Sunday, October 31, 2021

Halloween: The History of America's Darkest Holiday by David J. Skal



Acclaimed cultural critic David J. Skal explores one of America's most perplexingly popular holidays in this original mix of personal anecdotes and social analysis. Skal traces Halloween's evolution from its dark Celtic history and quaint, small-scale celebrations to its emergence as mammoth seasonal marketing event.

Skal takes readers on a cross-country survey that covers remarkably divergent perspectives, from the merchants who welcome a money-making opportunity that's second only to Christmas to fundamentalists who decry Halloween a form of blasphemy and practicing witches who embrace it as a holy day. He also profiles individuals who revel in this once-a-year occasion to participate in elaborate fantasies. Their narratives, combined with the author's cultural analysis, offer a revealing look at an intriguing aspect of our national psyche.



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Saturday, October 30, 2021

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury



Make storytime a little spookier this fall with fantasy master Ray Bradbury as he takes readers on a riveting trip though space and time to discover the true origins of Halloween.

Join the shadowy Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud as he takes eight trick-or-treaters on an unforgettable journey to find their missing friend, Pip. Travel through space and time, from the tombs of ancient Egypt to the gargoyles of Notre-Dame Cathedral, all the way to the cemeteries of Mexico on el Día de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Is Pip still alive? And if so, can his friends save him from a ghastly fate before it’s too late?

"If you want to know what Halloween is, or if you simply want an eerie adventure, take this mystery history trip. You couldn't ask for better than master fantasizer Ray Bradbury." --The Boston Globe
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Friday, October 29, 2021

Rest for the Wicked - The Claire Wiche Chronicles Book 1 by Cate Dean




From the author of The Maggie Mulgrew Mysteries...

She's running from her past - and running out of time.

Claire Wiche is an ordinary woman, running her Wicca shop in an ordinary California beach town.

But Claire wasn't always ordinary, and she isn't quite human. She hides a secret, and a past she thought she had put behind her.

A past that is about to explode into her present.

When it does, and everyone she loves is in danger, Claire must face up to her past - and become what she left behind in order to save them.

The Claire Wiche Chronicles:
Prequel - More Than A Feeling
Book 1 - Rest For The Wicked
Book 2 - A Gathering of Angels
Book 3 - Carry On Wayward Son
Book 4 - Annie's Song
Book 5 - What Doesn't Kill You


Claire Wiche guided her unhappy customer through her shop, one arm around the woman’s hunched shoulders.
“You know I don’t do love spells, Mildred.”
“But I know if he could see me, really see me, he’d fall desperately in—”
“Would it be real, if he’s under an enchantment?”
Mildred pouted, not a pretty sight on an eighty-year-old woman. “What happened to the customer is always right?”
Biting her lip on a smile, Claire walked her through the open door.
“Never been my policy. And I have good reasons for that.” She rubbed the old woman’s arm. “You go on home now. I’ll phone you when my new shipment of crystals shows up.”
Leaning against the narrow porch post, Claire watched her toddle down the sidewalk, sunlight bouncing off the thin silver poodle curls. The morning gloom had burned off early, and it looked like the start of another beautiful day.
She crossed her arms, cold despite the sweater she slipped on earlier. It took longer to warm up lately, a fact she did her best to ignore.
“Are you cold again, Claire? It’s got to be at least 80 in the store.”
Unless, of course, a well-meaning friend shoved it in her face.
She turned around, forced a smile. “Is it, Annie? I must have forgotten to turn it down this morning.”
“How could you not notice? The candles are sweating.” Annie Sullivan—the lively, no-holds-barred friend Claire never expected to have in her life—stepped across the small porch that ran along the front of the shop, her almost six foot height topping Claire by a good ten inches. She caught one hand before Claire could shove them in her pockets. “You’re like ice. Again.” She looked down at Claire, concern in her warm brown eyes. “And you’re avoiding. Again.”
With a sigh, Claire squeezed her hand before easing out of it. The warmth in Annie’s fingers made her skin tingle, yearn.
“Time to turn that heat down before the candles become a puddle.”
Annie followed her back inside, hovering while she adjusted the thermostat to a more reasonable temperature. She would need a heavier sweater.
“Come on,” Annie said, hands on her hips. “Give.”
Shaking her head, Claire smiled, a real smile this time. “Would I’m just cold and tired do it for you?”
“Hardly.” Annie stood in front of the counter, looking like a golden Amazon ready for battle. “But it’ll have to until I can get you drunk and pry the truth out of you.”
Laughter burst out of Claire. “I’d like to see that.”
“Yeah, so would I. If you actually touched the stuff.” She gave Claire a wicked smile. “I could always slip you a mickey.”
“You could—if I wasn’t able to smell it from across the room.”
“Slapped down again. Hey—what if we just tried—”
“Not again. Never again.” Claire still felt the residual agony from her one failed attempt at social drinking.
“How do you do that?” Those warm brown eyes narrowed as they studied her. “How do you always know what I’m going to say?”
Claire reached up and patted her cheek. “I’m a witch, sweetheart. It’s what I do.”
“Wait.” She grabbed Claire’s hand, pushed her sleeve up to reveal the bandage that peeked out. “Is that another tattoo? What is it this time?”
Claire flushed. The second reason she put on a sweater this morning.
“A triquetra.”
“More protection? Jeez, Claire, the pentacle on your hip isn’t enough?”
“There is no such thing as too much protection.” She pulled free and walked around the counter. “And the subject is closed.”
“Okay, I can take a hint. I’ll drop in sometime tomorrow, see if you need any help during the festival madness.”
“That will be most appreciated.”
Annie strode to the door, her long legs taking her through the small shop in a few paces. She paused in the doorway. “Hey, Claire—I’m worried, and I poke when I’m worried. I’ll leave it alone for now. But if you don’t get better, I’ll do more than poke.”
“Annie.” She stuck her head back in. “Don’t you even think about taking on Mildred’s love spell.”
Color rushed into her cheeks.
“I wasn’t—”
“I mean it. Last time you nearly had your victim falling in love with her cat.”
“Never gonna let me live that one down, are you?”
Claire smiled. “Not if it keeps you from trying again.”
Annie cursed under her breath and stalked out.
Chuckling, Claire made a mental note to put feelers out. Annie had more than enough power, and just enough knowledge to make her dangerous.
Without warning the pain stabbed her; a blade of ice in her gut.
Bracing her hands on the counter, she fought to breathe, fought to keep herself upright. Shaking so hard her rings clattered against the granite countertop, she gained enough control to lower herself to the chair that she recently added, out of necessity.
“God above—” She pressed both arms against her stomach, prayed for a slow morning. If she believed God would actually listen to her, after all this time, she’d ask the single question that haunted her.
Is this how it feels to be dying?


Eric watched, helpless, as the beautiful creature tortured his sister Katelyn.
Not a woman, not anymore—but she may have been human once. She had looked human, and harmless, as she stood on the porch when Eric opened the door to her this morning. But now power coiled around her, dark and ugly. Power she’d hidden under a smile, and the name of a mutual friend who had recommended his clinic. That power held him against the wall with invisible chains, locked his voice in his throat. He tried to scream as she dragged the knife across Katelyn’s bare stomach.
“She will feel that, and not know why.” The creature trailed one hand across the shallow wound, studying the blood that tipped her fingers. “You are so delicate, so easily broken. Why would she choose such a life, when immortality is hers?”
Katelyn no longer tugged at the ropes that tied her down to their heavy farmhouse table. She stared up at the creature bent over her, the bright light of the chandelier washing out her pale skin, and moaned deep in her throat every time those narrow hands touched her. Wearing only her faded jeans, she looked fragile, defenseless.
Fight her, Kate—damn it, you have to fight her until I can free—
“You would do best to save your strength, Eric. I have an important task for you.”
He would kill himself before he agreed to any bloody deed she had for him.
Katelyn recoiled, gasping as the tip of the blade moved up her torso, stopping just below her ribcage. Eric fought against the invisible restraints, his heart pounding so hard he could barely hear the silken voice over it.
“Your life, your soul, will help me crack open a door. Soon I will be able to return home in triumph, with the most coveted prize in my grasp. Sweet Katelyn—I will owe you all that I become.” The creature leaned in and pressed her lips to Katelyn’s cheek. “Thank you. Now I will send her a message she will not soon forget. Close your eyes, my innocent girl, and there will be no more pain.”
Eric’s scream echoed in his head as the creature shoved the knife into Katelyn.
She arched off the table, then collapsed, blood spilling down her skin, pooling on the scarred wood. Eric slumped against the wall. He didn’t care what the devil did to him now. He had just watched her kill the only important part of his life, his only family. Now he wanted her to end him, before the pain kicked in. Before he started to feel again.
She glided over to him, a beautiful, deadly predator.
“Now, my darling Eric.” He tried to jerk away from the hand caressing him. She simply smiled, and the restraints tightened until he fought to breathe. After an endless minute they loosened, just enough for him to take in a ragged breath. “I will not tolerate defiance. Do we have an understanding?”
“I won’t—obey you, bitch.” He sucked in another breath, bracing himself for the final blow. “So just kill me.”
“Ah, Eric. Your bravado is refreshing. Most of your kind simply cower, or grovel. I do abhor the groveling.”
She sounded like someone out of an old novel. He searched for the term—then forgot everything when she kissed him.
Heat scorched him. He gasped against her lips, agony following the trail of fire straight to the center of him.
“There.” She whispered into his mouth, her hand on his chest, the touch like a branding iron.
He moaned, and she took it in, her lips claiming him. When she finally tore away, he felt like part of him had been torn away with her. Struggling to catch his breath, he lowered his head, and saw the amulet in her palm. A stylized goat’s head, the gold edged with black, like it had been—burned. Just looking at it had dread and unnamable terror slithering through him. Then her hand dropped out of sight, and he forgot what he was thinking, and why sweat slicked every inch of him.
The woman smiled at him, and dark lust squeezed his gut. “You will find her, Eric, and bring her to me. Hurt her if you must—and you most likely will need to, in order to subdue her. But I want her alive.”
“Whatever you want. I am yours . . .”
“Natasha. You can call me Natasha. Now watch, darling Eric, and remember.”
He stared into the dark green eyes, watched in wonder as her image shimmered, and another face laid over hers, an opaque mask. Her green eyes became a silvery blue. The mask expanded, and color bled out of her black hair, replaced by a rich brown. It grew, long and waving, until it reached her waist. He followed the progress of the shimmering mask, the part of his mind not trapped by her screaming in horror. Her touch silenced it.
Looking up, he met the soft, silver blue eyes, the sculpted face framed by masses of hair that seemed to engulf her delicate figure.
“Find me, Eric. It is time for me to go home.”
Fingers slid over his face, burning the image of her into his mind. He sank into the waiting darkness, followed by a single word. A name.

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Thursday, October 28, 2021

SLEEPY HOLLOW (Sleepy Hollow Series Book 1) by Dax Varley


$2.99 or FREE for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers


Katrina is still haunted by her encounter with the Headless Horseman - the night he beckoned to her. Now he has risen again, slashing heads and terrorizing the quiet countryside.

Her only joy during this dismal darkness comes when Ichabod Crane, a gorgeous young man from Connecticut, moves to Sleepy Hollow and their attraction turns to romance.

When the Horseman marks Ichabod as his next victim, Katrina, despite dangerous efforts to save him, sees no other choice than for them to flee.

But the Horseman awaits. Now it’s up to her to sever the horror and alter the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

I absolutely LOVE retellings of old stories. Sleepy Hollow by Dax Varley is such an awesome retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. If you loved the original tale, you're definitely going to want to read this. And, if you haven't read the original tale, I still recommend this book. 


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Xander - Winter's Warmth: Savannah Heat Hockey Romance Book 2 by Jessica McBrayer



NHL right wing, Xander Torgelson, made a lifestyle out of loving and leaving puck bunnies everywhere he went, until he met Rachel Maddox. He's put everything into trying to convince Rachel that his past is never going to be a part of their future. 

But when a former one-night stand shows up on his doorstep with an emaciated baby in hand, it becomes clear that his bad boy behavior is going to have a bigger impact on their happily ever after than he'd ever believed. It doesn't take long for his fling to hatch a scheme to cash in on the baby she's abandoned. As her plan unfolds, she'll stop at nothing to score her puck bunny "payday" and Xander finds that saving his new family will be the riskiest play of his life. 

"Definitely a must read for connoisseurs of Hockey romance!" verified purchase

Xander Winter's Warmth is the second book in the Savannah Heat hockey romance series but it can be read as a standalone novel. This book includes a bonus novella download!




I’d never been a one-woman man. I tended to gravitate towards tall, blonde, and disposable. Puck bunnies who were chasing hockey sticks were easy to throw away. Rachel was the opposite of that. She was average height, had long sleek, black hair, and amazing blue eyes. At five-six, she was much shorter than my six-five, but somehow, she fit perfectly next to me. She owned her own place and had a stable, respectable job as a vet tech, for Christ’s sake.

After a few days on vacation in Costa Rica, I found myself even crazier about her. She was everything I wanted but didn’t know. Now that I was with her, I felt like the man I wanted to be. Rachel brought that out in me. Not a player with a different chick every night. The thought of going back to that disgusted me. It scared me how much I’d changed. But I didn’t want to be that man anymore.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Isle of Bones (Demon Isle Witches YA Edition) (We Witches Three Book 1) by Starla Silver & Humphrey Quinn




Three witch siblings struggle to balance love, life, and duty as protectors of a magical power source on The Demon Isle—a fresh take on supernatural mysteries that's gritty, compelling, and deeply satisfying...

** We Witches Three is the Demon Isle Witches YA Edition…

The Legacy of the Howard Witches:
Protect the Power Source –
Protect the Bloodline by Bringing New Witches into the World –
Don't Expect to Live Long Enough to Meet Your Grandchildren…

Tourists want to believe the supernatural is real and The Demon Isle delivers—from the moment they step off the ferry and land on the nostalgia inducing, glowy lanterned streets straight off the pages of yesteryear, or wander down foggy cobblestone sidewalks lined with fortune tellers and magic shops or take one of the haunted tours of the Isle in hopes of catching a glimpse of some mythical creature belonging to a fantasy world.

Ghosts, vampires, werewolves, faeries, mermaids—the sightings are endless and it's the perfect cover. Because while tourists bask in the safety and delight of the possibility, the supernatural community is not only real, but thriving, and hiding right under the noses of tourists immersing themselves in the fantasy.

The locals know the truth.
They know the dangers that lurk around dark alleys and foggy beaches.
But they also know who to turn to if they need help.

The Howard Witches.
They've been protecting The Demon Isle and its inhabitants for many generations.

However, there were once generous numbers of witches fulfilling this duty, whereas today, there are only three witch siblings still alive, which makes balancing love, life, and duty, nearly impossible.

Melinda, the youngest, who has prophetic dreams of people about to die.
Michael, the middle child, and an empath and death reader.
Charlie, cursed with a werewolf bite and the eldest of the siblings.
William, an aged vampire, longtime family friend and mentor to them all.

Together, they protect The Demon Isle from non-stop supernatural trouble seeking to control a hidden source of powerful magic. But when the local sheriff calls them in desperate need of help solving a murder, and Melinda has a prophetic dream that could destroy the life of one of her brothers—the two cases intertwine and will forever change the lives of the Howard Witches...


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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Upon a Midnight Dreary: A Halloween Anthology



When doors creak and ghostly whispers can be heard throughout the halls, this stunning collection of haunted Historical Romance novellas is sure to leave you breathless with ethereal, romantic tales…

Welcome to UPON A MIDNIGHT DREARY anthology!

Many of your favorite Historical Romance authors have come together for a collection of never-before published stories inspired by true, legendary hauntings of the British Isles. These tales will give you a chill, a thrill, and have you reading them over and over. From the moors of Devon to the ballrooms of Regency London, and far north into the Scottish Highlands, these stories will bring you wistful dreams of legendary and haunting romance. You’ve never before experienced a collection like this by some of the very best authors in Historical Romance.

Authors in this anthology include:

Kathryn Le Veque
Chasity Bowlin
Hildie McQueen
Maggie Andersen
Mary Lancaster
Meara Platt
Violetta Rand
Alexa Aston
Anna Markland
Aubrey Wynne
Elizabeth Ellen Carter
Elizabeth Johns
Elizabeth Keysian
Emily E K Murdoch
Emily Royal
Heather McCollum
Anna St. Claire
Lynne Connolly
Maeve Greyson
Whitney Blake

Light your candle, lock your doors, and settle down to this smashing collection of darkly-tinged romantic stories with unforgettable heroes and magnificent ladies. Romance has never been so daring… or so haunting!

And if you hear a knock on your door… don’t answer it unless you are prepared to welcome a wandering wraith in a tattered wedding gown…

Note: This collection is comprised of all never before published material.

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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Once Upon a Halloween

$4.99 or FREE for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers


Once Upon a hallowed eve...
Halloween, the day where the veil between the normal and the paranormal is as thin as a whisker on a witch's chin...

Twenty-three original cozy mysteries cook up tales of fun, mayhem, and murder!

With a sprinkle of seniors with sharp minds and smart mouths, a dash of witches with familiars and more sass than sense, and a pinch of whodunits in quaint little towns.

Once Upon a Halloween has your next favorite author. Who will it be?

Nearly Departed by Patti Larsen
A String of Perils by Penelope Cress
The Clown, The Witch & The Cat by Steven Higgs
Witch’s First Zombie by Valia Lind
Costumes & Cadavers by Katherine H. Brown
Aos si by Tommy Ueland
Pumpkins and Premonitions by Martina Dalton
Bait and Click by Kari Ganske
Candy Korn Killer by Brittany E. Brinegar
A Witchy Spookfest by Rhonda Hopkins
Sweet Scary Deal by Judith A. Barrett
The Black Rose by Louise R. Innes
Murder and the Showgirl by Lynda Brunelle
Murder at the Pawstume Party: A Pupcakes and Pawtries Cozy Mystery by Daphne McLean
Halloween Cat Crimes by Julia Koty
Tea is for Tricks by Karen Sue Walker
Take Your Pixie by Willow Mason
A Shaman's Samhain by Belinda White
Scandal at Samhain by Carly Reid
The Mystery of Alice by K.E. O'Connor
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow-Point by Linda M. Au
Hunting Witches by Annie Whittaker
Halloween Hoedowns Can Be Deadly by Ryan Rivers


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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Halloween Kills: The Official Movie Novelization by Tim Waggoner




The official novelization of the highly anticipated sequel to 2018’s Halloween, starring Jamie Lee Curtis.

Minutes after Laurie Strode, her daughter Karen, and granddaughter Allyson left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor.
But when Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster. But as a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage decide to take matters into their own hands, a vigilante mob forms that sets out to hunt Michael down. Evil dies tonight.



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Friday, October 22, 2021

Ghosted by Patricia Rockwell

$2.99 or FREE for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers


Grab your cup of spiced tea, your comfy blanket, and snuggle up in your warmest chair! It’s Halloween and time for the goblins to come out. But for Essie Cobb, senior sleuth, and her pals at the Happy Haven Assisted Living Facility, there’s nothing quite so spooky as a good mystery. Maybe it’s the strange new resident who resembles Mark Twain. Why does he collect a box surreptitiously each day from a stranger behind the kitchen entrance? Or maybe it’s Felix Federico, Happy Haven’s new manager. Where did this Italian heart throb of all the female residents, develop his charming ways? And will Essie’s pals be able to convince her to go on a field trip to a local haunted house despite her aversion to any activity that takes her away from a nearby restroom? But most important––why is Essie seeing things? Such as large rodents in her shower, faces in her crossword puzzles, and the ghost of her dead husband on her favorite television game show? Is she being haunted or is age finally catching up to this ninety-year-old lady? Essie isn’t one to just sit around and wait for an answer. She’s going into detective mode and find out why she’s being GHOSTED.



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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Ground to a Halt by Elaine Orr



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When Jolie Gentil goes to buy a cup of coffee the morning after a storm knocks out power at her house in Ocean Alley, she finds Java Jolt unlocked and minus its owner. A bigger surprise is seeing proprietor Joe Regan a few minutes later, badly injured. It seems a potential killer thinks Jolie has something Joe was hiding. The normal routine of appraising houses and volunteering at the Harvest for All food pantry is interrupted by an SUV that nearly smashes Jolie, a break-in at the home Jolie and Scoobie share, and a terrifying kidnapping. Jolie needs to figure out who's telling the truth and how far the thugs will go to to find what they want. Only solving the puzzle will keep Jolie safe, protect a vulnerable Iraqi War vet, and make sure everyone stays alive. But if Jolie keeps searching, her budding romance with Scoobie may grind to a halt.


Mr. Markle looked at me as I set my coffee on the conveyer belt. "You have a lot of elderly customers at the pantry?"

"Mostly at the end of the month." I took a five dollar bill from my purse. "How long was Joe Regan in here?"

"Joe? He just left. I didn’t see him come in." He finished ringing the item and took my money.

"I, um, thought I saw him coming out of your storage area."

Mr. Markle shrugged. "I put supplies I order for him on a shelf. He was probably checking."

"Ah. Thanks. I’ll likely see you later in the week."

"Tell Scoobie to come over. I have a box of dented cans."

"Thanks." I walked slowly to my car. I knew I should get right to the office, which is in the house Harry bought before he and Aunt Madge married. But maybe I should go to the police. Something told me they might consider Joe Regan to be some sort of missing person. I didn’t want to mind Joe’s business, but his expression said something wasn’t right.

As I opened my car door I heard a pop. It wasn't as loud as a car backfire, but more than a kid would make squashing an aluminum can. Then there was another pop.

Joe Regan walked around the corner from Seashore Street, coming toward me. If he’s coming back to the store he must be fine.

I thought that until Joe collapsed on the sidewalk.

INSTINCT PULLED ME toward and away from Joe. I wanted to help him, but my muddled thinking said the noise had been a gun. I compromised by crouching and looking toward Joe for several long seconds.

When there were no more ominous pops I stumbled toward him, leaning forward as I went. Some TV show must have taught me I’d be less of a target if I bent over.

Joe was on his side and his eyes were open. I knelt next to him, unsure what to do. I need to call 9-1-1! Sirens headed toward us made me drop the phone I’d just taken from my pocket and I looked at Joe. "Help is coming."

He whispered. "Jolie. Don’t let them hurt him."

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Halloween Spirits: 11 Tales for the Darkest Night



$2.99 or FREE for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers


In this book, you'll find stories for the darkest night of the year from some of the top voices in dark fantasy and horror. Two boys investigate a Halloween ghost, and learn a terrible encounter with a fortune-telling machine has deadly consequences...a World War II veteran finds out his cousin's tragic romance was not of this world...a trick-or-treat game show pits kids against real monsters...Halloween angels unleash inner longings one night a year...and six more stories that will chill your bones like a late Autumn night.

HALLOWEEN SPIRITS also includes an original essay by leading Halloween history expert Lisa Morton.



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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Witching Hour (Havenport Romance) by Ruth A. Casie


$2.99 or FREE for Kindle Unlimited Subscribers


Ruth A. Casie tells a story of true love, family, friendship, betrayal and secrets in this sweet novella. Grab the tissues and prepare to take a journey with Rachel Emerson, trust me you won't be disappointed! I couldn't put the book down!-  Sonya on Amazon


Lost: One locket filled with timeless memories and a love that should have lasted an eternity.

Rachel Emerson led a charmed life. Steffen Burkett, her greatest love was everything a woman could want and he was her. But before the wedding invitations were sent, the wedding was cancelled.

Fast forward thirty years. Rachel returns to her beloved home on Halloween eve, the day before the house becomes the property of the Historical Society. For years she mourned the loss of her locket, her only connection to Steffen. This is her last chance to find it. Going home takes Rachel on a journey of self-discovery and possibly even reconciliation.



The week before Halloween, on her way home from an afternoon of gathering seashells at the town beach, intent on getting her favorite hamburger and fries at Mellie’s Diner, she carefully approached Water Street ready to cross.

Water Street followed the coastline and was a series of serpentine curves that led to a straight-away as it came into Havenport. The last curve, the one everyone called Killer Curve, carried a double punch. A sharp curve and steep rise not only obscured on-coming traffic, but if you didn’t slow down before the drop, well, you could wind up on the beach if the tide was out.

With nothing in site, Rachel stepped off the curb. Out of nowhere, she found herself in the cross hairs of an oncoming car. Startled, and incapable to make sense of what was happening, she stood frozen in place.

Breaks screeched filling the air with the odor of burnt rubber. Finally, Rachel came to her senses and jumped back toward the curb, but landed badly, her ankle on an odd angle, and fell to the ground. The car skidded to a stop inches away from her.

The door swung open, the engine still running, and from her position on the asphalt, she stared at a pair of muscular legs. Rachel worked to catch her breath. Her sunglasses had gone flying and with the sun glaring into her eyes, she didn’t recognize who stood over her.

“Jeez, I could have—. Don’t move. I’ll take you to the hospital.”

“Don’t be silly. I’m fine.” Rachel sat up, groped for her sunglasses. He plucked them out of the street and handed them to her. She put on the twisted frames. Her eyes traveled from his muscular legs, up his bare ripped abdomen and chest to his concerned eyes. Who is he? A tourist? He helped her to her feet.

“See.” Her leg buckled and she got lightheaded.

“Whoa.” He had fast reflexes. He caught her before she hit the ground.

He easily held her as if her hundred and ten pounds were nothing and he didn’t appear eager to put her down. His hazel eyes were striking but his smile…took her breath away.

Rachel sniffed the air. “Skunk?”

“Yeah, you can still smell it. My map flew out the window. When I picked it up, a skunk sprayed me.”

“Don’t tell me. You stopped at Constitution and Manor.” She wanted to kiss that little critter.

“Yeah, how’d you know?”

“We’re old friends. Did you give the critter the shirt off your back?” He threw back his head and let out a peal of laughter.

“No, I burned it on the side of the road. I didn’t want to smell up my car. I’m Steffen Burkett. My family moved to the old Dyer place. Let me take you home. It’s the least I can do.” He placed her in the passenger seat.

“I’m Rachel Emerson. We’re practically neighbors.” It was a toss-up. She couldn’t decide whether it was almost becoming another Killer Curve statistic or the handsome Steffen Burkett that caused her to be lightheaded.


About the Author:

Hi, I’m Ruth A. Casie. I write historical swashbuckling action-adventures and contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. My stories feature strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. I live in New Jersey with my own hero, three empty bedrooms, and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before I found my ‘voice,’ I was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and vice president at an international bank vice president where I was a product/ marketing manager, but my favorite job is the one I’m doing now—writing romance. I hope you read my stories and they become your favorite adventures.

Here are five things you probably don’t know about me.

1.  I filled my passport up in one year.

2.  I have three series.  The Druid Knight Stories are a historical time travel series. The Stelton Legacy is historical fantasy about the seven sons of a seventh son. Havenport Romances are contemporary stories set in a small Rhode Island coastal town.  I also write stories in the Pirates of Britannia Connected World.

3.  I did a rap to “How Many Trucks Can a Tow Truck Tow If a Tow Truck Could Tow Trucks.”

4.  When I cook I dance.

5.  My Sudoku book is in the bathroom. I’m not saying anything else about that.

Bonus: I’m a USA Today bestselling author.

My hobbies:

* counted cross stitch

* ballroom dancing - not just between the fridge and stove

* reading almost anything

* Sudoko - I'm still staying quiet about that

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