, bored with the cubicle life, she moved on to teach drafting in technical college, then to open her own consulting firm teaching 3D engineering software. Due to health problems, Kirsten retired in 2012 to travel with her husband for his job. She now works writing romance novels and enjoys spoiling her three grandchildren. Since 2017 Kirsten has lived and worked full time in a 40' travel trailer with her husband and her little dog Bingo. 





$50 Amazon gift card 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!




Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Review - Empower ED by Jennifer Price


EmpowerEd

Jennifer Oneal Price Esq.

* Mystery/Memoir * 



Title: EMPOWERED: USING REAL CASE EXAMPLES TO LOOK DEEPER INTO IEP MANAGEMENT

Author: Jennifer Oneal Price

Publisher: Independent

Pages: 107

Genre: Nonfiction




This book outlines the progressive steps taken to address the
educational needs of an exceptional child. From the Child Find process
to filing a Due Process complaint, courts have addressed many legal
issues. This book goes through court cases on some key issues from 2018
with an included workbook-style composition section after the cases.
Parents and educational advocates will be able to read the cases and use
the Thought Questions and composition space to take notes to better
analyze their own case and advocate for their child’s educational
rights.

My Thoughts:  A very informative book for parents who have or think they may have a special needs child whether it be intellect, physical, or behavioral disabilities. Early diagnosis is crucial to setting your child up for the best possible future and this book has worksheets and case studies that can help parents with this.

★★★★★ORDER YOUR COPY★★★★★

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2q0Ql2Q


____________________




______________________


Introduction

I know the story. Your child is having issues in school and you suspect it’s not because s/he is “being bad.” You request an evaluation to see if s/he qualifies for an accommodation or special education services. The test takes awhile. Why does it take so long to get an evaluation? Then, you learn your child qualifies for special education services. What comes next? Then, you get your child’s Individualized Education Program, a.k.a. IEP. Why isn’t the school following it? You try to have meetings with the school, only to be met with obstinance. You walk in the meeting. You see a room full of people on the “school’s side.” Who is there for you? You feel overwhelmed and alone. I know the story because, as an attorney who represents children with disabilities, I’ve heard it too many times.

The ultimate purpose of this book is to empower parents (and anyone else working as an educational advocate) about how courts rule on education cases concerning children who have disabilities - intellectual, behavioral, or physical. I include specific points of reference so you can use this as a resource guide for your own situation. Statistically, most parents in a due process hearing represent themselves in these types of legal disputes. The one consistent comment I’ve heard is that by the time things become this contentious with the school district, they feel overwhelmed and uninformed.

By law, public schools are required to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The issue is that there are extensive and complicated statutes governing children with disabilities. There are individualized education programs (IEPs) and 504 Service Agreements. Both are created for children with disabilities, but they are designed to address different areas of need. This short book sorts out your options, offers court cases as examples, and explains the steps you can take if you are not happy with the plans made for your child’s education.

As an attorney now in private practice, I spend part of each day answering telephone calls on questions from parents who are frustrated over what their school is or is not doing for their children, and concerned about what should be their next steps.

I left a District Attorney’s Office after seeing worst-case scenarios in juvenile court: when learning accommodations were not made, or plans were not implemented for children with disabilities. I realized that while these were similar stories told from different situations, the common thread in all of them was either IEP or 504 Service Agreement management. After some research and talking to colleagues, I decided to go into private practice to focus on representing children with disabilities. One major hurdle I quickly learned was the lack of information many parents and advocates have, including not knowing that their children even have legal rights when it comes to education. That is why I decided to write this book. It is meant to be a guide and a starting point.

While this cannot serve as legal advice, my goal is to help parents feel a little more empowered than before they read it. This guide is designed to get you past the basics by using real court case examples to show the practical side of how courts have ruled on familiar issues. In the end, the goal is to set your child up for educational success. This book is broken up into four steps that build on each other. There is a glossary at the end to help keep track of some of the terms parents may encounter in their journey, as well as full case citations.

To you and your child’s success!

Step One

What Is Child Find?

Child Find is a term of art that places a legal requirement on schools to identify, locate, and evaluate your child, but this process can also start with you, the parent. (Throughout the rest of this book, I use “parent” but I’m referring to parents, guardians, and educational advocates.)

As the parent, you know your child better than anyone else. If you see your infant son or daughter struggling to hold an object, you know whether the response will be frustration (throwing it down) or curiosity (picking it up each time it falls). You know this because you’ve been paying attention. This parental observation remains true for noticing developmental delays. I put Child Find as the first step for parents for a few reasons. You will know whether a behavior is typical or atypical. You’re with your child from the beginning, so you become a first line of defense. This places you in the best position to be proactive and address any potential developmental delays as early as possible.

Early diagnosis has been attributed to improving a child’s long-term educational success. Since your child may not see a teacher until three or four years of age, getting a diagnosis beforehand could reduce the number of interventions or aids your child may need during school-age years. A diagnosis before elementary school can be done by your pediatrician. Schedule an appointment and raise any concerns immediately. Give detailed information explaining exactly what you notice so the pediatrician can either run the appropriate test(s) or direct you to the right specialist.

If your child has already started school—no matter the age—the school is required to conduct a Child Find. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes regulations (34 C.F.R. Section 300.111(a)(1)(i)) that require schools to have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all children “who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated.”

Child Find applies to all children residing in any state, even if that child is homeless or is a ward of the state. It also applies to children who are suspected of having a disability or might need special education, even if the child is advancing from grade to grade. The regulatory requirements affect schools because states receive federal funds to assist with paying for education. Schools, therefore, receive federal funds, through their respective state governments, to pay for special education expenses. These expenses include paying teachers, teacher aides, and supplemental materials necessary for instruction. As a result of receiving federal funding, the schools must comply with the federal regulations.

Child Find is significant. Even if you don’t suspect a disability in your child, a teacher is legally required to notice it. Once again, the earlier the diagnosis and knowing whether there is a disability, the sooner you can help your child. It’s also important to remember that your child may still have a disability even if advancing from one grade to the next. Early diagnosis and an IEP can set your child up to maximize potential, not just get by.



Case Example (Child Find)

Montuori v. District of Columbia School District

A.M. (minors’ names are disguised in court cases) was diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A.M. had been under a 504 Service Agreement since elementary school. (This agreement details how a school will provide the necessary supports and remove any barriers so a child can access the general curriculum with their classmates). When A.M. entered middle school, another psychological reevaluation was conducted, and another 504 Service Agreement was implemented. The school wanted to offer a 504 Service Agreement, and conduct a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) to address A.M.’s escalating behavioral issues. However, the parents wanted an IEP, so they filed a due process complaint (an IEP allows for additional specialized instruction outside the regular curriculum).

The issue before the court was: Had the school district violated its Child Find obligations by not also evaluating A.M. for an IEP? The court found for the parents, that the school had failed to timely evaluate A.M. for an IEP, thus constituting a Child Find violation. Why?

The answer is because Child Find is an “affirmative obligation,” meaning it was a requirement of the school to identify A.M. as a child who may be in need of special education services, and thus should have sent a Permission to Evaluate form to the parents to have the school conduct an evaluation. The school district believed it was relieved of its Child Find obligations when the parents and school officials agreed at a school meeting to proceed with a 504 Plan in lieu of initiating IDEA services.  However, the court noted that even if A.M.’s parents had been content with having only the 504 plan, the school should have sought permission from the parents to do the required testing but failed to do so.



Thought Question:

  1. Do you think your school has violated its Child Find obligations with your child? If so, what evidence do you have? For young children, remember to distinguish between behaviors consistent with other children the same age and behaviors consistent with the disability. These are the factors a court will consider and the school district will use in its defense.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Case Example (IDEA and “child with a disability”)

Durbrow v. Cobb County School District

C.D. was diagnosed with ADHD in third grade. Nevertheless, he advanced from elementary school through to his junior year of high school, and excelled in advanced academic programs and standardized tests. He was admitted into a select magnet school with accelerated courses, where he received accommodations through a 504 plan. His junior-year teachers dismissed the parents’ suggestion that C.D. also needed an IEP. Two teachers even wrote him letters of recommendation to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. However, C.D.’s academic performance plummeted his senior year. He amassed late and incomplete work throughout the year, which culminated in five failing grades. The school continued to change his 504 plan with different accommodations, but his grades continued to decline. His parents requested that the school begin the process to evaluate their son for an IEP, and said that C.D. was IDEA-eligible based on his failure to submit his assignments on time. The special education supervisor also believed C.D.’s incomplete work was due to his ADHD, but C.D. himself and his senior-year teachers attributed the failing grades to his procrastination. His parents filed a due process hearing complaint alleging the school district failed in their Child Find obligations. The issue before the court was: Did the IDEA compel the public school district to provide special education to C.D., a student with ADHD, who displayed vast academic potential but struggled to complete his work?

Under the IDEA, a child with a disability is defined as someone with “intellectual disabilities…other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities; and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.” One such health impairment is ADHD that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Therefore, to establish entitlement to a FAPE, a student with ADHD must show that the chronic condition adversely affects academic performance, and thus special education is needed.

The court found the school district did not deprive C.D. of a FAPE because he did not need special education and, therefore, did not qualify as a child with a disability. Additionally, the school district did not breach its Child Find obligations because the IDEA requires schools to identify, locate, and evaluate only children with disabilities. The court concluded C.D. was not a child with a disability because he did not, on account of ADHD, require special education; instead, he met or exceeded academic expectations. He had been admitted to a selective magnet program based on his achievements in math and science and had demonstrated college readiness by excelling on the PSAT. Until his senior year, he passed all of his classes in an advanced academic program, including Honors and Advanced Placement courses. Additionally, C.D.’s teachers testified that special education was inappropriate for him, and none attributed his poor grades to low ability. Although C.D. had difficulty with time management and organization, so too did many of his classmates, particularly at the demanding magnet program.



Thought Questions:

Two key questions to consider if you notice failing grades:

  1. When did your child’s grades start declining?
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. What other reasons could cause your child’s grades to decline other than the disability?
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Answers to this second question will allow you to take a broader view of issues that you may have overlooked or forgotten, and will also allow you to anticipate the school’s response.









 


______________________









Jennifer Price is a special education attorney in the Pittsburgh
metro area who has received awards for her legal skills and advocacy. 
As a former prosecutor, Attorney Price is very familiar with the courts
and believes in making sure every child has an opportunity to succeed
both in school and in life.  Her boutique law firm provides services
protecting and defending against abuses of the criminal justice system,
as well as the educational systems.  With 10 years of experience,
Attorney Price’s advocacy has resulted in successes, including getting
criminal charges withdrawn, preventing children from getting expelled
out of school and federal civil rights lawsuits. Aa a speaker, she has
presented at seminars and workshops and has also made regular television
appearances for her legal opinions.

★WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS: ★

Website →  www.jenniferpricelaw.com

Twitter →  twitter.com/jennoprice




http://www.pumpupyourbook.com



Monday, November 25, 2019

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday - The Giving Heart by Toni Blake





First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros,  hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach, is where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.




First Paragraph:

Snow began falling on Summer Island the first Monday of December. It shouldn't have surprised her- despite the name, winters here came early and often lasted into Spring. But she hadn't checked the forecast, and as soon as she stood peering out the big picture window of the Summerbrook Inn while thick, heavy flakes dropped from the sky, Lila wondered if she'd made a mistake in coming.

Book Tour/Giveaway - Let Me Go by Willow Rose


Let Me Go 
Eva Rae Thomas Mystery Book 5 
by Willow Rose 
Genre: Mystery, Thriller 

Publisher: BUOY MEDIA 
Publication Date: November 30, 2019


The #1 Bestselling Mystery Series on Amazon continues! 

What if a stranger told you that she believed your child is about to be killed? What if that woman was an ex-FBI profiler with a disputable reputation? 
Would you believe her? 

Eva Rae Thomas is chasing down a vicious killer, but no one will believe he even exists. If there are no unexplained dead bodies or missing persons, then how can there be a killer on the loose? 

What they don’t understand is that the perfect murder is the one that doesn’t look like murder. 

Can Eva Rae convince local law enforcement to help her with this case before the killer strikes once more? Or will she have to take matters into her own hands – again? 

LET ME GO is the fifth book in the Eva Rae Thomas Mystery Series and can be read as a standalone. 




The Queen of Scream aka Willow Rose is a #1 Amazon Best-selling Author and an Amazon ALL-star Author of more than 60 novels.

She writes Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Horror, Supernatural thrillers, and Fantasy.

Willow's books are fast-paced, nail-biting pageturners with twists you won't see coming. Several of her books have reached the Kindle top 10 of ALL books in the US, UK, and Canada. She has sold more than three million books.

Willow lives on Florida's Space Coast with her husband and two daughters. When she is not writing or reading, you will find her surfing and watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. 






$50 Amazon 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!




FREE EBOOK! Every Reasonable Doubt by Pamela Samuels Young



EVERY REASONABLE DOUBT

PAMELA SAMUELS YOUNG

* MYSTERY/LEGAL THRILLER *



Title: Every Reasonable Doubt

Author: Pamela Samuels Young

Publisher: Goldman House Publishing

File Size: 722 KB

Genre: Mystery/Legal Thriller

When attorneys Vernetta Henderson and Neddy McClain are tapped to
take on the biggest case of their careers, they are less than thrilled
about working together. Their strained relationship, however, is the
least of their problems. Their socialite client—charged with the brutal
murder of her husband—is demanding an immediate dismissal of the case.
But a ruthless prosecutor is determined to make sure that doesn’t
happen. Forced to fight a common enemy, the two women close ranks and,
in the process, develop a bond that sees them through the uncertainties
of trial, the pain of betrayal and pressures neither could have
imagined.

CLICK BELOW TO GET YOUR FREE COPY!

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2WNlraB

______________________



Prologue


If Max Montgomery ever had to commit to monogamy to save his wife’s life, she would just have to come back and haunt him from the afterlife.
Max rested his forearm on the registration desk as his eyes anxiously crisscrossed the lobby of the Beverly Hills Ritz-Carlton. He watched as people milled about, dressed in tuxedos and evening gowns. He made eye contact with a short, brown-skinned cutie who sashayed by in a dress so tight he could see the faint outline of her thong. Max smiled. She smiled back. Too bad he was already about to get laid. Otherwise, he definitely would’ve taken the time to follow up on that.
“Here’s your key, Mr. Montgomery,” said a cherub-faced girl with a shrill voice. “You’ll be in room 502. One of our most elegant suites.”
When he reached for the key, his fingertips accidentally brushed her hand and she nervously looked away. She wants me, Max thought. But she was way too young for his taste.
He thanked her and headed for the bank of elevators in the rear of the lobby. Max tapped the elevator button and the car to his left instantly glided open. Some of the tension eased from his body once he was safely inside. He had waited nearly a week for this night and his wait was almost over.
The anonymous invitation to a “private evening of intimacy” had intrigued him and he had immediately decided to accept. No questions asked. A man like Max didn’t make hasty decisions very often. On the rare occasion that he did, it was only because he was banking on a huge payoff.
Max stepped off the elevator, studied the sign directly in front of him, then turned left down a long hallway. He walked with a distinctive, self-assured stride, like a male model taking a slow stroll down the catwalk. He stopped in front of a door near the end of the hallway and fished the plastic card key from his breast pocket.
A huge smile of anticipation spread across his face as he entered the lavish suite. The place was a classy ensemble of muted colors, luxurious fabrics, and calming scents. From the flowing silk curtains to the massive mahogany sleigh bed to the sleek suede comforter, everything in the room spelled class with a capital C. And that pleased him.
Max made his way over to a nightstand near the window, his feet sinking into the plush, caramel-colored carpet with every step. He examined a champagne bottle sitting near an antique lamp. Dom PĂ©rignon, vintage 1995. Definitely his style. He only hoped his host was familiar with some of his more erotic personal preferences.
The sight of a red teddy hanging from the corner of the headboard triggered a twinge of arousal that warmed him inside. He rubbed the soft fabric between his fingers, smiled again, then tossed it onto the bed. On the floor near the nightstand was a large wicker basket with three packages of rose petals, twelve scented candles, two champagne glasses, and a book of matches. He set the basket on the bed and read the fancy gold card inside. It provided additional instructions for the evening.
Max glanced at his watch. He didn’t have much time. He scooped up the basket with one hand, began undoing his tie with the other and proceeded into the bathroom. It was just as dazzling as the rest of the suite. The marble floor, the shiny granite countertop, the extravagant gold fixtures were all symbols of an affluent lifestyle Max knew well.
As the card commanded, Max filled the oversized Jacuzzi tub with water, sprinkled it with the rose petals and positioned the candles about the room. He lit each one, then turned off the lights to admire his handiwork. Yes, yes, yes. He was about to have himself one big ball.
Max ripped up both the invitation and the card and flushed them down the toilet. A married man could never be too careful. Just as he was about to head back into the bedroom, the enormous mirror on the wall directly across from the tub stopped him in his tracks. Max grinned. He would get to watch.
Marching into the bedroom, he stripped off his Hugo Boss suit and draped it over the back of an armchair near the bed, making sure his pants were carefully folded along the crease line. After removing the rest of his clothes, he grabbed the champagne bottle and strutted naked into the bathroom, where he eased into the steaming hot water and waited.
All day long he had tried to figure out who his freaky little hostess might be. He had instantly ruled out Janice. A single parent with three kids didn’t have the time, not to mention the energy, to plan something this elaborate. She could barely escape from her solo law practice for their once-a-week lunchtime romps. That left Paula, a stewardess who had served him on a flight to New York three months earlier, and Natasha, the big-breasted Swede who was temping as a receptionist at his firm’s Newport Beach office. She had straight out boned him with her eyes when he walked up to the reception desk to find out her name. Yeah, both Paula and Natasha were kinky enough to plan something like this.
Max poured himself a glass of champagne and took a slow, satisfying sip. The air jets pelting his back with spurts of water felt great. He closed his eyes and slowly twisted his head to the left as far as it would go, then repeated the move on the opposite side. The muscles along the base of his neck felt like dense, knotted fists. Maybe she would give him a massage afterward.
At the sound of the hotel room door opening, Max bolted forward, causing rose petals to splash onto the floor. He could feel his pulse racing as he waited for his mystery date to appear, and when she did not, he settled back into the tub and tried to calm himself down. She was probably just slipping into that sexy little teddy. He was so hard now he had to fight the urge to jack himself off.
Max reached for the champagne bottle to refill his glass just as a sharp, searing pain attacked his left temple. He hoped it wasn’t another migraine. There was a time when he could almost will them away if he concentrated hard enough. But that wasn’t working anymore. He sat the bottle back down. He would wait and share the rest with her.
Max leaned back, sucked in a long, deep breath, and closed his eyes for several seconds. When he reopened them, he could not focus. A thick curtain of haze had suddenly filled the room. He tried to sit up, but his head felt heavier than a bowling ball and fell backward, slamming hard against the tiled wall. He was now blind, dizzy, and in excruciating pain.
By the time the bathroom door opened, Max could feel the presence of someone else in the room. He could even hear a voice. A voice he was too dazed to place, speaking words he could not quite make out. Max had never had a migraine like this one before. He tried to speak, but his lips spewed nothing but gibberish. Had the champagne been spiked?
Without warning, a powerful jolt of pain pierced the right side of Max’s chest at the same time that his head seemed to explode.
His visitor, hovering over him now, plunged a knife deep into Max’s chest, then repeated the motion. A second time, a third time, a fourth time. The stabbing continued until the rose petals disappeared into a pool of deep, dark red.

 


______________________






Award-winning author and attorney Pamela Samuels Young
writes mysteries that matter. Dubbed “John Grisham with a sister’s
twist” by one reviewer, Pamela’s fast-paced novels often tackle
important social issues.


Her most recent legal thriller, Failure to Protect,
takes on the bullying epidemic and its devastating aftermath. Pamela
won the prestigious NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction for her
thriller Anybody’s Daughter, which provides a realistic look inside the world of child sex trafficking. Her courtroom drama Abuse of Discretion centers around a troubling teen sexting case. #Anybody’s Daughter and #Abuse of Discretion are young adult editions of the two books. A young adult version of Failure to Protect goes on sale in December 2019.


Pamela also writes dangerously sassy romantic suspense under the pen
name Sassy Sinclair. Her first foray into the romance genre, Unlawful Desires (2017), was awarded Best Erotic Romance by Romance Slam Jam. Her second book, Unlawful Seduction (2018),
was honored as a finalist in Romance Writers of America/Passionate
Ink’s Passionate Plume contest in the Best Contemporary Erotica
category.


The prolific writer is a frequent speaker on the topics of sex
trafficking, bullying, online safety, fiction writing, self-empowerment,
and pursuing your passion. To invite Pamela to your book club meeting
or to read excerpts of her books, visit www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com and www.sassysinclair.com .

Website & Social links




http://www.pumpupyourbook.com



Sunday, November 24, 2019

Review - Max by Mark Gibson







Synopsis: Suicidal thoughts plague ten-year-old Max at the end of the toughest summer break of his life.

With his best friend gone for the summer, Max discovers a kid's social networking site. He makes tons of friends, the best among them, Malia. Not wanting to risk any of his new friendships, he makes a series of bad choices, pushing him to thoughts of suicide.

Malia, being an eleven-year-old victim of depression herself, tries to help Max as best she can. But with a troubled home life, she swings from being Max's protector and mentor one day to his personal bully the next.


My Thoughts: It was kinda interesting reading a story told primarily thru instant messages. I felt it gave the topic more focus and a better understanding of the minds of folks having suicidal thoughts. My heart went out to Max because on some levels I went thru some of the same feelings and stuff he did at that age just trying to fit in and all and taking everything to heart when in fact it may not have been such a big deal but at that age everything feels like a big deal so it was easy for me to sympathize with him.  

Malia I felt bad for her as well but she just wasn't a likable person. I just felt like she brought Max down lower by being friends. I actually didn't even consider what they had a friendship because she was always so judgemental and mean to him.

You can get your copy from Amazon HERE

*I received a free copy from the author for an honest review.