Book Blitz & Giveaway: Tides of Time (The Legacy, #1) by Luna Joya

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


Tides of Time
Luna Joya
Published by: City Owl Press
Publication date: August 20th 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
A “good girl” witch hiding secrets from her family…
Cami wants a normal life. Or at least as normal as a life in a family of witches can be. She can’t tell her sisters about her violent ex. Or that she broke the first rule of magic to “harm none.” When her youngest sister asks for help unraveling the death of a 1930’s star abused by those she loved, Cami can’t say no.
A reformed bad boy who doesn’t know his own family’s secrets…
Sam lives for his restaurant and coveted screenplay expertise of Hollywood history. He avoids the entanglements of relationships since even his own parents didn’t want him. But when the enchanting Cami needs his help to crack an unsolved mystery, he can’t resist. The closer they come to finding a killer, the more they crave each other. But someone is determined to stop them.
Can they solve the mystery before history repeats itself?
EXCERPT:
The roar of a small engine combined with slaps of water came to her above the normal “whoosh” of the waves hitting the shore. Her head snapped up. A jet ski raced along the waves, encroaching on the surfers.
She stopped grabbing at her board and pushed the tangle of wet hair from her face. The rider zoomed dangerously close to Sam. Her breath caught.
The tall, lean man leaning over the handlebars had a cap pulled low over his forehead. She couldn’t see his face, and long sleeves covered his skin, but she could swear she saw twists of familiar blond hair beneath the hat. It couldn’t be. Her imagination zipped to memories of her last night at the beach with Neil.
How could the rider not see Sam where he sat astride his board? Panic swirled through her.
“Sam!” She jumped on her board and pulled fast strokes.
Sam paddled toward the shore, whipping his head around to the jet ski.
Too late. She judged the distance between them, climbing to her knees to wave her arms in desperation. She had to get the rider’s attention. She screamed Sam’s name again.
The jet ski edged so close she could see the plume shooting out the back as it skipped over the water. Sam paddled harder, his jaw set in a tight line.
The motor blared louder. The bastard was accelerating.
She’d never get to Sam in time, and he was no match for an engine. A wave swept over his head. He rolled beneath it. The spray from the jet ski arced over him as the rider banked.
Her hand flew to her face. Relief poured over her. The jet ski revved again and rolled into a sharp U-turn straight for Sam.
Fear shot through her, surging her elemental magic perilously close to spilling over. Thrusting one hand into the water, she shoved hard. Her mouth curved downward. She pulsed a wave between Sam and the jet ski. One to stop the danger.
Power thrummed through her, and another pulse created a second wave pushing Sam toward the shore. She should stop while she still could, but the connection and clawing need rolled through her. The third push brought Sam almost even with her, a fourth wave capsized the jet ski, and a fifth tugged the menace further from his ride. She could scare him as badly as he’d terrified them.
Hurt him. Pull him under, hold him there as he would do to you and yours. The same hunger she’d fought when she’d held Neil’s head below the tide tore through her. A heartbeat later, she could hear echoes of Ama teaching the first rule of magic. Ama’s sweet brown eyes filled with laughter as she sang lullabies and kissed her to sleep with whispers of, “May you harm none. I love you, mija.”
The water stilled beneath her fingers, rocking her tenderly. She wouldn’t break the rule. Not again. Not for this.
Yet, her elemental magic rushed through her, more thrilling than any ride on a board. The call devoured every part of her, wanting to reclaim her as its own.
“Sweetheart.” Sam reached for her. “You good?”
His hand brushed her waist, and the magic blazed. His fingers locked on her, and her magic blinked away to a calm, constant hum. She studied him, taking in every inch of him.
“Sam?” Her voice broke, and he gathered her close. She ran her hands over his head and down to his suit, checking for any injuries. Or at least she’d meant to simply assure herself of his safety. But magic had a price. An individual toll for each user to pay.
For Mina, it brought on hunger. For Delia, the power could send her into a blackout. For Cami, her magic had always craved affection, and right now, it wanted Sam.
She crawled from her own board until she’d practically climbed in his lap. He fumbled for a moment but adjusted to hold her against him. She brought his head down to hers and pressed her lips against his. Her kiss marked a claim, licking and teasing until the needs of her power subsided.
The demand for passion finally gave way to the catcalls and encouraging whistles from the other surfers. Cami ducked her head.
Sam snickered and bit his lips, clearly savoring the taste of her there. “Surfer girls are hot.”


Author Bio:
Award-winning author Luna Joya writes hex and sex in The Legacy Series, a witch family saga of romances about kickass heroines and the men who love them.
Fluent in sarcasm and penal code, Luna prosecutes sex crimes and homicides by day and writes paranormal romance at night. She loves history, especially Los Angeles and Hollywood lore. A survivor of traumatic brain injury with steel body parts, she lives in SoCal with her combat veteran husband and their two-pound terror of a rescue pup.
Her debut novel TIDES OF TIME releases from City Owl Press in August 2019. The next two novels in The Legacy Series will be released from City Owl Press with dates to be announced later this year.
In 2018, her manuscripts won First Place Speculative Fiction in the San Francisco Heart-to Heart Contest, Second Place Paranormal Romance in The Cleveland Rocks Contest, Third Place Paranormal Romance in the 2018 The Catherine Contest, Third Place in the FF&P On The Far Side Contest, and Honorable Mention in The Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: Sentenced to Shakespeare by Iris Dorbian

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Review: Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline

Monday, August 19, 2019


Title: Someone Knows

Series: Stand-Alone

Author: Lisa Scottoline

Genre: Adult, Domestic Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

Publication Date: April 9th, 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons

Format: e-arc

Source:  I received this book when there was a Penguin First Program and publishers in exchange for an honest review.


Rating:








From the New York Times-bestselling author comes a pulse-pounding domestic thriller about a group of friends who have been bound for twenty years by a single secret—and will now be undone by it. Someone Knows is an emotional exploration of friendship and family, as well as a psychological exploration of guilt and memory.

Twenty years ago, in an upscale suburb of Philadelphia, four teenagers spent a summer as closest friends: drinking, sharing secrets, testing boundaries. When a new boy looked to join them, they decided to pull a prank on him, convincing him to play Russian roulette as an initiation into their group. They secretly planned to leave the gun unloaded—but what happened next would change each of them forever.

Now three of the four reunite for the first time since that horrible summer. The guilt—and the lingering question about who loaded the gun—drove them apart. But after one of the group apparently commits suicide with a gun, their old secrets come roaring back. One of them is going to figure out if the new suicide is what it seems, and if it connects to the events of that long-ago summer. Someone knows exactly what happened—but who? And how far will they go to keep their secrets buried?







*** I received this book when there was a Penguin First Program in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you so much to Penguin First Problem and G.P. Putnam's Sons Publisher for the chance to read and review Someone Knows! *** 


This is the first book that I read by Lisa Scottoline and it most definitely won't be my last Lisa Scottoline that I will read. Now there are mix reviews of this book and I understand why readers didn't love this book. But I loved and enjoyed reading Someone Knows to me it was a great domestic thriller about a group of people that have held a deep secret for Twenty years, and this deep secret can destroy their lives and careers if it ever gets out especially to the police.  Now I will warn you all the characters are very unlikable characters that I just wanted to backslap them in the heads and scream at them at how wrong their actions and words are so wrong in so many ways towards there own friends and family members when there were teenagers. And I know something really bad was going to happen when one of the boys in the group of friends find something buried in a hole in a field behind there houses. I really didn't like that specific boy because I thought he was a complete and utter psychopath, by the way, he was acting and overly obsess and stalking over a girl who is a complete and total  ignorant witch of a girl that she thought she was better than anybody who was part of there little group. Now I won't say the names of the characters in this book because it would be a spoiler.  But there were to very bad apples in this group of teenagers and there were the very wealthy teenagers who didn't have a care in the world and both of them egg each other in bad ways always. So when one night when all the teenagers were drunk and high something very horrible and terrible happens that night and they all went their separate ways and didn't talk to each other in high schools years and kept the very darl secret that happens that horrible night.  Now twenty years have past and three of the four reunite for the first time since that horrible summer for a funeral of one of their friends that was part of their small group when there were teenagers. Now after the funeral, things started to go down but go down for the worst possible way for one of the characters who want to tell the truth on what happened that terrible summer night.  But someone wants to keep their mouth shut for good even if it means to kill that specific person.  Now I am going to leave off here without being too spoiler but all and all I highly and love and enjoy Someone Knows that I can't wait to read more books by Lisa Scottoline in the future. 













Lisa Scottoline (Author)


Lisa Scottoline is The New York Times bestselling author and Edgar award-winning author of 30 novels, including her #1 bestselling, AFTER ANNA. She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Chick Wit” which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman’s perspective. These stories, along with many other never-before-published stories, have been collected in a New York Times bestselling series of humorous memoirs including their most recent, I Need A Lifeguard Everywhere But The Pool. Lisa reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and her reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has served as President of Mystery Writers of America. Lisa graduated magna cum laude in three years from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. degree in English, and her concentration was Contemporary American Fiction, taught by Philip Roth and others. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she taught a course she developed, "Justice and Fiction." Lisa is a regular and much sought after speaker at library and corporate events. Lisa has over 30 million copies of her books in print and is published in over 35 countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
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Review: El Deafo by Cece Bell (Author) & David Lasky (Colorist )

Friday, August 16, 2019


Title: El Deafo

Series: Stand-Alone

Author: Cece Bell (Author) & David Lasky (Colorist )

Genre: Middle Grade, Autobiography, Memoir Graphic Novel

Publication Date: September 2nd, 2014 by Harry N. Abrams

Format: Digital e-book

Source: Library


Rating:








Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece's class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.

Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in school — in the hallway... in the teacher's lounge... in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it's just another way of feeling different... and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?

This funny perceptive graphic novel memoir about growing up hearing impaired is also an unforgettable book about growing up, and all the super and super embarrassing moments along the way.





Ohh wow this was the very first graphic novel memoir that I have ever read and I will tell you it won't be my last. I loved and enjoyed everything about it at first I didn't know this graphic novel was a non-fiction and memoir book until I read the genre on Goodreads. I was pleasantly surprised this was a memoir book because I don't read non-fiction or memoirs in books. But El Deafo was a really lovely and fun graphic novel memoir that I have read. I need to read more graphic novels memoirs more. The graphic design in this amazing was really cute and fun and the story within was amazing as well. I loved reading the life story of Cece Bell it was absolutely intriguing and very helpful as well to understand and learn a little bit more of people who are deaf. My favorite part was when Cece started class and to see the adventures she had while growing up and meeting new different friends. I also love when Cece could hear everything with her hearing aid what her teacher was doing inside and outside of the classroom and I thought it was so cute that Cece called it her superpower and called herself El Deafo, Listener for All. All and all I loved and enjoyed everything El Deafo that I can't wait to read more graphic novel memoirs hopefully soon. 












Cece Bell (Author)


I'm an author and an illustrator, and sadly not a jazz pianist. I live in an old church in the hills of Virginia with my husband, author Tom Angleberger. I work right next door in a new-ish barn. I've written and illustrated a bunch of books for kids and was lucky enough to get a Geisel Honor for one of 'em. If you want to know more about my hearing loss or my childhood (or both), check out my first graphic novel, El Deafo. It's only slightly fictionalized, honest! I'm at www.cecebell.com if you want to see more weird stuff.



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Review: Cliff's Edge (Solace Island, #2) by Meg Tilly

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


Title: Cliff's Edge

Series: Solace Island, #2

Author: Meg Tilly

Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: May 21st, 2019 by Berkley 

Format: e-arc

Source: I received this book when there was a Penguin First Program and publishers in exchange for an honest review.


Rating: 







Meg Tilly returns with a second gripping romantic suspense novel set on the idyllic Solace Island in the Pacific Northwest. Eve Harris is all set to house-sit and run the bakery she shares with her sister while Maggie goes on her honeymoon, but there's one problem--the house is already occupied. By a movie star. He claims to be her brother-in-law's friend, and not only does he insist on staying, he also offers to help. Playing house has never been so tempting... Rhys Thomas is looking for a place to lie low after wrapping up his latest film, so when Luke offers up his house as a safe haven, Rhys sees the perfect opportunity for a little R & R. But rest is the last thing on his mind as he and Eve grow close.  But Eve and Rhys are not as alone as they think. And as danger trails Eve, it will take everything Rhys has to save the woman he loves.





*** I received this book when there was a Penguin First Program and publishers in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much to Penguin First Program and  Berkley Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Cliff's Edge.  


Ahh yes, I was so glad and happy that I get to read and come back to the beautiful Solace Island in the Pacific Northwest, ohh how much I missed reading this small island. And I was so happy to read this amazing campion novel of Solace Island which this book was about the spit-fire and very sassy older Harris sister Eve. I was jumping up and down with joy when I saw this was Eve book, Eve Harris was by far my favorite sister she is a really strong, very loyal and independent woman and she tells it how it is bluntly to everybody. Plus I love the beautiful and lovely sisterly relationship she had with Maggie, Eve is also an overprotected older sister as well. I connected more with Eve with everything she reminds me of so much of me and I feel like she is my spirit animal.  I don't want to get to spoiler but in Cliff's Edge Maggie goes on her honeymoon and leaves Eve house sitting and to take care of the bakery all by herself. Which Eve is petrified to take care of the bakery by all to herself because she is so not great in baking goodies like her little sister Maggie. But Eve tries her best in the bakery while her little sister is on her honeymoon, while Eve is also house-sitting for Maggie and Luke she gets an unexpected roommate in Maggie and Luke house. Eve thought he was a thief trying to steal stuff in Maggie and Luke house and she takes care of him real quick. But the stranger quickly said that he was a friend of Lukes and that Luke said that it was alright that he lays low at his house. Maggie didn't believe him until she talked to her brother-in-law over the phone and sure enough, Luck confirmes what Rhys Thomas was saying to Eve. Eve let him go and at first Eve didn't know who Rhys Thomas was until he told her he was a famous actor and on how he met Luke and become friends with him. I love the banter that both Eve and Rhys had and you could tell that both these characters had a deep attraction with each other and flirty with each other all the time. The more time Eve and Rhys spend together the more their feelings and emotions grow for each other each passing day.  Now Rhys is not the only person that has his eyes on Eve there is a very evil and vindictive and obsesses stalker who is after Eve and want her all to himself and do terrible things to Eve. There is always danger surrounding the Harris sisters and now the danger was lurking close to Eve and Rhys can both of them help each other in time you have to read Cliff's Edge and find out what happens next to Eve & Rhys. All and all I loved and enjoyed everything about Cliff's Edge that I do want to read the next campion book of the Solace Island series when it comes out!











Meg Tilly (Author)

Meg Tilly may be best known for her acclaimed Golden Globe-winning lead performance in the movie Agnes of God. Other screen credits include The Big Chill, Valmont, and more recently, Bomb Girls, and Netflix's movie War Machine, starring Brad Pitt. After publishing six standout young adult and literary women's fiction novels, the award-winning author/actress decided to write the kind of books she loves to read--romance novels. Tilly has three grown children and resides with her husband in the Pacific Northwest. She is currently at work writing the next Solace Island novel.
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Book Blitz & Giveaway: Taken by the Beast (The Conduit, #1) by Conner Kressley & Rebecca Hamilton

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Taken by the Beast
Conner Kressley & Rebecca Hamilton
(The Conduit #1)
Publication date: April 29th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Retelling, Romance
It’s not until a missing girl is found chained up in Abram’s home that this beauty realizes one of her romantic interests is a beast.
When I took this job at New Haven’s first ever Night Club, it was just to try to get on my own two feet. I hadn’t expected to fall for my boss.
Now, I can’t seem to stay away, despite all the warning signs he’s hiding something from me. It’s not until I find a missing girl chained up in his home that I realize he’s a beast. And by then, it’s too late.
Magic is real, and I’m really in trouble. My boss might chain me up next, and I think I’d like it.
This hot alpha male shifter is sure to be your new favorite book boyfriend in this scorching hot beauty and the beast retelling! See what fans of Celia Kyle, Ilona Andrews, and J.R. Ward are calling their latest paranormal romance addiction.
EXCERPT:
I shook my head. I didn’t want to stay here, in some place where they spun tales tall enough to make your best friend sleep with a gun under her pillow.
I didn’t want to be that person, not for anything. And something told me that if I stayed here long enough, I wouldn’t be able to help it.
No, I would go to sleep, wake up, collect the supplies I needed from town, and fix the stupid fence. Then I would get a job, save up like crazy, and make a break for it. Maybe I could call my (former) agent and beg him to take me back.
Hell, the Sears Catalog always needs models.
I punched my pillow, trying not to think about this ridiculous place, about all it had seen me lose.
“Idiots,” I muttered, climbing into bed. “They turn their town into a pressure cooker and then they make monsters out of thin—”
A sudden howling cut off my words.
Tensing, I threw off my covers and lurched for the window.
The sound was nothing. A dog, or something. I would prove that to myself.
I glared out into those goddamn woods. See, nothing. Absolutely—
A shadow moved between the trees, hulking and burly, but also tall. Too tall to be an animal.
I blinked hard, once, and then again. When I looked back, there was nothing there.
Stop it, Char.
This place would drive me crazy if I let it. It was nothing. An animal.
I got back in bed, trying to feel more New York and less New Haven.
But somewhere in the back of my mind, I couldn’t let go of the howl…or the markings…or the dead girl who looked just like me.


Author Bio:
New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Harlequin, Baste Lübbe, and Evershade. A book addict, registered bone marrow donor, and indian food enthusiast, she often takes to fictional worlds to see what perilous situations her characters will find themselves in next.
Represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA, Rebecca has been published internationally, in three languages: English, German, and Hungarian.
Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter
--
Conner Kressley is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author. He is an avid reader and all around lover of storytelling. He's been obsessed with mythology, magic, and all the things that go bump in the night since he could remember. Also, pizza. But who isn't obsessed with pizza?
When he's not writing (or even when he is), Conner can be found in the western Texas watching old movies, geeking out over books (comic and otherwise)He loves hearing from his fans. So please, feel free to reach out on Facebook or through his website at connerkressleybooks.weebly.com
Author links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: Million Miles Away (Million Miles, #1) by Alice Bane


Million Miles Away
Alice Bane
(Million Miles, #1)
Publication date: October 5th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
For the past year, sleep paralysis has been little more than a thorn in Natalia’s side. That is, until she meets Korin, a strange but beautiful alien being who makes her question everything she knows about the universe.
Life-changing love almost feels like an invasion.
I won’t bore you with details about the mysterious medical issues I’ve had over the last year;
the sudden severe allergies to food and medication, the sleep paralysis. All I’ll tell you is that they turned my life upside down.
But I’m a rational person.
Naturally, I assumed that my mind was playing tricks on me when I saw the strange figures standing over me.
But it felt so freakishly real;
especially one face in particular that always stayed with me long after I woke up.
Something about him always drew me in and I knew he was different. He made me feel different.
All my life, romance has felt like something that was reserved for everyone but me. I’d accepted that the only love in my life would be experienced through my artwork.
Now I’m questioning everything I know about myself, about reality, and especially about love.
EXCERPT:
The girls would always tease me about how put together my life was. Sure, it looked good on paper; top-rated artist in my department, an amazing house which I always kept immaculate, and when I wasn’t working, I was at the gym. They seemed to think that I had a perfect life. They had no idea how much I envied them. They both had incredible relationships with gorgeous men who doted on them endlessly. They were always commenting on how jealous they were of my body, but they also never missed a chance to eat delicious foods that I couldn’t so much as smell without getting sick. They didn’t realize that my house was always clean because it was empty and sterile; just like the rest of my life.
I didn’t even have a pet. Ever since little Ivan died, I accepted that I wasn’t pet owner material. If I couldn’t keep a goldfish alive, what chance did I have with a more complex and emotionally dependent animal? Besides, with my work schedule, it would be cruel to even try.
“Before we get started with what we’ve got on today, I need to ask you guys a really important favor,” Abiola said, circling the desk to take both mine and Laura’s hands in hers. “The two of you have been such a huge part of my life. You’ve been there for me through all my family drama and I couldn’t love you more if you were my flesh and blood sisters.”
“Abi,” Laura pushed out her bottom lip. “That’s the sweetest thing you could possibly say.”
“Well, I would be so honored if the two of you would be my bridesmaids this spring. Please say yes!”
The three of us all wrapped our arms around each other in a sickeningly sweet display of female solidarity. I forced a smile and swallowed the lump in my throat as I imagined walking down the aisle on the arm of some random groomsman who had a wife or girlfriend somewhere in the church. This would be the second time I was a bridesmaid at someone’s wedding. The old saying ‘three times a bridesmaid, never a bride’ rang out in my mind.
“I would love to be a bridesmaid at your wedding,” Laura crooned.
I mustered the minimal amount of excitement I could get away with for the situation and said, “Me too. I love you, woman,” then patted Abiola on the back.
Abiola nodded and wiped at eyeliner from beneath her watering eyes. She was an old soul with a soft heart. She spent her weekends volunteering at a children’s group home. That was where she met her fiancé Trevor, and they bonded over their dysfunctional family situations. They would probably adopt a bunch of foster kids right after their wedding and live happily ever after. She deserved that; it was all she ever wanted.
“Okay ladies,” Abiola clapped her hands. “Today we’re looking for something we can use for the promotion of the OSA campus, which will be opening next year in Portland, Oregon. Boss says our primary focus is to attract engineering and architectural students for the Lunar-retreat that’s in the works.”
“So, where do we start?” Laura said, looking right at me.
“I am going to need to work up some concept drawings for the Lunar Resort. Also, if you could give me the clearest photos of the most beautiful views the Lunar Surface has to offer, that would be cool to show exactly what the students should be aspiring to be a part of. I want to see some dramatic landscapes with visible craters, maybe some rock formations. Anything to pull people in.”
“I’m on it,” Laura nodded and sat down at her touch responsive computer.
“I’ll go to engineering to get permission to use blueprints of the resort that you can use to make the concept drawings,” Abiola said, then turned and headed towards the elevator.
It was an exciting project. I used to fantasize that by the time I was ready to retire, I would be able to cash in on all the vacation time I had accrued and maybe even spend a few of my golden years at that resort. The thought of waking up in the morning and looking out the window to see the Earth just as we see the moon from down here always gave me a sense of calm.
Four hours later, all final decisions had been made on what I wanted to use on the project. Right on cue, my trusty assistants started complaining that they were starving to death.
“If I don’t get some corned beef nachos in me in the next ten minutes, I might actually die,” Laura said and stood up dramatically from her desk.
“I want waffles and bacon,” Abiola rubbed her belly.
I sighed at the memory of bacon; I would probably just have some raw vegetables and berries. I was still looking at my screen and inspecting one of the photos, trying to decide on how I would alter the image to bring it to life. My eyes burned. I clenched them shut and rubbed them, forcing them to rest. Eye strain was the enemy and this day was proving to be particularly difficult since I had hardly slept the night before. I couldn’t shake my anxiety about today’s social gathering after work. Stress and lack of sleep usually meant a big fat migraine, which was the last thing I needed at Laura’s party.
“I’m going to head to the chill room. I need a nap more than anything.”
“You better be rested for tonight’s festivities,” Laura wagged her finger at me.
“I’ll bring my party face, I promise,” I said. I stood up but couldn’t stop the oncoming yawn. “The fatigue is killing me.”
“Yeah, no coffee or sugar in your morning will do that to you,” Abiola said with a shake of her head. “I don’t know how you do it.”
“Well, it’s easy since a cup of coffee could put me in the hospital again, I guess.”
“Jesus,” Abiola pressed her fist to her mouth. “I didn’t mean to…”
“It’s fine, Abi,” I assured her. “I just need to get a little rest.”
The two girls headed down to the food court while I made my way to the sleeping pods. White, plush, and stacked like a honeycomb, they were an inviting image that screamed comfort. I smiled and breathed a sigh of relief to find my favorite lower level pod was unoccupied. Turning on the sound system, I selected a playlist I knew I could sleep through. Sometimes I would choose guided meditation tracks or audiobooks. Today’s selection was soft cello. Something about the deep tones helped me unwind no matter what was on my mind. I settled in, turning on the heated cushions and closing my eyes.
I practiced the deep breathing exercises the doctor had taught me as I pictured myself floating through a dark endless sky toward the moon’s surface. The pictures I had looked at for over four hours served to be the subject of my meditation. I inhaled deeply, focusing on relaxing my arms and legs. Exhaling, I imagined moving further out into space. In… and out…
As soon as sleep found me, I was swept up in a flurry of blinding light. My stomach turned as the light began strobing violently, causing me to feel disoriented. My body tensed as I realized it had been several weeks since I’d had an episode. Right on schedule, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Oh no, no, no, no… I can’t deal with this right now, not at work!
I struggled to wake myself, I couldn’t move. The cold sensation of a smooth metallic surface beneath me was confusing. I felt my fingertips twitch as I tried desperately to flail any and all limbs that might respond to my will, but my body remained where it was. I strained to sit up or scream, but I couldn’t even open my mouth. I was trapped, overwhelmed by the weight of my chest collapsing in on itself. If I didn’t put every ounce of will I possessed into sucking air through my nostrils, I had a very real fear that my body would simply shut down, leaving my body as a cold stiff corpse which might be found hours later in my cozy little pod. Filling my lungs with intention, I gasped for air, breath after panicked breath, hoping someone would notice and wake me.
The strobing intensified for what felt like several minutes and when it finally stopped, there remained a constant blinding light that made my eyes water. Tears streamed from the outer corners of my eyes into my ears.
“Help… me…” I managed to whisper to no one in particular.
From the edge of my vision, a blurry figure leaned over me.
“Please,” I sobbed, trying to turn my head to get a better look at who it was, but I couldn’t.
My chest burned as my heart pounded out of control. I tried to calm myself by reciting the scientific facts about what I knew was happening.
During REM sleep, your muscles are essentially turned off to keep you from sleepwalking. When a person wakes up during REM, they are fully conscious but completely paralyzed. Usually, physical stimulation from someone rubbing or shaking them will pull the victim out of the purgatorial state. Unfortunately, living alone means I have no one to rescue me during these episodes, which can sometimes last for hours.
“Just close your eyes. Everything will be okay,” a distorted voice spoke through the fog of my half-conscious state.
Maybe my brain is morphing the cello music into a voice. Sleep paralysis is often accompanied by waking dreams or hallucinations, after all.
I thought I could force myself to come out of it but, instead, I moved even deeper into unconsciousness. It wasn’t like falling, but more like being underwater and sinking slowly. I struggled against what felt like a chemically induced calm. I tried again to force myself awake but couldn’t. The darkness swallowed me up and I finally surrendered to it.
To my surprise, I suddenly found myself vividly aware of two things; one, the fact that I was breathing without much effort, and two, I was no longer in my cushioned sleeping pod, but rather stretched out flat on my back on a cold metal surface. All efforts to move just made me realize that what I was experiencing was very different from the sleep paralysis I was familiar with. I could move my fingers and flex my wrists and feet. There were actual physical restraints fastened around my wrists, neck, forehead, and ankles that were preventing me from moving.
Blinking hard, I strained to look around at my surroundings. The entire room was reflective as if every surface and object was made from surgical steel. It was shockingly cold, almost like the inside of a walk-in refrigerator. I grunted, twisting my wrists in hopes that I could slip out the straps.
There was a continuous hum that was so low I didn’t hear it so much as felt it vibrating through my entire body. There was a spherical light that seemed to be floating in the air a few feet over me. The ceiling was high above that and almost too dark for me to make out anything but the vague shape of what might have been a reflection of myself and the rest of the room around me. I strained to see past the light so I could study what else I could make out in the reflective ceiling. My heart pounded in my ears as my attention was drawn to a distorted human shape in the darkness at my side.
A chill spread through my body as I realized that someone, or something, was quietly watching me struggle but I couldn’t for the life of me work out who, as the silhouette disappeared from my view the moment I noticed it. Even when I turned my eyes as far as I could, the dark corners of the room remained completely obscured. Regardless of the deafening silence and the fact that I couldn’t see anyone, I knew someone was there.


Author Bio:
Kate Rudolph is an ex-derby girl who lives in Indiana. She loves writing about kick butt heroines and the steamy heroes who love them. She's been devouring romance novels since she was too young to be reading them and had to hide her books so no one would take them away. She couldn't imagine a better job in this world than writing romances and sharing them with her fellow readers.
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