Release Day – Lilac Lane – Ann Swann


Available from 5 Prince
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Release Date: July 24, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-060-2   ISBN 10: 1631120603
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-061-9      ISBN 10: 1631120611


Lilac Lane
Ella and her son survived her ex-husband’s drunken wrath.
They are starting a new life in a new town, Stutter Creek. She’s even met a
real man. A gentle wild life biologist named Chet Boone. But now, her ex has
been released from prison early. Is that him driving past their new house late
at night? Is he the one causing the strange sounds and flickering lights? Can
they survive a second round with a madman?
About the Author:
Ann lives in Texas with her handsome hubby and several
rescue pets.  Return to Stutter Creek is the second book in this Romantic
Suspense series, the first being the aptly named, Stutter Creek. Ann’s first book with 5 Prince Publishing was All For Love, a heartbreaking story of
ill-fated romance. She is also the author of The Phantom Series.  Book One
is Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot, Book Two is Stevie-girl and the Phantom Student, and Book Three is Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge.  Ann has also published short fiction in the
anthologies Timeless (paranormal love
stories) and Tales of Terror (horror)
as well as a speculative short story, Chems.
Her current work-in-progress is a full-length horror novel.  When she isn’t writing, Ann is reading. Her to-be-read list has grown so large it has taken on a life of its own. She calls it Herman.
Public contact information
Twitter: @ann_swann
Excerpt of Lilac Lane:
Chapter One
“I really like it, don’t you?” Ella asked.
Nick, her ten-year-old son, looked up at her. “It’s okay, I guess.” His expression said more than his words.
Ella hugged him to her side. “It will be all right,” she said. “Stutter Creek isn’t that far from Albuquerque. It’s just a little resort town. Skiing in the winter, camping and fishing in the summer. It backs right up to the National Park, you know. That’s why it’s such a
tourist town.”
Nick didn’t say anything.
“Don’t worry,” she rattled on. “We’ll be
going to visit Nana all the time, and I’m hoping she’ll come to visit us a lot,
too. We’ll even fix up the spare bedroom just for her.”
She ruffled his dark hair and climbed
the porch steps of their new rental. It was a quaint old house that had seen
better days, but the realtor assured her that all the important stuff, like
plumbing and wiring, had been recently updated. It was only the exterior that
needed a little TLC. “Well, that we
can do,” Ella had replied. “I’ve painted a few houses in my time. My dad was a
carpenter. One of my greatest joys was helping him finish out the houses he
built.” Maybe if we paint it we can get a break on the rent, she thought. But
she didn’t say anything. They had more than enough to worry about at the
“I don’t see why we had to move anyway,”
Nick pouted, interrupting her reverie. He trudged up the steps behind his mom.
He’d been very brave the whole time they
were packing and moving, but now that they were here, it had suddenly become
Ella felt her spirits slump. “I know,
sweetie, I wish we could have stayed put, too. But this little diner—they call
it The Drugstore—just beckoned me.” She glanced down and smoothed the hair
she’d just tousled. She never came right out and told him they moved specifically
to hide from his stepfather. She just tried to make it sound like one big
adventure. “We could never have bought anything like this back home. The prices
here are half what they are in the city. And there is only one other eating
establishment in the whole town—if you don’t count the convenience store—and I
don’t.” She squeezed his shoulder. “I hope you understand. I just didn’t want
to keep waiting tables forever. I want more, for me and for you.”
Nick shrugged and plopped the box he was
carrying on the sofa. Fortunately it held only books.
He’s just a child, she thought. Am I doing the right thing? She
remembered the bright red handprint on his cheek the day she’d left him in Anson’s
care. It was the day she’d been called into work unexpectedly. Up until then,
her mom had always kept Nick. When Anson tried to tell her Nick had been
disrespectful, thus giving him cause
for a face-slap, she’d become so distraught he wound up shoving her across the
kitchen. When she told him to leave, he’d simply laughed and shoved her again. This
time, her face hit the doorframe. Then he went back to the bedroom and packed her suitcase. But Ella was no one’s
victim. She called the police and had him arrested. She never slapped her
child, she certainly wasn’t going to stand idly by and let someone else do it. When
the officers arrived, Anson was convinced he could talk his way out of going to
“The boy’s just worthless,” he’d told
the senior officer. “He ain’t mine, you know. Takes after his mother. Or maybe
his old man; who knows? That worthless piece never even claimed him. Now I see
why. Too bad I didn’t know this before I took them in and gave them a home.” He
was talking to the gray-haired cop as if they were sharing confidences over
coffee. He seemed to think every man felt the way he did. Ella assumed it was
the beer talking. Once he got started drinking, things usually got ugly. But
this was the first time they’d gotten physical.
She remembered standing in the doorway
with Nick safely ensconced behind her. “Does he need to see a doctor?” the
younger officer asked.
Glancing back at Nick, the red handprint
standing out on his face like day-glo under black light, Ella shook her head. “No,
he’ll be okay as long as we get away from that madman.” Her eyes were crusty where
she’d accidentally wiped blood from her cheek into her lashes.
“I’ll need you to come to the station
and file an official report. But first, the hospital for an x-ray.” The officer
nodded toward her swelling cheek. “I’m no doctor, but I think you’ve got a
fracture there.”
Tears spilled from her eyes when he said
that. They mixed with the smear of blood and left red trails down her face. “I
feel so stupid,” she said. “How could I have let this happen?”
The officer was kind. “You didn’t let it
happen, and you didn’t cause it. You’re going to follow through and get him put
away.” He hesitated as if gauging his next words carefully. “And you won’t back
out when it comes time to testify. You won’t go back to him and make all this
night’s work be for nothing, right?”
Ella looked at him as if he were crazy. “Of
course I won’t go back to him. I’m not that
“You’d be surprised how often it
happens,” the officer replied. “You would be surprised.”
The paramedics came, but Ella insisted
she could drive herself to the hospital. She didn’t want to start off her
single life with a huge ambulance bill hanging over her head.
As she took her keys from her purse, she
saw the senior officer snap the cuffs on Anson.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” he yelled
in between curse words. “I’ll sue the whole department. I’ll have your fucking
job! What’s your badge number? It ain’t no crime to swat a smart mouth kid. Especially
not one as worthless as that punk.” When he said that, he turned and looked
right at her and Nick.
They’d been trying to get out of the
house without having to confront him.
“Worthless,” he bellowed, struggling
against the cuffs. His face turned the exact shade of an overripe plum, eyes
bugging out as if they would leap on Nick and Ella and finish the beating. “Both
of ‘em. Not worth shit!” He lunged forward, catching the officer off balance.
“Hey!” The gray-haired cop leapt on
Anson’s back and took him to the floor.
“I’ll kill ‘em,” Anson was screeching. “They’ll
be sorry they did this to me!”
The younger officer shielded Ella and
Nick and hurried them outside. “A woman from Children’s Services will meet you
at the hospital to look after him and take your story.”
That terrified Ella. “Let me call my
mother. She’ll meet us there, too. She’ll help us. I know she will. Please,
don’t let anyone take my boy.”
The paramedic patted her hand. “Settle
down,” he’d said. “No one’s going to take your boy.”
But Ella wasn’t listening.
She was pressing her mother’s picture
icon on her cell phone.
Ella swept the painful memories to the
back of her mind and crossed into the kitchen where she deposited her own box
full of dishes and various utensils. “As soon as we get the rest of these boxes
unloaded, we’ll go to The Drugstore, then explore a bit.”
The movers had done all the heavy work,
but Ella hadn’t trusted them with her grandmother’s china. She also had several
more boxes in the Jeep that contained photos and artwork taken from the walls
of their old house. It had been a cramped ride to their new home, but now that
they were here, in the mountains, Ella was thankful they had the Wrangler. The
roads were beautiful but steep. Even the driveway leading up to the house was
narrow and uneven.
We’ll rent for a while, she thought. And
if it doesn’t work out, we can always go back to Nana’s house. The thought stuck
in her craw, though. Not only did she hate the thought of going back to mama,
but Anson had made such ugly threats when she had him arrested, she was afraid
to be anywhere near him, even if he was in the county jail. It was obvious how
much he had grown to despise both her and Nick. He blamed her for every bad thing
that had happened—even though he was the one who hurt them.
Her hand went to her cheekbone. There
was a permanent indentation there; small, hardly noticeable, but what would it
have looked like the next time she did something that displeased him? And what
would Nick look like the next time he “swatted” him? How long before it
escalated to closed fist rather than open-handed slap?
She couldn’t believe she’d fallen for
someone so mean and hateful. Of course, he hadn’t been either of those things
in the beginning. She recalled all the news stories of wives who had married men
who turned out to be psychopaths in disguise. When the wife disappeared, the
authorities almost always looked at the husband first. One woman disappeared
right off the cruise ship while they were on their honeymoon. Another
disappeared when she discovered her husband had been lying about being a med
student. Her body was later found in the local landfill. And what about that
poor pregnant woman whose husband sunk her body in the ocean? She had been
eight months pregnant.
It’s hard to really know someone, Ella
thought. Especially when they seek to deceive.
“Is that the doorbell?” It was the first
time she’d heard it from inside the house. Her first inclination was to call
out, “Come on in!” but her second thought was to yell at Nick not to answer it.
She compromised by hurrying toward the door. “Just a minute, I’m coming!”
When she rounded the corner between the
kitchen and the living room, she could see a woman standing outside the door.
She opened the screen. “Hello?”
The woman held out her hand. “Norma,”
she said. “From next door, well, you know, down the road.” She grinned and
indicated the direction with a wave of her hand. All the houses in this area
were set back from the road at the end of their own stumpy, humpy driveways. Each
one occupied several acres separated from each other by tall pines and junipers.
“Nice to meet you.” Ella took the
proffered hand.
Norma swept streaky gray hair off her
forehead and smiled. “Saw you two unloading boxes and thought I’d stop by and offer
to help. My husband is a long-haul trucker, hardly ever home. So I know how
welcome an extra pair of hands can be.”
Ella returned the woman’s grin even
though she wondered how Norma could possibly know it was just the two of them. How does she know I don’t have a husband lurking
around somewhere?
“Hope you don’t think I’m too forward,”
Norma said, as if she’d read Ella’s thoughts. “Your realtor is my second cousin.
She told me to check in on you guys and make sure you were getting settled.” She
held up a small brown bag that Ella hadn’t even noticed hanging from her arm. “Brownies,”
she said.
Ella laughed and stepped aside so she could
come in. “Nick will love those. Thank you so much. And trust me, we’d welcome
another set of hands if you’re sure you don’t mind.”
Norma passed the bag to Ella and patted
her arm. “Just point me in the right direction.”
Ella called Nick to come in and meet
their new neighbor, and then she showed him the brownies.
“Pleased to meet you,” Nick said
politely. “Do you have any kids?”
Norma shook her head. “Sorry, buddy. My
only daughter is grown and gone. She hasn’t even blessed me with grandchildren
Nick’s face fell.
“But don’t you worry.” Her voice was
sympathetic. “We’ve got a wonderful little school here in Stutter Creek. You’ll
make lots of friends. Besides,” her face grew thoughtful. “I’ve got a godson
who is just a bit younger than you. His name is Danny and he just turned
eight.” She glanced at Ella. “I’ll be glad to introduce the two of them—well,
all of you, of course, when you’re ready. Beth and John are excellent parents. In
fact, Beth is a teacher at Stutter Creek Elementary.”
Ella shot her a look of thanks, then led
the way to the kitchen. “Nick is in fifth grade,” she said. “What grade does
Beth teach?”
Norma clucked her tongue. “Can you
believe she teaches fifth grade? Will wonders never cease?”
“That is wonderful,” Ella replied. “I
can’t wait to meet her.”
She waved a hand toward the kitchen. “We
haven’t bought any groceries yet.” She opened the bag containing the homemade
brownies. “But as soon as we finish unloading the Jeep, I’ll run to town and
get some milk to go with these.”
“Couldn’t I have just one,” Nick
wheedled, obviously won over by the cook. “I don’t have to have milk.”
Ella smiled. She’d thought that would be
his response. He was just like her when it came to chocolate. “Of course you
may.” She handed him a still-warm square and pinched off a little taste for
herself. “Sit at the table, kiddo,” she instructed. “I have no idea where the
napkins are. Hmmm, these are delicious.”
Nick sat at the table and sunk his teeth
into the first moist bite.
Together, the two women backtracked to
the Jeep and began carrying in the rest of the boxes.
It was easy to put the cartons in the
appropriate rooms. Ella’s mom had insisted on labeling each one with a giant
Sharpie while helping them pack up the house back in Albuquerque. “Half the
work is done in the preparation,” she’d said. Ella hated to admit it, but it
had made unloading things a lot easier. Even the movers had commented on it.
When the boxes were stowed away, just
waiting to be unpacked, Norma insisted it was time for her to go. But she
invited them to come over for a visit. “Just stop by anytime,” she said. “It’s
the first one on your right when you head back toward town.”
“Can we drop you there on our way to the
grocery store?” Ella glanced out the front window. “I don’t see your car.”
Norma shook her head, gray-streaked
curls bouncing. “I walked. It’s my greatest pleasure, walking these hilly roads.
Good for my heart and my hips.” She winked at Ella. “Besides, it’s only a mile.”
Ella gave her a brief hug. “I’m in awe,”
she said. “Once we get things all figured out, maybe I’ll just join you sometime.”
“I’d love that,” Norma replied. “And
Nicky, too. We’ve got lots of wildlife in these old woods. And I know a trail
that goes straight from my house to yours.”
Nick’s eyes lit up. “I’d like to see
that. We lived in town before.”
“Well, that’s a date then. The first
chance you get, you two stop by and we’ll go exploring.”
“Sounds wonderful,” Ella said.
Norma walked down the porch steps then
turned and gave a little wave. Just past the edge of the drive, she headed into
the woods. Ella could see the beginning of the trail—in another moment, Norma
was invisible.
Guess the woods are thicker than I thought.
That gave her a moment’s pause. Finding such a bargain for
rent seemed ideal yesterday, but now she wasn’t so sure. Yep. We definitely have to explore that trail. Face the unknown. Otherwise,
I’ll be imagining all sorts of things lurking there.
Anson’s face popped
into her head. But not him, she thought. He’s in jail. And when he does get
out, he has no way of finding us.
Grabbing her purse and keys, she swept
away tendrils of brunette hair that had escaped her ponytail.
“Remind me to pick up the ingredients
for a caramel pie,” she told Nick as they drove into town. “I’ll make one for
Norma to thank her for coming over and helping us get settled.”
“And for the brownies,” Nick added,
patting his midsection comically. “I liked her. I can’t wait to check out that
trail. You think we could camp out in the woods behind the house? Please?”
Ella laughed. “I’ll bet we can before it
gets too cold. But I guess we’d need a tent, right?”
Nick laughed, too. “And sleeping bags,
and a lantern, you know to see by, and—”
Ella rolled her eyes. “And more money to
buy all this stuff!”
She pointed to a neat white house with
butter colored trim on the right side of the road. The house sat back behind a
lush garden of fall mums, bright purple kale, and shiny green holly bushes
graced with tiny red berries. “Must be Norma’s house,” Ella said. “Wonder how
long it takes her to walk a mile anyhow?”
Nick shrugged. “I’ll bet I could run to
her house and back in no time!”
“I’ll bet you could,” Ella replied. “I’ll
bet you could.”


Oh my WORD!!! I am sooooo excited to share this with you all!!

Genre: FICTION / Romance / Contemporary
Release Date: August 21, 2014
Digital ISBN 10:163112062X ISBN 13:978-1-63112-062-6
Print ISBN-10:1631120638 ISBN-13:978-1-63112-063-3
Love is like a snowflake; beautiful but fleeting in its presence…
I’ve been in love. But I’ve also been lied to, betrayed by those closest to me and I’ve suffered loss. Sadly it’s those last three things that stick with me the most. The only real constants in my life are music, Angus my dog and Rhiannon; my guitar.
But things changed when she walked into my place of work. All blue eyes, curves and a warmth that could melt even my hardened heart. I was taken over by feelings that I didn’t expect so soon. Guilt plagued me and I took my anger out on her.
On Mallory.
But I fell fast and hard and there was nothing I could do to stop it. When she too became the victim of heartbreak I was the only one who understood her pain but I was the last person she wanted help from.

Would I ever convince her that we could be friends? And would I ever accept that she couldn’t love me back?

Guest Post! Jon Rance – Author of This Family Life


I am absolutely delighted to have Jon as a guest on my blog once again! Jon and I became friends through social media and thanks to our common love of writing. Take it from me his books are hilarious, heart warming and well worth checking out!!


Hello Lisa J Hobman fans and a big thank you to Lisa for having me on her blog. This is stop number seven on the blog tour for my new book ‘This Family Life’. If you missed the last one you can find it here


So let’s get cracking, shall we? In every blog on the tour I’m going to be discussing a different topic and today it’s the title. Why is it called ‘This family Life’? The first book in this series, ‘This Thirtysomething Life’ was called that because it was about tackling that tricky stage of life called the early thirties. It was about the main character of Harry trying to get to grips with growing up, but in this book he’s a new dad, and so the title felt fitting. This book is all about family. It’s about Harry, his wife Emily, and their new baby boy William. It’s also about the extended family, and as any parent will tell you, once you have a baby you just can’t keep the grandparents away. This book is a celebration of family in all its glory.


With this book I really wanted to explore the relationship between Harry and his parents. In the first book they were really very minor characters, but characters I really enjoyed writing, and so when I decided to write this book I knew I wanted them to have a much bigger role. Harry has an interesting relationship with his parents, and with the introduction of baby William I wanted it to evolve and change because I think babies do that. Babies sort of melt grandparents and Harry starts seeing his parents and especially his dad in a new light. It brings them a lot closer, but then a tragedy changes everything and the resulting fall-out helps Harry and his father bond in a way they never did before.


This Family Life’ really is a book for every member of the family. It delves into the roles we all play in the family, and the scenes I wrote with Harry and his father-in-law Derek are some of my favourite and I think funniest. Being a father myself it definitely changes the family dynamic and I used my own experiences to shape the book, and I hope when you read it you’ll see bits of your own family in there, the good bits, the annoying bits, the uplifting, sad, tragic, and wonderful bits that make family so important. Below is an extract from the book and it’s a scene that I think most parents can probably identify with. This is what happens when you have children whether you like it or not.



Friday 25 January 6.30 p.m.


Something’s happened in the car. Pre-William, I would listen to CDs of my favourite Britpop classics. I’d sometimes rock-out to Pearl Jam or chill-out with Travis. However, post-William, the only thing we seem to get in the car is kid’s music. Emily says it’s important for his development, which is fair enough, but today I drove all the way to work listening to The Wiggles without even realising it. It wasn’t until I found myself humming Fruit Salad during morning assembly that I realised.

I promised myself I wouldn’t be one of ‘those parents’, but the other day I was singing If You’re Happy And You Know It, clapping my hands and waving them in the air, and when I turned around, William wasn’t even in the car – and I was spotted by a group of kids from school. Something has to change otherwise I’m going to wake up at forty wearing sandals, dungarees (in a non-ironic way), taking my kids to something called ‘modern dance’, and thinking it’s OK to drive a people carrier because they’re actually brilliant and the extra space is a blessing when you think about it.




Things that might happen during your first year of parenthood:

1. You’ll get covered in a ‘nuclear’ poo.

2. You’ll be convinced your son is talking with a Japanese accent.

3. You’ll worry that when your son waves, it looks like a Nazi salute.

Of course, this might just be Harry Spencer.


Taking up where This Thirtysomething Life left off, Harry Spencer and is wife Emily are back and trying to survive their first year of parenthood. It has its ups and downs (and a few bits in the middle), but along the way they begin to understand the true meaning of family and what it takes to be a parent.


Featuring a hilarious cast of extras including Harry’s father-in-law Derek, who has a unique problem with Scotch, Steve and Fiona, the parents from children’s entertainment hell, and a yoga instructor with a prominent camel-toe, This Family Life is the ultimate comedy for anyone who is a parent, has a parent, or is thinking about becoming one.





Cover Reveal! The Painted Room – Pete Abela

5 Prince Publishing has another new author! Pete Abela is today celebrating the cover reveal of his upcoming novel. Check it out below along with the blurb for what sounds like a fascinating story!


Genre: Fiction, Family Life
Release Date: August 7, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-055-8 ISBN 10: 1631120557


Print ISBN 13:978-1-63112-056-5 ISBN 10: 1631120565
A Painted Room
The best day in a parent’s life turns into the worst.For expectant parents, the origins of a new life are usually accompanied by excitement, anticipation and just a touch of anxiety about the future. There are classes to attend, prams to buy, and of course, the baby’s room has to be painted.
This description fits Gary and Melinda quite nicely – except Gary hasn’t painted the baby’s room yet. He finally gets around to starting the
job, but Melinda’s water breaks before he finishes the first coat.
From there, the situation rapidly deteriorates. Their baby,
Justin, is born via caesarean. Shortly after the birth Justin experiences
breathing difficulties and is transferred to intensive care a few hours later.
The story follows Gary over a tumultuous few days as Justin undergoes emergency treatment. Gary and Melinda quickly discover that when a
baby’s life is on the line, it doesn’t really matter whether or not you have a
painted room.


Release Day! The Porcelain Child – Jessica Dall

Available from 5 Prince
Genre: Fiction,
Alternative History, Romance, Historical, Family Saga
Release Date: July
3, 2014
Digital ISBN 13:
978-1-63112-058-9   ISBN 10: 1631120581
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-059-6      ISBN 10: 163112059X



The Porcelain Child
With less than a decade of stable rule behind them, Lord
Protector Richard Seymour has passed away leaving the country once again in
turmoil. With her connection to the old regimes, seemingly on all sides thanks
to her mother, Adela, Mary might find herself pulled into the heat of battle
whether she wants it or not.


Book 2 of The Broken Line Series, The Porcelain
 picks up with the next generation thrown into the mix.
About Jessica Dall
Jessica Dall finished her first novel at age 15 and been writing ever since. She is the author of such novels as Grey Areas and The Bleeding Crowd, the Broken Line Series, and a number of short stories which have appeared in both literary magazines and anthologies. When not writing, she
works as a freelance editor and creative writing teacher in Washington, DC.
How to contact Jessica Dall
Twitter: @JessicaDall
Excerpt of the Porcelain Child

Chapter One

The porcelain a little chipped, Mary still recognized the woman in the miniature. There were enough pictures of her around, after all. Mary supposed she shouldn’t be
surprised to find it amongst the small box they had sent her of Richard
Seymour’s affects—even as the parliamentarian he was. Queen Adela wasn’t a
symbol of monarchy, after all. Even after everything, she was still the
romantic heroine.
And Mary supposed it likewise wasn’t surprising the surviving Seymours had sent it to
her. Mary hadn’t received much from Richard Seymour’s estate—she hadn’t
expected to—but it seemed to be the logical conclusion for someone going
through Richard’s things to send a picture of Adela Tilden to her daughter.
Mary couldn’t imagine the remaining Seymours would have much love for Queen
Adela themselves.
It was likely they would send it to Aberfirth or use it for target practice.
Touching the gold filigree around the little portrait, Mary finally set it down. Of all the
portraits Mary had seen, this one didn’t look the least familiar. Adela
couldn’t have been much more than fifteen in it. A rare portrait from before her short reign as queen, when she had been baron’s daughter living so far north she was barely on the map.
Still, looking down and off to the side, as if the viewer were below her
interest, the picture still seemed bizarrely fitting—as though she already
considered herself the viewer’s better, far before she had the right to.
The door opened, then slammed shut. William rested back against it, breathing heavily.
Mary frowned, attempting to recover from her thoughts. “What…?”
Motioning for her silence, William winced as someone knocked. He looked at her, mouthed, Help me.
Giving him a suspicious looked, Mary moved forward all the same, letting him hide behind the dark wood as she pulled the door open.
Mr. Johnson, red-faced and soaking wet, looked up at her, puffing. “Where is he?”
Mary blinked, could feel William tense through the door. “Who?”
Him,” the tutor seethed. “Lord Kedington. I heard him come this way.”
“He must have gone further down the hall, then.” Mary glanced out the door as though looking where William might have gone. “I haven’t seen him.”
Mr. Johnson didn’t move, hands clenched. A head shorter than her and red as a beet, he
still somehow remained intimidating. Even while dripping on the hardwood.
Mary looked at him, unmoving, daring him to call her a liar.
Mr. Johnson didn’t answer.
“If you’re wanting to catch him, sir, you should likely keep looking,” Mary finished.
Another tense breath, and Mr. Johnson bowed shallowly at the waist, stalking off as his wet shoes squeaked after him.
Waiting a moment, Mary finally shut the door, looking at the smiling man still pressed
against the wall. She crossed her arms. “Aren’t you getting a little old for
these pranks, Will?”
“It wasn’t meant to be a prank.” The smile grew. “Just a happy coincidence.”
Mary sat at her desk, shaking her head. “I doubt Mr. Johnson will believe you.”
William shrugged, seeming less than bothered as he moved to the box on the bed. “This
the Seymour stuff they sent you?”
Mary looked at it silently, allowing William to change the topic.
Peering over the side, William pursed his lips slightly. “Not much, is it?”
“More than I was expecting, honestly,” Mary answered. “You know what the rest of the
Seymours think of me.”
William just nodded, poking through the few things left in the box. “Should I assume you
aren’t planning on going to the funeral?”
Mary frowned, watching him closely at the change of tone. He hadn’t asked what he’d meant. She shook her head. “If my mother can’t be bothered to come back from abroad at
all in light of recent events, I see no reason why I should make the effort go
to Carby.”
“He’s your father.”
Mary snorted. 
“And who knows,” William continued over her justified skepticism. “It might be exciting.
Getting out of Aberfirth for a bit? Seeing Carby?”
“I really can’t think of a place I’d rather not see, Will,” Mary droned, picking up the
miniature before he could argue. She tossed it to him. “He had that apparently.”
William caught it easily, eyebrows rising as he looked at it. “Very nice.”
Mary frowned deeply. “Could you please refrain from salivating over my mother while I’m
still in the room?”
“I wasn’t salivating.” He smiled, tossing it back to her before he sat. “It’s just a nice
picture. One of her queen portraits?”
“Not one I recognize at least.” Mary set it down without looking. “Do you find it strange
that he had it?”
“Well.” William took a moment, shrugged. “Your mother is a beautiful woman.”
Mary made a face, standing to pick up the box.
William caught her wrist. “Don’t give me that look, May.”
She just flicked her eyes over him, pulling herself free before she moved the box to the
ground. A well placed kick and it slid out of sight.
He watched her carefully. Took his time before speaking. “They’ve asked me to go.”
She looked back up, a low level of panic starting deep in her chest though she wasn’t sure why. “They who? Go where?”
“Who, parliament,” he said, running a hand through his short blond hair. “Where, the
Mary pulled her eyebrows together. “Why? You’re no one important.”
He laughed.
“Thanks, May.”
“It’s hardly a bad thing.” Mary pressed her lips tightly together.
He took her hand, swinging to face her. “I’d like you to come with me.”
“To Carby?” 
He nodded, his blue eyes drilling into her.
Her grey ones looked back. “Are you feverish?”
The smile returned. “Carby can’t really be as bad as you think, May.”
“I can’t get within thirty miles of the place without someone trying to draw me into a
royalist plot. I would think especially now.” Mary glanced at the window, the
rolling green hills of Aberfirth seeming to be a false shield from everything
else waiting out there. “Anyway, I haven’t gotten marching orders from my
mother yet. If she thought there were any benefit in me going she would have
already ordered me there. This is Adela Tilden we’re talking about.”
William nodded, glancing out the window himself as if checking she didn’t see anything
before he looked back at her. “When was the last time you heard from her?”
Mary shook her head. “Years? What has there been for her to write about?”
“I would think there’s plenty lately.”
“She’s probably still figuring out her next move. His death was recent enough.” Mary
sighed, brushed it away. “I don’t have her mind. Don’t ask me to try to
understand her actions.”
“I still think you would have made a great queen, May.” William smiled.
Mary’s stomach clenched, her face turning deadly serious. “Don’t even joke like that.”
William’s eyes stayed on her, but he didn’t argue. Fair and tall as he was, Mary had to admit William had grown into a handsome man from the gangly ten year old that had
shown up to stay eight years ago. She froze, the nature of the thought
registering, making heat rise to her cheeks.
“You are beautiful, you know that, May?” his voice cut in before she could recover.
Mary’s body tensed, the odd sense he had read her mind too jarring.
“Don’t look so shocked.” He rested back on his hands, easy smile unsettlingly handsome now that she thought about it. “You are your mother’s daughter, after all.”
“And I would give anything that I weren’t.” She rubbed the side of her face quickly,
dropping her eyes.
His eyes stayed on her another moment before he stood, holding her chin.
She looked up, breath catching in her throat as he held her eyes.
“You still have this house, May. You still have your life. I don’t think you have
weathered everything too poorly, all things considered. Many lost much more.”
There was enough to set her head right again. Mary’s jaw locked as she pulled back.
“Thank you, Will, but I hardly need you to remind me.”
He touched her hair gently, pushing a dark auburn strand behind her ear. “Please come, May? You can’t spend your entire life afraid out here.”
Mary shook her head. “You shouldn’t go at all, Will. Not now.”
William looked at her another moment, finally sighed. “I have to. Anyway, you’re Mary Seymour. I imagine people would leave you alone at Richard Seymour’s funeral.”
“Not when they believe I’d be Mary Claybourne had the old king not lost his head.”
“Seymour claimed you as legitimate,” William argued.
“Words.” Mary slipped away from him, sitting on the bed. “Oaths and proclamations and edicts. They’re all just words. People hold them cheap these days.”
“I don’t know if I’d say that.” William turned to face her.
Mary looked down at her hands, back up. “Do they know who will be the new lord protector?”
William cocked an eyebrow but let her change the topic. “I think they’re still discussing it.”
“So there’s no one in charge?”
“Well, parliament is.” William laughed. “They won’t allow the country to enter a state
of anarchy just because one man died.”
“We’ll see,” Mary mumbled.
He shook his head, good natured as ever. “No one wants another war, May.”
“Every royalist who lost the last one does,” she returned, face serious.
“We aren’t going to war.”
“Are you certain of that?” She held his eyes.
The corner of his mouth turned up. “Would you like to place a bet?”
Her frown only deepened. “This isn’t funny, Will.”
William sat next to her, placing an arm around her shoulder before he kissed her forehead.
“You’re always so serious, May.”
“Life is serious.” She didn’t look at him.
“It can also be fun,” he said. 
“So you always think,” she said, knot still tight in the pit of her stomach.

Release Day! Bernadette Marie – The Acceptance

I am over the moon to share with you Bernadette Marie’s SEVENTEENTH novel release! Yes you read that right SEVENTEEN!! Go Bernadette!

Available from 5 Prince

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: June 26, 2014
Digital ISBN-10: 1631120360 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-036-7
Print ISBN-10: 1631120379 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-037-4
The Acceptance:
Tyler Benson’s world was shaken with the news that he had a sister—one he never knew he had. Though he loves his sister, and his family remains a tightly woven unit, he simply can’t shake the feeling of betrayal from his mother. After a sabbatical from his family to find himself it is time to head back home and try to pick up the pieces of his life.
Courtney Fields has learned to deal with many tragedies. Losing her sight at eight-years-old was only a challenge that gave her many other skills. Now dealing with the loss of her brother in combat will no doubt teach her new lessons in life.
When Tyler meets Courtney on a South bound flight to Nashville he couldn’t possibly have expected that she’d be his lesson in accepting the things he cannot change or control. But can he reciprocate in helping her accept the loss of her brother when she learns the truth of his death?
About Bernadette Marie
Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part
of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its
release in 2011, along with her other series and single title books. The
married mother of five sons promises Happily Ever After always…and says
she can write it, because she lives it.
not writing, Bernadette Marie is shuffling her sons to their many events—mostly
hockey—and enjoying the beautiful views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains from her
front step. She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree
black belt in Tang Soo Do.
A chronic entrepreneur, Bernadette Marie opened her own publishing house in 2011, 5 Prince Publishing, so that she could publish the books she liked to
write and help make the dreams of other aspiring authors come true too.
How to reach Bernadette Marie
@writesromance on Twitter
Excerpt from The Acceptance

There was something about an airport. People were coming and
going. Some were heading out for adventure and some were heading home—just like
Tyler Benson.

Nashville would always be home. He’d taken nearly three
years to see the world and think his life through. He wasn’t sure he had a
better grasp on it yet, but he knew one thing—he missed his family.
Why had he let his mother’s choices affect him so much?
Things must have been pretty bad for her if she gave up a child and never spoke
of it again.
The man in him understood. She was protecting him and his
brother from what had happened to her when she’d fallen in love with an abusive
man who tried to kill her. But the boy in him was still hurt.
Heading back wouldn’t fix everything. He assumed there’d be
a lot of late night talks over the kitchen table as there had been when he was
a teenager. His father already had offered him a good job in the construction
firm which had been in the family for generations. And—he needed to finally get
to really know his sister.
Darcy had been as shocked as Tyler when she’d learned who
her mother was. After all, she’d fallen in love with Tyler’s cousin—that had to
have been a little odd. But the Keller family was eclectic. It was made up of
lots of adopted children, but they were still one big family.
His cousin Ed and his sister Darcy had been married over a
year now. Their wedding had been the only time Tyler had been home in three
years. Now it was time to face his parents and ask for some forgiveness, though
he was sure they’d give it to him. Everyone understood his need to find
They called his flight from New York to Nashville and it was
time to board the plane. He stood and moved toward the line as a woman ran
right into him.
“I’m so sorry,” she said quickly.
“It’s no problem.” He looked down and noticed she’d dropped
her scarf. “You dropped this.” He bent down to pick it up and hand it to her.
The woman only held out her hand, but didn’t reach for it.
Tyler placed it in her open hand.
“Oh, thank you. I lose more things.” She gave a casual laugh
and continued on. It was then he noticed the cane in her other hand.
“Do you need an arm to get on the plane?”
She smiled at him, though her eyes were shielded behind big
sunglasses. “Are you a nice man or do you feel sorry for me?”
That was quite a question, he thought. “Well, I’d like to
think it was because I was raised right.”
“You’re from the South.” She thought a moment. “Tennessee?”
“Yes. Born and raised in Nashville.”
She leaned in closer to him. “I guessed from your accent and
since we’re getting on a flight bound that way.”
He couldn’t help but chuckle. “Offer still holds.”
“What’s your name?”
“I’m Tyler. Tyler Benson.”
“Courtney Fields and, Mr. Benson, I’d love to have you guide
me if you don’t mind.”
“It would be my pleasure.”
He let her take his arm, though she didn’t interlock elbows,
instead she held the back of his arm just above his elbow.
When they approached the door Courtney held out her ticket
and the woman scanned the ticket and placed the stub back in her hand. She then
did the same for Tyler.
Once checked in, they walked down the jet bridge.
“Do you travel a lot, Mr. Benson?”
“It’s Tyler, and I’ve been doing my fair share the past few
years. How about you?”
“I’ve been seeing the world, though not intentionally. So
yes. I travel quite a bit. But this is a special trip back home.”
He desperately wanted to ask her why she said she’d been
seeing the world. Could she see? Was it just a figure of speech?
“Hello, Ms. Fields.” The stewardess greeted her as they
walked on board.
“Celia.” Courtney smiled, having obviously recognized the
woman’s voice. “I didn’t expect you on this flight.”
“I’m state side now.” Celia took Courtney’s hand which still
held her cane and patted it. “I’ve heard we have your brother on board,” she
said softly.
Courtney nodded. “Finally.”
“Your family has been in my thoughts for a long time.”
“Thank you,” Courtney said. “Oh, Celia, this is Tyler. My
arm candy for the walk down the jet way.”
Celia looked at Tyler and then back at Courtney. “I thought
you had an escort.”
“It’s always good to make a new friend. How’s he look?”
Celia scanned another look over him. “You did good.”
Tyler forced a smile. “Thank you?”
Celia laughed. “Courtney, can I help you find your seat?”
“If you don’t mind, I’ll use my arm candy.”
Tyler looked at her ticket. “You’re in 3A.”
“Yep, that sounds right. Where are you?”
“I’m in 4F.”
“You like the window too?”
“Luck of the draw really.”
Courtney stopped and turned back to Celia. “Can you see if
you can arrange my escort to trade to 4F?”
The smile on Celia’s face and the look she casually gave to
Tyler made him a little nervous. His good deed had warranted him a seat change?
“Do you mind sitting by me on the flight? I could use some
good company,” Courtney asked.
Tyler thought about the past three years and wondered if he
could be good company. But, like he’d told her before, he’d been raised right.
And if the woman wanted to sit by him who was he to turn her down?
“If the other passenger doesn’t mind changing I’d be happy
to switch.”
“I still like the window. I hope that’s okay,” she said as
she walked toward her seat.
Once they were seated Courtney turned to him. “Thank you for
picking up my scarf.”
“You’re welcome.”
“Thanks for keeping me company. This trip home is a hard one
and it’ll be nice to have a handsome man to talk to.”
He wondered what made her trip so hard, besides the obvious
hindrance of not being able to see the world around her.
“How do you know I’m so handsome? Celia might have been
lying to you.”
She smiled. “Oh, I can tell you’re handsome. And you’re not
married. I would guess you’re in your mid to late twenties. You were well
educated. You’re about six-two. And you have blue eyes.”
He knew that staring at her with his eyes wide open wasn’t
going to make her aware of how stunned he was, but for some reason he was sure
she knew.
“How do you know all that?”
The smile on her mouth turned into a playful pucker forcing
her cheeks to dimple on both sides. “You handed me my scarf with your left
hand. You don’t have a ring.”
“You felt for a ring?”
“I dropped the scarf on purpose. You smelled good.”
That made him laugh aloud. “Okay, keep going.”
“I’ve held the arms of many people. I’m five-five, so I know
my heights from there.”
“I’m six-three.”
“I was close.”
“My education?”
“You have an accent, but your words have a refined quality
to them. I’d guess you can speak more than one language.”
“My father speaks French, and so does my aunt. I’ve always
known both.”
She nodded slowly as though she were collecting her reward
for knowing so much.
“Okay, those are all logical. How do you know I have blue
“That one was a guess, but I was right. You just told me.”
“You have quite a talent.”
Courtney turned her head toward the window. “You also seemed
“I beg your pardon. How would you know that?”
“I could feel it. It felt as though you could use some
company and I sure know I could.”
He wasn’t sure how this woman could tell so much about him,
but she had a keen sense of the world around her.
The last passenger to board the plane was a soldier in
uniform. As he passed by their row he looked down at Courtney as if he knew
she’d be there and then he continued to his seat which Tyler noted was the seat
he was to have occupied.
As the doors were secured the pilot came over the speaker.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we will be starting our flight
shortly. I wanted to inform you that we have the honor of flying a vet home to
his final resting place today.”
The air in the plane grew thick and Tyler could hear the
many gasps and even sobs which had come from that announcement. He turned
toward Courtney who had gripped her hands in front of her and pressed her
forehead to her white knuckles.
“Are you okay?”
She lifted her head and he could see the tears streak down
her cheek from under her sunglasses. Hesitantly she nodded.
“I’m finally getting to make the journey to take my brother
Tyler let out a long breath and watched as this woman he’d
just met turned her face toward the warmth of the sun coming in through the small
He’d gained a sister and felt like his world had ended.
Courtney had lost a brother and yet was thankful to be with
him on his final ride home.
Tyler rested his head against the back of his seat. His life
didn’t make any more sense than it had three years ago when he’d left
Nashville. But at least when he got there his brother, sister, and his parents
would be there.
What was there for Courtney?

Cover Reveal! Ann Swann – Lilac Lane

I’m happy to be sharing the stunning new cover from my fellow 5 Prince Publishing Author, Ann Swann. Lilac Lane is set to release on July 24th!

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Release Date: July 24, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-060-2   ISBN 10: 1631120603
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-061-9      ISBN 10: 1631120611
Lilac Lane
Ella and her son survived her ex-husband’s drunken wrath.
They are starting a new life in a new town, Stutter Creek. She’s even met a
real man. A gentle wild life biologist named Chet Boone. But now, her ex has
been released from prison early. Is that him driving past their new house late
at night? Is he the one causing the strange sounds and flickering lights? Can
they survive a second round with a madman?


Release Day! Serpent Priestess of the Annunaki – Katrina Sisowath

I am delighted to share the news of yet another fabulous 5 Prince Publishing Author and her new release! If you like fantasy novels then you should check this out!


Available from 5 Prince
Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends &
Mythology, Fantasy, Historical
Release Date: June 19, 2014
Digital ISBN-10: 1631120522 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-052-7
Print ISBN-10: 1631120530 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-053-4


About Katrina Sisowath
Katrina Sisowath, née Little, (1979–) was born in Frankfurt,
Germany to an English father and American mother. Her formative years were
spent in South-East Asia before returning to England to finish her studies.
Deciding to follow in her father’s footsteps, she enrolled in a University in
China hoping to become a Mandarin-English translator. Visiting her father in
1999 who was living in Cambodia resulted in her meeting her future husband,
settling down and opening a preschool. The couple has since chosen to return to
England for their daughters’ education.

On a personal level, Katrina is an avid book reader and loves mythology,
history (preferably together), ancient civilizations and anything to do with
occult ideologies and practices. Mages, Serpent Priestesses and the ‘real’
Gods, aka the ANNUNAKI (the prototypes for those we know today in the form of
Greek, Roman, Indian and even the Biblical characters) are all addressed on her
website  Included are descriptions of Dragons,
reptilian lords, consciousness altering drinks and powders along with what the
scarlet clad priestesses really got up to in their sacred chamber.

How to reach Katrina Sisowath
Twitter: @ksDragonCourt
Facebook: The Annunaki and the Dragon Court
Excerpt of Serpent Priestess of the Annunaki
The child sat staring at the setting sun, a slight frown marring
the otherwise placid expression on her face. To a casual observer she would
appear to be contemplating the mysteries of the universe, but to her
long-suffering nurse she was merely demonstrating yet again the obstinance for
which she was now legendary amongst the confederation of governesses and
tutors, this one being the third in her short life.
Appealing to her parents brought no relief as they were firmly
of the opinion childhood was all too short for an Annunaki child and the
responsibilities and training began all too soon, so there was no harm in
letting her be a child for as long as possible. This was not the common belief
or practice amongst the elite of Nibiru, but her parents were as stubborn as
“Ninkha-nata you must come down from your perch and return home.
Your betrothed and his parents have returned from Planet Tiamut and your
presence is required at this evening’s festivities.”
“I have no wish to meet him, I don’t want to marry him and
I especially don’t want to move to that dreadful place. Whatever shall I do
there? I heard they have no cities, no parties and no festivals or
Her nurse smothered the urge to throw her riding crop at the
petulant child and calmly said, “You know you won’t be married to him for many
years yet, it is only to be presented to him and his family to see whether or
not you like the look of him. If not, you can always tell your parents to
cancel it. I should think House Samael to be fortunate to avoid you as a
daughter by marriage.”
Ninkha shrugged, smoothed her riding clothes and climbed down
from her favourite tree with as much dignity as a 15 year old with the last
vestiges of puppy fat could muster. She was of average height for a girl with
the promise of further growth to come.
She approached Stethos, her mount, and instantly her mood
changed. He was her birth-mate, hatched on the same day as her birth, and in
accordance with the traditions of the Annunaki, they were bonded at once with a
symbolic transfusion of blood through their umbilical cords. A male Annunaki
was bonded with a female dragon and a female Annunaki with a male. This was to
promote a symbiotic whole with male/earth/fire/dark and the opposite
female/sky/water/light fused into one being.
 Where dragons came from
or how the tradition started no one quite knew. Legends were many but as with
all things legendary time erases much. The most common belief was that an
ancient militant priest had been driven high into the mountains of Faliel on
the planet of Mas during the Great War. The enemy had routed the Annunaki
forces till they were scattered through the forests and mountains. The enemy
stopped pursuit at the base of the mountain range for fear of the dragons who
inhabited it as they were flesh-eaters. This priest, driven by desperation,
took his chances.
Whilst hiding in the uppermost reaches of the tree line for
forty days, he was compelled by hunger to look for food. He happened across an
unguarded dragon’s nest and thought to take an egg. But something unanticipated
happened: it hatched and the little chick, upon seeing him, immediately bonded
to him as though he was her mother. Try as he might, he could not rid himself
of her and neither could he bring himself to roast her. So they remained
together, each helping the other survive until the rescue ship arrived. By this
time attachment was so strong he brought her with him and she grew into a
formidable beast, accompanying him into battle.
 The other Annunaki
decided this was a most prodigious turn of events and an expedition was raised
to gather more dragons’ eggs. After much trial and error, the dragons came to
regard Nibiru as their home and were able to populate the planet, hence the
ability to pair each Annunaki with a dragon.
“Hello Stethos, who’s my boy? Did you miss me?” Ninkha
cooed as she pressed her face against her beloved bonded. Stethos raised his
head; sending a ripple of scales cascading from the top of his head to his
feet. He was ruby-red with blue and greed jewel toned shimmers on his
under-belly. She thought him the most beautiful dragon there ever was. He
snorted with delight, flickering his tongue, eagerly awaiting the treat he knew
she had for him. She went to her saddle bag and pulled out the leg of lamb she
had pilfered from cook earlier that day. Stethos whinnied and sent out a stream
of fire in anticipation of his favourite treat.
“Catch” Ninkha cried. Stethos jumped, clasping the leg
in his strong jaws, swallowing it whole
Nurse Gaia mounted her bonded, Pecharus, and said in the
sternest voice she dared, “Ninkha-Nata, you must come NOW!! Your ladies
wait to bathe and dress you. We must not keep Lord Anu waiting. He is not as
patient as your parents”
Ninkha sighed, mounted her steed and whispered affectionately
into his ear, “Fly my lovely–let’s see if she can keep up.” Stethos
spread his powerful wings and together they flew into the setting sun.
Looking down over the city of Aden she couldn’t imagine ever
having to leave her beautiful home
There were two centres of learning and doctrine for the majority
of the Annunaki known as the Temple of the Fountain of Youth and the Temple of
the Tree of Life, though there were those who followed the destructive energies
as was their prerogative. These were known as Mulla Xul.
The Annunaki believed there must be a balance in nature for all
to thrive and with creation came destruction. Some leaned towards the light of
the sun or moon to create and heal, while others sought the secrets and
mysteries of that which was hidden. Many things that were needful to Nibiru
were discovered by the Mulla Xul and to eradicate them would be
self-destructive. A society cannot exist in the light by pretending they have
no need of the dark or that it is evil, they had need of those who discovered
the power of the sun to use in weapons, or the poisons of the herbs that only
bloomed in certain phases of the moon that also had healing properties when
combined with other herbs.. Only when an Annunaki was harmed or Nibiru
threatened was punishment meted out, to whoever had caused the harm–no matter
their proclivities.
The government buildings housing the departments of war, science
and discovery, health, and education were built in the first ring surrounding
the two temples. The High Families had their houses in the next ring which
formed the centre of the axle around which the city was formed. From the air
one could see both the ever-widening rings and the ‘spokes’ which were large avenues
that were laid in a direct line from the centre to the outermost ring. Each of
those ‘spokes’ divided the city into sections with each industry allotted one
section and a colour used for all the buildings in each division–seven in all.
This allowed for practicality as if one needed a new garment one just went to
the part of the city where clothes were made. In that section one found the raw
wool, silk and linen importers, cloth dyers, weavers, tailors and seamstresses.
The only time there was a tumult was during the yearly
tournaments which were held outside the city grounds. On those days there was
no work and people were free to mingle, eat and drink to their hearts content.
Ninkha looked forward to these festivities as did many of her
compatriots. The thrill of the best and boldest pitting their skills against
each other in a test of daring and bravado, each charging the other on their
dragon with swords known as Shuhadaku set aflame by the sacred fire. The
competitors would be clothed in white loincloth with golden sandals, armbands,
breastplate and helmet completing the look. A shield with the insignia of the
house of the competitor afforded some protection to him/herself and means of
identification to the spectators.
It was the dream of every Annunaki to compete in the tournament,
once they had passed their 3 trials and were accepted as full Annunaki and no
longer children. Exceptions were given to those who had been identified from an
early age as having a special gift and were to be trained as Priests,
Priestesses or Healers. These were considered sacred and the shedding of their
blood forbidden. Ninkha, having been identified as strong in the Healing arts
was automatically excluded from participation.
Ninkha wiped a tear from her eye as the two women rose ever
higher, their backs to the setting sun. She would not let anyone see her cry
but she could let nurse feel her displeasure. It would not do to greet her
future in-laws in her present mood, so she nudged Stethos and pulled his reins
up. He knew what she wanted; having felt her rage and sense of helplessness and
responded. Up and up they flew, ever higher reaching past the point Annunaki
were safe to fly until she could  see the
many stars twinkling in the black of eternal night. Looking down through the
clouds she beheld Aden bathed in the light of a receding sun, soft and golden.
She heard nurse ordering her to come down that instant, but the voice was
distant, as through a body of water. She held her breath for a moment: Stethos
dipped his nose towards the ground and down they flew, gathering speed, the
clouds, nurse, other dragons and vehicles a blur, the cupola of the Temple of
Youth coming up closer and closer until just before they impacted the crystal
dome Stethos pulled up and resumed flying in a ‘normal’ fashion, one nurse
would approve, perpendicular to the buildings rather than hurtling towards it
as some sort of missile. She had first played this game with friends at the age
of 5 jumping off treetops and she had never tired of it. As they grew older the
heights grew as well until she was the only one left, the others having
admitted defeat. She never once closed her eyes, as her friends did.
Enki and his brother Enlil were in the courtyard of their house
on Nibiru, having returned from Planet Tiamut the previous evening and spending
12 hours in the Chamber of Purification, necessary as the changes in
atmospheric pressure could have adverse effects without a re-balancing of
energy and breath intake. It was also feared Annunaki, animal or plant, could
bring disease or blight to Nibiru without proper checks by the Priests. As much
of a necessity as it was, the two brothers nevertheless found confinement
torturous and revelled in the freedom once the doors were opened.
The Annunaki’s airship was used to travel between planets and
solar systems. It was huge and rather unwieldy, thus making turns and landings
difficult but it could travel far at great speeds. It was divided into three
parts: the command centre was a golden sphere which housed the sleeping and
eating quarters of the Annunaki. Next was a long arrow-shaped object in which
the dragons and animals were housed and supplies were stored. Finally, there
was a finlike structure that propelled the airship forward using a fuel source that
had run low on Nibiru but was plentiful on Tiamut. This was used during takeoff
but once they entered a solar system the Annunaki had devised a method of
harnessing the Sun’s gravitational pull to slingshot through space, switching
to fuel to move on to the next system.
“Free at last” Enki shouted as he stumbled out, half
blinded, into the sun. His older brother, Enlil, paused at the doorway, taking
time to rearrange his robe and become accustomed to the light before venturing
into the open air. Both boys were tall, with the long limbs and defined
musculature that spoke of hours spent at practice in the martial arts and less
time spent at the desk studying with their tutors. Enki’s features were perhaps
a little more rugged, his forehead and nose slightly broader than Enlil’s, but
both had the same intense gaze from the same pair of dark eyes, the same manner
of lifting one eyebrow when they expressed disbelief and the same smile that
took women’s breath away when directed at them. A strong jaw and mop of black
curly hair completed their look, though Enki was prone to declaring he’d rather
“shave the whole lot off” when he tired of the heat of Planet Tiamut.
“Must you behave in such a manner, you embarrass
yourself”, Enlil muttered as he caught up to Enki, who was engaged in a
body roll with Rexar, one of their hunters.
“Come now Enlil, we’re home, it is time to reward ourselves
after all our effort.”
“And turn myself into a laughingstock like yourself?  NEVER! I’d rather spend 12 more hours in the
At that point the boys heard the familiar whinnies of their
bonded who had just been released from their Purification Chamber and rushed
over to comfort them. As torturous as it was for them, it was even more
terrifying to dragons, who would have to be subdued with chains else in their
terror they attack one another.
The bond between Annunaki and dragon was stronger than man and
wife, it lasted for life. Emotions and sensations were shared, especially pain,
hence the strictest punishment enforced on those who attacked or injured
another’s dragon, unless at a tournament or in war. An Annunaki and his/her
bonded dragon were as a team, but could also move and think as one. If one felt
his energy flagging during battle, the other channelled his/her energy into
their bonded, sustaining them.
The greatest wish was for every Annunaki was to die with one’s
dragon and for many that came true, whether in fighting or at peace. An
Annunaki’s worst fear was to outlive one’s dragon for a lengthy amount of time
as an Annunaki without one’s dragon was considered less than whole, crippled
and defenceless. A dragon without its bonded also did not fare well, and many
chose to follow its bonded into death at the funeral rites rather than retire
to the settlement outside Aden
“Hush Nahla, you’re safe. It’s all over”, Enki
soothed. Nahla shivered and shook herself as if to relieve herself from the
nightmare she had just woken from. “Shall we go for a ride? Take a look at
the tournament ground?”
Enlil smiled and petting Mardoh said, “Why not? Mardoh
needs to stretch her wings. Perhaps we could throw in a little practice before
The two boys fetched their practice weapons, saddled their
bonded and prepared to mount. Belil, their father’s steward came rushing over,
“Masters Enki and Enlil, where are you going? You must prepare for
tonight’s festivities”
“We’re just going for a fly-over; we will be back in one
turning of the dial.”
The boys mounted, their dragons unfolding their wings and began
beating in time, revelling in the movement after days spent confined on the
craft and in the chamber. Belil smiled, inclined his head and said, “Very
well, your attendants will await you upon your return.”
Flying over Aden they engaged in a race weaving in and out of
the buildings and spires, under bridges, over towers, skimming over the water,
getting as close as they dared to people and objects on the ground without
actually touching them. It was a game they often played, one that required not
only speed, but also dexterity, skill and bravery. Enki was the faster and more
daring of the two, but Enlil was far more shrewd and less likely to end up
crash landing or requiring the services of the master healer after
miscalculating the distance between himself and an object.
Lord Anu often despaired of his son’s propensity to self-harm
and wondered if he was marrying the right son to Lord Amun and Lady Isa’s
daughter. Enlil may have been the elder of the two brothers, but he was the son
of Lord Anu’s younger wife, Lord Anu having married a pair of sisters.  Enki’s mother was first wife and, according
to the customs of the Annunaki, Enki was regarded as first son and so the first
to be wedded. The Ladies Barat An-na and Tiamat left the rearing of their boys
to Lord Anu and the tutors, preferring to devote their time to the raising of
Lady Tiamat’s daughter, Eris. The Annunaki were matrilineal and the bloodlines
flowed through the women. It was Eris who would be continuing their bloodline
and so it was of vital importance that she be trained to deal with all matters
related to their house. Each house had its own methods, practices and secrets
and the women were the guardians of that knowledge.
They reached the outskirts of the city and spying the tournament
grounds, steered their bonded over. Setting down they examined the grounds inch
by inch, looking over the spectator stands, the distance of the targets, the
obstacles for the flight competition and the area for the tournament the warriors
most looked forward to; combat. Two opposing Annunaki and their dragons would
fly at each other from opposite ends of the field each armed with a flaming
sword and shield. The objective being dislodging the competitor from his or her
bonded. Fighting was fierce and injuries common, with death being an accepted
Enki and Enlil studied the shields posted on the tournament lists
to better know who they would be facing, each of the major houses were
represented as well as each city faction. In this, the nobility and commoners
were equal, anyone could emerge the victor. It was a source of pride for each
faction and much time went on training their best fighters with
mini-competitions held throughout the year, the victor then going on to compete
in the tournament. Each faction had their own emblem and insignia with their
industry displayed on their shield. Thus the garment faction had a loom, the
food a winnow of wheat, the goldsmiths a nugget of gold. The noble houses had
animals or objects found in nature as their insignia, passed down through the
women. Lord Anu’s house which was House Samael was a two-headed eagle looking
forwards and backwards, in reference to the unique abilities found in their
“Each of the 12 houses are represented this year, looks
like House Daemon have found a warrior”, Enlil snorted. It was not unusual
for several years to pass between Houses entering their champions as each house
had a limited number of children, the children must pass through several years
of training and puberty and then face their 3 trials before being deemed fit to
take part. Each champion could only compete once in their lifetime, so if a
House had a gap in the age of their children, then they would not be
represented in the tournament. 
“It was gracious of the council to allow father to enlist
us both” Enki observed, studying the lists and two shields: one under
House Samael for Enlil and the other under House Nata for himself.
“They had no choice, I came of age last year, but because
we were commanded to remain on Tiamut it is only right they allow us both to
“I could compete next year.”
“No, I overheard Father and Belil talking in his study. The
council is anxious it is taking so long to find a method to harvest the crops.
Food supply is running low on Nibiru. We will not be able to return until
supply lines are established, they’re guessing 5 to 7 years. Besides, it hasn’t
been settled, should you chose to not be betrothed to your intended bride, you
will not be able to compete under her family shield.”
“As you never fail to delight in reminding me.”
“Rather you than me” Enlil said, playfully aiming his
sword then swinging as if to strike his brother’s head off his shoulders.
 Enki ducked, then looked
up momentarily distracted by a red blur hurtling towards the city centre
looking though it were poised to strike a blow at the heart of the Annunaki
before pulling up at the last second and heading off west, “Oh, we’d
better get back. Father will be angry if we keep him waiting.”
“Let’s go meet that bride of yours. I wager you will be
compelled to find a second wife before the first year’s out. Our mothers have
their designs upon this one.” Enlil said with a grim nod in the direction
of House Nata’s shield on the lists: a serpent eating its own tail.

Release Day! The Letter Drawer – Sarah Galloway

My publishing company 5 Prince Publishing are growing and expanding which means I get to be a part of an even bigger, more wonderful team! AND I get to share the news about wonderful authors joining us!

But my favourite part is getting to share the news of new releases! I am so excited for Sarah and can’t wait to read this book! I get shivers just reading the excerpt!



Available from 5 Prince Publishing
Genre:  Fiction, Christian, Romance
Release Date: June 12, 2014
Digital ISBN ISBN-10:
1631120506 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-050-3
Print ISBN-10:
1631120514 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-051-0


The Letter Drawer
True love never dies, but is it enough to heal a broken faith?
Claire and Evan met when they were children. They grew up together and fell in love. When Evan became a soldier, he and Claire held onto their love, remaining faithful to one another through every deployment. As the years passed, it seemed that life had given them everything they ever wanted … until tragedy struck.
Evan, left in the wake of tragedies, is now forced to decide what is most precious to him. Will love heal him or will devastation destroy his faith? Can Evan’s family show him the way? Can love truly set him free?
About Sarah Galloway
Sarah Galloway is an
Army wife and a mother to four wonderful children. She began writing as a child and continued her love of writing throughout her life. Sarah wrote The
Letter Drawer
while her husband was deployed in Afghanistan in 2012. She
and her husband are residents of Colorado Springs, CO, but are currently stationed in beautiful Monterey, CA.
Sarah and her husband are both avid readers and enjoy a library of books that they keep along the length of their wall in their home office. One of her favorite past times is curling up with a good book while her Great Dane snores at her feet.
Sarah is also a Registered Nurse and spent many sleepless nights working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Colorado Springs. She is very humbled by the tiny miracles that she saw during her years there and she loves all of the babies
and families that she had the opportunity to care for. Sarah is continuing her
education to become a Family Nurse Practitioner and plans to graduate at the
end of 2014. Sarah’s passions include writing, healing people, and providing
comfort to those who need it most.
How to reach Sarah Galloway


Twitter @sddlnscp
Excerpt of The
Letter Drawer
They had been so young, so very young. She remembered walking to the school bus, alone and scared. Her first day of first grade and then there he was, a young boy in a dress shirt and slacks, a lunch box in his hand and a blue and red backpack on his back. Tall and quiet, the boy’s eyes did not meet hers. His dark brown hair was well cropped above his big brown eyes. She saw him and lost some of her fear. Walking up next to him, she stood silently as they waited for the bus.
That was the beginning of it. From that moment on, they were never far from one another. She chose a seat next to him in class and she always picked the seat next to him on the bus ride home. They sat in silence at first, both looking straight ahead with their hands folded neatly in their lap.
Later, when she could finally stand the silence no more, she glanced over at him. “My name is Claire, what’s yours?”
The boy’s voice was quiet. “Evan.”
“Evan,” she repeated softly. “Okay.”
He gave her a puzzled look. “Okay what?”
“Okay, I like your name Evan. You can be my friend.”
Evan looked at her, a small, confused smile playing at the corner of his lips.
Time went on. They played, built forts, explored the forest behind their neighborhood, and laughed. They grew up together. They became best friends, and that did not change.
Middle school approached and Evan became an awkward, lanky boy while Claire was a dark-haired, green-eyed beauty. She didn’t seem to care. All of the sudden, the boys noticed Claire, but still, she stayed by Evan.
“Hey Claire,” they would say. “Want to come hang out with us after school?”
“No thanks,” replied Claire.
“Why not?”
“I’m studying with Evan.”
Despite the whispering, whining, and complaining that came from the other boys, Claire never wavered. When she left school, she always walked to the bus with Evan. She rode with him, laughed, and told jokes with him, even when the others snickered or sneered.
One day, as they rode next to each other, Claire realized that what she felt for Evan was more than just friendship. She reached over and took his strong, masculine hand, clasping it in her own much smaller one. He looked up at her, waiting for something.
Wondering what was on her mind, he interrupted the silence. “Claire?”
“Yes, Evan?”
Brown eyes sparkled back at her. “Are you okay?”
“Yes, Evan.”
The gaze lasted a moment longer. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, Evan.”
He left his hand sandwiched between hers. “Alright then.”
When the bus came to a stop, Claire stood and waited for Evan to stand beside her and they walked off together, as they always did.
Standing there on the sidewalk, Claire silently stared at Evan, not moving.
Evan was clearly confused. “Ummm, did you want to come over and study?”
“Not really.”
Absently, he scratched the top of his head. “Alright then. I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“No.” She halted him with her hand on his shoulder. “Come with me.”
Pausing for a moment, he gave her an inquiring look. “Where are we going?”
She clasped his hand in hers. “Just come.”
They were seventeen and when she took his hand this time, it was because she loved him. She led him into the forest and back through trees they hadn’t been under in years. They walked through the thick underbrush and finally came to a clearing. He looked at it and smiled. A couple of old, beat-up pieces of plywood leaned together were held there by nails creating a sanctuary fashioned by children. Various odd blankets and pieces of bark and wood that were tattered and faded and barely recognizable lay underneath them.
Confused, he glanced from her to their favorite childhood place. “Claire, this is our old fort.”
She pulled him toward it. “Yes.”
“I had forgotten about this place.”
The light breeze rushed through her hair. “Do you remember when we built it?”
Nostalgia was obvious on his features. “Of course I do! Oh gosh, how old were we, nine, ten maybe?” “We were in third grade. It was fun. Come and sit with me under it now, will you?”
As she pulled him forward, he laughed. “Okay Claire.”
On their hands and knees, the dusty ground was cool and soft as they crawled into the tattered old fort. When they were sitting under it, there was barely enough room for both of them and Evan’s body was cramped against Claire’s so that they would fit.
Claire smiled at Evan and touched his forehead, brushing a lock of fallen hair away from his eyes.
A serious expression fell across his face. “Claire, can I ask you something?”          
“Of course.”
Evan’s eyes trailed off to the horizon. “Why do you still stay with me?”
“What do you mean?”
He shifted his gaze back to her. “I mean, you’re … well, you’re beautiful Claire. All those guys want to be with you, the good looking ones, the ones all the girls want to be with, and you still always hang out with me.”
“Well,” said Claire blushing. “That’s part of what I wanted to talk to you about.”
“What is?”
Unblinking eyes stared back at her as she spoke. “Evan, I think I’m in love with you.”
A friendly bear hug enveloped her. “I love you too, Claire.”
“No, you don’t understand. Not like a friend, not like we are best friends. I think I have fallen in love with you.”
He looked at her, as though he was barely registering what she was saying. She looked back into his dark brown eyes. Still, he said nothing. Finally, she leaned forward and kissed him on the lips. It was a soft and tender kiss, yet it was warm and inviting, too. And it was perfect, like they had done it all of their lives.
The words fell out of her mouth in a whisper. “Evan, I mean it. I love you.”
His voice was soft and tender. “Oh Claire, I love you too.”
Now he put his arms around her and she rested her head on his shoulder, feeling the warmth of his body. They stayed that way, he held her and she curled up within his arms, finally able to relax now that she knew that he loved her too.
That had been twenty years ago.
Claire thought back on the memory and smiled. Twenty years. Has
it really been that long?
Twenty years since she realized that she truly
did love Evan. It seems like only yesterday.
She closed her eyes and pictured him as he looked now. Sharp jaw, strong features, tall and lean and handsome. Evan was the kind of guy that women looked at twice when he walked by, although he didn’t realize it. Those soft, gentle brown eyes that she loved and adored still made her feel weak and he still had the shock of deep brown hair that he had to trim constantly because it grew so quickly.
He had been such a scrawny kid that nobody understood why she went for him when she could have any boy in the school, had she wanted them. They simply didn’t understand love. She had belonged to Evan from the first time she saw him. She had always been his.
Evan had taken more convincing. It wasn’t that he didn’t love Claire, because he did. It was more that he was terrified of her. He was scared to death that she would realize how amazing she was and that she would go fleeting off into the arms of one of the rough looking muscled guys that were always hitting on her. Eventually though, he realized that she only saw him and he began to feel safe with her. In time he learned that they truly did belong together and that she would never leave him. He didn’t quite understand why, but he knew it to be true all the same.
Claire closed her eyes and pictured Evan next to her. She could almost feel his breath on her skin. But it was too soon, he wouldn’t be home for another five months. Sighing, she forced herself up to make breakfast.
Claire pulled the contents from her cupboard to make pancakes and began mixing the batter. As she was holding the bowl under one arm and whisking with the other, she heard Eve’s soft footsteps on the linoleum. The quiet, dainty sound of Eve’s feet were soon overshadowed by Connor’s much louder thuds.
Her two children came into the kitchen, both still half-asleep. Seventeen-year-old Connor was in sweatpants and a t-shirt, while thirteen-year-old Eve stood in a long night shirt and knit sleep pants.
Claire greeted them warmly. “Good morning kids.”
“Mmmph,” groaned Connor.
Eve yawned. “Morning.”
“Oh come on now you two, it’s a beautiful day, just look outside.”
They both looked out the window, indifference on their faces.
Jackson, the family pet, came meandering into the kitchen when he heard the kids. The huge, black Great Dane pressed himself against Connor.
“Oooph.” The air rushed out of Connor. “Jackson, it’s too early.”
The dog quite happily moseyed away to Eve who patted him lightly on the head. Then he walked to Claire and sat down next to her. She leaned playfully on him while she waited for the pancake in the skillet to be ready to flip, he didn’t budge.
Connor got out the milk and poured himself a glass. “Do you want some Eve? Mom?”
“Yeah,” yawned Eve as she took her place at the table, wiping sleep from her eyes.
Claire flipped a pancake in the skillet. “No thank you honey.”
Connor poured a second glass and walked it to Eve who took it, thanked him and sipped at it as she tried to will herself awake. Claire finished cooking breakfast and put some on the plates, handing them to the kids. She watched as Connor carefully poured syrup onto each pancake and then handed the bottle to his sister. Eve cut up her pancakes with a fork first, and then lathered syrup all over the small
Eve handed the bottle to her Mom. Claire put a tiny dollop of syrup on her single pancake and then spread it across in a thin, even layer. She smiled as she watched the kids eat. Slowly, they began to wake up.
Connor finished first, his voice still hazy. “I’m gonna shower.”
“Okay,” said Claire.
Connor left and Eve sat at the table with her daughter.
There was silence before Eve finally spoke. “Mom?”
“I miss Dad.”
Claire sighed. “So do I. Five more months and he’ll be home.”
Eve’s face drooped. “It’s still so long.”
Claire’s heart ached as she looked across the table at her daughter. “I know honey. I miss him too. Soon, soon he will be home.”
Eve looked up at her mother with solemn eyes. “Can he stay this time?”
Patting her daughter’s hand, she spoke. “I hope so honey.”
“Me too.”
Eve’s young face flushed and Claire could tell she was holding back tears. Claire opened her arms and Eve walked to her mother and hugged her. Claire held her daughter and silently thanked God that, unlike most thirteen year olds, Eve still let her comfort her this way. She stroked Eve’s dark brown hair until she finally let
Her daughter’s eyes looked moist, but she no longer looked as though she would begin to cry. “Are you okay honey?”
“Yeah, it’s just one of those days I guess. I’m gonna get ready.”
She watched Eve disappear down the hallway to her room. Alone in the kitchen, Claire began picking up plates and putting them in the sink. She heard the shower stop and a few minutes later, Connor emerged looking much more like the bright, chipper boy that he was. He takes after his father so much. He was tall and lean, just like Evan, and he had those same deep brown eyes. Claire smiled at him and he returned the grin.
As she finished rinsing the dishes, she looked over at him. “Connor?”
He slung his backpack over his shoulder. “Yeah?”
“Would you mind dropping Eve off at school this morning? I am going to write your father a letter.”
His free arm wrapped around her shoulder and hugged her. “Sure Mom.”
“Thanks honey.”
“You’re welcome.” He was such a good boy.
They were both good kids. She was so thankful for them.            
“C’mon Eve,” Connor called from the kitchen. “Five minutes.”
Eve’s voice trailed in from her bedroom. “Okay, I’ll be there.”
Just in time, Eve appeared with her book bag slung over her shoulder and Connor walked with her to the door. Eve looked as though she were a little less sad and Claire felt relieved.
Claire lifted her hand to wave goodbye to her children. “Have a good day guys.”
“We will Mom,” replied Eve. “Love you.”
“Love you,” chimed Connor.
Her heart swelled with joy. “I love you both, too.” Her children were so good to her. She watched out the window as they climbed into Connor’s old but reliable car, laughing about something. Then she returned to the nook.
As they pulled away, Claire sat in the warm light that shone through the window onto the breakfast table. The glossy surface was cool against her wrists, but the sun was warm on her back. She brushed her hair back with her hands, feeling the soft curls run through her fingers. Retrieving a piece of paper from the little drawer hidden under the surface of the table, Claire began to write.
My Dearest Evan…
Claire wrote the letter, telling him everything that was in her heart. She read it over. When she was satisfied that she had said everything that she needed to say, she signed it:
Your wife,
She placed a red lipstick kiss at the corner of it by her name. She slipped the letter into an envelope and addressed it to the APO address where the Army would receive the mail before dispensing it to the soldiers.
She closed her eyes for a moment, holding the letter in her hand and feeling the sun on her back. In that moment, she felt at peace. Her white, gauzy nightgown flowed softly in the ruffle of the breeze coming in through the window. It brushed against her thigh and then floated away as quickly as a whisper. Her hair fluttered against her face and she closed her eyes, embracing the wind. As she opened her eyes and rose, she felt the sun’s rays leave her back. Placing the letter on the edge of the kitchen counter, she walked to the bedroom. As she slipped into a pair of
jeans, she retrieved a lemon yellow blouse that was well fitted to her figure.
She could almost hear Evan telling her how beautiful she was and how he could
get lost in her eyes forever. Moving back to the kitchen, she paused to pick up
her car keys. She glanced at the letter before deciding she would place it in
the outgoing mail in the afternoon. When she climbed into her car, a soft smile
rested gently on her lips.
That was the last time Claire’s family ever saw her alive.

Cover Reveal! The Porcelain Child – Jessica Dall

Well it appears our wonderful cover designer at 5 Prince Publishing has done it again. Check out this stunning cover!


Genre: Fiction, Alternative History, Romance, Historical,
Family Saga
Release Date: July 3, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-058-9   ISBN 10: 1631120581
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-059-6      ISBN 10: 163112059X
The Porcelain Child
With less than a decade of stable rule behind them, Lord
Protector Richard Seymour has passed away leaving the country once again in
turmoil. With her connection to the old regimes, seemingly on all sides thanks
to her mother, Adela, Mary might find herself pulled into the heat of battle
whether she wants it or not.
Book 2 of The Broken Line Series, The Porcelain Child picks
up with the next generation thrown into the mix.