Become an Exceptional Book Blogger

 

 

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Betrayal Has a Name-Conclusion

A Woman's Face
Photography of woman’s face by John Rocha

Betrayal Has a Name: Conclusion

My problem is that I always feel something is there, even when I’ve lost it. My leg. My beautiful leg Jonathan always groped and tickled, just right under the knee- is now gone. I am told to be grateful I still have my piano fingers. But I have no leg and I am in awful pain.

Alista pushed herself up in the bed, just as Patsy, Jonathan and Coby walked into her room. In that order. Her mom, Patricia Michaels stood up, erect, dignified. Nodded at each friend briefly. “Please. Make it short. She needs her rest.” Adjusting her heavy pewter coat with white fur lining the hood, Alista’s mom walked out the room. Her heels clicking hard. The sound of importance and success. Alista only hoped to be like her someday. Unaffected by life, taking charge as problems come.

“Hey baby,” Jonathan leaned down. Kissed her lips gently. She couldn’t feel it. Her lips were too dry and cracked. Noticing her discomfort, he poured her some water from the pitcher on the side table and added the short, tiny white straw. “Drink.”

She sipped a little as he stroked her hair, telling her he missed her and asking about her health and did she dream of pianos.

Meanwhile she caught the faint surprise on Patsy’s childlike face. That brown, beautiful face of a cherub. But her eyes held a shine. Tears. “Oh, Alista!” She came over and leaned down on Alista. Patsy’s soft body smelled just like Jonathan’s arm. Baby powder and Dove soap. “Hi! Are you okay? I am so, so sorry!”

“I miss my leg.” Alista said. “I would borrow yours, but you have incredibly short, turtle ones. I’ll manage.”

“Still find time to crack jokes, huh?” Jonathan stepped back from Alista as Coby narrowed his eyes at everyone. Alista waved her hand. She knew Jonathan hated how she picked on Patsy. Ever since high school Patsy was just easy to like and tease at the same time. She couldn’t help it.

“I have to. I’ve been in an accident on my way to perform.” She took Coby’s offered hand. He kissed the back of hers.

“You are a perfectionist, Sweetheart.” Coby’s handsome pierced face and blue eyes shone with affection for her. Alista loved her childhood friend. Suddenly she wish they could start that band he’s been meaning to put together.

But Alista wanted to make sure she wasn’t dreaming. Jonathan’s eyes usually soft for her, were now hard. With concern or…something else?

Patsy appeared skittish as usual. Such a shy kitten. But Alista could see clearly that Jonathan was protective of their little friend.

“When I said break a leg,” Coby began. “I was only joking.”

“You know I always took your advice.”

“How does your body feel? I mean. Are you going to be alright?” Patsy asked her.

“What’s crazy is I think I feel my leg.”

“What?” Patsy asked touching the railing. “What do you mean?”

“Phantom limb effect I believe. Remember in psychology class? When the teacher talked about losing a limb but still having the feeling that it’s there?”

“Oh, yeah.” Patsy and Jonathan said at the same time.

“Anyway,” Alista ran her hand down the severed limb part. Grateful the blanket was covering her. “It may be gone, but I still feel it.” She paused and sat her cup down. “We lose something and still feel it is there. Now it hurts more now that it is gone, than if I had it. Doctors said it had to be done.”

“Wow,” Patsy bit her bottom lip. “It had to be done to rescue you from worse hurt you know.”

“Yeah. You wouldn’t be with us, otherwise.” Jonathan shifted, placed his hands in his pockets. “It must be done.”

“I keep thinking,” Alista sat up even more. Slightly grimacing as everyone leaned in closer to hear what she had to say. “I keep thinking, maybe if they could have left it on. I can walk on crutches you know?”

“You would still suffer,” Jonathan offered. “Why have something that is crippling you. Why would anyone want that? Plus, you are here. You needed to be cut out from that car.”

“You sound insensitive. Why would anyone want their leg cut?” Coby interjected.

“No one wants it,” Patsy glanced at Jonathan’s face. “But if something is not working or if it can rescue you from a world of debilitation and pain. Why keep it?”

Alista shook her head. Coby suddenly took her hand again while Jonathan’s remained in his front pockets, but his eyes still loved her. In whatever form it was conveying. It had to be love.

Yes, it was still there.

*************

Copyright 2017 Erica Jean Smith

*If you have not already, please read the interesting first part of this story. Then check out more amazing quick tales via this blog! Your likes, comments and shares are all appreciated!

‘Made For Us’ by Samantha Chase (a review)

Made for Us (The Shaughnessy Brothers, #1)Made for Us by Samantha Chase

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

 

made-for-us-graphic2

This is my first Samantha Chase book. After reading the blurbs on Freading for the Shaughnessy Brothers series, I had to feed my Contemporary Romance addiction!

Order your copy of Made for Us today!

Zoe Dalton, an interior decorator, just moved from Arizona after losing her mom and wanted to experience everything the east coast could possibly offer. She finds herself landing a job working for one of the most notorious, bullheaded bosses in the entire world. Who also happens to be incredibly sexy- Aidan Shaughnessy.

Aidan lives life on deadlines and habit. He and his family has adjusted somewhat after their mother’s death, but he has filled the shoes of second parent. However his harsh way of dealing with people has to change. When he meet Zoe, he thinks he can pull the same rank with her, but this fiery red head is not having it.

My Reaction:

Aiden is the oldest so it kind of makes since that he has always been there for family, but he definitely got on my nerves with his rigid rules and inability to adapt to change. Still, I had some pity on him. Samantha Chase created real characters who demand us to root for them or to loathe them.

What made the book frothy and fun were the supporting characters too. The interaction between them and the main characters gave even more insight into the psyche of both Zoe and Aidan.

On a personal level this book really speaks to me, because losing someone is hard and in a way it does change you. In the midst of that there is happiness. Not necessarily easily achieved but possible.

Also, this was a clean romance. Some sexual suggestions but surprisingly it was kept decent and smokin’ hot at the same time. I really loved that.

*Stay tuned for my review of Book 2: Love Walks In, Shaughnessy Brothers, #2.

Wanna read with me? Post your comments below so we can talk about this sweet, romantic series. Let me know how you’re doin’ 🙂

View all my reviews

‘Bunny and the Bear’ by Eve Langlais(a review)

hot couple kissing
Cover Art by Amanda Kelsey/Blog design by Ericajean using Canva

Warning! This book has fiery hot scenes in it inappropriate for certain audiences. Thank you!

Book Details:

Bunny and the Bear(Furry United Coalition, #1), by Eve Langlais

Published by Eve Langlais (July 2011)

ISBN: 978-0-9869154-4-4

Five Stars

Read on my Kindle App and found on Bookbub

Get Your Free Copy on Amazon Now!

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After having a delicious time this summer reading C791 by Eve Langlais, I just knew I was about to get into another delicious romp fest. Instead of cyborgs this time, we are introduced to the land of the were folks. Werebears, Wererabbits…

Wait.

Did I just say Were-Rabbits?

Gah! Rabbits are my favorite of all the woodland creatures, and in Bunny and the Bear, Langlais is sure to include the quirks and the fun of both beasts!

The Hot, Hoppin’Story

Chase doesn’t know whether to strangle or make love to his playful platinum blond neighbor. She is definitely fun and perky and…bothersome. As a werebear, Chase spends his time sleeping, going to work, eating and then repeating the same cycle all over again. Now it is interrupted by dreams of having the delectable Miranda all to himself.

Miranda knows how Chase feel about intermixing species, but she can’t help but adore the big lug. He is handsome and so predictable. Unfortunately, she is here to protect him from the real danger lurking. A terrible danger, that she as a Werebunny is designed to take care of.

My Honey Sweet Reaction:

I needed something fun and frothy but with some spice. Add a little easy reading and an alpha male and this is exactly what I got.

Miranda was everything a bubbly bunny should be yet she had lots of bite. Chase comes off as your typical alpha male you’d pretty much find in any romance, yet I found something very special about him that instantly made my heart go Ba-Boom!

Besides eating honey buns everyday, Chase is intuitive when it concerns Miranda. He can sense when she has her low points and doubts and he is there to pick her up- literally and figuratively.

Fun Fact: this book reminded so much of Zootopia, but with a slight twist. Watch the film, you’ll see!

Needless to say, this one was quick and sweet but such a hot treat! I need to get more of these shifter books!

Let me know if you’ve read any of Eve Langlais’s books.

Or just stop by and say hi!

Until next time.

Ericajean

An Extended(and juicy) review of ‘Love Everlasting’ by Julie Lessman

Love Everlasting (Isle of Hope, #2)Love Everlasting by Julie Lessman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No more conscious of sins, is the theme here for such a wonderful, romantic filled story by one of my favorite writers today, Julie Lessman.

In Love Everlasting,Shannon O’Bryen is tasked with ensuring that playboy, heart throb Sam Cunningham, gets home safely after a night of him imbibing.

Shannon’s brother Jack warns her that Sam can charm anyone. In fact after reading this book I understand how he can charm the skin and fangs off a snake. With this fair warning, Shannon promises she won’t take the bait. However during Sam’s drunken state with him calling her Angel Eyes as she wipes him down clean and cook him food, Shannon already feels…something but even more importantly, Sam feels it too. On a major level. The question is, does he still love the sexy Jasmine, or will he give in to his warm feelings for the woman who rescued him? A woman who seems as pure and moral and untouchable as a saint?

Note: Feel Free to skip to the extended character review of Sam and Shannon!

My Reaction:

If you have not read Book 1, I suggest you do, technically you have to read that one to understand the relationship dynamic among the people of Isle of Hope, Georgia. However in theory one could still read Love Everlasting and enjoy the work tremendously.

Seriously this book was fun, serious, and very romantic. The characters and the setting works for a very strong story here. Isle of Hope is a real place and is very beautiful with its Southern charm of lakes and greenery you can imagine the characters as real people walking down the Isle for a nice stroll or a swim.

Lessman’s creativity when it comes to characters is strong as well. Sam was well rounded. He is a doctor but comes from a troubled past. He knows what he needs and what he wants. Shannon is a quiet soul. She is like me. She is a writer, she loves God and is about marriage and family but even she has a secret that just may destroy whatever it is she wants with Sam.

Loved this book. You have to read it.

**I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

Wait! Here’s a Juicy Extended Character Review: What Makes a Great Romance 101

Love Everlasting is one of those books where character is everything. In fact in most books, that is what drives the story. I want to point out a few of the reasons why this book received five stars by focusing on the two main characters Shannon and Sam.

Warning: SPOILERS!

Sam Cunningham.

  • Successful children’s doctor.
  • Was once orphaned himself.
  • Very charming and intelligent.
  • Has swoon worthy looks and appeal.

Who can tame a playboy?

What I loved most about Sam is that he has a boyish side to him that only Shannon has seen. His temper tantrums or not wanting to share her. But he is such a poet and his words made me melt:

That’s because it’s not just a kiss,” he whispered bowing his head to touch his forehead to hers. “It’s the gift of my heart, Shan, all wrapped up.”(pg.220).

Now on to Shannon.

  • Sweet.
  • A writer.
  • A believer in Christ.
  • Cleaned Sam after his vomit of liquor(so, she is caring).
  • Jack is Shannon’s brother.
  • Jack is also Sam’s good friend, soooo…
  • Shannon is off limits(or should be off limits) to Sam.

 

Yet, Shannon is not so squeaky clean. You see, Sam views Shannon as an angel, unmarred by sin.

He wants Jasmine back so bad that he enlists Shannon’s help to get her back and one of Shannon’s requirements is that he become a believer in God. But is Shannon herself perfect? After a while, Sam moves from head over heels for Shannon to an all out love for her and for Shannon that is good and not so good.

Wait until he learns her secret.

This book definitely deserves the five stars because anytime you have the Playboy Meets the Angel, sparks sure does fly!

Did you guys read the story too? What did you think?

Please Like. Share. Subscribe. Comment. Thanks!

View all my reviews

‘Seaweed Eyes’ Conclusion (Short Fiction)

**Below, the story from earlier this week continues. Elesa realizes she and Casey have a lot in common.** PLEASE SHARE AND SUBSCRIBE 🙂

seaweed

Seaweed Eyes

Part 2

The feet are still large, those eyes are large too but no longer hiding behind glasses. His lips are full and not because there’s food behind it.

“Uh, hi,” I flip over my words. “I didn’t recognize you.” Now it is my turn to feel self conscious. Funny how that works.

This can’t be Casey! No Way!

Casey moves closer to me, slower. Oh God he is like one of the movie stars, or dancers I see on television.

“Hi Elesa, how’s it goin’?”

“Um, good I guess.”

“Elesa, help me with the table,” Grandma winks at Casey. I look down at my paisley top with the large, swirling design and my tights which make it appear as if I have some kind of shape.

Why am I worried over these things?

I take the red basket full of golden rolls and set it neatly in the center of the long table. Casey and his dad are in the living room watching whatever sport is on television.

I push back my hair.

He is not fat.

He is not gross looking. This is Casey Pullim. Never have I felt drawn to him before.

I am such a loser. Such an idiot. So shallow.

I go back into the kitchen and help Grandma set the napkins and utensils on the table. The chill from the screen door, sweeps the house along with the scent of cinnamon from Grandma’s scented pine cones.

I think of mom and dad.

We were just here last year watching a family movie. A Christmas Story to be exact. Just last year.

Before they got taken away from me.

Grandma said God took them. They were great parents, good angels, and the Lord needed them.

I need them.

I hug myself and close my eyes just as I feel warm air by my ear. “Need help?”

“N-no,” I slowly face Casey and his startling eyes. His chest fills out his shirt, I can see the indentation of muscle in his shoulders.

“I’m fine.”

“You sure? You were standing here for a minute and- well, it looked like you were lost or something.”

How sweet. He didn’t mention how my eyes are probably shining from unshed tears.

If he would have said I looked about to cry, I would have bawled right then and there all over his shirt.

“How are you and your dad?”

He stuffs his hands in his front pockets. “Good actually.” His Southern accent is beautiful. Why haven’t I noticed before?

I am such a darned loser.

“He found a job at a plant nearby, said it has benefits, good pay and we can finally give mom the beautiful headstone she deserves.”

I forgot. He lost someone too.

“Ready everyone?” Grandma announces.

Casey watches me. I can feel his gaze as I lower myself in my chair. I am next to grandma, he is next to his father, but we are across from one another.

After grandma’s really long grace over the food, we all dig in. I am ravenous for the rolls, but suddenly I am not so hungry for grandma’s lovely cooking…

I watch Casey and of course, he is not affected by anything. He digs in with gusto, chomps down on the brisket, slops the rolls in the sauce made for the brisket and shoves it on down.

Soft music plays from grandma’s radio. They are starting Christmas songs in late October already. But the mood is perfect. The sky is the color of jean blue with a stitch of pink and I can hear the crickets.

“God has blessed you, Anthony.” Grandma begins, passing the ice tea in a large glass pitcher to everyone. I pour a small amount in my glass.

“He certainly has. I got this job because of hard work, but also a little divine intervention. You’ve been prayin’ on my behalf little lady?”

Grandma laughs and waves her hand, banishing the thought. “Why? I have to. You’re our friend now. Even if you weren’t I’d still give God a request.” Grandma Olsa then turns to Casey, a twinkle in her eye.

“This handsome devil could stop traffic though. What happened to ya?”

Casey shrugged, his eyes slammed into mine again before back to grandma. “I met some dudes at the camp who loved martial arts. I always liked seeing it on television but could never really do it. I began going to the dojo with them.”

“That’s cool,” I say and sip my tea to prevent further talk.

“Well I see Princess Elesa is still radiant as ever. How are you doin?” His father asks me.

I tell him I am doing well. I left out the part about me mostly staying home, crying myself to sleep thinking of mom and dad, throwing up food after I eat so I can stay small and pretty and petite…

Casey eyes me curiously. I can’t believe I hated them. I saw them as slum rats who ate our food every Sunday. Lazy, slovenly folks who couldn’t get jobs.

Now, I am sitting before a hard working man and his handsome son.

“Hey, Elesa wanna come outside with me?” Casey stand with his plate in his hand. “Is it alright, Mrs. Night?”

“Please, you call me Grandma honey,” Grandma remains seated, her hands in a steeple position. “Go on you two.”

I breathe in a shaky breath. Casey takes my plate for me and instead of just sitting them on the side of the sink, he washes each one and dries each one. I stand next to him and place them in the cabinet where they belong before we begin our silent march outside.

I feel the moment of truth coming on.

leaves-autumn

His hand reaches for mine. I gasp as we walk out into the early evening together. Some kids are riding their bikes while others are simply outside with friends laughing and talking about whatever.

Casey’s hand is warm.

We sit in the long swing, the one swing in the front yard. He still clasps my hand.

“Look, Elesa-”

“Why’d you change?” I interrupt him. I didn’t mean to sound hard and scathing, but I don’t know whether to hate him or…

Or…

He pulls his hand from mine. I really do feel the coldness seep into my bone then. I need his hand.

“I was just kind of hoping that you’d y’know…fall in love with me.”*

My face is heated and now I see why he pulled away from me. He is twisting his hands nervously, they are white as milk.

“Casey, you know I have a boy-”

“I know. He is everything I am not. He is a few years older, more handsome, has more money. But,” he turns to me and takes my hand gently, I feel butterflies. He takes my whole hand, wrist and all.

“Casey I am so very sorry for ignoring you all this time,” I slap a palm to my forehead. “Geez! Listen to me. I am only apologizing because now you’re hot.”

I popped the same hand over my mouth. My stupid mouth!

A smile curls at the edge of Casey’s lips. “You think I’m hot?”

“You mean, you don’t know?” I say astonished he doesn’t recognize he is cuter than my pothead boyfriend Sam.

“Well, towards the end of summer, my buddies kept inviting me to places and a few girls even asked me out. I thought it was just so they could hang with the other guys.”

“No way. They wanted you, Casey. But for real you look good. I am happy for you.”

“Are you happy though?”

“Yes.” I bite my bottom lip. I also realize his eyes have always been deep and mossy, seaweedy, intelligent. His hair has always been thick and raven black. He was still the same, shy, caring Casey.

“I know you miss them. I miss mom a lot too. Drunk drivers are stupid. Deserve to be tortured in hell, really.”

“Yeah. I lived and the drunk driver gets to live in some fancy prison.” I said angrily.

“My mom died of cancer but it hurts a lot to know she kept it from us for so long. I thought we had years to go with her. I wanted her to take pictures of my prom, for her and dad to finally go to Hawaii…then she just…died.”

“Do you think she is in heaven, with God?”

Casey shrugs. “She ain’t here with me and that’s all I know.”

“Ditto. I’d rather them be here. I don’t know why good people always die.”

Casey takes my hand and boldly places it on his lap. “In that case, there better be a heaven.”

“I agree.”

“Come closer, Elesa. I don’t bite,” he chuckles. I smile and scoot next to him, lie my head back on the white swing. He begins to gently rock us back and forth.

I see grandma and his dad in the window. Grandma has taken out her large sized bible and they were looking into it, smiling and talking. She was probably teaching him more of the bible. My grandma, the teacher. Just like her daughter, my mom.

“So did ya?” Casey whispers, flicking back a strand of my blond tresses.

“Did I what?”

“Did you…fall for me?”

I give him the only answer I could. The one could seal the hole in my chest, the one that opens new possibilities.

I turn his face to mine and for the first time, with a boy, I am nervous.

He lets me run my hands up and down his face.

I am about to bring him closer when he pulls me to him roughly and before I can even blink, he is kissing me.

I kiss back wholeheartedly, falling into his lips, his scent of cinnamon and soap, of twin sorrows…

Copyright 2016 by Erica Jean Smith

*Inspired by Dialogue Prompt

The ‘N’ Word(From Race to Redemption), an Exceptional Novel

Handsome man with swastika
The N Word by Tiana Laveen

The N Word (From Race to Redemption Series, #1), Tiana Laveen

Amazon Digital Services(Aug. 8, 2015)

Read on the Kindle App

Five Stars

Never have I felt a stirring of emotion­­— good emotion, tragic emotion for a White Supremacist- Ever, until I read Tiana Laveen’s the N Word.

That is just the first thing I love about the book.

The second is her great knowledge of history and psychology and the dynamics of long distance relationships and yes, the sexy tidbits as well.

So, the story is about Aaron Pike, a white guy with a lot of pride in his culture doing time for beating a black man into a coma and now he has to see a counselor and explore all of his demons. And believe me; Aaron has a lot of demons.

This dude’s mind is scarier than his actions. Trust me.

Meanwhile, the beautiful Mia Armstrong, teacher and volunteer at the prison decides to do the unthinkable: Make contact through letters with Aaron Pike, not truly knowing who he is and he not knowing who she is.

He does not know she is black.

But through their correspondence, it opens up a dam of pain, of anger, of possibilities…and it is those possibilities that keep you on the edge of your seat. The sizzling letters Aaron and Mia send each other. The subtle mind assassination they give each other, the poems…

I am so in love with this book and wish to tell more because this book is deep. It is about more than two people getting to know each other through one of the oldest forms of communication.

It begs the question:

Who are we really?

I will be reviewing Book 2: Word of Honor, really soon!