The Lesson by Bella D’Amato

Freeman? She thought wildly. As in Freeman Industries?

Oh, yeah, the voice inside her mocked. You are definitely in over your head.

He frowned as he took in her expression. “You finally put two and two together,

didn’t you?” he asked, then continued without waiting for a reply. “Yes, those Freeman’s.

Freeman Lumber, Freeman Technology, Freeman Financial, Freeman Library, blah, blah,

blah. My father has a finger in practically every pie in the city.” He screeched around a

corner, pulling into the parking garage of The Matisse, a luxury apartment complex

Bianca had never set foot in.

Bianca stared at Mason, his face grim as he drove through the garage, finally

pulling into a reserved spot. Why does he seem so upset? She wondered. He was so

playful just a few minutes ago.

Because he thinks you want him for his money, the voice told her. I bet every girl

he’s ever met has thrown themselves at him. And even you have to admit, the money

makes him a helluva lot more attractive than he was thirty seconds ago.

No, she insisted. I thought he was handsome before. If anything, the money makes

me uncomfortable.

Hmph, the voice replied doubtfully. Maybe so, but he doesn’t know that.

Well, I guess I’ll have to prove it to him, she answered stubbornly.

Mason hopped out of the car and came around to open her door, and as she stared

up at him, she found she wanted to comfort him. “It must feel like an impossible standard

to live up to. Your father, that is” she explained as she took his hand and climbed out of

the car. “And very difficult to live in his shadow. So hard to be yourself, especially if

what you want from life differs from what he expects. I think I would want to run away,

get out into the world by myself. Get away from this town where everyone knew my

name and find my own way. Sink or swim, you know? Leave all that other stuff behind.”

She looked up to find him standing too close, his eyes widening as he studied her

face. “That’s exactly how I feel.”

“You probably feel like changing your name sometimes,” she continued as she

stared up at him.

“Yes,” he agreed, his face softening as he studied her. “It’s like I can’t break free

from this idea of who and what I’m supposed to be.” He reached up and moved her hair

away from her face and her eyes dropped to his lips.

He’s going to kiss me …

“Yes I am,” he said.

“What?” she managed. Barely.

“You were wondering if I was going to kiss you. And the answer is yes, I am,” he

answered in a whisper, just before his lips swooped down to capture hers.


The Lesson
Bella D’Amato
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Super heroes LLC
Date of Publication: February 7th, 2016
ISBN: 9781310163906
Number of pages: 126
Word Count: 42,867
Book Description:
Sweet as pie and sexy as hell, Bianca Russo cares more about finishing her degree and taking care of her grandfather than anything else.
Then she meets Mason Freeman. A smoking hot bad boy with caramel eyes and a devil-may-care attitude, he seduces Bianca with one look. Before long, they’re head over heels for each other.
But loving Mason means a lot of complications: his casual disregard for money, his rich and powerful family, his inability to take charge of his life. And when tragedy strikes, everything comes crashing down around them.
Six years later, Bianca’s career is taking off and a new man is making her question her single status when an unexpected Facebook message sets her world spinning.
Mason is back in town and he’s determined to prove to Bianca he’s learned his lesson and win her back.
But is she ready for him? Bianca fear overwhelms her, and she soon realizes she has her own love lessons to learn.
Can Bianca forgive Mason? Or is their great love a thing of the past?
About the Author:
Bella D’Amato lives in a picturesque little cottage on the shores of Coeur d’Alene Lake in idyllic Coeur d’Alene Idaho. She grew up mere blocks away from the lake, and never could bear the thought of leaving. She shares her home with two loyal tabby cats, Peaches and Cream.
When Bella isn’t writing, she’s usually indulging in her second favorite hobby, photography, although she mostly takes pictures of her cats. She also likes to tend her garden, create culinary vegetarian masterpieces, and read. Of course, her favorite genre is romance! In the summer she spends as much time at the beach as possible, but since the Pacific Northwest is known for its winters, she also skis as much as possible during the snowy months.
Being a natural born lover, Bella dreams of the day she meets her Mr. Right. In the meantime, she enjoys the single life as much as possible.

Half Life by Paul H.B. Shin

Half Life

Paul H.B. Shin
Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC 
Genre: Thriller   
Release Date: September 6, 2016
About the Book:
The year is 1997. North Korea is suffering from a devastating famine that has shaken the foundation of the ruling class. A series of high-profile defections to the West has lead the reclusive country’s leadership into the grasp of paranoia.

Nuclear scientist Han Chol-Soo is on a tenuous diplomatic mission to the United States. There he is forced to embark upon a high-stakes pursuit after his wife disappears with their newborn son. Paralyzed with fear at the repercussions of her decision, Han turns to his colleague Park Jun-Young for help — a man that he suspects is an intelligence operative. He soon regrets his decision as Park cuts a swath of mayhem in the name of helping Han, and the chase forces Han to confront the harsh realities of his home country.
Half Life Reviews
“Half Life is a terrific novel. Right from the start you’ll be drawn into many dark worlds—politics, espionage, and North Korea—and it will keep you on the edge of your seat right until the last page. Paul H.B. Shin’s authenticity and style cannot be missed.” –Dale Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Starfire (William Morrow)
“A gripping, taut espionage thriller, Half Life is enriched by the love story at its core and the refusal to give simple answers. I loved it.” –Robert Ferrigno, bestselling & award-winning author of Heart of the Assassin (Scribner)
“Paul H. B. Shin wraps an engaging tale of espionage and intrigue around a failed marriage in his new international thriller, Half Life. With sure-footed prose and vivid characterization, Shin takes readers inside the paranoid claustrophobia of North Korea’s political world, where even high-ranking diplomats live in constant fear. With North Korea’s nuclear arms program as a backdrop, the eminently believable and thoughtful plot will have readers wondering if they’re looking at tomorrow’s news. A well-wrought debut.”
–Jim DeFelice, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of American Sniper (William Morrow)
About the Author:
Paul H.B. Shin’s debut novel follows a career as an award-winning journalist for more than 20 years, most recently for ABC News. He previously wrote for the New York Daily News. He was born in South Korea and lived in London during his childhood. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Near The Wild by Maureen Willett

Near The Wild, by Maureen Willett

I didn’t notice much about his face at first. It was his hair that caught my eye. It hung just

below his jawline and was beautifully cut, as was fitting for a man of his wealth. The thick,

raven-colored ringlets framed his angular face in an almost angelic fashion. He gracefully

moved his tall frame toward me on the narrow, wooden walk in front of the store.

Normally, this stretch of sidewalk in Colton was quite busy in mid-day. I would nod and

greet just about everyone, feeling obliged to make it apparent that my mother raised her children

to have manners, but it just happened to be an odd day, so he and I were the only ones passing by

each other. Because the sidewalk was so narrow, he stopped, made a slight bow with his head,

and let me pass, keeping his eyes downward in a polite manner. The silver grey of his tailored

suit and well-turned silk cravat glistened in the sunlight. He carried a top hat in his gloved

hands. His fingers looked long and slender through the kid leather.

Grateful for his polite gesture and thinking his eyes were still averted, I glanced at his face to

get a better look at this polished, dapper young man, only to be surprised by the flawless white

complexion. His high cheekbones, straight nose, and perfect, creamy skin must be the envy of

every woman in Colton, especially those who had grown up plowing fields in the sunlight and

now had faces resembling tough leather.

Believing I’d seen an angel come down from heaven, or at least one of those men who would

never marry and spend his life seeking the company of other men, I looked into his eyes. It was

then I realized my mistake. There, in the blue-green depths, was a lustful intent that unnerved

me to my core. I almost stepped back in surprise. His dark, arched brows went up in mock


But it was his indecently shaped mouth that would be a girl’s undoing. His upper lip was an

arched bow and naturally ruby colored, reminding me of the blood-red painted lips of that fancy

woman on the train. And his lower lip looked swollen with untethered desire. Oh, to have that

mouth touching my body! The thought entered my head before I could shake it loose and made

my knees weak. Those lips were a sensuous beast all their own.

With a beautiful smile, he made his desire to see me without my petticoat quite clear. I

gulped and almost lost my footing as I walked away, quickening my step to hasten my retreat

from the depths of his alluring blue-green eyes and harlot’s mouth. My heart pounded and my

face heated as I ran toward the safety of my brothers, away from the unconventionally handsome

Mr. Fuerst.


Near The Wild, by Maureen Willett

It was a common fact in Colton that he was the only heir of a royal fortune. It seemed his

father had been a prince in Germany but was banished to America for marrying a commoner.

Mr. Fuerst was here to build a mansion across from the new train station, because his father was

one of the investors in the transcontinental railroad that would one day connect Kansas to

California. Apparently, he built the largest mansion in the area of Colton that was now

burgeoning with homes for the emerging upper class, Bell Street. Colton was the end of the

railroad line on the western side—at least for now—and the young Mr. Fuerst would be our

resident patriarch. The next time I’d run into him would be under quite different circumstances.


Near The Wild
Maureen Willett
Genre: paranormal romance/historical fantasy
Publisher: independent
Date of Publication: June 27, 2015
ISBN: 9781524209926
Number of pages: 229
Word Count: 82,500
Book Description:
Cowboys and leprechauns both occupy Maeve MacKeighry’s world in 1870, and she must decide which will win her heart. Leprechauns are feared, even in Ireland, but that doesn’t prevent Maeve from striking up a friendship with one who lives near her village. But once Maeve becomes a young woman, the local villagers start to gossip, especially since the MacKeighrys are known to practice magic in their home. It’s just for entertainment, but the town folk don’t see it that way. Rather than be outcasts, the MacKeighrys set off to America to homestead in Kansas, vowing to leave their magical ways and friends behind. Little do they know that Maeve’s friend follows and protects them on their journey.
The MacKeighrys encounter many adventures along the way to Kansas, only to find a simple sod house on their new farm at the end of the journey. The untamed land offers a fresh start for the family, as well as two very interesting men who both compete for Maeve’s attention. Pretty young women in a wild western town are a rarity. But can she forget her magical friend, and turn her attention to two of the most interesting men she has ever met? Perhaps cowboys and outlaws have a certain charm that a leprechaun doesn’t, after all.
Most of the novel takes place in Kansas in 1870 and is based on the author’s family history. The idea of the MacKeighry’s sod house came from the home of Willett’s great grandfather. She was lucky enough to visit it as a teenager before the house was destroyed. One of the characters, Nikki Fuerst, is based on an ancestor, a prince from Austria who was disinherited for marrying a commoner and sent off to America. Stories Willett has been told her entire life about her family’s history and traditions, such as levitating tables, are included in Near The Wild.


About the Author:
Maureen Willett is a writer of fiction that pushes the boundaries of established genres.  Her stories mostly come from her own family legends that have been passed down through generations, but then she tops them off with a twist of faery dust and angel wings. 
But at the core of each story are great characters in very human conflicts that anyone will find compelling.  Each novel is crafted as an experience that will take readers beyond their day-to-day lives, incorporating themes of time travel, reincarnation, and magic.   
She lives in Hawaii and finds its ethereal beauty a source of inspiration for her writing.  She is a former journalist, public relations professional, and media marketing specialist.  Writing fiction has been her passion since grade school.

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