Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Book Spotlight & #Giveaway ~ Locked Out (Welcome To Rebuild, Book 1) by L.M. Schukraft ~ Cozy Mystery


Locked Out

Welcome To Rebuild, Book 1

L.M. Schukraft



Genre: Cozy Mystery



Emeline Watson hoped that by changing careers and going back to her home town, Waverly, it would be a new beginning for her. She could forget her horrible ex and the troubles he caused, move on from her father's passing away six months ago, and start over. She finds out quickly enough that her past has followed her.

Amid overhearing clandestine conversations, her ex stalking her, and her home town being plagued with recent break-ins, Emeline's first week at Rebuild, a local chain hardware store, is anything but easy. The only bright spot is her gorgeous new co-worker, Ethan Walker. They're paired up together the first day, and the mutual attraction is undeniable, but Emeline senses there's more to Ethan than he's letting on.

Starting out a new job, in a new town, is never easy but Ethan Walker has become a pro at blending in and adjusting to change. He figures this should be one of the easier changes he's had to face in a while. Little did he know the trouble that was awaiting him when he first set eyes on Emeline Watson. Her girl next door blonde hair, curvy fit body, and stunning eyes catches his attention instantly. Time and again, he finds himself playing knight in shining armor to her damsel in distress.

Waverly is experiencing its first wave of crime in centuries and Emeline seems to be mixed up in the center of it. No matter how much she denies needing Ethan to rescue her, the two are thrown together after Emeline discovers the grizzly remains of a body.

Can Ethan and Emeline figure out who's behind the crimes? Will their attraction, and Emeline, survive the sinister plot threatening the entire town? Or will their secrets keep them locked out of each other’s lives?

Time is running out and the stakes are getting higher with each passing day....the danger is real and it's coming for Emeline.

Goodreads * Amazon





L. M. Schukraft is a long time writer, a quirky novelist, and a semi-passive blogger.

With the release of her third novel, Locked Out, Ms. Schukraft is excited to share with you a cast of new characters in a mystery that keeps you guessing. She is currently writing her next adventure - a YA fairy tale retelling - that she anticipates releasing in 2018.

Ms. Schukraft graduated with a degree in English Creative Writing which she's finally putting to good use. She loves reading but being a picky reader limited her choices. She found herself going long periods of time waiting for her favorite authors to release their next books. Using her inclination towards creativity, Ms. Schukraft started writing a few novels years ago. Life and circumstances, along with some writer's block and doubt, delayed her finishing the first two books she started to write. Hop forward to a competition along with a butt-load of determination and Ms. Schukraft finished Even Halos Can Be Crooked. Her next release followed shortly after that, Castles in the Skies, a collection of poetry and short stories.

Ms. Schukraft has several ideas waiting to be written and looks forward to sharing each and every single one with you. Keep an eye out for her YA fairy tale retelling, a children's picture book, the second book in both her series, and a stand-alone romantic suspense thriller.

Ms. Schukraft actively updates her blogs and Facebook pages with information on current releases, giveaways, promotions as well as what she's writing at the time. Please follow, like, and share her blogs and Facebook pages to stay up-to-date and not miss any new releases!


Website * Facebook * Amazon * Goodreads


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Promo Blitz ~ Tower of the Arkein (Kan Savasci Cycle, Book 1) by Chase Blackwood ~ Fantasy, Epic Fantasy @RABTBookTours


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Tower of the Arkein
Kan Savasci Cycle, Book 1
Chase Blackwood
Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Date Published: May 2017
Publisher: Plenary Fitness

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2017 Royal Dragonfly E-Book Award Winner

1st Place Beverley Hills Book Award Finalist: Fantasy

2017 Best Book Awards Finalist: Fantasy

About the Book:

Trapped as a slave, facing an impossible decision, Aeden must choose between his friends and his soul...

The clock is ticking as the world descends into darkness.

He's been called the Scourge of Bodig, the Bane of Verold, but most know him as the Kan Savasci. He's one of the most feared men alive. Chaos and war have followed him like an angry shadow. The one problem, as the world faces the wrath of forgotten gods, Kan Savasci is nowhere to be found.

The annalist, a man trained in the ancient arts of the arkein, has been tasked to uncover the whereabouts of the Kan Savasci at any cost. In order to find the man, one must unmask the depths of his reclusive history.

Other Books in the Kan Savasci Cycle Fantasy Series:

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Tears of a Heart
Kan Savasci Cycle, Book 0
Publisher: Plenary Fitness
Published: September 2014


Winner of John E Weaver Excellent Reads Award

He's been called the Scourge of Bodig, the Bane of Verold, but most know him as the Kan Savasci. He's one of the most feared men alive. Chaos and war have followed him like an angry shadow.

The one problem, as the world faces the wrath of forgotten gods, Kan Savasci is nowhere to be found.

The annalist, a man trained in the ancient arts of the arkein, has been tasked to uncover the whereabouts of the Kan Savasci at any cost. In order to find the man, one must unmask the depths of his reclusive history.

The clock is ticking as Verold descends into darkness.


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Read an Excerpt:

Chapter 2

“Decorum was created by nobility to boost their sense of worth in the eyes of other nobility.” Herlewin’s Letters of Apology

Late afternoon fell over the city in a coppery haze. Sunlight infused every corner with a golden warmth that only the season of Lenton could provide.

The kiss of the sun felt good on Aeden’s tanned skin. He had grown darker within the hot embrace of the A’sh. His white hair was only more apparent in contrast to his darkened tone. It had grown to a length requiring a tie to keep it tidy. He felt taller and stronger, but he also felt lonelier and angrier.

Aeden glanced about.

Kardal was to his left, walking on the other side of the Jal’s litter. Behind him Aeden could feel the cold, hateful stare of Yazid. It was like a pebble within a boot, grating slowly at his resolve. He did his best to ignore the man. He used a technique Ayleth the Widow had taught him some years before. “When faced with hate,” she once told him, “understand the root of their hatred by understanding their circumstance. Only then will their words fade to nothing but a distant whisper.”

Aeden did as he had been told. He soaked in Sha’ril the way dry cotton soaks in water. He studied the movement of the people. He observed the lines of the city. He thought on the words of the Jal. Last, he remembered the tiny irritants that Yazid had allowed Aeden to glimpse. Each sliver formed a tiny image of a greater whole.

About the Author:

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Welcome to Chase Blackwood's author bio, where he'll try to write something interesting about his life that captures your attention.

Chase Blackwood's life has been defined by struggle the way a moth battles an insect zapping light. He's studied martial arts since childhood in an effort to overcome fear. He's lived in a half dozen countries in an effort to "find himself," traveled to over 50 countries in an effort to "find humanity," lived in nine states just for the hell of it, oh... and the military has had something to do with that too. Chase has enjoyed combating terrorism, working as a federal agent, and also really likes puppies.

His most recent passion, puppies aside, has been working on the Kan Savasci Cycle, a series of fantasy novels that pulls from his life experiences to make the most vivid world imaginable. Stay tuned for a more romantic side...for the ladies, and guys, really for anyone who enjoys the genre.

Contact Links:


Purchase Links:

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Book Spotlight, Review, & #Giveaway ~ Airships, Crypts & Chocolate Chips (Spells & Caramels, Book #6) by Erin Johnson #CozyMystery @EJohnsonWrites

Airships, Crypts & Chocolate Chips: A Cozy Witch Mystery (Spells & Caramels) 

by Erin Johnson

About the Book


Airships, Crypts & Chocolate Chips: A Cozy Witch Mystery (Spells & Caramels) 
Cozy Mystery 6th in Series 
Self Published 
Publication Date: June 23, 2018 
ASIN: B07DMBNCM2


About the Book:
A bewitched prison. A brother with a deadly request. Can a magical baker launch a jailbreak and still keep her prince in the process?
Imogen’s magical bakery is thriving and she loves the company of the Water Kingdom’s dashing prince. But she’s not so enamored with the time she’s forced to spend with his awful Royal Family. She also can't help but worry that the increased media scrutiny could reveal her secret contact with the Royal Family’s sworn enemy: her own brother.
When her sibling shows up and demands Imogen spring his cronies out of jail, she flat out refuses. But when he threatens to hurt the ones she loves the most, she balances her allegiance to the prince with her plan for a covert prison break. Can Imogen keep up family appearances and avoid betraying the kingdom or will her pie-in-the-sky scheme become a recipe for disaster?
Airships, Crypts & Chocolate Chips is the sixth standalone book in a clever paranormal cozy mystery series. If you like crafty witches, charming romances, and fabulous French settings, then you'll love Erin Johnson’s enchanting adventure.
Read My Review:


About the Author


 

Erin Johnson is a native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).

Website: www.erinjohnsonwrites.com.
Facebook:www.facebook.com/EJohnsonWrites.
Twitter:@EJohnsonWrites
Purchase Link - Amazon

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Cover Reveal ~ Unreachable Skies by Karen McCreedy ~ Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Adventure @MirrorWorldPub


In a world where it is normal to fly, what happens when you can’t?

About Unreachable Skies:

When a plague kills half the Drax population, and leaves the hatchlings of the survivors with a terrible deformity – no wings – suspicion and prejudice follow. Continuously harassed by raids from their traditional enemies, the Koth, the Drax are looking for someone, or something, to blame.

Zarda, an apprentice Fate-seer, is new to her role and unsure of her own abilities; but the death of her teacher sees her summoned by the Drax Prime, Kalis, when his heir, Dru, emerges from his shell without wings.

A vision that Dru will one day defeat the Koth is enough to keep him and the other wingless hatchlings alive – for a time. Half-trained, clumsy, and full of self-doubt, Zarda must train Dru to one day fulfil the destiny she has foreseen for him, even if it is quickly becoming clear that the Prime’s favourite adviser, Fazak, is not only plotting against the wingless, but is gaining more of Kalis’ trust by the day.

Efforts to fight prejudice and superstition are certain to lead to death for some and exile for others; while Zarda’s own journey to understanding her role in events may lead her to abandon all tradition in order to protect her peoples’ future.


Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Adventure - This book is targeted toward a general audience.

Page Count: 242 pages

Publish Date: August 17, 2018 

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing 

Meet the Author:


Brought up in Staffordshire, England, Karen McCreedy now lives in West Sussex where she recently retired from the University of Chichester. She has written articles on films and British history for a number of British magazines including ‘Yours’, ‘Classic Television’, and ‘Best of British’. 

Karen has had a number of short stories published in various anthologies. She also won second prize in Writers’ News magazine’s ‘Comeuppance’ competition in 2014 with her short story ‘Hero’. 

‘Unreachable Skies’ is her first novel.






Kindle Freebie July 17-21 ~ Willem (The Witches of Wimberley, Book 1) by Victoria Danann ~ Fantasy Romance ~ #FantasyRomance #Willem #VictoriaDanann #WitchesofWimberley

Kindle Freebie July 17-21

Willem (The Witches of Wimberley, Book 1) 
by Victoria Danann


Willem
The Witches of Wimberley
Book 1
Victoria Danann

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Print Length: 281 pages

Publisher: 7th House, Imprint of Andromeda LLC

Publication Date: June 21, 2016

ASIN: B01HF0WWEO

About the Book:

Romance that is destiny laced, fantasy infused, and dressed in a little night magic.

If he leaves, he can never come back. But is he dumb enough to get in his car and drive away anyhow?

New York Times bestselling author, Victoria Danann, begins a sizzling new series about an enclave of modern day witches who are sexy, philanthropic and living in the Texas Hill Country. They're selfless to a fault when it comes to generosity, but when it comes to the men they choose for themselves, they don't settle for anything less than the best.

"Enchanted from the very first page. I couldn't put it down!" - Night Owl Reviews 5* TOP PICK

While waiting for what would probably be his last acting audition ever, the guy standing in line behind Willem gave him a card with a phone number on it and said, "You're a good looking guy. If you're definitely quitting, try the witches."

Willem took the card for the sake of being polite. He planned to throw it away, but didn't. Crazy as it sounded, it seemed like the card was bugging him. It even kept him awake when he put it in the refrigerator.

He called the number, entered the competition and won. Winning meant getting everything he'd never even dared to dream about.

Get your copy TODAY and find out why readers are saying Willem is sexy, delightfully fun, witty and witching with humor, magic, and lots of romance!

Free On Amazon 
July 17-21

#FantasyRomance #Willem #VictoriaDanann #WitchesofWimberley

Book Spotlight & #Giveaway ~ Crimson (Moroi Society, Book One) by T.L. Christianson ~ Paranormal Romance and Fantasy @christianson_tl

Secrets and Lies of a Living Vampire


Crimson
Moroi Society
Book One
T.L. Christianson

Genre: Paranormal Romance and Fantasy

Date of Publication: July 3, 2018

ISBN: 9781983086830
ASIN: B07DJQRGM7

Number of pages: 268
Word Count: 62,519

Cover Artist: London Montgomery Covers


About the Book:

Vampire Elizabeth was looking for a distraction when she took a job on the isolated estate of scientist Dr. Owen Bennett. Expecting him to be an eccentric old man, the Doctor, turns out to be a lot younger than expected and sparks fly. As Liz struggles with her past and a possible future with Owen, she realizes that things around the Bennett compound aren’t quite adding up.

Suspecting that Dr. Bennett might be a vampire, she begins to search for evidence. However, the more she learns, the more questions she has. To add to the mystery, the doctor’s wife has seemingly vanished, he’s tight-lipped about who they work for, and his research is kept under lock and key.

When the pieces finally come together, Elizabeth is faced with a secret that could have serious repercussions for all Moroi vampires. Could she be on the wrong side?

Now that she’s found the second life she's been searching for, can Elizabeth find her way through this web of secrets and lies or will they be the downfall of it all?

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon    Amazon France     Amazon UK 

   Amazon Japan     Amazon DE

Read an Excerpt:


Tall iron gates blocked the narrow dirt road, and I slowed to a stop. Scanning the forest to each side, I found that the fence continued out of view in both directions.
The hairs on the back of my neck began to prickle, and my inner warning made my mouth dry.
I pressed the button on the intercom and waited for a response.
“Hello?” A woman’s accented voice came over the speaker.
“Yeah, hi, this is Elizabeth Kepner. I’m the new teacher?” My voice ended on a questioning pitch.
She didn’t respond.
Turn around, leave this place.
I gulped and held my head up high. I’m a vampire; what would I be afraid of? Okay, other than silver.
The gates opened, and I followed the winding gravel driveway through the trees and into a meadow. There, across the tall grass, nestled in a wide copse of green and white aspen trees, stood a large Victorian house.
Suitcase in hand, I tried to peek through the antique glass windows that surrounded the front door - before pressing the bell.
The house was dark, so after standing there for several moments, I knocked with my free hand.
“Hello?”
Just then, a blue SUV came into sight across the meadow, tires crunching on the gravel driveway. I turned, watching it, as it circled the house and parked to the side. Striding down the steps of the ornate front porch, I followed the paving stones toward a commotion of children’s voices.
Two little tow-headed youngsters came bounding toward me. The two rascals didn’t even take a moment to ask me who I was or even look me up and down before latching onto me with hugs and exclamations.
"Hi, Elizabeth! I'm Becca. Dad says you're from New York, and he works in New York. He also said that before that, you were from Texas. I've been there; Nana and Papa live there. We went to the Alamo. Have you seen the Alamo?” She continued to chatter as the siren song of her blood called to me.
I swallowed and held my breath. I can do this. I examined her and wondered if my own child would've been like this. Her eyes shimmered bright blue, her cheeks were red, and flaxen braids ran down her back.
Yes, she almost looks like she could be my own child.
“Yea! You’re here!” exclaimed the small boy, who held a small stuffed lamb. He managed to wrap himself around one of my legs, pulling my pants up to expose my five-inch strappy heel.
I held him away from me. “Whoa… back up for a moment. Let’s do a proper introduction,” I told him, unable to keep the smile from my lips. Besides, I needed to build up some resistance to the urges within me.
I felt my thirst, and it desired their blood.
“Alright, young man.” I bent down and held my hand out to him. “I’m Elizabeth Kepner. How do you do?”
He shook my fingers. “I’m Jack Bennett.” After he kissed the top of my hand, I raised my eyebrows. “Nice to meet you, Mrs. Kepner.” At five years old, Jack spoke like an adult.
“It’s Miss Kepner, and it’s a pleasure to meet you both as well." I turned to Rebecca. "Nice to meet you, Becca. You're seven, aren't you?"
I felt a shiver go down my spine before a smooth baritone voice came from behind me. “Kids, not everyone wants you to hug them.”
Turning, I saw a man who didn’t fit my definition of a stuffy old scientist. There was no way he could be older than his late twenties, with pale amber eyes and unkempt chestnut hair. He wore a baby-blue button-up shirt, jeans, and flip flops, which seemed to be the footwear of choice in this mountain town.
My attraction to him was immediate, and my voice caught in my throat. I gaped at my new employer; he was beautiful in an old-fashioned way.
His mouth turned up into a cheeky grin, and he held his hand out to me. “Hi, I’m Owen.”
“Liz,” I breathed out, barely above a whisper. As our hands touched, a small shock of electricity went through me.
I’d wanted a distraction, but Owen Bennett might be a bit more than I’d bargained for.
Years ago, I vowed that I would never get involved in a relationship again.
The last time I fell in love, I thought it would kill me.

About the Author:

T.L. Christianson lives in Colorado with her husband and two children. She’s a graduate from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and an avid outdoors woman. When she’s not hiking or outside on an adventure, she’s reading or writing fantasy and science-fiction.

For more information or to contact T.L., visit her on Facebook or at www.TLChristianson.com





Enter the Giveaway:



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Juan Pablo and the Butterflies by JJ Flowers ~ Young Adult @RABTBookTours


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Juan Pablo and the Butterflies
JJ Flowers
Young Adult
Date Published: June 2017
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

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About the Book:

Read Juan Pablo and the Butterflies Before It Comes Out On The Big Screen!!

Juan Pablo, a brilliant classical violinist, lives in El Rosario, Mexico’s Butterfly sanctuary. His grandmother Elena is the local medicine woman. The story opens with a bang: a group of narco-traffickers have posted banners signaling a takeover of their town. El Rosario is turned into a ghost town, but Juan Pablo must remain, as his grandmother has fallen gravely ill. His best friend Rocio and her grandfather (who owns the local cantina) stay as well, to help Juan Pablo care for the woman they all love. Just before Elena dies, she makes a startling announcement: she tells Juan Pablo it is time for him to follow the migration of the butterflies north--up through Baja into the United States and all the way to Pacific Grove, CA, another butterfly sanctuary, where, she promises, someone will be waiting for him.

Who this is becomes one of the mysteries fueling the novel.

After shooting up the town, the droguistas take over the cantina, demanding food and discovering Rocio hiding in the upstairs apartment. Juan Pablo must save his best friend and the love of his life. In desperation he uses one of his abuela’s poisons and inadvertently kills eight men. An epic chase begins, one that puts Juan Pablo and Rocio in constant danger on the ever so suspenseful and exciting journey north. Did I mention the story rips beginning to end?

A strong spiritual element is woven throughout the narrative, emerging as Elena’s unique, wise and sometimes comical understanding of the world guides our two heroes on the treacherous journey north. The spiritual element provides a strong counterpoint to the devastation, violence and ruined lives brought by the drug cartels operations on both sides of the border.

Praise for Juan Pablo and the Butterflies:

"The novel delves into a variety of hardships … the content is powerful. Flowers delivers a … touching contemporary novel that is … relevant in its treatment of drug-trafficking, immigration, and human rights issues.” (Kirkus Reviews)

In the otherwise quiet butterfly sanctuary of El Rosario, Mexico, Juan Pablo (JP), a thoughtful teen who loves playing his violin, recognizes the sound of drug traffickers that have taken over his town. His abuela, a doctor and naturalist, lies on her deathbed, from which she directs him to follow the butterflies’ migration to Pacific Grove, California. First, though, JP takes desperate measures to save his dearest friend, Rocio, from his town’s violent drug dealers. His actions yield a more dangerous result than anticipated, and JP must use his talent, wit, and abuela’s sage words to get himself and Rocio to safety. A thrilling series of events ensue that keep the reader wondering if the teens will make it to California alive. An abundance of heart-pounding action makes this a page-turner that adroitly deals with immigration, drug trafficking, and human rights issues. The story’s violence is offset by remembered conversations with abuela—both amusing and insightful—and the tender relationship between two young adults who have spent their lives together. (Booklist May 15, 2017)

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Read an Excerpt:

Machine gun fire!

Juan Pablo cracked open the door of his modest home, and peered down the darkened street. The bratatat sounded louder than the blaring music and a furious rev of engines. Like a hammer to glass, the onslaught of noise destroyed the quiet of the butterfly sanctuary. Headlights swept El Rosario’s plaza as several trucks and an SUV circled the cobble stone square. Armed men hung off the side of the trucks and the relentless barrage of their machine guns filled the star-filled night.

Narco-traffickers. Here in El Rosario, home to a billion Monarch Butterflies and the two dozen families who loved them.

Juan Pablo slammed the brightly painted front door with the rainbow colored “Welcome!” sign. For the first time in his life, he found the rusty old lock and bolted it. He rushed to switch off the lamp at his abuela’s bedside before collapsing to the floor. He finished his ninth desperate text to the Novedades de México, the major newspaper for Mexico City.

Help! Narco-traffickers are shooting up the plaza in El Rosario. No one is left but our neighbors Mario and Rocio Ruiz and my abuela, Dr. Elena Venesa. She is unconscious with a fever--we need a doctor. Please send help

After hitting send, he texted Rocio who was hiding in the Cantina:

Juan Pablo: They’re here.

Rocio: Outside.

Juan Pablo: Can u get here?           

Rocio: Too late. Under the bed. Scared. Praying. You? Elena?

Juan Pablo: Same. She is so still…

Rocio: Abuelo will request an ambulance for her.

Juan Pablo: Be safe Rocio. Don’t come out until they are gone. Promise me.

Rocio: I promise.

Juan Pablo stared with horror at his shaking hands. His violinist’s fingers, long, calloused, agile and strong, had never failed him before. He clasped them tight, and made his way to  to the door to listen.

Last week a large black, red and white banner, sporting a menacing el Diablo with sinister eyes and a leering grin stretched across the sole road into their sleepy town. This was how the drug cartel marked a territory and warned the people that the police could not protect them now.  The tourists had departed with most of the butterflies nearly a month before. Of the locals, everyone with relatives in Mexico City, Guadalajara or anywhere with a larger population and so somewhat safer, had packed up and left. Everyone promised to send help back to save the old lady they all loved, but no help ever came. No ambulance dared pass these murderous gangs.

Machine gun fire cracked like thunder and lightning into the sky.

          Would Rocio be safe under the bed? 

Born auspiciously one year, one month, one day apart from him, Rocio was his best friend in this life. (Even though she was bossy and they spent half the time arguing with each other, “like two puppies rough housing,” his abuela said more than once, “You Juan Pablo, such a know it all and Rocio always so bossy, this great cosmic dance between you two is hilarious already…) He closed his eyes, conjuring Rocio’s waist length dark hair and bright, teasing eyes, her skinny legs, and big feet.

Rocio’s uncle in La Peñita de Jaltemba, just north of Puerto Vallarta, begged them to leave before it was too late, but both Mario and Rocio had refused. They would not leave either him or his abuela. “Even if my abuelo could bear to lose the Cantina to the banditos, how could we possibly leave Elena and you, JP?”

Mario had agreed with his granddaughter. “Elena saved my beautiful wife’s life. She saw my daughter into this world and then Leonardo and Rocio. She taught Leonardo all she knows about the herbs and potions and helped him become a doctor too, bless her.” Rocio’s mother worked as a nurse in Arizona, helping to pay for Leonardo’s medical school in Puerto Rico and she was now very close to becoming a US citizen. “We owe everything to Elena, we all do,” Mario added. “Besides, Rocio would never forgive me if anything happened to you, Juan Pablo.”

You could sometimes reason with these modern day monsters, Mario had heard. Wasn’t it rumored that they sometimes paved a road or built a school or gave money to an orphanage? Mario planned to beg them to let an ambulance through for an old woman. “We will pay whatever they ask. Even the worse banditos would not let an abuela die for no good reason. And since no one is here but us and the butterflies, they will soon tire of El Rosario and be gone.”

Just keep Rocio safe. They wouldn’t hurt her, would they?

She was just a girl, only fourteen.

The relentless gunfire and booming music snatched the hope, replacing it with an escalating fear as he thought of the hundreds of stories of the narco-traffickers brutality and viciousness. “Like a deadly virus consuming my beloved country,” his abuela had shaken her head helplessly, knowing no medicine of magic with which to save Mexico from this terrible plague. Everyone had at least one relative, often more, who had lost their life’s savings, died, disappeared, or lived in fear of dying and disappearing. This army of the devil shot people for no reason anyone knew, and like demons from hell, they often tortured them first. They were known to disappear whole families, killing those police that they couldn’t bribe, and taking over whole towns before stealing everyone’s money. They recruited boys even younger than him, forcing them to rob, hide drugs, kill, or be killed. His abuela always imagined El Rosario, their tiny portion of paradise was at least safe, that the mountains and the butterflies themselves would always protect them. But this was not so anymore.

The gunfire and rev of engines abruptly ceased.

Unlatching the rusty lock, Juan Pablo cautiously cracked the door an inch in order to better hear. A man shouted orders, his loud demands rose above the noise of drunken laughter. Tajo, Rocio’s dog, barked frantically at the commotion. 

Gunfire sounded again, followed by Tajo’s surprised yelp.

 “No, no. Dios Mio.” Mario cried out, this barely audible. “Tajo. Tajo.”

Juan Pablo brows drew a sharp line above his green eyes.

Did they shoot Tajo? Why would they shot a little dog?

Sweet, friendly Tajo, their town’s mascot, Tajo whose wagging tail greeted the tourist buses, who followed them up to the meadow in the afternoons, Tajo who loved his violin’s music, Mario’s left over uchepos, and Rocio’s gentle hands. If they killed a small dog, what else could they do? Would they let an ambulance through to aid an old lady? Would they leave a young girl unharmed?

The answer ricocheted through his mind, but how could he stop them? He was just a teenager, tall maybe, but skinny too. He had no gun, power, and worse, no courage. He might love superheroes, but he was not one of them. All he knew was music and books; he was the exact opposite of an action hero.

He shut the door again, bolting it again.

His gaze found his abuela’s stilled form on the small cot.

How could the old woman fall ill now, when they needed her most?

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About the Author:

 photo Juan Pablo and the Butterflies Author JJ Flowers_zpscsi79k9x.jpg
Most of JJ Flowers' published books are historical romance novels (Avon Books, Zebra Books,) many of which actually won awards and one of these awards was almost considered prestigious. She finally stopped being able to write these novels when she began having fantasies of killing off her heroines—in really dreadful ways. Her screenplays have been optioned at Warner Bros., Julian Krainin Productions, Bright Light Pictures among others; She suspects she holds the record for most amount of options! Two of her screenplays have received excellent coverage: The Good Fight, Clarence Darrow’s most compelling case where he successfully defended an African American physician who was falsely accused of murder and a two part miniseries Harriet Tubman: Let My People Go. As the world confronts the refugee and immigration crisis, Juan Pablo showed up to share his story, one that she thinks can offer hope for everyone.

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