Saturday, December 21, 2013


Two Ends of the Pen will be on hiatus while I deal with a serious medical issue. There's lots to read on the blog while I'm gone - author interviews, guest posts and book reviews.

You can find all my books from epic fantasy to regency romance under the tabs in the menu bar. 

I'll be back as soon as I can. Happy Reading!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Interview with Christine Amsden

Who would you most like to be stranding on a desert island with?  Least?  Why?
Most – my husband. Least – myself. I'm really as much of me as I can handle.

 First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

 If you could only eat one food the rest of your life, what would it be?
There isn't anything in the world I would want every day for the rest of my life, and that includes chocolate. If I can only have one thing, it may as well be a vitamin pill.

If you were a shifter, what animal would you like to be?
A bird – probably a hawk or falcon. I'd love to fly.

Favorite season? Why?
Spring because it smells so good.

 Best movie ever made?
Deep Impact (That would be the other asteroid movie, the one nobody ever heard of. But I loved it loved it loved it.)

Author Contacts:

Book Blurbs:

Book One:   Cassie Scot, Paranormal Detective

Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs. 

My parents think the longer the name, the more powerful the sorcerer, so they named me Cassandra Morgan Ursula Margaret Scot. You can call me Cassie.

I've been called a lot of things in my life: normal, ordinary, and even a disappointment. After the Harry Potter books came out, a couple of people called me a squib. Since I haven't read them, I have to assume it's a compliment.

Personally, I prefer normal, which is why the sign on my office door reads: Cassie Scot, Normal Detective.

You have to understand that around here, when your last name is Scot, people are easily confused. Not only are my parents powerful practitioners, but I have six talented brothers and sisters. Plus, my family hasn't always been known for its subtlety. When weird stuff happens around here, the people who are willing to believe in magic are prone to suspect the Scots.

The day I opened for business I got a call from an old woman who swore her cat was possessed by the devil. She also swore she'd read my web site, which clearly stated the types of work I did and did not do. Exorcisms were on the No list, and while I hadn't specified pet exorcisms, I would have thought it was implicit.

Book Two: Secrets and Lies

Cassie Scot, still stinging from her parents’ betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn’t letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them.

To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

#Excerpt: DARKNESS SERIES TOUR by Stacey Marie Brown

Teaser: “I don’t know if I want to smack you because you're naïve or plain stupid,” Eli said, irritation soaking his words.
“You touch me and you lose your most beloved girlfriend there.” I nodded toward his hand.
Eli scoffed. “Then I’ll train yours.”
“I’d like to see you try.”
Excerpt:   “What is this?” I looked up at Eli in confusion, feeling weak and helpless.
“The bracelet is made of iron,” he replied.
“I know that.” I shakily gripped onto the bedframe for balance. “I meant what is it?” I pointed at the delicate looking object wrapped around my wrist.
“We have to be able to control you. We can’t have you using your abilities on us,” Cole stated matter-of-factly.
“So this bracelet is basically my dog collar?” I looked down at the harmless looking band. It was actually beautiful if it wasn’t for its evil effect on me. Small Celtic symbols were etched around the band, weaving in beautiful looping designs.
“Basically” Ah, Eli. He never sugarcoated anything for me. “Or, if you’d prefer, I can chain you in the basement. Could be fun.”
My eyes constricted into a glare. Air pumped in and out of my lungs, the initial shock of iron beginning to wear off, slowly becoming more manageable. “The goblins made it, and you will not be able to break it or slip it off as it is magically bound to your wrist. But I know you will try anyway so have fun with that.” A slight knowing smile appeared on Eli’s mouth.
“But now with your collar on, I can take you for walks.”

Darkness of Light  by Stacey Marie Brown
(Darkness #1)
Publication date: February 13th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance

Freak. Witch. Crazy. Schizo.

Ember Brycin has been called them all. She’s always known she’s different. No one has ever called her normal, even under the best circumstances. Bizarre and inexplicable things continually happen to her, and having two different colored eyes, strange hair, and an unusual tattoo only contributes to the gossip about her.

When the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for trouble teens, she meets Eli Dragen, who’s hot as hell and darkly mysterious. Their connection is full of passion, danger, and secrets. Secrets that will not only change her life, but what and who she is—leading her down a path she never imagined possible.

Between Light and Dark, Ember finds a world where truth and knowledge are power and no one can be trusted. But her survival depends on finding out the truth about herself. In her pursuit, she is forced between love and destiny and good and evil, even when the differences between them aren’t always clear. At worst, she will incite a war that could destroy both worlds. At best, she will not only lose her heart but her life and everyone she loves. Once the truth is out, however, there will be no going back. And she’ll definitely wish she could.

Fire in the Darkness by Stacey Marie Brown
(Darkness #2)
Publication date: August 31st 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance

It's been four weeks since Ember Brycin witnessed what her powers are capable of. The Electrical Current Storm has turned Seattle, Washington into a natural disaster zone. The death toll is in the thousands with countless others homeless and hungry.

And Ember is the one who caused it. Something she will have to live with every day.

Those people who were unable to escape either turned quickly into gangs or live in shelters. Ember, on the other hand, can’t do either. With a price on her head and a Dark Dweller on her ass, she is constantly on the move. Both Light and Dark are hunting her for their own purpose to use her as a weapon or a pawn in the war between the Unseelie King of the Dark and the Seelie Queen of the Light.

Em needs help but doesn’t know who to trust: Lars, the mystery man Torin told her to find? Torin, the Seelie Queen’s personal knight, who has sworn to keep Em safe? Or Eli, who wants to turn her over to the Unseelie King, but whom she has an undeniable, intense connection with?

No matter what she chooses she will probably lose—her life or everything and everyone she loves.

Purchase Book 1

Purchase Book 2

Stacey Marie Brown by day is an Interior/Set Designer, by night a writer of Paranormal Fantasy, Adventure, and Literary Fiction. She grew up in Northern California, where she ran around on her family’s farm, raising animals, riding horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts. Even before she could write, she was creating stories and making up intricate fantasies. Writing came as easy as breathing. She later turned that passion into acting, living and traveling abroad, and designing. Though she had never stopped writing, moving back to San Francisco seemed to have brought it back to the forefront and this time it would not be ignored.

When she’s not writing she’s out hiking, spending time with friends, traveling, listening to music, or designing.

Author Links:

GIVEAWAY Tour-wide giveaway Prizes:
1) Both books signed with a $10 Amazon gift card (US only)
2) Signed copy of either book 1 or 2 (US only)
3) 5 x ebook of either book 1 or 2 (INTL)

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


#Excerpt: ONDINE by Emma Raveling

I tracked her.
Feet slid soundlessly across the mat. Thick atmosphere, taut with anticipation, pressed in, carrying the heavy odor of sweat, cleaning bleach, and plastic. 
Adrenaline crackled through my veins like a live wire, pulsing in time to the audience’s hum of excitement.
She neared, feinting a few strikes, but not close enough to do any damage.
Two years ago, I’d won nationals in my age and weight category. Our constant moving had prevented me from repeating it.
But this time, I was so close I could taste it. Winning this sparring match would secure the state championship. Next would be regionals, followed by nationals.
If you’re still here in two months.
The thought unnerved me.
That was all she needed.
I caught the blur of her arm a millisecond too late. Her fist slammed into my right ribcage, impact ricocheting up my torso.
Referee stood. “Point. Blue!”
Damn it. A careless mistake.
I felt the weight of her eyes boring into my back, heard the disappointed criticism repeated over the years.
Not good enough, Kendra.
I mentally shook myself. Two minutes left in the match and I was already behind.
Ref’s arm dropped. “Fight!”
Everything faded and the entirety of my focus zeroed onto the brunette in front of me.
I had to win.
Sara Ruggiero, reigning champion, had excellent form and a technique honed through years of disciplined practice.
She danced just out of reach, movements fluid and in control. Her hands, covered in protective blue mitts, guarded her face. She was good, very good even, with an aggressive style fueled by anger.
And right now, she was pissed. The deciding round of her last championship in high school was with a newcomer a year younger than her.
We circled, darted forward and back. Attack and retreat. With each step, pain radiated from my ribs.
She smirked. Hurt?
I let my eyes harden. Show me what you got.
Her torso twisted, foot shifting back in preparation for a jodan kick.
Empath sensed her vulnerability, the twinge of discomfort along her lower back from an old injury.
Leg arced toward my face in a perfectly executed high kick. I whipped aside at the last second.
Off-balance, she tilted slightly toward the right, leaving her back open.
I pivoted behind her and my right fist hammered her kidney. She stumbled forward, a cry escaping her lips.

Book & Author Details:

Ondine by Emma Raveling
(Ondine Quartet 0.5)
Publication date: December 19, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

“I shouldn’t get involved.”

Rebellious and headstrong, sixteen-year-old Kendra Irisavie doesn’t have much respect for authority. An ondine with the powerful gift of Virtue, she uses her tough attitude and Empath magic to navigate through high school and keep others away.

Because being an ondine also means keeping secrets.

Kendra and her mother are Rogue water elementals in the middle of an ancient war. They hide among humans, their survival constantly threatened by monstrous Aquidae demons. Along with a rigorous training regimen to mold Kendra into a lethal fighter, her mother has instituted four rules to keep her safe.

Trust no one. Relationships are weaknesses. Emotional attachments are dangerous. Be responsible only for yourself. But when Kendra witnesses a classmate in trouble, she intervenes and her decision to break the rules comes at a price.

Sometimes, humans could be more dangerous than demons.

Ondine is a short prequel novella for the young adult urban / paranormal fantasy series, the Ondine Quartet.

Will be found here come release day:

I’m a fantasy writer who lives a slightly eccentric life with my accommodating husband and our charming, neurotic dog. I'm currently working on the Ondine Quartet, a young adult urban fantasy/paranormal series featuring a kick-ass heroine, powerful magic, and the complex world of water elementals.

I have a weird love of spreadsheets and organizational tools because they give me the illusion that I am somehow in control of the chaos that is my life. I adore beautiful art such as painting and sculpture, classical music, lyrical writing, and great graphic design. My all-time favorite books (as of this writing) are Immortality by Milan Kundera, 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.

Author Links:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Interview with Missy Johnson

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Beautiful Rose follows the story of two broken people trying to find their place in the world. Rose has been through a lot in her short life, never feeling like she quite belonged anywhere. Jack has been hurt, and struggles to open himself up to love again.

Beautiful Rose can be read as a standalone, but the prequel, Seduce, should be read first to get the most out of the story.

Do you have a favorite character?
Jack Falcon. I’ve seen him develop so much through the prequel and into this book, that I can’t help but want the best for him. He went through so much in Seduce that regardless of whether you liked him as a character or not, you couldn’t help but want a happy ending for him.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
I’ve had characters stand out so much that they pretty much demand I write their own story. The next book in this series will be the story of Alex, Jack’s brother.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I did query my first novel and got two offers from small publishers, but I decided to try self publishing.

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
Self publishing. I am open to traditional publishing, but only if I feel it will further my audience.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
Much of it had to do with me being impatient and just wanting to get my work out there. I didn’t care if I sold 10 or 100 books, if just one person enjoyed my work, then for me that was a success. Now, I’m so glad I did it.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
For all my books I was very involved in the cover production. I would scroll through pic after pic, looking for the perfect one to represent my book. I’m very particular about my covers because that is the first thing the reader will see. I’ve worked with the same cover designer for all my books, and I just love her to bits!

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I belong to a few author groups, and having them to bounce ideas off is fantastic. Sometimes you can’t see what’s missing until someone else points it out to you. Having the support of other writers has been a huge part of my journey.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I prefer silence, or something boring on the TV, like the cricket. Anything distracting will stop me from getting completely into my story. It’s the same for me with reading.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I write my synopsis, pick my cover and then I’m good to go J I don’t plot, I like the characters to drive the story, and as long as they stick to my synopsis, I’m happy.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Yes. I use an editor and a proofreader. Being an Aussie, my proofreader is American so she can catch the majority of my aussie slang, haha

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Kobo and Barnes & Noble. I also sell signed paperbacks through myself.

What’s next for you?
Up next for me is Always You, a student/teacher romance that will be out at the end of December.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Interview with Susan Winters

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
What do you do when your Prince Charming turns out to be toad—is the premise behind Ever After.  Roz and Eden, childhood best friends who have drifted apart re-kindle their friendship when they each find themselves at a marital crossroads.

Do you have a favorite character?
Eden’s mother, Ann, is one of my favorite characters. She was so much fun to write because she says whatever is on her mind.  Eden is very reserved, but finds herself caught between two generations of fierce determination, an opinionated mother and her own stubborn young daughter. Ann was so strong-willed I had to be careful not to let her dominate the novel.

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
Two of my romances are published with The Wild Rose Press under my pen name, Mariposa Cruz. Both of my chick-lit titles are self-published under Susan Winters.  Through my romance writer colleagues, I have been referred to wonderful folks for editing, formatting and cover design services, so for my future manuscripts I will self-publish.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
After collecting several favorable rejection letters, I realized my novella, Mixed Blessings would be a better fit as an e-book.  Ever After is my second self-published title.  While working with a small press has been a positive experience, I have really enjoyed being directly involved in the production of my books.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
I was referred to Harris Chandler by a mutual author friend. I gave Harris the frog prince graphic, the book blurb and told her I’d like a cover similar to one she did with vector characters.  With those general parameters, she produced an amazing cover that fits the story perfectly.    

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I was referred to an excellent editor who provided an initial first chapter edit as sample of her style.  I think the sample edit was helpful for us to get to know each other prior to being locked into a large project.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I have two separate blogs and facebook pages.  features posts on people who pursue their creative interests while working fulltime as well as my freelance writing and women’s fiction. features interviews with romance authors, classic horror movie reviews and my romance titles.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes, whenever I’m working on one I always feel like I’m neglecting the other.  Maintaining two separate blogs is also a challenge. Since I have longer blocks of time during the weekend, I focus on my current WIP on the weekends. During the evenings after work I write and upload blog posts.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
The good news is that there are so many opportunities and resources available for self-published authors.  But it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the vast variety of choices—do you hire someone to do editing, formatting, cover design, blog tours or do you try to do it all yourself?
Think very carefully about what is the best use of your strengths and resources.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Like Roz from Ever After, I love to cook and experiment with new recipes. My most recent passion is salsa dancing, the music is so sexy. For a writer it’s wonderful because there are so many stories out there on the dance floor.  In fact, my current WIP is a contemporary romance set in the Reno salsa scene.

Buy Links:

#Excerpt: ALL FOR HOPE by Olivia Hardin

So a portion of All for Hope occurs at Christmas time and we get a few holiday scenes with the characters.  But as I’ve thought about the story I’ve found myself wondering about some of the things happening “behind the scenes” so to speak. 

And since I’m a writer, I decided why not put some of those thoughts to paper.  Hope and Brennan are the center of All for Hope’s romance, so I thought it would be fun to get a little snippet of Jeremy and Meg’s relationship.

I hope you’ll consider picking up All for Hope today and enjoying a nice cozy read just perfect for the holidays.

Merry Christmas!   ~Olivia

Jeremy found Meg in their room, putting the finishing touches on a few gifts.  She was nothing if not overzealous about gift wrapping.  The three boxes were rectangular and he imaged they must contain clothing of some sort.  The paper was whimsical of the kind he knew his wife would choose for children and there was a ribbon crisscrossed on each one with a bow in the center.

“I thought you were finished with the gifts,”  He murmured, sneaking in behind her and pecking one of her rosy cheeks.

“Oh, Jeremy!  You surprised me.  Well these are the Christmas Eve gifts for the boys and at the last minute I decided to extend the tradition for Nichole… er, Michelle.”

He rubbed his hands on her arms as if warming her up, though he couldn’t imagine she would be cold in the room which had a roaring fire.  His touches were ones affection and his wife sighed in contentment, offering him a smile across her shoulder.

“I didn’t remember you wrapping the Christmas Eve ones before.” 

She bit her lip, then giggled nervously.  “Well, I don’t, but… well the truth is I just love watching little ones unwrap presents and so I decided to wrap the baby’s and if I wrapped hers I should do the boys too.”  She paused and furrowed her brow.  “Don’t you think?”

Jeremy didn’t dare laugh.  His wonderful wife’s feelings were tender enough as it was so he nodded seriously and gave her a little squeeze.  “Yes, indeed.”  She didn’t like all of the conflict going on in the house after the blow up between his sister Kay, his cousin Brennan. 

Jeremy had been just as shocked as his sister when he was told the truth about Hope kidnapping baby Michelle.  But for all of his shock, Kay had been furious and the resulting argument was explosive to say the least.

For now, there was a silent truce between all concerned but the tension was still heavy in the air and that weighed on Meg.  Her natural reaction was to do something to bring happiness and joy back into their midst.

“Oh, good.  I was hoping this would be alright.  We’ll let the children open them tonight after dinner then, okay?”

Meg didn’t wait for him to agree this time, just bundled up her boxes and hurried out of the room, humming some Christmas carol as she went. 

He knew what the boxes would contain.  When Meg and her sisters were small, her mother started a tradition that his wife decided to carry on with their children.  There would be matching holiday pajamas for the boys and probably a holiday nightgown for Michelle.  The little ones would go to sleep in their Christmas outfits, visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.  He could just about imagine them all the next morning waking up with funny little bed heads and in green and red PJs. 

His heart warmed and a grin spread across his face.  Even with the cloud of unsettled emotions going on in Arrington Manor, his wife found a way to shine through it all.  Jeremy thought he would never stop marveling at the way his Meg could do tiny little things each day to make him fall in love with her all over again.

Purchase on Amazon

About the Author:
Olivia Hardin realized early on how strange she was to have complete movie-like character dreams as a child. Eventually she began putting those vivid dreams to paper and was rarely without her spiral notebooks full of those mental ramblings. Her forgotten vision of becoming an author was realized when she connected with a group of amazingly talented and fabulous writers who gave her lots of direction and encouragement. With a little extra push from family and friends, she hunkered down to get lost in the words. She’s also an insatiable crafter who only completes about 1 out of 5 projects, a jogger who hates to run, and is sometimes accused of being artistic, though she’s generally too much of a perfectionist to appreciate her own work. A native Texas girl, Olivia lives in the beautiful Lone Star state with her husband and their puppy Bonnie.

Connect with her Online - Blog * Goodreads * Twitter* Facebook * Literary Addicts

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Monday, December 16, 2013

New #YA Fantasy: BEYOND THREE PATHS by Maureen A Miller

Book Blurb:

Aimee Patterson is coming home...but this time she is not alone.

After spending years in space on an alien ship, Aimee Patterson is finally coming home. But this time she is not alone. Her lover Zak wants to meet her parents, and her friend Raja wants to experience life on Earth. Both get more than they ever bargained for.

Within days of being on Earth, Raja is caught up in an FBI sting operation. She is intrigued by Special Agent Craig Buchanan, but things go horribly wrong. Raja is faced with a dilemma. Save Agent Buchanan’s life or risk revealing her true identity.

It was supposed to be an innocent trip to Earth.... now Aimee, Zak, and Raja are fugitives of the ultimate kind.


Less than two days after her high school graduation, Aimee Patterson walked her Cocker Spaniel along the pond on her parent’s farm. When Ziggy charged into the woods on the other side, Aimee was paralyzed with indecision. The forest was scary, a dark lair she had avoided since childhood. But she was not a child anymore, and something had caught the dog’s attention. Trailing after him into that bleak stockade...Aimee disappeared from this planet.

She woke up on a spaceship so grand and so far from Earth, never imagining that her adventure in space would last five years. In that time she learned new technology, visited a foreign planet, battled aliens, encountered disease—and cured it. Most importantly, though, she fell in love.

When the adventure was over, Aimee was twenty-two years old and confronted with a monumental decision. Should she remain in the stars with Zak and start their life together, or should she return to Earth to lead a normal existence and comfort the parents who never knew the fate of their missing daughter?

Aimee’s heart yearned for one future, but the burden of responsibility argued for another. The truth was that in order for her and Zak to spend a life together without regrets, they both needed to evolve—to mature.

For five years she did her time on Earth, always looking to the stars at night, waiting for the moment she could reunite with her true love. When that time came, she rejoined the Horus only to discover that Zak was not there. Informed that he had been left stranded on his own planet and presumed dead, Aimee was devastated. 

Foreign planets and even the prospect of death cannot deter a woman in love. Tackling the odds, Aimee mounted her own mission to rescue Zak. Once reunited with her damaged man, she battled at his side against the Korons who sought to annihilate his race. Triumphant, she and Zak reunite with the Horus, but their next stop as a ‘bonded’ couple is Aimee’s home...the planet Earth.

 Only, this time they do not travel alone. This time they have brought someone back with them. The one woman that Aimee can call a friend.


Aimee opened her eyes. 

Her body recoiled against the bleak environment.

Murky. Dark. Wet. 


With two desperate kicks her head cracked the surface.

At first she thought the Horus had miscalculated and dumped her smack in the middle of the pond on her parent’s property. 
A frantic scan of the area revealed that this was no pond, but rather a sizable lake. 

“Zak!” she cried.

There was no response. There was no sound, save for the distant call of a blue jay and the thunderous pulse inside her ears.

“Raja!” she spun in a tight circle, but the lake was empty and the closest land seemed a hundred yards away.

Submerging again, light filtered through in a strobe-effect as she searched in vain for a sign of Zak. Malicious shadows concealed everything in this netherworld. Gnarled limbs climbed up from the depths, reaching for her. She kicked and screamed, gulping a mouthful of water.

“Zak,” she choked. 

Could they have made it safely to shore already? It was a far better conjecture than the alternative. What if they were not accustomed to water like this? What if the impact was so dramatic it put their alien composition into cardiac arrest?

“No,” she whimpered. 

It simply was not an option to lose Zak—not after everything they had been through together. Not after every obstacle they had overcome. They were bonded. He was her husband now. He was her life, and she would not lose him.

“Zak!” A swarm of gnats took siege on her head. “Raja!”

Part of her wanted to start swimming—but in what direction? If she waded in this spot, then maybe she would have a better chance of locating them.

It had already been five minutes since she first surfaced. Tears now mingled with the mossy residue clinging to her eyelashes. No. No. No. She started crooning. This was not happening. 

How many minutes now? 

Again she dove beneath the surface using her hands when her eyes failed her. Cold water siphoned through her outstretched fingers.

Buy links: