Friday, 28 June 2013

Blog Tour : Armored Hearts + Giveaway!

Author: Melissa Turner Lee and Pauline Creeden
Publication date: May 20th , 2013
Published by: AltWit Press
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Edition: E-book
Purchase from: Amazon / B&N / Smashwords

Book Blurb

When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother's side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thought only existed in fariytales.

Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park and left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair.

Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.

Check out my Review of Armored Hearts here..

Let's have a 
Sneak Peek!


Twelve-year-old Tristan Gareth Smyth gripped the armrests of his wheelchair and said, “This will do. I can make it the rest of the way on my own from here.”

His eyes trained up the landmark tree and he had that feeling again. The vapor of a memory, maybe a dream. He always had that feeling when he looked up at the broad branches of this particular oak. Then he remembered who he was talking to and his face hardened.

The new maid, Sarah, with her strong Scottish burr, patted him on the shoulder. Gareth refused to look at her. He stared down at his knee pants instead. “Are ye sure ye will be alright? I do na mind walking with ye the rest of the way to Mr. Strong’s house.”

Gareth clenched his hands into fists. “I’ll be fine.”

“Too bad he didn’t like coming out to the manor. Remember how green Mr. Strong got when he choked on my spice cake that day and ran off.” She laughed but tried to cover it with a cough. “I thought that would be the end of ’im but he worked it out with yer grandfather to instruct ye in town. Funny, my spice didn’t bother the rest of ye.”

She bent down in front of Gareth, attempting to make eye contact. “There are lots of children in this section of town. Ye might try making friends with ’em.”

Gareth turned away and clenched his jaw. Children never wanted to make friends with him. The chair made them uncomfortable. And what did he care anyway? He attempted to give her as stern a look as his grandfather would. “I know the way from here, and I won’t be late. You can go on to market, now.”

The breeze picked up and blew wisps of red hair into the woman’s round face. She smiled. Was she making fun of him? “Oh, it’s such a pretty day. This fresh air will do ye good, for certain.”

Gareth scowled.
She patted her hands on her knees and stood straight again. “Well then, I’ll leave ye to it. I’ve got to run off to the baker’s. Be sure to get to Mr. Strong’s in a timely manner. Though I think yer old governess was doing a fine job. Not sure why ye need Mr. Strong. But I guess it’s none of my concern.”

She was a servant, in uniform, and he was a future lord. Following his instruction was her duty. She and her husband, Thompton had been employed by his grandfather only six months. They might find themselves out of work and heading back to Scotland, if she kept voicing that sort of opinion.

No, Gareth could never really get them fired. But he’d make her think he would. He shook his head in the same disapproving manner he’d seen his grandfather use.

The sunlight played in the golden highlights of the woman’s ruby hair. Although her green eyes twinkled, she continued to voice her cutting opinion. She placed one hand on his shoulder. “It’s not being stuck in this chair that keeps ye lonely. It’s yer surly attitude.”
Gareth couldn’t help but let his face scrunch a little. He crossed his arms and turned his face from her.

Her accent was thick and melodic, familiar in a way. His mother had been Scottish though he hardly remembered her. Still, Gareth kept his pout in place. The truth was, he didn’t know how to relate to others. Even people who could feel at ease talking to perfect strangers stammered or spoke quickly to him and walked away. The wheelchair did more than keep him from playing.

She straightened the collar of his waistcoat. “Look, there’s a little girl coming now. She looks to be about Tabitha’s age. Maybe a wee bit older.”

He did glance then, but just under his lashes, not to give the impression that he cared. Easier to act like he didn’t care than to show he truly did. He refused to give anyone more reason to feel sorry for him. No one pities an angry person.

He missed Tabitha…Tabitha Fitzgerald, Lord Gerald Smyth’s bastard daughter. But ward was her polite title. At five years old, she was the only person he allowed to get close. Maybe it was the way she climbed up in his lap, never caring about the wheelchair. She didn’t see it when she looked at him, she only saw Gareth.

He never spoke to Tabitha about who her parents really were, but she knew. For some reason, servants believed children to be both deaf and dumb, and gossiped openly around them. That’s how Gareth knew the truth about his own mother. He was told she died, but he’d overheard the maids say she had run back home to Scotland and how they didn’t blame her. It’s also how he’d learned the truth of his own father’s death—shot by his mistress’s jealous husband.

“I’m heading off. I’ll be sure to get ye a sweet roll for later.”

Gareth only grunted in response.

When the maid turned away, Gareth allowed himself to watch the little girl play. Her hair was a darker blonde than Tabitha’s and had streaks of amber. She looked to be a bit taller, too, as she ran around in a green day dress and stockings. She pushed a hoop along until she reached the tree. Once there she looked both ways. Her eyes met Gareth’s and, for a moment, he was tempted to turn away to keep her from doing it first. Instead, she smiled broadly and beckoned him closer.

Gareth wheeled his chair to the tree trunk, his curiosity getting the better of him. The girl dropped the hoop on the ground and took hold of the lowest branch. She whispered in an accent he didn’t recognize, “Keep watch for me, and call out if you see anyone coming.”
His chin tucked in and his eyes grew wide. She took it as assent, and nodded, starting her climb. She was spirited like Tabitha. The thought of being able to climb a tree at all pricked at Gareth’s heart. He would never get to climb a tree.

Again he took on the expression of being bored. No one needed to know he was jealous of the girl. Gareth made a habit of never owning his true feelings. It was his protective covering. With his lids half closed, he tried not to watch the girl or keep an eye out for anyone else’s approach. Without his permission, his gaze returned to the girl’s powder white limbs as she climbed higher than most children did.

Soon she was too high up.

Gareth adjusted himself in his seat, his eyes darting around. Instead of keeping lookout, he hoped for some adult to show up and tell the girl to come down.

The girl called down in a harsh whisper.“Look! Watch this.”

She scooted out on a limb, making her way to a bird’s nest. The limb wobbled as she got closer to the end.

He was about to call out a warning to her when it was too late. The branch snapped. The little girl was falling with barely a squeal.

All Gareth could think was that he needed to do something. It was then he noticed he was rushing towards her. He wasn’t sure how he was moving his wheelchair and catching her but he did. Her giant brown eyes grew as he held her. Then she looked about and her eyes became wider. He swallowed hard and stared at the ground several feet away.

In a rush, he placed the girl on the grass and flew back to his chair. His heart still pounded in his ears as he sat. He tried to mask his confusion as he masked all other uncomfortable emotions, but it wasn’t working. The girl stared at him, but said nothing as a dark haired woman rushed toward her.

“Sweeting, are you ok?” The woman swept the girl up into her arms. “I got here as fast as I could. I can’t believe you did that. I thought I told you not to climb that tree.”

She put the girl back down and looked her over, grabbing her head and looking for a sign of injury. “Aren’t you hurt at all? I saw you falling from the window upstairs.”

The girl shook her head too quickly, like she was still in shock.

“Come on back to the house,” the pinch-faced woman snapped, ushering the little girl away.

The girl yanked her hand free of the woman’s grasp and rushed back to Gareth. She placed an object in his hand and kissed his cheek.

“You were amazing,” she whispered and turned back to the woman who called out her name.

Gareth’s cheeks burned. What did the woman say the girl’s name was? He didn’t hear with the blood rushing to his ear drums. Jessie? Jenny?

The woman scolded the girl as she returned to her. “What did you do? Where are your manners? You don’t talk to cripples. Best to act like you don’t see them at all.”

The words struck Gareth like a bucket of cold water. But he let it slide off him as he thought about the fact that he had flown. He watched after the girl as her dark eyes stared back. His mind was muddled at what had happened. The muscles in his face hardened and he glared at the woman’s back as they retreated.

Shaking his head, he remembered he was supposed to be heading to Mr. Strong’s house. 
He pushed on the wheels of his chair down the road again. He’d forgotten he was holding something, and nearly dropped it. The small, pale blue-green stone had a few dark wrinkles, but almost looked like a robin’s egg. He put it to his nose. Flowers. It smelled just like the girl.

Gareth was so caught up in staring at how tiny the stone was in his palm, he’d forgotten all about Mr. Strong until the man called, “Master Tristan, what are you doing out here? You were to report to my house a quarter of an hour ago.”

“I prefer Gareth.” He narrowed his eyes at the pale, feeble man.

Mr. Strong ran a hand through his thin blond hair and smiled, his lips forming a thin line. 

“Yes, of course.”

Mr. Strong placed himself behind Gareth’s chair and pushed down the lane. “I have an excellent plan for your studies today. I see you’ve brought no supplies from your home, but no matter, I have plenty of paper and pens to practice your lettering…”

Gareth rolled his eyes, knowing Mr. Strong couldn’t see. The man’s cheerful babble continued as he pushed them towards the house past the inn. The stone rolled between 
Gareth’s fingers, and he remembered the feeling of the girl’s lips on his cheek.

About the Authors

Melissa Turner Lee

Melissa Turner Lee holds a BA in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. She has studied fiction writing since 2008, attending various writing conferences and workshops, along with guidance from professional writing coaches. She resides in Spartanburg, SC with her husband and 3 sons.

Twitter: @MelissaTLee1975

Pauline Creeden

Pauline Creeden is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.

Twitter: @P_Creeden 

Get in Touch

Available for Purchase 

Giveaway Time !!

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Tour Review : Armored Hearts ( Armored Hearts #1 )

Armored Hearts ( Armored hearts #1 ) 
Author: Melissa Turner Lee and Pauline Creeden 
Publication date: May 20th , 2013
Published by: AltWit Press
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Edition: E-book
Purchase from: Amazon / B&N / Smashwords 

When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother's side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thought only existed in fariytales.

Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park and left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair.

Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.

Received as part of a Blog Tour !

I certainly was pretty excited with the prospect of reading this book and was expecting an ordinary story set in Victorian England with a little steampunk involved. What I got was a fantstic adventure with fanatical elements and the fae. That's right, the FAE! 

It should obviously have crossed my mind that some form of magic would be involved when the girl falls from the tree and Gareth, the main character rescues her, after all he did freaking FLY! It did cross my mind but I chose not to ponder over it, and chose to be dimwitted and discovered it while going through the story which provided pleasure all the same. Perhaps I should use this tactic for every book I read? ;)

Armored Heart starts off in 1894, with twelve year old crippled boy who discovers he can fly when he saves a young girl falling off a tree. Years pass and Gareth is still the same, closed off never mingling with people and despising himself for his condition, his ability to fly being the silver lining. Tabitha, his aunt by relation, is the only one who knows the secret and looks out for him.

Soon Jessamine, Tabitha's friend from America comes to stay and is drawn to Gareth. Gareth wants to keep her away and wants to keep himself closed off from her too, thinking she only wants to be with him for his money.

Watching the two of them getting to know each other and interact was so pleasurable! Jessamine is stubborn and doesn't back down easily constantly trying to get Gareth walls to fall. The love that develops between them was lovely to read.

On the whole a fast read that might take a little time to get into. But it really does get interesting further on. the first book in a series, I'm anxious to see where this heads and hoping to see where the steampunk and paranormal elements from this collaboration of two authors goes forward.

There were obviously some low points like when Tabitha is rescued, which seemed too simple, being one of them. but which book doesn't have them.

I'd probably rate this a 3.5 but there was just something that clicked with me be it the characters and the possible relation to the fae. So here's where I give it that half a quill more.

Rating: 4 Quills

quill design: QioDen
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Featue & Follow Friday #16

Increase Blog Followers, gain Book Blog Followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Rachel of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

This Friday's question :

What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?

It's a tie between paperbacks and hardcovers.
Yes, I love the ease e-books bring with any book you want to read instantly in your hands with just a click. But there's just something about books made of good 'ole paper that draws me to them. Their touch, their feel, the lovely smell ! You could tell I love the smell of books with the name of my blog. ;)

I love hardcovers best since I feel they are easier to maintain and look better but I always have to remove the book jacket before I read them. Which causes a hindrance everytime I have to read one. I find paperbacks more pliable that way.

What about you? Which format do you prefer?

I'd prefer if you could follow me via bloglovin since GFC is to go kaput. :)
Follow on Bloglovin

And while you're here, do head on over to a tour-wide giveaway running right now for Armored Hearts by Melissa Turner Lee and Pauline Creeden.

Leave a link to your Follow Friday post or let me know your answers in the comments below!
Happy Friday!

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Thursday, 27 June 2013

Harry Potter Moment of the Week #6

This is a meme hosted by Leah Woods over at Uncorked Thoughts. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related!  This weeks is:

Best HP Memory.


I don't really have any "best" memories. Great ones for sure. There was the time I read The Tales of Beedle the Bard with my mates. The time we watched Deathly Hallows Part 1 together. I'd been away from my fellow potterhead besties during Part 2, most of us in different places and we couldn't watch it together.. :(

Oh and the time my whole class was in an uproar when Deathly Hallows (the book) came out and we found out that Fred dies *sniff* and the fact that Harry ends up with Ginny. We all were expecting Hermione and Harry to end up together!!

And not to forget the time 2 of us got together and took a snap pretending to be witches. Me with a paintbrush in my hand substituting as a wand and....... don't ask.... :P So that is one picture I'm not going to be posting on here!

So those are my memories! Any memory involving HP is bound to be great. And my best ones have always been with my friends! :) Of course I'm still waiting for the time I visit the Universal Studios in Florida and the sets AND Kings Cross Station. ;)

There it is! Which is your best Harry Potter memory?

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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Chimaeras, Tartarus & being a disappointing Stalker....

I've been away from this blog so long! Not posting reviews other than those for blog tours but I do have a reason for it all. The past month and more it's been exams and traveling. My sister is beginning college this year, so it was up to us to go around hunting colleges. And after that was just going back and forth to places with my shoddy internet connection, which left no time for me to read much or post many reviews not to mention the fact about how tired and lazy I was when I did manage to have a decent connection to the web and a little free time. I just wanted to sleep going out 7 days a week.

Let's get out of that bit and come to something else.

Ok. So there I am looking at the pictures of the people who got to attend the BEA (why do I live so far away?), happy for them and not envious at all. Not a bit. Nope. Zilch.

Argh! Who am I kidding? Of course I was envious and sad and jealous and other things, but happy for them nonetheless (that bit is true.. Really it is!).

So yes there I am surfing the net when I discover that The House of Hades cover has been revealed! Yaaaaayy!

Look at that cover!
Percy and Annabeth making there way to the house of Hades way down in wretched, dangerous Tartarus! This one's going to be great! Well it better be.

Then I find out. Very, very late mind you. That the Title has been released for the THIRD installment in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Last Month. Yeah, I found out only today really... I'm a disappointing stalker. Very very disappointing.

I hope to get back to reviews being posted and meme's being continued timely... It's sad really.
But then again, I'm willing to excuse myself a little because I did have my examinations after all. 

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Friday, 21 June 2013

Book Blitz : Full Throttle

Author: Chelsea Camaron
Release date: Jun 21st , 2013
Genre: Contemporary
Purchase: Amazon, B&N

Book Blurb

High school sweethearts manage to make it through college into the working world still together and going strong.  From the start of their relationship Jake has made very clear his apprehension to marriage.  Kenna understood going into this nine years ago that with Jake there would never be a ring or white dress.

Now seeing their friends so eager to make such a serious commitment in their own relationships a crack begins to form in Jake and Kenna’s once solid foundation. 

Will Kenna ever open up and share her dreams with Jake?  Can Jake overcome his childhood issues?  Is Kenna willing to accept things just as they are forever?  Will her desire for a more serious commitment make her change her feelings for her one love?  Is Jake enough alone or does Kenna demand more than he can give? Can they move forward full throttle into their future together?

About the Author

Chelsea Camaron has a love for old muscle cars and Harley Davidson motorcycles.  She currently resides in Southern Louisiana with her husband and two children. She was born and raised in Coastal North Carolina and her heart is always Carolina day dreaming. Her love for reading has sparked a new love for writing with a few projects currently in the works. 

Available for purchase at

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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Blog Tour : Mortimus Walker & the Secret of The White City

Author: Zach Turner
Publication date: May 20th , 2013
Genre: Sci-Fi
Edition: E-book
Purchase from: Amazon

Book Blurb

Morty is a One.  He's been laboring his entire life, but finally it's his sixtieth birthday.  Time for him to retire his old body and travel up through the clouds to the White City where he'll begin his new life as a One-Two.  He'll be given a new body and anything he wants as reward for his service.  But once Processing begins, things don't go exactly as planned.  Can Morty figure out the secret before he is lost in the System all over again?

Check out my Review of Mortimus Walker here..

About the Author

Zach Turner is a writer, teacher, and traveler.  He's a fan of punk music no one else listens to and loves to make people think and laugh.  Often one causes the other and both are essential to living.  He has worked as a game tester and taught as a professor at USC before training nurses as a Clinical Educator.  He now scours the globe looking for adventure and getting hopelessly addicted to nerdy TV shows.

He runs a blog about multi-tasking and finance on and when he's not traveling (rare), enjoys a good purple margarita in Austin, TX.

Get in Touch

Website: (is my writing site), (is my blogging site)


Twitter: @Zoracle

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Tour Review : Mortimus Walker & the Secret of The White City

Moortimus Walker And the Secret of The White City
Author: Zach Turner
Publication date: May 20th , 2013
Genre: Sci-Fi
Edition: E-book
Purchase from: Amazon

Morty is a One.  He's been laboring his entire life, but finally it's his sixtieth birthday.  Time for him to retire his old body and travel up through the clouds to the White City where he'll begin his new life as a One-Two.  He'll be given a new body and anything he wants as reward for his service.  But once Processing begins, things don't go exactly as planned.  Can Morty figure out the secret before he is lost in the System all over again?

Received as part of a Blog Tour !

This was certainly a pleasant surprise.. I wasn't aware when I volunteered to read this that this was to be a short story. I wish there was more for me to read! But then again I don't think there could be much more to it, but it would be greater if there was more. Am I even making any sense?

The whole book is about Mortimus Walker, a One and the arrival of his sixtieth birthday when at last he will leave behind his life of hard labour and reap the reward of giving back to his society. A second life without hardship or labour reaping the his much deserved life of freedom.

The world is run on a One-Two system. There's the One's who work for all of there life just giving and giving to their society , living on only basic amenities waiting for the next life that awaits them, their fruit of their hard labour. Then we have the Two's who live above the cloud of pollution that the One's see, in White City where they never work, and live as they wish in luxury.
The One's after finishing there life below then go on to live a life of fulfillment up in White City.

A very interesting concept that was cut short as it is after all a short story. But that ending.. Zach Turner! They do not deserve that! I had a premonition that something is just going to go wrong. But that end was just wow.

On the basis of a short story this ought to get 4 quills. But there was still something that left me wishing more. So here's me being a nit-picky brat with 3.5 stars. Science-fiction fans are bound to enjoy this! :D

Rating: 3.5 Quills 

quill design: QioDen
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Monday, 10 June 2013

Teaser Tuesday #17

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This Week's Teaser:

“And that's just it, isn't it? That's how we manage to survive the loss. Because love, it never dies, it never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it.” 

“It's okay,' he tells me. 'If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I've ever wanted anything in my life.' His voice cracks with emotion. He stops, clears his throat, takes a breath, and continues. 'But that's what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It's okay if you have to leave us. It's okay if you want to stop fighting.” 

―Gayle Foreman. If I Stay 

It's two quotes today. This is my first audio book. And gosh these book is so good! The narrator is soo darn fabulous!! The voice changes, the hitch in a character's voice, the laughter, the sadness. Aah! I'm a little late reading this one, but late is soo much better than never.

P.S- Thought I'd mention, the second quote is the main character's granddad saying the lines. Just the thought behind that offer!

Please leave a comment with a link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your teasers in a comment!

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Sunday, 9 June 2013

Release Day Book Blast + Giveaway : Destination Wedding

Author: Robyn Neeley
Publication date: June 10th, 2013
Genre: Romance
Purchase from: Amazon

Book Blurb

Wedding planner Kate Ashby’s fear of flying is eased by a sexy stranger and one slow lip lock that rockets her into another orbit.

CEO Luke Cannon has just traded seats with his identical twin. Little did he know that an innocent kiss while pretending he was his brother would soon create havoc.

What happens in the air doesn’t stay up there. Once on tropical land, Kate believes that the handsome stranger who gave her the best kiss of her life is now her new client, Drew Cannon, fiancĂ© to the beautiful and wealthy Lauren Kincaid. While Kate struggles with the intense feelings she thinks she has for Drew, Luke discovers Kate’s been hired to plan his brother’s destination wedding. He also realizes the initial sparks they shared 30,000 feet up are now mistakenly aimed at Drew.

Can Luke get Kate to realize that the feelings she has are for him? He’s got forty-eight hours in paradise to try.

Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors

About the Author

Robyn Neeley is an East Coaster who loves to explore new places; watches way more reality TV than she cares to admit; can’t live without Dunkin Donuts coffee and has never met a cookie she didn’t like. If you have a must read romance suggestion or a fabulous cookie recipe, she wants to know. 
Visit her at 

Get in Touch

Available for Purchase at 

Giveaway !


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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Blog Tour : A Healing Love

 A Healing Love
Author: Tara Chevrestt
Publication date: May 2013
Genre: Romance
Edition: E-book
Purchase: Amazon

Book Blurb

 Kimberly Rogers vowed to fight a tragic past the only way  she knew how: she joined the Army and became strong. No  man would hurt her again. But a war wound sends her to her brother's in Cripple Creek, WY, with vision and hearing impairments.

Where as glasses can help her see and hearing aids can help her hear, nothing can force her to talk again. Is she really unable to speak, or is she hiding behind her disability to protect herself, her pride, and her heart? Regulated to the most menial of jobs, her world in shambles, Kimberly is finally convinced to seek medical assistance.

Carlos Medina is Jackson Hole's best therapist. If anyone can make Kimberly speak again, it's him. But Kimberly has to meet him halfway, and Carlos has his own past tragedy that the young, mute woman threatens to force him to conquer.

They both have wounds…and sometimes wounds must be reopened before they can heal. Can they open up to each other? Can Kimberly find her voice again and open her heart? Can love heal them both?

Check out my Review of A Healing Love here.

Let's have a 
Sneak Peek!


 Carlos had been expecting a badly scarred, burly woman, not the petite, slender girl from the coffee shop in Cripple Creek. Only, she wasn’t really a girl. Her curves attested to that. He had to remind himself she was twenty-three, as there was something extremely young and vulnerable about her. Only the angry red mark on her throat—not covered by a scarf as it had been when he’d seen her before—marred her beauty…and that didn’t bother him.

She stepped forward, her gaze on his. She looked just as surprised at the sight of him as he was at the sight of her. Had she been expecting an old man with gray hair? He fought the urge not to smile at the idea. Most people expected someone with his reputation to be much older than his twenty-eight years…and not a biker they’d met in a coffee shop who rambled about senoritas and antibiotics. After all, obtaining a PhD was time-consuming. But he’d been lucky, and unlike many other students, had not had to work his way through college, and thus, had been able to focus solely on his studies. He knew he was blessed. A supportive family and a scholarship had seen him through.

Carlos jolted himself from his musings and managed to tear his gaze away from his patient—patient, best not to forget that—and looked for her brother, expecting him to be right behind her. There was no one there; she was alone.

“Hi.” He rose from his chair and reached a hand out to her for her to shake. “You must be Kimberly Rogers. Is your brother with you?” Her hand felt soft and delicate in his own. He was careful not to give it the firm squeeze he normally was prone to giving, careful to keep his expression neutral and not reveal his surprise or pleasure.

She nodded and pointed to the door, in the direction of the waiting room.

He mentally flipped a switch in his mind, from Casual Carlos to Doctor Carlos. Carlos decided the fact she had brought her brother, but not allowed him to escort her into the office itself was a positive sign. She wanted to do this on her own, obviously. She wasn’t weakened to the point she needed someone to hold her hand at all moments. His task may not be as difficult as he’d originally thought. Then again, too much pride could also hinder a patient’s healing. But at least she was willing and comfortable enough to face a therapist on her own. The woman had drive. It was visible in the way she held herself in front of him, back straight, shoulders back, chin up. And though he knew from her records she was wearing contacts, her eyes had a determined glint the lenses couldn’t hide. The removal of the scarf was a positive step as well. She was no longer ashamed of her wound.

“Have a seat.” Carlos gestured to the chair across from his desk, and then, instead of taking his own, he walked around to take the seat a short distance from hers, turning it slightly as he sat so he would be facing her. When she appeared comfortable, despite the fact she was gripping the armrests, he smiled warmly at her. “I’m Carlos Medina. Your brother told me some of your past history and current problems, but I would like the full story from you. Now, I realize you cannot speak; that’s why you’re here, so is there a particular way you wish to communicate with me right now? You want to write? Would you rather fill out a form and then talk to me on the computer until we progress?” He waited, clearing his throat nervously, for her to answer, and shocked himself with his own internal thought. Please, say no.

Yea, he was going to crumple and throw that desensitization, talk via computer crap out the window…if she let him. He couldn’t explain why—some therapist he was—but he didn’t want to this woman to talk to him online. He wanted to talk to her in person. The little switch was slipping back down to Casual Carlos pretty fast. There must be a short in my circuit, because I don’t want or need a woman in my life like that—especially not a patient. It’s not worth my career…or my heart.

Carlos visualized the switch in his mind as he watched the young woman and pictured the little button moving back up to Doctor Carlos.

* * * *

Kimberly stared at the handsome doctor in front of her. Talking online would be easier and more convenient, but she didn’t need that kind of treatment. It wasn’t like she was afraid of going out in public. Plus, she’d lucked out as far as doctors went. The doctors at Walter Reed had been older, gray, and paunchy. Heck, her audiologist wasn’t a young thing, either. But this man…whoa.

He’d been in the back of her mind ever since her failed second job. Meeting him had been the first time she’d felt feelings of attraction or interest in the opposite sex in ages.

This time, the atmosphere was quieter, calmer, and she wasn’t flustered or busy and could take the time to really look at him. He was tall, with olive skin and warm milk chocolate eyes. His face was clean-shaven, his hair ink-black and wavy despite its short length. He sported a very nice suit, a drastic difference from the biker attire she’d seen him in before. An expensive-looking watch was his only jeweled adornment. She’d checked.

He cleared his throat, bringing her back to earth. Kimberly realized he’d been waiting for her to respond. Her face heated with embarrassment. He was looking at her expectantly. What had he asked? Oh yeah, the online thing. No…

Flustered, she merely shook her head at him and reached into her back pocket. She had come prepared. She pulled out her trusty pad, welcoming an excuse to stop staring at him. Her notes were slightly damp from the sweat of her body, and she was reluctant to hand them over, but it was her story, the words she’d written for George. She could sit here all day and scribble in front of him or hand him this.

Deciding she’d rather he be staring at her notes than watching her write them, she handed them over. This way, she would watch him.

He took the notes, and his hand lightly brushed against hers in the process. Kimberly was surprised by the current that traveled up her arm, all the way to her shoulder, on that little contact.

I’m so glad I got contacts.

“Is this what happened to you?” His voice was soft, yet at the same time clear and masculine.

She nodded, very aware of his gaze on her until finally, he looked down at the papers he was holding. A small rush of air escaped her, and she allowed herself to relax. She’d been so conscious of what she must look like; hair tucked behind her aids, the red mark on her throat. It was unnerving having such a handsome man staring at her.

Now, she sat back and stared at him as he read, noting the crease that appeared between his brows, the cleanliness of his fingers turning the pages, the rugged line of his jaw.

Suddenly therapy didn’t seem so bad.

About the Author

Tara Chevrestt is a deaf woman, former aviation mechanic, writer, and an editor. She is most passionate about planes, motorcycles, dogs, and above all, reading. That led to her love of writing. Between her writing and her editing, which allows her to be home with her little canine kids, she believes she has the greatest job in the world. She is very happily married.

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