Friday, March 27, 2015

Patti J. Smith reflects on an evening that was filled with Fellowship, Praise and Worship!

“My mother wanted to abort me, and that was basically a family secret. My grandfather stopped her and said that he had a dream and saw me perfectly. He was a prophetic dreamer, like Martin.” (Dr. Alveda King)

Being active in the pro-life community, I have met some extraordinary people. Last night at a Life Choices benefit, I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to two of my heroes: Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Walter Hoye, Founder and President of Issues4Life. Two incredibly passionate soldiers of Christ battling abortion; particularly the genocide of African-American children. You might think the term “genocide” is a little dramatic, but, unfortunately, it’s the only word that describes what is going on in our country. More than 16,000,000 African-American children have been aborted since passage of Roe v Wade.

The evening was filled with fellowship, praise and worship, but most importantly hope. We witnessed the testimony of three young women who utilized the services of Life Choices. They walked on the stage with their beautiful babies, sharing that through the education and assistance of Life Choices, they were able to keep and care for their children, continue their schooling and move forward in achieving their goals.

As most of my readers know, I co-lead after-abortion healing retreats for women who have suffered the emotional, physical and spiritual consequences of abortion. I have a dream too … my services will not be needed in the future and through the efforts of Dr. King, Walter Hoye, and the pro-life community, it will someday become a reality.

About Patti:
Patti J. Smith was born in Wimpole Park, England. She lived in England and Morocco as well as several state-side Air Force Bases and considers her father's last assignment, Moses Lake, Washington, her hometown. She audited for the Dept. of Labor and Veteran's Administration Offices of Inspector General, served in the U.S. Army Reserve (Transit Control Unit and Criminal Investigation Division) and recently retired as a background investigator.

Patti lives in Vista, CA with her husband and has three granddaughters. She is a member of the Association of Christian Therapists, serves as a Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and leads Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats.

Her writing includes devotionals, light romance, and suspense, and her strong faith is reflected in each genre. She is a prolific blogger and reader, and proudly admits to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic.

Follow her blog:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

In The Light by Marcia Lee Laycock

In The Light
by Marcia Lee Laycock
The Persian poet Rumi is quoted as saying, “The world is the place where the light enters you.”
I like that perspective. I like thinking about it. Of course I can think of many times when it did not seem to be true, times when the world seemed all wrong, times of discouragement and sometimes anger, times when my self-centredness got in the way. But then there have been many more times when I have felt the Light, the Light of Christ, flowing all around me, entering into me and pouring out again.
It happened just yesterday. A friend is watching her husband die a slow and very painful death. She lives over a thousand kilometres away, so it wasn’t possible to be with her in person but yesterday I picked up the phone and talked with her. And Jesus was there, flowing back and forth through that invisible phone line as we chatted and wept and prayed. His light lifted us both up, took us out of this world of sickness and pain and showed us there is more than what we see with our eyes.
I felt it on another occasion, at a funeral, when a young widow went up on her tiptoes as she described how God was helping her stand, helping her keep her head up and reach for Him in the midst of her pain and sorrow. I saw the Light around her and in her, in us all at that moment.
I’ve heard it in a strain of music that seems to come from the core of heaven itself, watching an Alzheimer’s patient raise her head at the familiar chords of an old hymn. I’ve heard it in the unconscious laughter of a child and the comforting purr of a cat that curls in my lap.
I’ve seen it pour out of a canvass painted six hundred years ago and in the eyes of a marble sculpture that took my breath away. I’ve seen it in the eyes in a portrait sketched in love and now so real it looks like the man is about to talk.
I’ve felt it too as I’ve tapped away on my keyboard, watching the black and white words advance across the monitor, knowing He was choosing the words, He was speaking to me and would speak through me to those who would read them.
“The world is the place where the Light enters you.” Yes, this world, with all its pain and suffering and chaos, with all its muddied waters and infuriating politics. This world, this place where we live, is the place where God has chosen to work, to reveal Himself in all His glory, through all that is created.
And He has chosen to do it through you and me. What a gift! What Mercy! What Grace!
“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord” (Psalm 89:15).
“Come ... let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5).

Marcia’s writing has won awards in Canada and the U.S. She is the author of One Smooth Stone for which she won the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award in 2007. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was also short-listed for an award and has garnered excellent reviews. Marcia’s three devotional books are listed among her award-winners and she has contributed to several anthologies including the Hot Apple Cider books. Marcia’s most recent release is The Ambassadors, a YA fantasy series just launched with Helping Hands Press. Marcia is also a sought-after speaker for women’s events. Visit her online at - Website Facebook Pinterest and Twitter

An Update on the soon to be released "Detectives Incorporated" series!

Who are the detectives in this story?

Would you believe four average Mom's and their children?

Maybe, or maybe not.

Next week the first chapter in this rather unique glimpse into another world?

One that chooses to remain in the shadows.

Slated for an April release: Murray Pura's new YA Novel "A Soft Morning"!!!!!

He loved his lady and woman more than he loved his own soul. But when their storybook marriage fell apart under the weight of a dark depression that threatened to take her life he was helpless. In desperation he turned to a God and a faith he had rejected years before. And when healing did not come right away he prayed the most desperate prayer of his life - "Take the depression out of her, make it into the form of a beast, and let me fight that beast to the death. If I slay it, I slay her darkness, and set her free, and she lives again." Of all the prayers he might have prayed to a God he'd turned his back on this was the one he prayed and this was the one that was answered.

New YA Series to debut in late April :"At The Corner of Crossroads and Cosplay"

What do you think this new YA series will be about?

Please leave a comment with your guess!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Helping Hands Press- BUY SMALL PRESS- WIN BIG!!!!!!!!


Helping Hands Press and its Author Community would like to invite you to try their short stories, novels, paperbacks, audio books and music.

Drop by the Helping Hands Press Store and enter the code “WinBig” at checkout and save 25% off of everything in the Store.

The sale starts today and ends April 16th.

Here is the link to the Helping Hands Press Store:

But Wait There’s More!!!!!!

Starting Monday, March 23 and running until the sale is over there will be a ton of chances to win prizes.

A Rafflecopter will be setup on the right sidebar of the Helping Hands Press blog.

There you will find things to tweet, pin, and share all over social media to win chances at paperbacks, ebooks, audio books and a brand new Kindle Fire!

ARE YOU READY TO WIN BIG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We hope so!

New Music from author and balladeer Tony Hilling!

New Music from author and balladeer Tony Hilling!

The song is available RIGHT NOW in the Helping Hands Press Store for $0.99!

Here is the link to the HHP Store for Tony Hilling's new song:

Join Patti J. Smith and Dr. Alveda King March 26th @ St. Michael's Holy Family Center "Changing Lives, Saving Lives"

Changing Lives, Saving Lives with Dr. Alveda King
Start Date: Mar. 26th, 2015

Start Time: 7:00pm - End Time: 9:00pm

Life Choice's presents its 9th annual event featuring Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luter King, Jr. Dr. King sees the pro-life movement as a continuation of the civil rights struggle. Don't miss this historic civil rights warrior as she confronts abortion in today's culture. And Walter Hoye, Founder and President of Issues 4 Life Foundation, will also be a featured speaker. This is a rare opportunity to see these two national pro-life warriors together in one evening.


St. Michael's Holy Family Center
15546 Pomerado Road
Poway, California 92064

Coming Soon! The exciting conclusion to the Easter series: "Sonrise In Sweetland-V5-Lost and Found"!

Mary Ellen McKenzie lost her home to fire. But she also lost her identity. When the McKenzies move in with grandfather Bernard Thompson and his new wife Virginia, the ancestral home of Sweetbriar comes alive with challenges. Can two blended families give back to Sweetland by hosting an Easter egg hunt? Sound simple? A mysterious phone call changes everything.

Return to Sweetland to see if Virginia’s detective skills will be enough to stand between what is lost and what is found.

"The Posse" RIDES AGAIN April 16th!!!!!


Release Date? The 1st story in the new series will launch during Helping Hands Press "Thirsty Thursday " Facebook Party on April 16th!!!!!!!

Get ready as Justice,Shadow, and the rest of "The Posse" ride again!

Read the 1st Chapter of Mark Carver's Colony Zero Series O story- "Olympus" RIGHT NOW!

The Story of Althana
by Mark Carver

“Althana! Hurry child, we are going to be late!”

Althana hastily raked the brush through her raven-black hair. “Coming!” she called out, studying her reflection in the mirror.

It only took a few seconds for her to decide she looked awful. Her flawless, sun-golden skin looked pale…there were circles under her eyes…her hair was a mess…and it looked like a pimple was starting to blossom on her cheek.

Her eyes traveled downwards to her neck, then lower…

That’s where the real blemish was.

The door chirped and she jumped. “Yes?”

Her aunt’s voice seemed to hover in the room like a ghost.

“Althana, can I come in and help you?”

“No, I’m all right,” Althana answered, hastily gathering her robe to cover herself.

The door dissolved in a shimmer of electrons and Aunt Merilite entered the room. She was tall, statuesque, radiating elegance in a purple gown that looked like it was made of liquid that would fall away from her body at any moment.

Althana didn’t turn around. She watched her aunt in the mirror, unable to staunch the flood of jealousy that flooded her young heart. Aunt Merilite was almost sixty years old, more than three times older than she was, but she knew she would never reach her aunt’s level of beauty. Or perfection.

Althana’s arms clutched the gossamer robe to her chest. Tearing her eyes away from her aunt’s voluptuous body, she was aware more than ever of the void beneath the fabric. Aunt Merilite didn’t know; the only people that had known her secret had been her parents. After the accident claimed their lives last month, she had been turned over to her aunt even though she was legally an adult. She suspected her aunt had engineered her custody, since her lawyers had unexpectedly informed her that the sizeable trust left to her by her parents was too great a responsibility for an orphaned girl to handle. Aunt Merilite had stepped in and rescued her from the turmoil that instant wealth would have created, and also gained the access to the upper echelons of society that she had been craving all her life.

There was nothing Althana could really complain about, though. She missed her parents but her aunt took good care of her. The only thing she disliked was her aunt’s proclivity towards parties, which she was often wrangled into despite being someone who preferred to stay at home and practice her resonaro. Music was her only real friend.

She could feel Aunt Merilite’s gaze burning into her bare shoulders. After several moments, she realized she was holding her breath.

“Do you need help getting ready, angel?” Aunt Merilite asked.

Althana shook her head vigorously. “No, no thanks.”

Aunt Merilite waved her words away. “Please, child, let me help. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you are not realizing your full potential when it comes to your appearance.”

She picked up a small device that looked like a gleaming silver pen, turning it over in her hands. “Have you even tried this aural yet? It wasn’t cheap.”

Althana exhaled slowly. “I…I don’t know how to use it correctly. And I would feel strange with lights sparkling around my head.”

“Because you’re an angel, and angels have halos. All the girls your age are wearing them and when it’s done right, it looks amazing.”

Aunt Merilite slid her fingers through Althana’s hair. Althana tensed, and her aunt moved her hand away. She set the aural on the table in front of the mirror.

“We’ll leave in an hour,” she said quietly, then turned and left the room.

Althana let her shoulders relax. She looked down at the aural, feeling slightly nauseous at the thought of stumbling around on ten-inch mag heels while holographic stars sparkled around her head. She suddenly felt the urge to fling the little machine into the incinerator. Why did people think such ridiculous things were important?

She glanced down again. Ridiculous things…

Her lips drew tight. Why did she have to be born in the 28th century? She remembered paying close attention in her history class module when the holo instructor described the laughable abomination that appeared in the 20th century called “cosmetic surgery.” People paid exorbitant sums to mask their physical flaws, even though their family and friends usually knew about the operations. This fad grew exponentially until genetic engineering entered the mainstream in the mid-21st century. Althana felt her heart lurch within her mal-formed chest when she learned of this. Why couldn’t she have been born seven hundred years earlier?

In those days, she could have simply walked into a clinic and come out with a perfect body. But those days were long gone, and most people today probably had no idea what cosmetic surgery even meant. Just as there were no more blacksmith to make horseshoes or mechanics to fix automobiles – it was an industry that simply didn’t exist anymore, because everyone was perfect.

And if they weren’t, they were shipped off-world by the Relocation Ministry. Out of sight, out of mind.

Althana looked at her reflection. She was undeniably beautiful – gorgeous skin, extraordinary bone structure, large, shimmering eyes, luxurious black hair. Her figure was a sculptor’s dream, with sensuous hips and long, athletic legs. Her beauty was in full bloom, but part of her refused to blossom. With standardized puberty being the social norm, her parents had tried not to show their worry, but Althana could sense the anxiety behind their smiles and reassurances. She had heard the stories about incomplete pubescent development, about how occurrences seemed to be on the rise, about how families with untainted genetic heritage stretching back generations were suddenly being afflicted with malformities.

The Relocation Ministry did not show mercy. Their goal was simple: the total cleansing of the human race. The world was a pristine parlor and even the slightest speck of dust was immediately eradicated.

But I’m not a speck of dust. Althana clenched her fists. I’m not a disease. I’m just like everyone else… So why can I be like everyone else? Why me? It’s not fair!

She lashed out at her reflection, her fist passing harmlessly through the holographic mirror.

“Althana!” her aunt’s voice floated through the room. “Are you ready yet? We cannot be late; you know how important this party is.”

“Yes, I know. I’ll be right down.”

She rolled her eyes, then grabbed her hair in a bunch and rammed the aural through the curls.

James J. Griffin has Summer reading on his mind!

After a long, cold, snowy winter, summer is coming. Many people think summer is not the
time for reading. However, think again. Summer is the perfect time to buy a new book
(or several) to enjoy. Think about those days on the beach, relaxing under your umbrella
with a book to help you escape. Or those inevitable rainy days on your vacation. A book
can help turn those from blah to exciting. Even those hot, hazy, humid days, when just
moving is almost too much effort, and you're trapped indoors, with or without air
conditioning. All you have to do when reading is use a finger to turn the page or
slide the text. And a book can be the perfect finish to an active summer day. So, don't
give up reading just because it's summer. Books are the perfect gift, year round.

Oops, almost forgot!

Audio books are a great gift at any time also!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Will darkness engulf them all? Find out very soon in Marcia Lee Laycock's "The Snare is Set"

With the arrival of Eghan’s Uncle Adlair, Malora makes plans to set her trap for the prince. Ulhrik tells Adlair that the prophesy is unfolding quickly but assures him that Eghan will survive and Khalwyd and Adlair try to warn the king as Malora’s father arrives with a large contingent of soldiers.

When Malora succeeds in trapping Eghan into marriage the prince at last sees her duplicity and turns against her. When she reveals that her father was in league with Duke Malnar, the man who had tried to kill Nara, Eghan's feelings for the Alingan queen become apparent. He tries to warn his father, but King Gherin falls under the influence of Malora’s father and will not listen to reason.

Eghan is left feeling helpless and alone, Malora’s spiteful words ringing in his ears: “Fool! You will lose this time, Eghan Lhin. You will lose everything!”

Meanwhile Nara hears of Eghan’s marriage and has a premonition of evil but her advisors encourage her to accept an invitation to the court of a powerful neighbor.

Webs of deceit are woven. Will darkness engulf them all?

Grab an advanced read on the beginning of Patti J. Smith's FINALE to the "Grave Obsessions" series. What do you THINK?

He leaned back in a wobbly wooden chair, downed a shot of Tequila, and scanned the sleazy Tijuana bar for potential conquests. Prostitutes were easy marks for someone temporarily flying under the radar.
An overweight redheaded hooker eyed him, but she was not his type. He needed a sweet young thing.
Just before he stood to leave, she sauntered in. Much better. Slender, cute. She can’t be more than eighteen. He beckoned her to the table with a nod and a wink. “¿Cuánto por la noche (how much for the night)?” he whispered in her ear as he inhaled in her cheap perfume.
Marshall Reeves, aka Adan Fredricks, stood in the shower, watching the blood flow down the drain. Once dressed, he left the dilapidated apartment, walked three blocks, and hailed a cab. “Legacy Suites, Paseo de Los Héroes, por favor.”
There, the first-shift hotel clerk handed him a receipt, which was illuminated by the midmorning sun streaming in through the lobby windows. “We hope you enjoyed your stay, Mr. Reeves. Shall I call the airport shuttle?”
Fredricks smiled. “I won't need the shuttle. A taxi to the border will do. I have a friend in San Diego who wants to see me.”
She pulled into her garage, exhausted from another long day. The only things on her mind as she entered her house were a chilled glass of wine, a hot bath, and a good night’s sleep. She leaned against the kitchen counter and took a large gulp. From the corner of her eye, she saw the light blinking on her answering machine.
She pressed a button and heard a familiar, mocking voice. “Hello, Detective Keegan. Just checking in.” Beads of sweat dripped from her brow, and her body tensed. The voice continued, “Mexico is lovely but boring. Ready for Round Three? The bell will ring soon, and it's just for you.” The glass dropped from her hand, and red wine formed a blood-spatter pattern on the white tile.
She settled herself, reached for her revolver, and released the safety. A search of the house showed no sign of intrusion. All windows and doors were secured. She jotted down the number from Caller ID, and then pressed redial.
The call went directly to voicemail. “Hello again. You must have received my message. Let the games begin.”
She ended the call and made another. “Lieutenant, this is Keegan....”
The lieutenant cut to the chase. “I’m sending a patrol car to pick you up. If he has your number, he probably figured out where you live. I don't think he's stupid enough to show up there, but I don't want to take any chances.”
Dallas rolled her eyes. “Lieutenant, I appreciate your concern, but I'll be fine. There's no sign of a break-in, and I have the alarm on. I'll call in and have the number traced, but I'm sure he used a prepaid. He's not going to make it that easy.”
The lieutenant sighed. “If you want to stay there, fine, but I'm sending an officer to patrol your neighborhood. Get some sleep, and we'll talk about it in the morning. If you get another call, contact me immediately. Good night.”
She cleaned the floor before pouring herself another glass of wine and carrying it into the bathroom. The hot bath combined with the alcohol made her drowsy, and she nodded off. She was jarred awake by a slipping sensation just before her head hit the water. Great, Dallas, drown yourself. She dried off, threw on a terry robe, and grabbed the revolver from the toilet seat. After double-checking the alarm system, she placed the gun on her nightstand, picked up her rosary, and crawled into bed. “Hail Mary....”
Before she got to her desk, she heard the lieutenant call out, “Keegan, my office.”
She immediately obeyed, and he motioned for her to sit down.
“I contacted the task force to find out how in the hell Fredricks got out of the country—let alone back in, if that's what really happened. What did you find out about the phone?”
Dallas brushed a stray hair from her face. “As expected, it was prepaid, so tracking is out of the question. My gut is telling me he’s close. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have called.” She stood up. “Now that Fredricks is in the vicinity, can we work the case?”
The lieutenant flashed a knowing look. “I had a feeling you would ask. I brought that up to the task force. We don’t want a jurisdictional battle, so we’ll team up and share the load. The guy in charge is Special Agent Hatcher.”
Agent Hatcher could wait a few minutes. Dallas dialed another number first. “Hey, partner, how's it going?”
Twyla told her all was going as expected. Her daughter, traumatized by the kidnapping, refused to be left alone. “We're going to see a counselor this afternoon, but she's a tough cookie. She'll be okay. What's up?” She listened as Dallas recounted the recent events. “Dang it, Keeg, wish I could come in and help. Is there anything I can do from here?”
“Worley, you just take care of Emerson. I'll be working with the task force, and hopefully we'll nab this animal before you get back.”
“We’re releasing a revised nationwide BOLO based on new information we got from the East Coast, where Fredricks was last seen,” Hatcher informed her. “One of our agents was assigned to check crime reports in the area and came across an incident that happened a few weeks after your run-in with Fredricks in Connecticut. A pawn shop owner about twenty miles from your retreat compound was found stabbed and robbed. During the search of the shop, the local police found equipment in the back area used to produce false documents. Fortunately, someone from the bar next door noticed a guy go in and out of the shop around the estimated time of death.”
“Agent Hatcher, are you sure it was Fredricks?”
“Detective, call me Brad, and yes, we’re sure. The witness was able to describe the suspect to a sketch artist. Although he had a different hairstyle and a scar running down his cheek, the facial structure similarity was too close to be a coincidence. Plus, the body type was spot-on. We just sent out the e-mail. Your lieutenant should have it, but the clincher is the pharmacy break-in a block away from the pawn shop. Antibiotics and pain and anti-rejection medications were missing. Sound familiar?”
Dallas switched the phone to her other ear. “I'm Dallas, and yes, it has to be our guy. Now he’s near our backyard—Tijuana or the northern beach areas. I’m betting on Tijuana.”
“Go ahead and work Tijuana, Dallas. We'll cover the Baja beach communities.”

Meet Marta Burden!

Marta Burden is a published author with stories in Inspire Anthologies, including Faith, Victory and Promise.
Marta graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Biblical Literature, and began her career as a bookkeeper, office manager and eventually executive secretary for an education/lobbying organization. Now retired, she devotes her time to her love of writing contemporary fiction, devotionals and short stories.
Drawing from her many visits to Israel, Marta seeks to bridge the gap between the Christian and Jewish world.
Marta lives in Northern California with her husband and spoiled cat, Kleinah. She enjoys spending time with her two grown children and eight delightful (grandmothers can say this) grandchildren.

You can visit Marta at:



Read the beginning of William Tasch's soon to be released "Backslide" RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

Paul Compton stood in the storage room of the Best Burger restaurant checking out the image of him staring back from the full length mirror that was placed carefully on the back of the door. There were silver colored wire shelves all around the room filled with cardboard boxes with the tops ripped off containing ketchup and mustard packets, there were plastic tubs of mayonnaise stacked on the shelves as well as plastic bags of paper cups and lids for fountain drinks and stacks of French fry boxes in all sizes along with paper bags for takeout orders. At six feet one inch tall, he was only a couple inches below the top of the mirror. He read the sign posted above the mirror out loud.
“Have you checked yourself today? Why yes, yes I have and thank you, I’m checking myself right now thank you very much; oh and those brown eyes are gorgeous young man. Well thanks again Mr. Mirror!” He said sarcastically while snapping his fingers and pointing at himself in the mirror. Paul admired his perfect teeth and practiced smile admiring his chiseled jaw and dark brown eyes. There had to be a better way to make money than flipping burgers he thought, or as in this place running them through a char broiler that was chain fed, but at seventeen it was going to have to do especially since his dad had recently lost his company business in some lawsuit gone bad. Paul went from being a star football player, dating one of the hottest cheerleaders and having money seemingly falling out of his pockets to the family almost being homeless, moving to the ghetto side of town as everyone called it and having to get a job and work. Life seemed so cruel to him, but maybe this was a good lesson. He wasn’t sure how, but he did find out who some of his true friends were during the ordeal. Maybe working would teach him something. He wasn’t sure what that was yet, but after all these months working, there must be a lesson somewhere.
He slicked back his shoulder length brown hair and pointed at him self in the mirror again quite pleased at what he saw.
“You are still the sexiest man at Winnebago High School even if your family is no longer rich.” He kissed the air quite pleased with the way he looked, slipped on his paper ‘Eat the Best, forget the rest’ hat and was almost knocked over as the door swung inward.
“Hey man, watch out! You have to be careful coming in here. Don’t you know the rules?” He screamed as a boy he’d seen in school walked in. His face turned red and he clinched his jaw as he tried to control his anger but that was a hard thing for him to do. The rage was instantaneous and made him see red, but usually for only a few seconds.
“Oh, sorry, I’m new here. No one told me about any rules yet. I’m Cole Jeffries and you are the football guy Paul right? You play that big position, what’s it called…” Paul nodded a little annoyed.
“Right, quarterback.” Cole thrust out his hand and felt a momentary but very distinct coldness that he knew all too well as Paul took his hand and shook it. Paul was not saved, Cole had the gift of knowing that the second he shook his hand. He didn’t know how the gift worked, but the second he shook anyone’s hand or got near someone, it was clear to him if they were on the path to heaven or possibly hell whichever the case may be. He shivered at the thought and let go. It was after all an opportunity for him to share when the time was right.
“Sorry about the door, the manager told me to get a shirt and a paper hat back here.”
Paul’s anger slowly left and he unclenched his jaw as he sized up the lanky kid with blond locks and brown eyes he’d seen around school before. He always had a few kids around him as he was always speaking about God and he was always carrying a Bible around waving his hands animatedly in the hallway like some deranged television evangelist.
“Yeah, I’m the football guy and you’re the Jesus freak right?”
“Jesus freak, sweet, I guess that would be me.”
“Anyway, don’t worry about the door, there’s kind of an unwritten rule to knock prior to walking in just in case someone is standing behind it like me for instance just now. I didn’t mean to scream, but sometimes my anger gets the best of me.”
“I couldn’t tell.” Cole said with a smile on his face. Paul shook his head.
“Okay funny guy, the shirts are hanging on that rack on the very back wall and the hats are right here. Make sure you use a marker and write your name on the inside of your hat as you will find that Pete is always trying to save money. He makes us wear our hats for at least a week before we can get a new one. Sometimes after a week, your hat can look kind of gross. One big stain of grease of grease than our fries have if you know what I mean.”
Paul punched his time card, slid it in the slot and walked out to the front counter. He grabbed the piece of paper and read his name. Printed neatly next to his name were the initials BB.
“Burger Board” he mumbled to himself as he scanned the rest of the list. That wasn’t too bad for the dinner evening rush. He considered himself the best burger maker anyway. He scanned the rest of the list. He found Cole’s name with the initials FF.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What is Detectives Incorporated about? Here's a little teaser.

A small East Coast coastal town does not realize what some of their newly arrived retired residents did for a living.
They appear to be simple folk, generic and plain in every way shape and form.
They are great neighbors. They will give you the shirt off of their back. They are the first to volunteer at any Church function, CYO event, or Cub or Girl Scout gathering.
What they don’t know is what they really did for a living.
Nor do they fully see what the boutique business they just set up in the center of town really does.

Interested? Curious?

Wait till next week when you will be introduced to some of the characters.

Read the 1st Chapter of Mark Venturini's "Blood Tithe" right NOW!!!!

Chapter 1
Elf-Boy and Dragon-Girl

“I can’t believe it’s been four months,” Jason Snider said.
Kat Myers brushed red hair from her eyes. “Four months and ten days, to be exact.”
A cool morning breeze blew as Jason peered across North Clifton Avenue at the red brick Hawthorne Scholastic Academy. They weren’t talking about the beginning of eighth grade. They were already into their third week of school. No, they were talking about the day the dragons had appeared on Earth and part of Chicago burned.
“Isn’t that precious! Elf-Boy and Dragon-Girl!” someone hooted.
Kat whirled toward the voice. “How ‘bout I rearrange your face so you look like an elf, Tommy!”
Fat Tommy stopped. With flushed cheeks and a red shirt, he looked like a huge beach ball wearing cargo pants. He sniggered and jiggled. “Oh, I’m scared. Gonna blow fire at me, Dragon-Girl?”
Kat lunged for him. Jason grabbed her and turned her around. “Leave him alone, Kat. You already broke Chad Richie’s nose last week for calling you the D-name.”
Kat’s green eyes burned. She clenched her hands so tight her knuckles turned white.
“Come on, you don’t want to get suspended again.”
Kat took a deep breath and shook her head.
The homeroom warning bell rang. “You’re lucky, Dragon-Girl,” Fat Tommy chirped.
Jason pulled Kat tight to his side before fists and blood could fly. “Do you have a death wish, Tommy?”
Fat Tommy snickered and wobbled across the street.
Kat relaxed in Jason’s embrace. “It’s days like this I wish Strum and Star never came from Eversong,” she whispered. “I wish the portal never opened.”
Her words stung Jason. His arm slipped from around her waist. “It’s my fault--”
Their eyes met. Kat’s were wide with concern. “I didn’t mean that. It’s not your fault.”
Jason tried to stop the stinging memories: the bicycle accident, being trapped in a coma, unable to move, unable to communicate. “My coma opened the pathway between Earth and Eversong. The dragons came and torched the buildings because of me.”
Kat intertwined her warm fingers with his. “Listen to me. The world blames both of us for the battle. We’re in this together.” She tilted her head. Her pained expression softened. “You’re my only friend. Please don’t be mad at me.”
“You’re my only friend, too,” Jason said. “I’ll never be mad at you.”
He glanced across the street. Fat Tommy had disappeared into the school. “Let’s go or we’ll be late for homeroom.” His body tingled when she let him slip his arm around her waist again.
Kat slowed as they approached the school. At the door she stopped. A dark look covered her face, anger and worry all rolled into one.
“Come on,” Jason said, offering his biggest smile. “We survived the first two weeks of school. We can make it through another day.”
His words felt just as phony as his smile. He lowered his gaze and entered the chamber of horrors known as Hawthorne Scholastic Academy.
He heard the E-name and D-name hurled at them immediately. He kept his arm around Kat, wanting to shield her from the words. He focused on reaching their lockers and homerooms without more confrontation.
Locker. Homeroom. Locker. Homeroom.
Turning a corner near their lockers, Jason felt it: cold air brushing his arm. A blur caught his eye. He spun but saw only other students staring back.
A sickening smell stung his nose. Apples? Honey? Kat tensed and sniffed. “You smell that?” he asked.
Kat nodded. “Smells like a huge rotting fruit salad.”
A shove knocked Jason against a locker. “Out of the way, Elf--”
Huge mistake. Kat’s elbow hit Fat Tommy’s side like a missile.
“Ow!” Fat Tommy groaned.
“Bug off, dork,” Jason growled.
A crowd of students gathered and Fat Tommy seemed to find more courage. “What are you gonna do, burn the school down like you did the rest of Chicago?”
Jason threw a shoulder against Fat Tommy’s fat chest, knocking him into the lockers.
“Stop, both of you!”
The smell of rotting fruit hit Jason again. A teacher he’d never seen before stepped between him and Fat Tommy. “Not on my watch, okay, gentlemen?”
Whoever the guy was, he must have dug his ugly blue-plaid shirt and green tie from the dumpster behind the school. He looked at Jason. “Jason Snider, right?”
“Ye . . . yes, sir,” Jason stammered. The dude knows my name! A faint shimmer seemed to hug the teacher, as though lava churned beneath his skin. Strands of gold glistened in his brown hair.
Jason blinked and the guy looked normal again. Well, he looked as normal as possible considering the sickening shirt and tie.
Didn’t Fat Tommy see that? No one else seemed to notice, either. What was going on?
“I don’t want any trouble on my first day, understood?” the teacher said. “Now shake hands and go to your homerooms.”
Neither boy moved. Jason’s skin crawled when the guy flashed a wide grin filled with fangs.
Fangs? Yes, long pointy fangs! Jason had to be losing his mind. The grin and fangs both vanished into a dark scowl. “I said shake!” the teacher growled.
Something cold shoved Jason’s right arm forward. It couldn’t have been Kat. She stood on his left. What was happening?
Fat Tommy shook Jason’s hand once. “Good,” Pointy-Teeth said. “Party’s over ladies and gentlemen. Move it, or you’ll all receive detention.”
Kat took Jason’s hand. “C’mon. Don’t worry about Tommy.”
Jason stood rooted, watching the teacher push through the crowd. He wanted to see a sparkle again, anything to show that he wasn’t losing his mind. “Who is that guy?”
“Never seen him before,” Kat said. She nudged him playfully. “We’re gonna be late.”
Jason shuffled forward, his mind struggling with the question he had to ask. “Didn’t you see anything, you know, strange about the teacher?”
“Yeah,” Kat replied. The late bell rang. “That tie was hideous.”

Coming Soon - Anne Baxter Campbell's "Once Upon...V8 - A Resurrection"

They had been warned to stay away from the Valentine’s Dance, but Jillian Mullens and her date go anyway. A shot rang out, and Jillian realizes her boyfriend, Aiden Barstow, has been hit.
How is Jillian going to explain to her Dad and Aiden’s mother why they went to the dance when they knew someone had made threats against them—especially after she promised they wouldn’t go there?
It gets worse. After they get to the hospital, another friend is brought in with severe burns from a meth explosion. Greg has no desire to live with the mess he’s made of his life and the scars that make him want to hide from mirrors.
Will the two boys live through their deadly injuries? Or even want to? How can God bring anything good out of this mess?

Anne Baxter Campbell is an author with one goal in mind—to lead readers one step closer to God. This final volume in the Once Upon series may make that a giant step forward!
Anne and her husband Jack live in north central California with one small brown dog and one tall black cat.

Want to know more about Anne?

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