Saturday, March 30, 2013

Stutter Creek #WeekendWritingWarriors #8Sunday Snippet

Welcome back for another look at Stutter Creek, coming June 1st.  We are up to Chapter Two.  Feel free to scroll down and poke around to read previous snippets if you missed them.  =) 
Last week: Beth melted into the shelter of his embrace . . . then she shook her head to clear the memories.

This week:

     Actually, it wasn’t a memory so much as it was an embellished wish. John Stockton was not a figment of her imagination, nor was he a dream-guy. He was a real memory, but it was a childhood memory. A teenage dream. He had been her first crush.
They’d met one summer at Stutter Creek when she and her dad had made their annual vacation trip to their cabin in the mountains. But that was so long ago—the only reason he kept invading her thoughts now was because she’d recently lost her dad. Coming on the heels of her painful divorce from the second love of her life, it had been doubly hard. 

Okay, folks, that's all for this week.  Now skip on over to the website and check out some AWESOME authors!  Until next week...cheers!  Oh, and if you like ghost stories, scroll down for an excerpt from my reissued novel, Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot!

Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot excerpt


The Phantom Pilot has been renamed Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot. Book one in The Phantom Series. #goodreads

To see the Book Trailer go here:

  It was the late 60s. The Beatles had washed across America like a British tsunami, Vietnam was a grainy, green and black dose of unreality on the evening news, a bunch of hippies had taken over San Francisco, and there was a heck of a rainstorm pouring down on Woodstock. But I didn’t know all that then.
I was a little bit lost, looking for something. I swear I didn’t go looking for a ghost…well, okay, maybe I did. But I didn’t expect to find one. Heck, I was just a kid. I didn’t expect much of anything.

Chapter One
  I was twelve years old, standing knock-kneed in pigtails and ripped denim in front of a haunted house, trying to dig up enough courage to go inside. But I was terrified. I’d read the books and I’d seen the movies on Shock Theater. No matter what, you don’t go inside the spooky old house. No matter who dares you, no matter what lures you. You do not go in.
Hand trembling, I opened the door.
The warped wood screeched when I pushed it. I expected that. But I didn’t expect the dusty floorboards to moan with my every step. I tried not to think about it. I was in. I’d lived around the corner from this house all my life and today I’d finally garnered enough willpower to walk inside.
The light was dim, murky with dust motes and cobwebs. The curtains were little more than yellowed rags hanging in tatters. The windows themselves were so filthy the light coming through was leached of its goodness by layers of grime.
I’d been in the grocery store buying a loaf of bread for supper. The store was only a block from our house. They knew me there almost as well as they knew my Gramps. On my way to the check out, I saw old Mr. Pearcy in the frozen food section, reading labels. Probably trying to figure out which one might taste the most like his wife’s cooking. It had been only a couple of weeks since I’d seen Mrs. Pearcy’s obituary in the newspaper.
I read the newspaper almost every morning over breakfast. I loved reading of any kind. As a joke, Gramps once wrapped my new cereal box in duct tape so I couldn’t read it at the kitchen table. I could tell you the nutrition information for almost every kid’s cereal known to mankind. Reading’s just my thing. It always has been.
“Get the smothered steak,” I whispered as I walked by Mr. Pearcy. “It’s yummy.” I hurried on and got in line to pay for my bread.
“Thanks, Stevie-girl,” I heard him reply.
When I glanced back over my shoulder, I saw that he’d stuck his head back inside the stand-up freezer. The open door facing me had fogged over, but I could make out his silhouette. As I watched, he backed out and held the flat rectangular box in front of his face so that I could see it. He’d replaced the turkey and dressing with the steak. I raised my hand to give him a thumbs-up as he lowered the box into his shopping basket.
All the breath suddenly drained from my body. Mr. Pearcy was gone. On top of his plaid shoulders sat an oozing skull. Wisps of thin gray hair clung to the patchy flesh.
I closed my eyes and sucked in air. When I looked again, it was just Mr. Pearcy standing there with his hand raised, looking at me as if I’d slipped a cog.
“You okay, honey?” The voice came from the woman next to me in line. “You look awfully pale.” She laid her hand on my shoulder as if to steady me. It was obvious she hadn’t seen anything unusual except for me pale and shaking.
“I—I’m okay,” I replied. “Dizzy for a second.” I smiled my best white-liar’s smile. “Just got over an inner ear infection.”
She nodded the sympathetic nod of a grandmother.
I paid and hurried toward home keeping a sharp eye out for Mr. Pearcy, but I didn’t see him again. Must’ve been my imagination. Or a trick of the light. Maybe it was just a reflection off the frosty door.
Now, looking at the steep, dark staircase in front of me, I inhaled slowly, feeling my lungs expand all the way down, moving my diaphragm just like Mr. Morrow, the music teacher, said we should. The image of Mr. Pearcy’s raggedy skull kept trying to creep into my mind, but I wouldn’t let it.
“Lalalalala,” I sang under my breath. Singing always calmed me down and made me feel better. Besides, I knew I hadn’t really seen anything. Stopping here on the way home had been in the back of my mind ever since Gramps had asked me to run down to the store. Just the idea of going in the haunted house was probably the reason I’d seen that awful thing. Over-active imagination, that’s what Gramps always said.
I started forward again. The house was deserted. No one had lived here for ages, and that made it spooky, as if it were holding in a breath, waiting for something. But what if someone else was here? Someone, or something, living upstairs where no one could see? A bum, or a bandit hiding out from the law? I knew it was possible because my Gramps was a semi-retired cop. He said the worst monsters were not under the bed or in the bedroom closet. Instead, they walked among us. I believed him. Gramps was all I had left. I had to believe him. Guess that’s why I didn’t really put much stock in things like ghosts. I was too smart for that, too worldly. But man, was it spooky!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

New Release ~ Unexpected Admirer ~ Bernadette Marie ~ The bright lights of stardom are sometimes too bright

Press Release Launch Kit
Unexpected Admirer
Bernadette Marie

Available from 5 Prince Publishing
Genre: Romance/Contemporary
Release Date: March 29, 2013
Digital ISBN 13:978-1-939217-22-6 ISBN: 10:1939217229

Unexpected Admirer
The bright lights of stardom are sometimes too bright.

Jesse Charles, the chart topping, pop-sensation has fallen head over heels in love with small town biology teacher Melissa Mathews. However, not only does their age difference worry her, she’s a widowed mother of a young son who needs her attention. But her unexpected admirer isn’t one to give up so easily. He’s willing to give up everything just to make them a family and settle in her home town—but his manager and mother have a different opinion.

Jesse will have to convince Melissa that he can be the perfect husband and father before he loses her—and loses his career over stories circulated by the easily persuaded media.

Bernadette Marie Bio:
Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends.  Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter.  At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years. 
In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children – Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published.  That year she wrote 12 books.  In 2009  she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born.  In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and began the process of taking on other authors in other genres. 
In 2012 Bernadette Marie found herself on the bestsellers lists of iTunes and Amazon to name a few.  Her office wall is lined with colorful PostIt notes with the titles of books she will be releasing in the very near future, with hope that they too will grace the bestsellers lists.
Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events.  She is also an accomplished martial artist who will earn her conditional second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do in October 2012.  An avid reader, she enjoys most, the works of Nora Roberts, Karen White, Megan Hart, to name a few. She loves to meet readers who enjoy reading contemporary romances and she always promises Happily Ever After.

@writesromance on Twitter

Unexpected Admirer Excerpt:
A crowded arena on a weeknight was not where Melissa Mathews wanted to be. She’d spent her day teaching thirteen-year-olds the fundamentals of biology, attended a staff meeting, and drove an hour to Grand Junction. She was beat.
But when she looked over at her son, who stood next to her, his grin as big as the sun, she knew she’d recuperate. After all, it was her fault they were standing with thousands of people who chanted Jesse Charles’s name. She’d won the tickets to see the pop star on the radio. The show had been sold out for months, and she didn’t have the funds to take her son anyway.
It was a mystery to her why he even wanted to go. Jonah was a huge Jesse Charles fan, but Melissa wasn’t. Oh, he seemed to be a fine role model, but between her son playing his music morning and night and the kids at school incessantly talking about him, Melissa could care less about the man.
And the night was just beginning. No, she couldn’t have just won some general admission tickets. She won the whole package. A nice dinner at a local restaurant. Front row tickets to the show. And what would a night like this be without meet and greet passes for later.
Jonah was in heaven.
Melissa was in a teenager-fueled hell.

Jesse Charles paced back and forth in his dressing room. He’d been performing since he was ten, professionally since he was fourteen. However, stage fright was a real thing and he had it bad.
His assistant, Bryce, was busy taking notes and talking on his cell phone in the corner. He’d thought his manager would take the time to fly to Colorado to catch the show, but again, he was busy with his own, fantastic life.
Jesse let out a sigh. His career was nothing less than spectacular. He was the number one recording artist in America, and the world had taken note.
But at twenty-five, Jesse Charles was tired.

Melissa fidgeted with the backstage pass around her neck. The woman at the radio station had told her to keep it under her shirt. She’d seen people mobbed over them. It was killing Melissa to have it pressed against her skin, but the last thing she needed was to have it ripped from her neck. Jonah hadn’t been happy about tucking his in either, but he’d done it. What did it matter anyway? He was going to meet his idol. All Melissa could hope for was to be in bed before two a.m. and that maybe Friday would be quiet for the middle-schoolers she’d have to teach—but she knew better than that.

The lights in the arena dimmed, and the crowd around her went wild. She looked over at her son. An enormous smile permeated his lips. He hadn’t been so happy in a very long time. Melissa owed him this night. She put her arm around him and gave him a squeeze just as the arena filled with lights of all colors. A whine of a guitar pierced her ears, and from the center of the stage in a smoke-filled cloud, Jesse Charles emerged in all his glory.

She had to admit, the atmosphere was infectious. Girls swooned and screamed. Jonah clapped his hands and sang along with the songs she was familiar with, but she didn’t know the words. Never would she have expected to enjoy herself, but among Jesse Charles’s fans, she was happy too.
The show was loud and spectacular—and never ending.

Melissa looked down at her watch for the third time. The show was moving into its second hour, and the man hadn’t taken a break. He’d sung and danced the entire time—he had endless energy. She, on the other hand, was exhausted.
Melissa scanned the crowd. She was sure she was the only person aware of the time. She looked back up at the stage, and at that moment, she was sure her eyes connected with Jesse Charles’s. The very moment hit her.
She diverted her eyes. Certainly he was that good of a showman to make the entire audience feel as though they were the only ones in the room.

It wouldn’t be long before she’d be right in front of him, shaking his hand. But that was all for Jonah. She wasn’t interested. She was sure he’d say hello, sign a picture, and move on to the next person. Yes, that would be how it would go. She told herself there really hadn’t been any eye contact. Thousands of scantily clad girls screamed his name. If he had seen her, it was probably a look of disgust for someone so average in his crowd.
Jesse Charles went about belting out the song of the moment. He danced his way to the side of the stage, motioned to someone, and without missing a beat, he was back at center stage making the crowd go wild.

A few minutes later, Melissa felt a hand on her shoulder.
“Ma’am, would you mind coming with me?” An enormous man with a security shirt was standing next to her.
“I’m sorry,” she yelled over the music. “Did I do something wrong?”
“If you wouldn’t mind just coming with me.”
He was trying to guide her away from her seat. “My son!”
She reached for Jonah and grabbed hold of his arm and then quickly picked up their coats.
As she followed the man, another security guard stepped in behind them. Jonah moved up closer to her.
“Where are we going?”
“I don’t know.” She reached out for the man in front of her as they headed toward the side of the arena. “Sir, where are we going?”
“I’ve been asked to take you backstage.”
Melissa let out a breath. “Is this for the meet and greet?”
“No.” The guard narrowed his gaze on her.
“Oh, we have passes.” She pulled the pass from under her shirt.
“No, ma’am, this has nothing to do with that. Mr. Charles would like to sing to you. He’s requested you on stage.”

Certainly there was some kind of mistake. The radio station hadn’t said anything about getting on stage.
Her heart pounded faster than the rhythm of the song blaring thought the arena.
Jonah had grabbed hold of her hand. “Mom! He wants to sing to you!”

“I don’t like this.”

The men were leading them down a corridor The music was muffled, but as they turned the corner, she could see the stage and Jesse Charles was only a few feet in front of them, performing for thousands.

“What if I don’t want to do this?”

The security guard gave her a shrug.
Jonah stepped between them and looked up at her. “Mom, this is fun. Go.”

When did a ten-year-old tell his mother what to do? But then she noticed the glimmer in his eyes and the smile that still turned his lips up at the corners. She couldn’t let him down.
She handed Jonah her coat, straightened her clothes, and ran her fingers through the wild curls which went every which direction. This had to be some kind of a joke for the superstar. 

What a mother wouldn’t do for the joy of her child.