“Our writing can transform us.”
― Sandra Marinella
Monday, August 6, 2018
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Ambiance – After discovering her husband had an illegitimate child resulting from a lengthy affair, her world was torn in two. His untimely passing left her feeling she had been robbed of the chance to deal with the betrayal. Seeking to give herself a fresh start, she packs up and moves cross country to the West Coast. Pursuing her dreams as a business owner, she’s on top of the world, until the man who caused her to question her marriage comes knocking. Will he mend her broken heart, or uproot her new life and leave it in further disrepair?
Naomi – Dealing with empty nest syndrome, she discovers everything everyone ever said about her is true. She has no life. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery and entering the dating world after years of being alone, she’s unprepared for the games that lie in wait. Juggling her feelings between two very attractive men, she will soon learn that one is playing a deceptive and dangerous game.
Paige- Barely escaping a deadly snare created by her own devices, she is searching for healing and redemption. After two years of therapy, Paige is finally ready to face her demons. It won’t be as easy as it seems when accusations are constantly launched at her, and people from her past continue to pop up. A former lover is not ready to let go, and she soon finds herself making similar choices from her past. Will she open her heart up to love and be loved, and will she be convinced to open her life to Christ?
Three best friends search for healing and deliverance from their emotional wounds, as they come to grips that the affliction they’ve borne was at the burden of their own hands. They yearn for the redemption of their sins in the arms of men, the arms of a Savior, and in the eyes of one another.
When the heart mourns, redemption is born.
Amazon Purchase Link: bit.ly/AWD_R
I had never been to Nikolai’s before. I was enthralled with the elegance of the atmosphere from the moment I stepped in. As I was led to the dining area near a bank of windows, my eyes were instantly drawn to the tasteful light fixtures hanging overhead. But that paled in comparison to the large windows flaunting a view of the city; which was magnificent. I thought back to the windows at Legal and knew they were incomparable.
My preoccupation with the views, chic white seating, and the ambiance caused me to miss the flashing red light; the flashing red light that something was wrong.
When I arrived at my table, Jacob stood and held out my chair for me as the hostess left. I looked around in confusion, noting that we were the only ones in attendance from the office and wondering if a “fool” sign had been painted on my forehead, if anyone else could see my shame. But the other diners in attendance were engaged in intimate conversations of their own, oblivious to the trickery I had fallen into. My cheeks flushed red and my eyes narrowed. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, hoping I had not been duped.
“What the hell is going on?” I whispered harshly.
“Please have a seat.” One of Jacob’s hands rested lightly on my waist while the other extended towards my chair.
“No! Not until you tell me where everyone’s at.”
“Please, keep your voice down and take a seat. You’re embarrassing yourself.”
“Really? Mr. Hawthorne, you’ve not seen embarrassment. You have no idea of the type of embarrassment I have endured over the last couple of years. And you have no idea of the type I can cause!”
My voice had risen once more, but to his credit, he refused to back down.
“Please, Paige. Take a seat.” His hand had moved from my waist to my elbow.
“Not until you tell me where everyone else is.”
“There’s no party. I knew that if I invited you alone, you would not come. That’s why I asked you not to share it with anyone.”
“You lying ass! Why?”
“I need to talk to you…away from the office.” His eyes never left my face, although like me, I’m sure he could feel the stares of the other diners.
The waiter approached at that moment. “Mr. Hawthorne, does there seem to be a problem? Something we can help with, perhaps?”
Shaking my head side to side and sucking my teeth, it took every ounce of control not to go off on the thin, balding man. I knew he was referring to me as the “something.” His watery blue eyes pleaded with Jacob’s to allow him to remove me from the restaurant.
“Ah, no, Thomas. There’s been a slight mix-up, but I have everything under control. Thank you.”
“As you wish, sir.” He bowed slightly before eyeing me once more and disappearing.
I looked around at the glares we were getting from the other diners and finally gave in. Refusing to relax in my chair, I kept my posture straight. I wanted him to know at any moment, I might bolt.
He exhaled a deep breath before placing his hands on the table and staring into my eyes. Gone was the light mirth that always danced in the chocolate depths, replaced by a solemn stare. “First, let me apologize for lying to you. I had no right, but this was the only way I could think of to get you here.”
“You’re damned right you had no right!”
The twinkle returned to his eyes once more, and I could not understand what could be so amusing to him. It only served to anger me more.
“Paige…I think we’ve both found ourselves in an odd predicament. The reality is, we have jobs to do and we have to do them to the best of our ability. The fact that each time you walk into my office, or past my office, I remember those legs clasped around my back does not change that. Neither does the fact that I recall how you moaned my name all night long—”
“Look, asshole! If you called me here to humiliate me further, I can leave now. I don’t need your shit, Mr. Hawthorne!”
He reached across the table and boldly pressed a finger against my lips. What the hell was wrong with me? My legs clenched tightly of their own accord, struggling to no avail to repress the throbbing sensation.
“I did not call you here to humiliate you. I actually called you here because I owe you an apology.”
“I don’t know what the hell type of apology you think that was—”
“I had no right to treat you like a paid woman that morning. To be honest, I was completely caught off guard by your lack of discretion. We didn’t know each other that well. When I called you over that night, I simply thought we’d get to know one another a little better, but I didn’t expect what happened to happen.”
“Is that right?”
“That’s absolutely right. Don’t get me wrong. I had planned on trying; I just didn’t expect it to go so easily. Paige, you have to admit you played yourself like that. What was I to do? You weren’t who I thought you were. I lost respect for you.”
His comment had not quite registered in my head as I sat staring at him. I contemplated whether I would accept his so-called apology or get up and walk away with no explanation. That evil tongue of mine won out. “You lost respect for yourself, too, Mr. Hawthorne. You invited a strange woman into your home, had sex with her, and treated her coldly. You have no idea what I could have come back to do.”
“Is that a threat, Paige?” He lifted his eyebrow and smirked at me.
“No. Just be duly warned. You shouldn’t make a habit of it, Mr. Hawthorne. You never know…you just might be sleeping with the enemy.”
He rested his elbows on the table and pressed his fingers together, staring at me. I began to squirm underneath his glare. I was quickly rescued by the return of our waiter.
A part of me wanted to stay and see what he had to say. What was his motive? And another part wanted to leave. The shallow part stepped up and took over, as I decided to enjoy a wonderful dinner in the refined restaurant with a despicable, mysterious man.
Once our orders had been placed, we turned our attention back to our issue.
“So, what are you proposing, Mr. Hawthorne?”
He chuckled and shook his head at me. “I respect your choice in the office. But please…here and now there’s just you and me. Can we drop the Mr. Hawthorne for the night? Let’s quit pretending, Paige.”
“Quit pretending what?”
“That the physical attraction between us does not exist.”
He bit his bottom lip in between his teeth and the light in his eyes brightened. My heartbeat amplified, blocking out all other sounds around us. There was a strong desire within me to give in to the cravings I was having. Yet, I knew better. I knew it would lead to no good, just as I knew I should have turned and walked out the restaurant when I saw him.
Giving in to the desires of my flesh would crush me. I began to ponder the discussion my therapist had with me earlier. She suggested a meditation technique known as mindfulness to help me stave off my cravings for sex. Supposedly, I would need to focus on the present, taking note of all the thoughts, feelings, images, and sensations, I was experiencing. My primary goal was to not react to or judge them in any way. This would cause those thoughts and feelings to die away on their own. But there was an internal war between my body and my mind. I feared which one might win.
“I cannot speak for you, Mr. Hawthorne, but I can speak for myself. I’m not in the least bit physically attracted to you.”
“You lie so well, Paige, among your many other talents.” He winked at me and smiled before reaching to take my hand into his.
I refused to let him see me sweat. So, no matter how much I wanted to take a sip of wine or turn away from him, I stared him down and refused to remove my hand right away. “What makes you say that?” I counted to twenty in my mind before removing my hand from his.
“I see how your heartbeat has increased. I noted the change of your breathing, the way your hair is plastering to your temples slightly, and the way your eyes keep jumping while you try to control them.”
This man had me pegged. But what good would I be if I didn’t refute him?
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. My heartbeat has increased, because I’m angry at you for lying to me. For tricking me into this charade of a dinner.”
“You could’ve left at any moment, but you chose not to. Your breathing changed, because you were taking deep breaths, trying to control the emotions and not allow your angst to overwhelm you. Your hair is lying against your temples, because you’re heated. Yet, it’s cool in here. I know when a woman desires me, Paige. And you…desire me.”
“You’re an arrogant ass. You know that?”
“No, Paige, I’m simply confident.
About the Author:
Women's fiction author and blogger, Chelle Ramsey lives in the metro Atlanta area with her husband and three children. Chelle wants readers to become empowered to rise above life's adversities, with faith in the Almighty God, and belief in themselves. She hosts the annual 20 Days of Love authors’ blogging campaign, March Madness authors’ giveaways campaign, and showcases other authors on her blog at . Her novels can be found online at .
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: July 1, 2018
About The Book
About The Author
Excerpt from Chapter 6
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Sharon Lindsay is a woman who reads the Bible and sees the drama of the ancient stories like vivid movies rolling across her mind. She is the author of the 5-book Son of God Series, a writer who grounds her fast-paced fictionalized account of the life of Jesus in Biblical studies, historical research, and personal experience. Her own experiences, the times when heaven has supernaturally stepped into her life, allow her to write this Biblical story with the authority of someone who has come face to face with the spiritual forces of Good and Evil. Sharon is a graduate of Washington Adventist University (formerly Columbia Union College). She is a retired teacher with 37 years of classroom experience, elementary through middle school. As a retiree, she continues to teach in the church setting and has found that both adults and teenagers who read The Son of God Series are captivated by her fresh and relatable retelling of the Gospel account. She is an active member of a Messianic Jewish Congregation.
Title of Book: The Son of God Series, Book 1: Unto Us
About The Book
Sets up the power-struggle between God and Satan. The sweet Christmas story? No, this is the story of a young Jewish couple unexpectedly thrust into the cosmic war between Good and Evil. They have been entrusted with the life of heaven’s king and Earth’s savior. How will they survive? Amazon
Title of Book: The Son of God Series, Book 2: This is My Son
About The Book
In Book 2, This is My Son the supernatural conflict between Good and Evil continues to focus on the boy Jesus. Satan manipulates people and events but is not allowed to directly attack during Jesus’ developmental years. Throughout this period, the Kingdom of the Evil One continually engineers the circumstances of life hoping to bring confusion, fear and rejection into the life of God’s son, the one chosen to bring salvation to humanity. When the men of Nazareth become involved with the Galilean, Jesus watches the father of his best friend die on a cross. Through the confusion of those years, Father God and Joseph guide Jesus into his true identity, Son of Heaven and Son of Earth destined to die for humanity. Amazon
Title of Book: The Son of God Series, Book 3: Prepare the Way
About The Book
In Book 3, Prepare the Way the major characters in the Biblical narrative are called on stage: John the Baptist, the disciples, Pilate, Herod Antipas and others. The intrigue of Rome clashes with life in a land governed by the Law of Moses. John the Baptist runs afoul of the ruler of Galilee and Pilate must back down after taking a tough stance with the Sanhedrin. In the Judean wilderness Satan tries to end the mission of Jesus before his ministry begins. In this book, Jesus moves from small-town carpenter to well-known rabbi, scandalously infamous in Jerusalem and faithfully followed in the countryside. Amazon
Monday, July 23, 2018
HELP MAKE A POP-UP BOOKSTORE!
We've been selling books at comic cons, art festivals, and outdoor markets since 2010. It's time to embrace a new kind of bookstore, so we're building one.
Crimson Melodies Pub. is a small press that features speculative fiction with a dark or thrilling twist. Most of our heroes are flawed, and all of them will capture your attention. We've been publishing more than a book a year since 2009, ranging from dark urban fantasy to romantic suspense to historical fantasy with magical elements.
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform tailored for all sorts of creative projects. Creators offer rewards as a way to form a community and gather support for the project that they're working on. Our Kickstarter is about creating a pop-up bookstore. We're offering rewards as simple as a digital download of a short-story collection from our authors, to custom created artwork of the main characters in two of our published series. There's also bookmarks, stickers, and our entire catalog of books up for grabs.
Come find out how to get your next favorite summer read, or pick up a new favorite bookmark and stickers to decorate your tablet, phone, or e-reader. Plus you get to help make our new pop-up bookstore really come to life.
Crimson Melodies Publishing - an independent small press for speculative fiction. We sell our books both digitally and in print, and one of the ways we reach readers is by exhibiting at conventions like comic con.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Date Published: June 2017
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Read Juan Pablo and the Butterflies Before It Comes Out On The Big Screen!!
Juan Pablo, a brilliant classical violinist, lives in El Rosario, Mexico’s Butterfly sanctuary. His grandmother Elena is the local medicine woman. The story opens with a bang: a group of narco-traffickers have posted banners signaling a takeover of their town. El Rosario is turned into a ghost town, but Juan Pablo must remain, as his grandmother has fallen gravely ill. His best friend Rocio and her grandfather (who owns the local cantina) stay as well, to help Juan Pablo care for the woman they all love. Just before Elena dies, she makes a startling announcement: she tells Juan Pablo it is time for him to follow the migration of the butterflies north--up through Baja into the United States and all the way to Pacific Grove, CA, another butterfly sanctuary, where, she promises, someone will be waiting for him.
Who this is becomes one of the mysteries fueling the novel.
After shooting up the town, the droguistas take over the cantina, demanding food and discovering Rocio hiding in the upstairs apartment. Juan Pablo must save his best friend and the love of his life. In desperation he uses one of his abuela’s poisons and inadvertently kills eight men. An epic chase begins, one that puts Juan Pablo and Rocio in constant danger on the ever so suspenseful and exciting journey north. Did I mention the story rips beginning to end?
A strong spiritual element is woven throughout the narrative, emerging as Elena’s unique, wise and sometimes comical understanding of the world guides our two heroes on the treacherous journey north. The spiritual element provides a strong counterpoint to the devastation, violence and ruined lives brought by the drug cartels operations on both sides of the border.
Praise for Juan Pablo and the Butterflies:
"The novel delves into a variety of hardships … the content is powerful. Flowers delivers a … touching contemporary novel that is … relevant in its treatment of drug-trafficking, immigration, and human rights issues.” (Kirkus Reviews)
In the otherwise quiet butterfly sanctuary of El Rosario, Mexico, Juan Pablo (JP), a thoughtful teen who loves playing his violin, recognizes the sound of drug traffickers that have taken over his town. His abuela, a doctor and naturalist, lies on her deathbed, from which she directs him to follow the butterflies’ migration to Pacific Grove, California. First, though, JP takes desperate measures to save his dearest friend, Rocio, from his town’s violent drug dealers. His actions yield a more dangerous result than anticipated, and JP must use his talent, wit, and abuela’s sage words to get himself and Rocio to safety. A thrilling series of events ensue that keep the reader wondering if the teens will make it to California alive. An abundance of heart-pounding action makes this a page-turner that adroitly deals with immigration, drug trafficking, and human rights issues. The story’s violence is offset by remembered conversations with abuela—both amusing and insightful—and the tender relationship between two young adults who have spent their lives together. (Booklist May 15, 2017)
Machine gun fire!
Juan Pablo cracked open the door of his modest home, and peered down the darkened street. The bratatat sounded louder than the blaring music and a furious rev of engines. Like a hammer to glass, the onslaught of noise destroyed the quiet of the butterfly sanctuary. Headlights swept El Rosario’s plaza as several trucks and an SUV circled the cobble stone square. Armed men hung off the side of the trucks and the relentless barrage of their machine guns filled the star-filled night.
Narco-traffickers. Here in El Rosario, home to a billion Monarch Butterflies and the two dozen families who loved them.
Juan Pablo slammed the brightly painted front door with the rainbow colored “Welcome!” sign. For the first time in his life, he found the rusty old lock and bolted it. He rushed to switch off the lamp at his abuela’s bedside before collapsing to the floor. He finished his ninth desperate text to the Novedades de México, the major newspaper for Mexico City.
Help! Narco-traffickers are shooting up the plaza in El Rosario. No one is left but our neighbors Mario and Rocio Ruiz and my abuela, Dr. Elena Venesa. She is unconscious with a fever--we need a doctor. Please send help
After hitting send, he texted Rocio who was hiding in the Cantina:
Juan Pablo: They’re here.
Juan Pablo: Can u get here?
Rocio: Too late. Under the bed. Scared. Praying. You? Elena?
Juan Pablo: Same. She is so still…
Rocio: Abuelo will request an ambulance for her.
Juan Pablo: Be safe Rocio. Don’t come out until they are gone. Promise me.
Rocio: I promise.
Juan Pablo stared with horror at his shaking hands. His violinist’s fingers, long, calloused, agile and strong, had never failed him before. He clasped them tight, and made his way to to the door to listen.
Last week a large black, red and white banner, sporting a menacing el Diablo with sinister eyes and a leering grin stretched across the sole road into their sleepy town. This was how the drug cartel marked a territory and warned the people that the police could not protect them now. The tourists had departed with most of the butterflies nearly a month before. Of the locals, everyone with relatives in Mexico City, Guadalajara or anywhere with a larger population and so somewhat safer, had packed up and left. Everyone promised to send help back to save the old lady they all loved, but no help ever came. No ambulance dared pass these murderous gangs.
Machine gun fire cracked like thunder and lightning into the sky.
Would Rocio be safe under the bed?
Born auspiciously one year, one month, one day apart from him, Rocio was his best friend in this life. (Even though she was bossy and they spent half the time arguing with each other, “like two puppies rough housing,” his abuela said more than once, “You Juan Pablo, such a know it all and Rocio always so bossy, this great cosmic dance between you two is hilarious already…) He closed his eyes, conjuring Rocio’s waist length dark hair and bright, teasing eyes, her skinny legs, and big feet.
Rocio’s uncle in La Peñita de Jaltemba, just north of Puerto Vallarta, begged them to leave before it was too late, but both Mario and Rocio had refused. They would not leave either him or his abuela. “Even if my abuelo could bear to lose the Cantina to the banditos, how could we possibly leave Elena and you, JP?”
Mario had agreed with his granddaughter. “Elena saved my beautiful wife’s life. She saw my daughter into this world and then Leonardo and Rocio. She taught Leonardo all she knows about the herbs and potions and helped him become a doctor too, bless her.” Rocio’s mother worked as a nurse in Arizona, helping to pay for Leonardo’s medical school in Puerto Rico and she was now very close to becoming a US citizen. “We owe everything to Elena, we all do,” Mario added. “Besides, Rocio would never forgive me if anything happened to you, Juan Pablo.”
You could sometimes reason with these modern day monsters, Mario had heard. Wasn’t it rumored that they sometimes paved a road or built a school or gave money to an orphanage? Mario planned to beg them to let an ambulance through for an old woman. “We will pay whatever they ask. Even the worse banditos would not let an abuela die for no good reason. And since no one is here but us and the butterflies, they will soon tire of El Rosario and be gone.”
Just keep Rocio safe. They wouldn’t hurt her, would they?
She was just a girl, only fourteen.
The relentless gunfire and booming music snatched the hope, replacing it with an escalating fear as he thought of the hundreds of stories of the narco-traffickers brutality and viciousness. “Like a deadly virus consuming my beloved country,” his abuela had shaken her head helplessly, knowing no medicine of magic with which to save Mexico from this terrible plague. Everyone had at least one relative, often more, who had lost their life’s savings, died, disappeared, or lived in fear of dying and disappearing. This army of the devil shot people for no reason anyone knew, and like demons from hell, they often tortured them first. They were known to disappear whole families, killing those police that they couldn’t bribe, and taking over whole towns before stealing everyone’s money. They recruited boys even younger than him, forcing them to rob, hide drugs, kill, or be killed. His abuela always imagined El Rosario, their tiny portion of paradise was at least safe, that the mountains and the butterflies themselves would always protect them. But this was not so anymore.
The gunfire and rev of engines abruptly ceased.
Unlatching the rusty lock, Juan Pablo cautiously cracked the door an inch in order to better hear. A man shouted orders, his loud demands rose above the noise of drunken laughter. Tajo, Rocio’s dog, barked frantically at the commotion.
Gunfire sounded again, followed by Tajo’s surprised yelp.
“No, no. Dios Mio.” Mario cried out, this barely audible. “Tajo. Tajo.”
Juan Pablo brows drew a sharp line above his green eyes.
Did they shoot Tajo? Why would they shot a little dog?
Sweet, friendly Tajo, their town’s mascot, Tajo whose wagging tail greeted the tourist buses, who followed them up to the meadow in the afternoons, Tajo who loved his violin’s music, Mario’s left over uchepos, and Rocio’s gentle hands. If they killed a small dog, what else could they do? Would they let an ambulance through to aid an old lady? Would they leave a young girl unharmed?
The answer ricocheted through his mind, but how could he stop them? He was just a teenager, tall maybe, but skinny too. He had no gun, power, and worse, no courage. He might love superheroes, but he was not one of them. All he knew was music and books; he was the exact opposite of an action hero.
He shut the door again, bolting it again.
His gaze found his abuela’s stilled form on the small cot.
How could the old woman fall ill now, when they needed her most?
About the Author
Most of JJ Flowers' published books are historical romance novels (Avon Books, Zebra Books,) many of which actually won awards and one of these awards was almost considered prestigious. She finally stopped being able to write these novels when she began having fantasies of killing off her heroines—in really dreadful ways. Her screenplays have been optioned at Warner Bros., Julian Krainin Productions, Bright Light Pictures among others; She suspects she holds the record for most amount of options! Two of her screenplays have received excellent coverage: The Good Fight, Clarence Darrow’s most compelling case where he successfully defended an African American physician who was falsely accused of murder and a two part miniseries Harriet Tubman: Let My People Go. As the world confronts the refugee and immigration crisis, Juan Pablo showed up to share his story, one that she thinks can offer hope for everyone.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
New Adult Sci-Fi
Date Published: May 14, 2018
A science Fiction novel tangled in the psychology of being human and the vulnerability of an unconventional Love story
Grace was born a storyteller with a beautifully brilliant mind. Trauma twisted her reality into its own tale of darkness. Now, at eighteen, Grace has found herself on the shores of a shadow world created to heal a generation. A world whose purpose is to release our emotions from the bonds of youth.
But she is not alone. It's a world inhabited by others, those working on their own hearts and one other like herself. An amazing and yet afflicted empath and musician by the name of Kai that Grace feels inexplicably drawn to.
Will she be able to handle the suppressed memories of her youth? Accept the vulnerability necessary to explore her own heart and that of another? Fulfill the true purpose it seems she is destined to serve?
Come along with Grace as she learns to uncover her past, harness her gift, open her heart to love and embrace her future.
It was just like Sen had said it would be. All of a sudden, she just knew it was here. It felt like time was catching up to itself so she could be hurled back into her own world. Grace knew that there was no stopping it. She had just a few moments before all of the knowledge of this place would leave her, the Love, the Magic, the Pain, the Boy.
Her heart, even though it had been Uncovered and glistened with the essence of pure emotion, began to break. A small and life-altering crack edged along the perimeter. It made a quiet rolling gesture along the surface of her heart and then as time found its trail of breadcrumbs back home, the crack made for the center. It struck with the force of lightning. All it left in its wake was a single Love letter. A song he sang to her playing over and over again filling the void where her memory once was.
When she opened her eyes, she was alone in her bathroom again. The knife she held so long ago, was lying lifeless in the sink and all she could do was hum a strangely familiar tune, though she wasn’t sure where she had heard it before.
About the Author
Jocelyn Bates is a homeschooling mama to three and an arts therapist. She lives in NJ and writes in the elusive quiet that settles in the earliest of hours.