Humanity’s Hope by Pembroke Sinclair #CoverReveal @PembrokeSinclai @lolasblogtours

Today is the cover reveal for Humanity’s Hope by Pembroke Sinclair. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

Humanity's HopeHumanity’s Hope (Saving Humanity #1)
by Pembroke Sinclair
Genre: Zombie
Age category: Young Adult

Blurb:
Caleb, a 17-year-old boy, survived the zombie uprising, but he didn’t come out of the ordeal unscathed. He’s been scarred—both mentally and physically. The rest of humanity is trying to rebuild, to make the world normal again. Caleb is trying to return to a normal life also, but after all he’s seen, after the loss of his family and friends, the transition is difficult. The darkness that led him down a path of self-doubt and self-harm keeps trying to creep back into his mind.

Things only become worse when he discovers he’s immune to whatever makes a zombie a zombie. Fighting zombies was predictable. He knew what to expect. Fighting humans is volatile. They are malicious and treacherous. They won’t stop to get what they want, and Caleb has to figure out exactly what that is.

*Trigger warning: attempted suicide

You can find Humanity’s Hope on Goodreads

Excerpt:
Caleb’s extremities tingled with adrenaline, his footsteps thumped rhythmically on the hard, dry ground. He sucked in long gasps of air, but his lungs still burned for oxygen. He caught glimpses of the other two out of the corner of his eyes. The undead drew nearer. Their arms outstretched, waiting to snag their prey. Caleb zig-zagged across the field. He ducked under a pair of arms, then shouldered a zombie out of the way. Its bones crunched against his shoulder, teeth gnashed close to his ear, driving him forward with more urgency. The house grew larger with every step he took. Almost there.

A short yip followed by a grunt sounded behind him. He risked a glance over his shoulder. Len stumbled then fell. Caleb’s heart leapt into his throat. He skidded to a stop, turning to help his friend. Caleb was about to step toward Len, but he was stopped in his tracks. The action caused him to lose his balance. His arms flailed through the air to keep Caleb from falling over. An incessant, strong tugging kept him from moving forward. He turned to see Nina jerking on his backpack. Her eyes were wide and glistening with tears. She bit her bottom lip and shook her head violently. Caleb glanced again at Len, who reached for Caleb, his mouth open in a silent plea, tears running down his cheeks. Caleb reached toward him. Len’s plea turned into a scream as a zombie bit into his calf. A dark ring of blood stained his jeans and grew larger. Another zombie latched onto the fingers of his extended hand. The crunch as it bit through his bones rattled in Caleb’s skull. He pulled his hand into his chest.

Caleb turned at that point. There was nothing more he could do. His sister grabbed his wrist, and they ran into the house. They took the stairs two at a time and headed into a bedroom on the right. After closing the door, they scanned the area, checking under the bed and in the closet. Clear. His sister collapsed face first onto the bed. From the way her body shook, Caleb could tell she was crying. He leaned back until his pack connected with the door. His legs gave out, and he slid to the floor. Pulling his knees to his chest, he wrapped his arms around his head and tried to disappear into himself.

And then there were two.

Pembroke SinclairAbout the Author:
I am an editor by day and a zombie-killer by night (at least in my books). Since the first time I watched Night of the Living Dead, I have been obsessed with zombies and I often think of ways to survive the uprising.

I have written YA novels about zombies and the tough teens who survive the apocalyptic world, along with adult novels in the sci fi and fantasy genres. I have also written kids’ books under the pen name J.D. Pooker.

I have written nonfiction stories for Serial Killer Magazine and published a book about slasher films called Life Lessons from Slasher Films under my real name.

For more information, please check out my blog at pembrokesinclair.blogspot.com or email me at pembrokesinclair[at]hotmail[dot]com.

You can find and contact Pembroke here:
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

The Pine Forest by Michelle Dare #BookTour @OnceUponAnAlpha @michelle_dare

One touch, one spark, two lives forever changed.

Pine and Azure. The war between the two kingdoms lasted far too long. Peace was finally established, but the survivors would never forget who fought on the front lines. Oliver Sage had a reputation for being a ruthless knight. He’d seen enough death to last a lifetime and worked on putting the past behind him, although not all would let him forget.

Addison was the only daughter of King and Queen Azure. With three brothers, she knew she’d always be protected, but she also wanted to learn how to take care of herself. She was strong, had a good heart, and wanted to be treated as an equal. Magical abilities ran in her family, and she had one no one knew of.

Oliver had given his heart to one princess, until the night he dreamed of another. Addison was the last woman he should desire, especially given who she was. However, what if she wanted him as well? They’d hated each other their entire lives, but suddenly couldn’t resist the desire which built between them. There were also those who didn’t think they should be together. Forbidden romance could only stay hidden for so long in the dark depths of the Pine Forest.

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Book One

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Michelle Dare is a romance author. Her stories range from sweet to sinful and from new adult to fantasy. There aren’t enough hours in the day for her to write all of the story ideas in her head. When not writing or reading, she’s a wife and mom living in eastern Pennsylvania. One day she hopes to be writing from a beach where she will never have to see snow or be cold again.

I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White #ReleaseBlast @elle_k_writes

 

Inside the Book:

 

Title: Heartstone
Author: Elle Katharine White
Release Date: January 17, 2017
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Historical Fantasy 

A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride & Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms.They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

Elle Katharine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wondrously unique new world.

BUY HERE:

Meet the Author:

Elle was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, where she learned valuable life skills like how to clear a snowy driveway in under twenty minutes (a lot easier than you think) and how to cheer for the perennial underdog (a lot harder than you think).
MEET ELLE
When she’s not writing she spends her time reading, drinking absurd amounts of tea, having strong feelings about fictional characters, and doing her best to live with no regrets.
Connect with her on Facebook at @ellewhite.author, or witness the hilarious spectacle that is a writer contending with the 140-character limit on Twitter at @elle_k_writes.
Website | Twitter |Tumblr | Facebook | Goodreads
CONNECT WITH ELLE: WEBSITE|TWITTER|TUMBLR|FACEBOOK|GOODREADS

——————

Tour Schedule

Monday, January 23
Book featured at Rolopolobookblog
Book featured at Queen of All She ReadsTuesday, January 24
Book featured at E-Romance News

Wednesday, January 25
Book featured at CBY Book Club

Thursday, January 26
Book reviewed at RhiReading

Friday, January 27
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Book reviewed at Blooming with Books
Book reviewed at Books Are Love
Book featured at I Smell Sheep

________
Monday, January 30
Book reviewed at I’m Shelf-ishTuesday, January 31
Book featured at A Book Lover

Wednesday, February 1
Book featured at The Dark Phantom

Thursday, February 2
Book featured at Write and Take Flight

Friday, February 3
Book featured at A Title Wave

________

I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

SOULMATED by Jennifer Bardsley #ReleaseDay @shaila_writes #Soulmated #Month9Squad #Month9Books #ownvoices

 

I am so
excited that SOULMATED by Shaila
Patel releases today and that I get to share the news!
If you
haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Shaila Patel, be sure to
check out all the details below.

 

 
This blitz
also includes a giveaway for a
Perfectly Posh, Posh To Meet You Set ($20 value),
US Only courtesy of Month9Books
. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the
bottom of this post.
 
Title: SOULMATED
(Joining of Souls #1)
Author: Shaila
Patel
Pub. Date: January 24,
2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 300
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD
Two souls. One Fate.
Eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan, an Irish royal empath, has been searching
for his elusive soulmate. The rare union will cement his family’s standing in
empath politics and afford the couple legendary powers, while also making them
targets of those seeking to oust them.
Laxshmi Kapadia, an Indian-American high school student from a
traditional family, faces her mother’s ultimatum: Graduate early and go to
medical school, or commit to an arranged marriage.
When Liam moves next door to Laxshmi, he’s immediately and inexplicably
drawn to her. In Liam, Laxshmi envisions a future with the freedom to follow
her heart.
Liam’s father isn’t convinced Laxshmi is “The One” and
Laxshmi’s mother won’t even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. Will
Liam and Laxshmi defy expectations and embrace a shared destiny? Or is the risk
of choosing one’s own fate too great a price for the soulmated?
Excerpt:
 
My mind wandered to a vision of what Laxshmi’s eyes would look like if I
kissed her. It caught me by surprise, making me cough. Grand. Now I was the one
with the concentration problem. If I kept this up, I’d have a hard time
blocking out my classmates’ feelings. I stretched my legs a bit and tugged at
my jeans. Jaysus.
 
Was I thirteen again?
 
Keeping other people’s emotions out of my head was like blocking calls on
my mobile. Normally, most empaths had about a ten- to twenty-foot reading
range, so it wasn’t too taxing on me, having been an empath since childhood.
Unless my concentration was shot to hell, blocking was as simple as breathing.
Soon, staying open to Lucky meant she’d have her own ringtone in my head, and
I’d be able to lock on to her feelings without having to do anything at all.
 
When the class bell rang, Lucky bent to pick up a small pile of textbooks
from the floor. I hoped she wasn’t one of those geeks who carried her books
around with her all day. Then again, maybe she was avoiding her locker because
of me. The thought left me frowning.
 
As she got ready to leave, I waited for her. “Going to your locker?” I
pointed at her books.
 
Her surprise came over to me in a gentler ripple than had her other
emotions. The gentleness reminded me of a calm day on Galway Bay—the sand,
small waves nipping at my toes, and the sun, glorious on my back. The surprise
felt like a warm ocean spray I hadn’t been expecting.
 
“Yeah,” she said with a sheepish grin.
 
“Brilliant. I’m heading there too.”
 
She bit back a smile, her excitement feeling like a frothy surf tickling
my toes.
 
When we approached the door, she rushed to catch it before it shut,
almost dropping her books. Most girls would’ve stood back and waited for me to
make a dash to open it, making sure I was being attentive. Lucky didn’t seem to
want any such nonsense, and I felt a bit off, like I’d put my trainers on the
wrong feet. I couldn’t shake the feeling of being in unchartered waters.
 
She stepped to the side and held the door open for me—for me—and I had to
dive forward to help her steady the load of books threatening to fall.
 
“Here,” I said. “I’ll help you carry these—”
 
“No. I mean, that’s okay. You’ve got your own to carry.”
 
I sensed a genuine concern from her, as if she were afraid to be imposing
on me, not something I’d been expecting. I stepped closer, meaning to convince
her to let me help, but then her eyes snapped up and met mine. The softness and
sincerity in them froze me to the spot. Lighter and more vibrant than the other
brown eyes I’d forced myself to stare into—all in the name of being romantic—
her eyes drew me in like a kaleidoscope, with amber and black flecks peppering
her irises. A soft gasp escaped her lips, and I understood how she felt. With
each blink of her long eyelashes, it felt like an eternity before I’d see her
eyes again. I had a strange urge to brush my finger over the tips of her
lashes.
 
I swallowed against the dryness in my throat. “I–I just have one book. In
my bag.” Jaysus Christ. What is she doing to me? I couldn’t get sucked in. I
wouldn’t. If I expected anything, it’d only turn into another disappointment.
 
 
About Shaila:

 

As an unabashed lover of all things happily-ever- after, Shaila’s younger
self would finish reading Cinderella and fling her copy across the room because
it didn’t mention what happened next. Now she writes from her home in the
Carolinas and dreams up all sorts of stories with epilogues. A member of the
Romance Writers of America, she’s a pharmacist by training, a medical office
manager by day, and a writer by night. She enjoys traveling, craft beer, and
teas, and loves reading books—especially in cozy window seats. You might find
her sneaking in a few paragraphs at a red light or connecting with other
readers online at: www.shailapatelauthor.com
Find Shaila:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Giveaway
Details:
(1) winner will receive a Perfectly Posh, Posh To Meet You Set ($20
value), US Only.
(10) winners will receive a SOULMATED Swag Pack, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

THE TICK TOCK MAN by R.M. Clark #CoverReveal @vandalrmc #FridayReveals #Month9Squad #Month9Books



Today R.M. Clark and Month9Books are
revealing the cover and first chapter for THE TICK TOCK MAN which releases May
2, 2017! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers
to receive a eGalley!!


A quick note from the author:

 

 


The Tick Tock Man is my
first foray into the world of speculative fiction. Here in New England, we are
fortunate to have many wonderful clocks around. We have clocks in church
steeples, parks, above banks and other locations. My idea for this story came from
a simple “what if”. What if there were a community of “clock
people” who kept all these great clocks running? Furthermore, what could
go wrong? Then I made something go wrong and the story “clicked.” The
Tick Tock Man takes place primarily in this fictional clock world, but the
issues, conflicts and resolutions are not unlike those in the real world.

 

 
Title: THE
TICK TOCK MAN
Author: R.M. Clark
Pub. Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: TantrumBooks
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 237
Find it: Goodreads
|
Amazon | B&N | TBD
When the clocks in town stop,
thirteen-year-old CJ discovers an unusual “clock world” where most of
the citizens are clock parts, tasked with keeping the big clocks running. But
soon the seemingly peaceful world is divided between warring factions with CJ instructed
to find the only person who can help: the elusive Tick Tock Man.

With the aid of Fuzee, a partly-human
girl, he battles gear-headed extremists and razor-sharp pendulums in order to
restore order before this world of chimes, springs, and clock people dissolves
into a massive time warp, taking CJ’s quiet New England town with it.

 

Excerpt

Chapter OneSomething wasn’t right.

I’d planned on sleeping in Thanksgiving morning because, hey, it was Thanksgiving, and that meant no school and no stupid alarm to wake me up. Well, that was the plan.

At precisely eight a.m., the clock sitting a mere two feet from my head wailed.

Thunka thunka thunka thunka.

Stupid clock. That wasn’t even a real alarm sound. It was just an invented strange noise to annoy me. I checked the buttons on top. No alarm set and no radio. Maybe it was a dream? Just to be sure, I gave the clock a good whack.

All was well. Back to sleep.

Bonka bonka bonka bonka.

Now it was nine o’clock. I sat up and grabbed the clock with every intention of tossing it against the back wall. What a pleasure it would have been to see it smash into a million pieces. I win!

But, this clock was a birthday present from Uncle Artie. He’d said it was “a special clock for a special kid.” I didn’t like being called “special” because that had a different meaning at school. But it was a cool clock.

Until now. I mean, what kind of noise was that? Certainly not the alarm sound I was used to.

I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t help but wonder what crazy not-real-clock noise Uncle Artie’s “special” clock would make next. So I got out of bed.

Since it was Thanksgiving, I was not at all surprised to see my mom up and in the kitchen. The turkey was on the counter in a large pan. Her arm was halfway up the turkey’s you-know-what. Not what I wanted to see this early in the morning, thank you very much.

“Good morning,” Mom said. “You’re up early.”

“Couldn’t sleep.” I wanted to mention the special-but-stupid clock that made strange noises at weird times, but she had grabbed another handful of stuffing and stuffed it “up there.”

“We’ll need a few guest chairs from the basement when you get a chance. Nana and Papa are coming over, of course. Plus Grandma and Grandpa Boyce. And Uncle Artie too.”

“Sure thing, Mom.” I was barely awake and she was already asking me to do math. Nobody was coming over for quite a while, so I wouldn’t need the, let’s see, two-plus-two-plus-one chairs for several hours. I had tons of time.

What better way to spend it than on the couch watching TV? It would probably be the most fun I would have all day, with both sets of grandparents coming over. It was annoying enough that they had different titles: “Nana and Papa” on the Barnes side, “Grandma and Grandpa” on the Boyce side.

Then there was Uncle Artie. He wasn’t really an uncle but that’s what we always called him. I’ve also heard him called a “distant cousin,” whatever that means. He said his job as an “importer” took him around the world to some pretty exotic places such as Vienna and Timbuktu and South America. No matter what faraway land he went to, he almost always brought us back a clock. We had wooden clocks, metal clocks, cuckoo clocks, and some that were just too odd to describe. Mom would open a package from him and say, “Hey, look. It’s a clock. Imagine that.”

Each clock came with a wonderful story, so my parents loved to get them for just that reason. Unfortunately, both of them hated having all those clocks, with their constant ticking and chiming, so we kept them stashed away in the spare room upstairs until Uncle Artie came to visit. And since he was on his way, I sat up, knowing what was coming next. In three … two … one.

“CJ! Your Uncle Artie’s coming over, so you’ll need to set the clocks out.” Mom could sure belt it out when she needed to.

I knew the drill. I went to the spare room, pulled the special box out of the closet, and lugged it down the stairs. The crescent moon clock went in the living room, replacing a family portrait, which was fine with me since I looked like a dork in that picture, anyway. There was a special cuckoo clock for the bathroom that was pretty cool. The doors on the upper level opened at the top of the hour, revealing either a boy dancer or girl dancer. I set the correct time and adjusted the weights at the end of a long chain to keep the gears going. Six clocks later, I had completed the task, finishing it off in Dad’s basement shop with a clock made from a circular saw blade.

Uncle Artie’s favorite saying was, “You can never have too many clocks.” On this Thanksgiving Day, it was certainly true, even though I was sure my parents would disagree. Not me. Although I never paid a lot of attention to the clocks, I felt something strange as I took each one from the box and hung it in its rightful spot. The crescent moon clock had two huge eyes, one on the crescent side and the other on the orange side that completed the circle. The eyes were painted on but I swear they followed me as I moved around the room.

I double-checked the time on the cuckoo clock in the bathroom and admired the details in it. The entire clock was a house from a German village, with people dressed in lederhosen on the lower level. Lucky for me it was the top of the hour and the clock chimed, revealing the bird from a door at the top and children dancing in the two small doors just below it. Why hadn’t I noticed that before? What awesome detail!

I completed the clock replacement task, storing the non-clock items in the same box and returning it to the spare bedroom. That practically wore me out, so it was back to the couch. The smell from the great stuff Mom was cooking drifted into the room, reminding me I hadn’t eaten yet.

“I made you some scrambled eggs.” Mom smiled as I entered the kitchen.

“Thanks. I’m starving.”

She held out a plate then pulled it back, still smiling. “Just as soon as you bring up the chairs from the basement.”

This wasn’t fair, but it was the second time she’d asked. The third time would not be as charmed. On my way to the basement, I realized my early morning math was wrong. There were four chairs already in the dining room, so I only needed four more. I could easily get them all in one trip.

I passed Dad’s shop right at 10:30 and the heard the blade clock begin to make noise. I turned on the shop light to get a good look and, sure enough, the blade was slowly turning. Clockwise, not surprisingly. Even stranger was that the numbers never moved as the blade turned. A few seconds later, it stopped and went back to normal. Another clock I had never paid much attention to was suddenly freaking out. I hurried back upstairs with two chairs on each arm.

I got my scrambled eggs, finally.

***

At 11:00, things got even weirder. Dad was up by now, sitting in front of his computer, but that wasn’t the weird part. When the hour struck, the crescent moon clock made a strange clicking noise, and those crazy eyes began to wink at me. The painted-on lips between the four and eight went from a Mona Lisa smile to a full-blown grin. I wanted to say something to Mom or Dad, but who would believe me? I went into the bathroom, and the boy and girl dancers in the German village twirled next to each other while the bird stayed home. This was quickly moving into “bizarre” territory. It didn’t help when my watch—another gift from Uncle Artie—started chiming a sound I had never heard before. I took it off and stuffed it in my pocket. Problem solved.

***

I played video games in the back room, trying my best not to look at or listen to any of the suddenly crazy clocks in the house. It was working too, as I finished off another level of Mortal Warfare IV.

“CJ,” my mom called. “Please set the table.”

“Okay. Just one more level.” I sat up as the battle intensified.

“Now would be better. They’ll be here in less than an hour to watch the football game.”

“I’m on it.” I made it past the gatekeeper to complete the level, which allowed me to save my spot in the game.

I grabbed plates and set them out on the table. I took one plate and placed it on the TV tray next to the window. That’s where I would sit. The rule was: adults at the big table and kids somewhere else. Sometimes it was a card table when my cousins showed up. Since I was the only kid this year, I would have to settle for a TV tray.

My mom’s cell phone rang, and she talked with the phone squeezed against her shoulder as she mixed something in a large bowl. She stopped mid-mix and put the bowl down. “I’m sorry to hear that.” Her voice was all serious. She walked out of the room before I could hear any more of it.

I returned to my table-setting duties, grabbing forks, knives, and napkins. The smell of turkey and all the fixings hit me hard as I placed the silverware around the table. Maybe all this work would be worth it. I took another whiff. Maybe.

Mom returned to the kitchen, put the phone down, and stopped stirring.

“Mom, you okay?”

She looked up at me with moist eyes. “Uncle Artie is in the hospital and can’t make it for Thanksgiving. He hasn’t missed one since your dad and I have been married.” She dabbed her eyes with her apron. “Fortunately, it’s nothing serious and my parents are heading there right now, so they can’t make it until the weekend. I’d better go tell your father. Looks like we’ll only need five plates at the table.”

No Nana and Papa Barnes? No Uncle Artie? I truly hoped Uncle Artie was okay, but this was my big chance to sit at the head of the table, something I’ve always wanted to do. The head chair was bigger and had arms, and it felt like a throne. Uncle Artie always got the honors while I was stuck with the TV tray under the window.

I followed Mom out to the garage where Dad was cleaning out the van, getting it ready for our traditional late-afternoon drive. Dad didn’t seem too bummed to hear the news about Uncle Artie or his in-laws. He barely looked up as he polished the dashboard. “Yeah, well, sorry to hear about Uncle Artie. He’s never down for very long.”

The time was right to pounce. “Mom? Dad?”

Dad turned toward me and nearly bumped his head on the visor. “Yes?”

“I wish Uncle Artie was coming today, I really do.” I tried my best to act like I was crying. It must have worked because I felt my throat tightening. “His are some tough shoes to fill, but I bet he’d want me to sit in his spot at the head of table. After all, he gave me this watch for my birthday last year.” I pulled it out of my pocket to show them. “And we have the same middle name and everything.” I, Carlton James Boyce, was merely guessing at his middle name, hoping neither of my parents knew the truth. “Please? I think I’ve earned it.”

Neither of them thought about it for too long. “It’s all yours, kid,” Dad said as he leaned on the roof of the van.

“Remember your manners at the table,” Mom said. “Uncle Artie would want it that way.”

Manners? Oh, please. Uncle Artie smoked a lot, drank a lot, and sometimes swore a lot. In spite of all that, he was my favorite relative. Over the years, besides the watches and clocks, he had given me several toy cars, baseball cards, stuffed animals, and even a five-dollar bill. These gifts were always “our little secret.” Plus, he told the greatest stories.

Grandma and Grandpa Boyce arrived a little later, and each gave me a quick hug. It’s a terrible thing to say, and I know I’m supposed to love my grandparents without question, but Mom’s parents—the “good ones” who actually liked me—weren’t coming. If Mom and Dad ever found out I felt that way, I’d be grounded for a month—Dad’s typical punishment.

Dad and Grandpa went to the living room to watch the game while the women got the food prepared. I tried to help, but I mostly got in the way.

Everything was ready just before two o’clock, and I grabbed the spot at the head of the table, with Grandma and Grandpa to my right and Mom and Dad to my left. Everyone sat down except Grandpa. He placed his hands on the table and leaned toward my dad.

“I guess this doesn’t rate as a special occasion, eh, George?”

“How’s that, Pop?” Dad said.

“The Hoffhalder. It’s a Thanksgiving tradition, isn’t it?”

“You bet it is.”

The Hoffhalder was a large mantle clock that sat in the corner of the dining room on what mom called the buffet. The Hoffhalder had been in the family for decades, and Dad would only wind it on special occasions. Uncle Artie always had the honors when he came over.

“I’ll do it, Dad,” I said.

“Can he handle it?” asked Grandpa. “He’s just a child.”

I’m right here! I thought. And I’m not a child anymore. I’m thirteen.

“Sure he can,” Grandma said. “Now, make Uncle Artie proud.” She gave me her patented don’t-screw-it-up look.

“CJ, just be careful, okay?” Dad said.

“Sure thing.” I had seen it wound a thousand times. I took the key from the drawer of the small desk nearby, carefully opened the glass in front, and put the key in the keyhole near the number four. There was another near the number eight. I knew it wound clockwise on the right and counterclockwise on the left.

“Whatever you do, don’t overwind it,” Grandpa said. He gave anyone who ever got near the clock got the same warning.

I started winding. One turn. Two turns. Then it started to get tight, so I stopped. I placed the key in the left hole and began to turn in the other direction with my left hand. One turn. Two turns. It wasn’t getting any tighter. Three turns. That was odd; it usually tightened up by now, but I figured it had just been a while. Four turns and still not tight. I switched to my right hand to finish it up. Five turns. Surely it would start to get tight. Then I heard a faint click, and the key wouldn’t move anymore. Uh-oh.

“Everything all right?” Dad asked.

I pulled the key out and put it back in the drawer. “Everything’s great.” I looked at my watch, and then spun the Hoffhalder’s minute hand around until the time was five minutes until two. After closing the glass, I gently moved the large pendulum at the bottom, and the Hoffhalder began to tick. Whew! All was well.

When the Hoffhalder chimed, it made a beautiful sound. In fact, it seemed to be the only clock sound my family liked. It was a perfect combination of bells and gears and springs working in harmony. We now had three minutes until it would chime on the hour, and everyone at the table waited patiently for the moment to arrive. As the last thirty seconds ticked off, Grandpa nudged Grandma. “Here it comes,” he said in a low voice.

The Hoffhalder struck two and began to chime. Once. Then another.

But the second chime lingered way too long and the pendulum began to swing wildly, knocking into the side walls. The chime sound turned into a grinding noise, and the pendulum stopped.

“CJ!” Dad yelled. “What have you done to my clock?”

“He overwound it,” Grandpa said while making a turning motion with hand.

“Clearly,” said Grandma. “And I’ll bet Uncle Artie is rolling over in his grave as we speak.”

“Artie’s not dead,” Mom said. “Just in the hospital.”

“I’m sorry, everyone,” I said. “I didn’t mean to. Honest. It was an accident.”

“You’re grounded,” Dad said.

“For how long?” I asked.

“A month.”

“A month? Mom?”

“Don’t you think that’s a little harsh?” she said.

I looked around the table, and three sets of eyes were on me. Mom reached out and touched my hand. At least someone was on my side.

“That clock’s been in the family for four generations,” Grandpa said. “Built by the finest clockmaker in Germany.”

“And smuggled out on a steamer ship during World War I,” Grandma added. “Truly one of a kind. Irreplaceable.”

I knew the details by heart, and it just made matters worse. “I’ll get it fixed, okay? I have some money saved up.”

“Sounds like you snapped the mainspring,” Grandpa said, adding a “break in half” motion with his hands.

Grandma leaned over and got as close to me as she could. “It’ll never be the same.”

“A month,” Dad said. He put a finger in my face to make his point. “For breaking my clock.”

He continued to glare at me as Mom began to serve the turkey. We ate in near silence.

I had ruined Thanksgiving.

 

 
R. M. Clark is a computer scientist for
the Dept. of Navy by day and children’s book writer by night. He lives in
Massachusetts with his wife and two sons.

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“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Lords of Love and Legends by Allie Mackay, Brenda Jernigan and Sue-Ellen Welfonder #Releaseblitz

From USA Today Bestselling and National Award-winning Authors
Allie Mackay, Brenda Jernigan and Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Four magical tales of timeless desire

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LORDS OF LOVE AND LEGENDS

Allie Mackay, Brenda Jernigan, Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Genre: Historical Romance, Scottish Romance, Regency Romance
Series: Legends Series, Book 2
Publisher: Scott Publishing
Publication Date: January 9, 2017

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Lords of Love and Legends introduces you to lords and ladies who live and love in a world of magic and enchantment. The long ago days we dream about is their reality. In this collection, our heroes and heroines will take you there. Along the way, you’ll see them meet and fall in love, and you’ll share their happy-ever-after ending.

We’d like to thank you for joining them. We’ll leave the page here so they can whisk you away.

USA Today Bestselling and National Award-winning Authors Sue-Ellen Welfonder (aka Allie Mackay) and Brenda Jernigan sweep you into a long ago world of breathtaking passion and adventure where myth and legend was real, danger abounded, and lords and ladies risked everything for love!



Winter Fire by Sue-Ellen Welfonder… When a Highland lass meets a dashing stranger in an enchanted place, she gladly gives her heart – and her passion – to the lover she only knows as the Lord of Winter.



The Duke’s Lady by Brenda Jernigan… If you yearn for classic romance with noblemen, ladies, and intrigue, complete with a magnificent Cornish setting, this is your tale…

Some Like It Kilted by Allie Mackay… A legendary Highland chieftain and a modern American woman aren’t prepared for the passion that flares between them, or the ancient secrets that would tear them apart.

The Wicked Lady by Brenda Jernigan… If you like humor and a fun-filled read…this one is for you… When Trevor Claremont is blind-sided by a pickpocket, he isn’t prepared for the feisty redhead who he finds is one wicked lady.

Treat yourself to hours of reading enjoyment with this beautiful collection of unforgettable romance!

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About the Authors

Allie Mackay

“Mackay is a master at penning magical tales of love across the ages.”
~ Fresh Fiction



Allie Mackay is the pseudonym for USA Today bestselling author Sue-Ellen Welfonder who won Romantic Times Best Historical Romance Award for her debut title, Devil in a Kilt. Many of her books have been RT Award nominees, and most have received RT Top Picks and K.I.S.S. Hero Awards. She is thrilled to be an Amazon All-Star Author, and a winner of InD’Tale’s RONE Award. Her favorite reader compliment is that her stories transport them to medieval Scotland, the setting of most of her books. She has three grand passions: Scotland, the paranormal, and animals. All can be found in her fun and sexy, light-hearted paranormal romances.

Brenda Jernigan



“Brenda Jernigan writes Romance, Adventure and Magic.”
~ Publisher’s Weekly



Brenda Jernigan is a Bestselling Author. Her books have been nominated for many awards – Book Seller’s Best Award, The Maggie Award, and The Holt Medallion Award. 
She grew up living the life of a tomboy – climbing trees, playing ball, and excluding starry-eyed romance from her daily repertoire.
Brenda discovered the love for books while taking her son to Story Hour at the local library – she was hooked. 
She figured having the same birthday as Ernest Hemingway couldn’t hurt.

Sue-Ellen Welfonder

“Sue-Ellen Welfonder brings legends and love to life.”
~ Fresh Fiction

USA Today bestselling author Sue-Ellen Welfonder won Romantic Times Best Historical Romance Award for her debut title, Devil in a Kilt.  Many of her books have been RT Award nominees, and have received RT Top Picks and K.I.S.S. Hero Awards. She is thrilled to be an Amazon All-Star Author, and a winner of InD’Tale’s RONE Award. Her favorite reader compliment is that her stories transport them to medieval Scotland, the setting of most of her books.  She is also known for her strong heroines, Alpha heroes, and weaving Highland magic and humor into her tales.

Sue-Ellen also writes as Allie Mackay, penning contemporary paranormals, mostly set in the Scottish Highlands

Visit the author’s official websites
Allie Mackay: http://www.alliemackay.com
Brenda Jernigan: http://www.brendajbooks.com
Sue-Ellen Welfonder: http://www.welfonder.com/

Follow the authors on social media
Brenda Jernigan:  Facebook | Twitter | Amazon| Goodreads
Sue-Ellen Welfonder: Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

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Save the Date! Tour starts January 20, 2017.

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl