Love on the Line Book Tour & Giveaway

on the Line
at Work Book 1
Kirsten Fullmer
Women’s Fiction, Romance
may not have pipeline know-how, per se, but she’s got brains and
every right to prove that she can do the job. Her estranged grandpa,
Buck, believes she has what it takes to be his engineering assistant,
and she’s not about to let him down.



isn’t a bad guy. He respects women; he was raised by one of the
best. But that new girl is too small and… feminine. She’s a
distraction, plain and simple, and she doesn’t belong on a
pipeline. This job is his chance to impress Buck Brennan, a pipelinelegend, and no girly greenhorn is going to ruin it for him.



Andy prove herself to her grandfather and forge a relationship with
the old man, or will continuous disagreements and unexpected sexual
tension between Andy and Rooster derail their hard work?


.99 cents!!**

grew up in the Western US and graduated from high school in
1984. She married soon there after and quickly built a family.
With three young children and number four on the way, she returned to
college in 1992. Her career as a draftsman included many settings
ranging from a steel fabrication shops to prestigious engineering
firms. Balancing family life with the workplace forced her to
become the queen of multitasking. In 2001, bored with the cubical
life, she moved on to teach drafting in technical college, then to
opening her own consulting firm teaching 3D engineering software. Due
to health problems, Kirsten retired in 2012 to travel with her
husband for his job. She now works writing romance novels and enjoys
spoiling her three grandchildren. Since 2017 Kirsten has lived and
worked full time in a 40′ travel trailer with her husband and her
little dog Bingo.
Andrea couldn’t ignore her boots. Not only were they stiff and chafing her ankles,
they were clean. Practically spotless. Then again, she reasoned, the men weren’t
staring at her feet.
Hunching her shoulders, she clutched at the ends of her shirtsleeves, gripping
them over her fingers like a cocoon. It was too warm for her heavy coat, but down
right chilly without it. Much like this whole idea had been, she scoffed to herself: too
good to pass up, and too outrageous to accept. But here she was.
“You take them papers on over to the man behind the desk,” Grandpa Buck
instructed, pointing toward the office manager.
She peered up at the tall thin man who’d brought her to the mountains of West
Virginia, and her mother’s words rang in her mind for the umpteenth time. “He’s no
good Andrea, you can’t depend on him.” But then her mother had many opinions, and
the woman made sure everyone within earshot knew exactly what she thought.
Buck nudged her with his elbow and pointed again at the desk.
With a silent nod, Andy put her thoughts aside, collected the stack of papers from
the table, and headed across the room. Careful to avoid eye contact, she shouldered
past the men gathered around the heater, wishing she had the confidence to join
them and soak up some warmth.
At the front of the office trailer, she turned the employment forms on end and
bumped the bottom of the stack on the counter to even them up. The thump of the
papers sounded like a gunshot in the hushed room and she stifled the reflex to flinch.
The man behind the counter didn’t turn from his computer, so Andy placed the
paperwork on the dusty worktop and waited, trying not to fidget.
Moments stretched out, long and quiet but for the humming buzz of the heater.
Someone cleared his throat. The stares of the men bored into her back, making the
silence surpass the discomfort of the cold. She scoffed at her situation, struggling to
conquer the near hysteria rising in the pit of her stomach. For the first time in her life
she had everyone’s attention, and she flat out wished she were invisible. Buck had
warned her that there wouldn’t be many women on the pipeline, but in her mind, not
many meant she’d be one of a few, not the only one.
“Don’t mind em starin’,” Buck had advised in his typical brusque manner. “They’ll
get used to ya soon enough.” The bigger question was, would she get used to them?
“For heaven sakes,” she huffed under her breath. Considering her oversized
clothes and heavy insulated coveralls, she probably looked more like the Pillsbury
doughboy than a woman anyway. She tossed a self-conscious glance downward.
Admittedly, she’d had to extend the straps of her coveralls all the way out in order to
stretch across her more than ample chest, but it wasn’t like she was wearing a bikini.
The heater clicked and whirred, and the smell of burnt coffee wafted across the
room. Boots shuffled on the dirty floor behind her. Unable to stand still, Andy turned
to glance at the clock on the wall. The men behind her jumped, feet scuffing, all eyes
averted to the ceiling or their hands, anywhere but on her.
Pretending not to notice, she turned back toward the counter. Her aunt June once
said “Large bosomed women will rule the world!” but Andy couldn’t see how that
could happen when most folks just stared at the straining buttons on the front of hershirt and–
“You got this paperwork finished?” the office manager asked, pulling the stack of
papers toward him.
Jumping in her skin, she glanced up to make eye contact with the man. “I… yes.”
She’d have to pay better attention. She knew when she was nervous her thoughts
tended to jump around like a lunatic monkey. She had to keep a handle on that.
The man behind the counter regarded her momentarily over his reading glasses,
reminding Andy of her father. The thought was followed directly by a sharp pang of
homesickness. But the man leafed through the sheaf of papers, oblivious of her
pained expression, so she sucked in a deep breath, resolved to stay on task.
With a sniff he affixed a paperclip to the stack, then turned to toss them on the
growing pile of forms on his desk. He puffed out a sigh and met her eye with one
brow raised in speculation. “I take it you’ll need PPE?”
Andy’s thoughts spun through the million bits of pipeline information she’d
managed to extract from Buck over the last twenty-four hours. Several snickers
bounced through the group behind her as she floundered.
Squaring her shoulders, she pushed forward. “More than likely…”
“Come on,” the office manager replied, motioning for her to follow.
At the end of the narrow counter stood a haphazard stack of cardboard boxes
filled with hard hats and safety vests. He pointed at the gear. “Take one of each and
sign the form on the clipboard.”
“Personal Protective Equipment,” She mumbled, irritated that the acronym had
slipped her mind. “Thanks.”
The office manager returned to his computer and Andy bent to select a white hard
hat with its accompanying bag of parts, and a cellophane wrapped pair of dark tinted
safety glasses. One glance at the box containing bright yellow vests and she sighed.
Not that she minded the color, safety yellow made her look tan, it was the lack of
gear anywhere near her size that gave her pause. Outdoor work clothes for small
busty women were in short supply, evidently. Even the cursed steel-toed boots had
been hard to find in her size.
Balancing her new hardhat on the counter, she placed her safety glasses inside
the hat and bent with a grunt to kneel in the cramped space by the boxes. Cussing
the layers of clothing hampering her movement, she searched in vain for a vest that
was any size other than a man’s extra large. Finally she gave up and snatched up a
vest, scribbled her signature on the pad, then collected her hat and glasses and
turned back toward the crowded room. It was impossible not to notice that the other
men’s vests were dingy from multiple washes, as well as smudged with mud smears
and splatters. Hers practically glowed in the dark by comparison. I’ll stand out like
scarecrow, she thought in disgust. One thing was certain though; the vest would fit
around her chest without any problem.
About the time she shrugged into the huge vest, trying it on for size and finding
that it hung well past her hips, the door of the office opened, pushing in a blast of
frigid air that sucked Andy’s breath away. She jumped at the shock, knocking her
safety glasses to the floor. With a shudder she bent to pick them up.
“Rooster!” the workers cheered, hands raised in greeting.
A man leaned into the wind to close the door, then nodded a hello to the group.
Andy peered around the base of the counter at the new arrival, her fingers frozen in
mid air as they reached for her forgotten glasses.

At first, the man referred to as Rooster looked much like the others in the group,
but when he turned from the door Andy was shocked to find him younger and far
more attractive than the typical middle-aged, paunchy, laborer. He wore a heavy-duty
work coat over a flannel shirt, and his tinted safety glasses were perched on the brim
of his ball cap.
Like most men in the room, the skin around his eyes was two shades lighter than
the rest of his face, resembling a reversed raccoon. Unlike the others, his dark beard
was neatly trimmed. He carried a hard hat covered in stickers tucked under one arm.
“How’s your mom-an-‘em?” a giant, red-faced worker standing near the door
bellowed as he thumped the younger man on the shoulder.
“Tiny,” Rooster grinned, extending his hand. “They’re well, thanks, and your
The big man beamed as he pumped Rooster’s hand up and down. “Ornery as
ever, I’d expect.”
Rooster nodded and turned away to scan the crowd, taking in the crew with nods
of recognition. Andy couldn’t help but note that his gaze lurched to a halt on her
Grandpa Buck.
She stood, partially hidden by the end of the counter and shrugged out of the vest.
She wasn’t necessarily great at reading people, but she noticed something change in
the younger man’s expression when he spotted Buck. What was it, wariness maybe?
At least the arrival of Rooster seemed to have shifted the men’s attention away
from her.
With purposeful strides, Rooster headed across the crowded room, calling out
greetings along the way. A relaxed mood filtered through the group as he passed,
and the men now talked amongst themselves, raising the noise level in the small
trailer to a dull roar.
Rooster met Buck with a handshake. Andy couldn’t hear what was said, but it
didn’t appear to be much more than an introduction, then Buck turned to the crew.
“Men,” he hollered over the din, “Let’s head on into training.”
Laughter and joking subsided as the group shifted their hats and cold weather
gear, feet shuffling, to plod toward the little room at the back of the trailer. Andy
collected her hat and glasses and brought up the rear, thinking perhaps she could
slip into a seat in the back without drawing much attention. Unfortunately, those seats
had been filled first and the only remaining chair was in the front of the room.
As she stood in the doorway watching the men settle onto the folding chairs, she
contemplated the best route to the few empty seats at the far end of the front row.
Through the mutters and scuffles of the chairs on the floor, Andy became aware that
the stares of the men fell on her once again. In every eye was a question, a taunt, or
a glimmer that left her feeling… inadequate. Most of their eyes eventually landed
directly on her chest, as if they expected the extended straps of her coveralls to give
out at any moment.
This was not what she’d envisioned at all. She’d come here to work, and work she
would. But a niggling sensation in her stomach reminded her otherwise. This job was
far more than a way to earn money. It was the chance to escape. Her gaze lit on
Buck and held there. The opportunity to spend time with her grandfather had been
part of it too. The man was a mystery to her.
Granted, she didn’t have any idea what building a pipeline would be like, but
standing out in a crowd had never been comfortable for her. She figured she would

just be another worker, not a spectacle.
The silence in the room grew uncomfortable prompting Andy to once again
contemplate how to get past the men to the chair in the corner. Squaring her
shoulders, she swallowed hard and gathered all the courage she could muster.
Momentarily she contemplated turning to run, but her father’s earnest goodbye
advice came to mind. “You’ll do fine, Honey, just keep your chin up.”
Resolute, she stepped forward, but when she reached the front row her heart fell
further. As the men settled into their seats, most had crossed one muddy boot over
the other knee, making it impossible for her to pass. How had four years of college
and reading hundreds of books about people in life threatening situations, left her
unprepared her for this? Was it so hard to get to a chair? None of the women in her
novels had struggled with such trivial problems.
The worker she recognized as Tiny sat at the end of the row. His bearded chin
lifted and he peered up at her in question, as if he had no clue what on earth she
could possibly want from him. Then his face flushed even redder than before as he
realized she needed him to move. He jolted to his feet, causing the hard hat in his lap
to clatter on the floor and roll in a circle.
“Sorry ma’am,” he muttered as he maneuvered to let her pass.
The men in the room snorted and chuckled.
One at a time, the workers stood to let her move past. Making a quick choice, she
decided to face the men chest to chest, as she passed. She couldn’t imagine trying to
pass each one with her hinny toward them, but she immediately doubted her
decision. Some of the guys stared her hard in the eye as she shuffled by, others
nodded solemnly then looked away. In the close quarters, her chest barely cleared
theirs, and she leaned back in an effort to avoid contact. One worker jeered at her
openly, disrespect obvious on his scruffy face as he glanced from her face to her
chest and back. Mumbles rumbled through the room, and as she turned to sit, Andy’s
gaze snagged on Rooster scowling at her from the third row.
Once again her mother’s voice rang in the back of her mind. “Stay home where

you belong. You’ll love grad school, just be patient. No need to go running off half-

Setting her jaw, she turned to the front. Half-cocked indeed, she thought. What
have I done? Besides break my mother’s heart, that is. Back home, at least I knew
where I stood. Well, most of the time anyway…
A fifty-ish woman entered and bustled to the front of the class. “Good morning,” she
called out, brushing her greying bangs out of her eyes. Although she wore jeans and
a t-shirt like the other men, hers were too tight, outlining every ample curve, panty
line, and bulge. Her attire was also far too clean to have seen much action outdoors.
Her clothing somehow resembled a costume, an effort to dress up like a pipeliner
rather than actually be one.
Like she had room to talk, Andy admonished herself.
The woman readjusted her paperwork, all the while her eyes scanning the group of
men. When her gaze lit on Andy she froze in shock, causing the men to snicker. The
woman recovered, did one more double take in Andy’s direction, then perched
reading glasses on the end of her nose and cleared her throat. “Let’s begin…I’m
Molly, the safety coordinator. ”
Glancing from man to man, Andy remembered what Buck had told her that
morning. “All the workers are required to take a safety class at the start of a job.”

The gruff old man hadn’t offered an opinion about Molly one way or the other, but
Andy got the distinct impression that the men in the room had little respect for the
safety lady or the information she shared. It was obvious to her that the men didn’t
care for Molly. The way one man adjusted his hat lower over his eyes, and another
picked at dirt on his jeans, told her they were neither interested nor engaged.
Saddened, Andy wondered if it was because Molly was a woman, or if they felt
demeaned by being required to attend the training over and over. Or both.
As Molly droned on and on about procedure, Andy struggled to pay attention. She
expected the information Molly shared to help her prepare for the work ahead, but
even with her limited knowledge of the job, the safety topics covered seemed
ridiculously basic: drug-testing policy, no weapons on the job site, no fighting. In an
attempt to stay awake, Andy turned to glance over her shoulder at Buck. He sat in
the back row, slumped down in his chair, arms crossed over his chest, with his safety
glasses on and his hat brim pulled low. The old man was catching a nap, she
realized. They had certainly got up far too early that morning. After yesterday’s tearful
airport goodbyes, and hours of travel, she was exhausted as well as stuck in the
wrong time zone. And even though her bed had been comfortable enough, she’d
been so nervous she hadn’t slept.
She always had trouble sleeping when she started something new, like the first day
of grad school. Then again she more than likely hadn’t slept then because she
dreaded it rather than–
Molly thumped her binder closed, signaling the end of class, and Andy’s head
whipped up to attention. The older woman passed a stack of palm size papers to
Tiny. He took one and passed the stack along. When they came to Andy she took
one, then handed the rest to the man behind her. Curious, she turned the paper over
and realized it was a safety sticker for attending the class. Unsure what to do with it,
she stood to survey the noisy crowd, dreading the journey back to the door. The
man behind her peeled the back off his sticker and pressed it onto his grimy hard hat.

“So that’s where the stickers come from…” she muttered holding up her yet-to- be-
assembled hat, wondering if there was a specific location for the sticker.

Molly pressed her way past the crowd of men to Andy’s side, her eyes bright with
excitement. “Oh my!” she said loudly as she pursued Andy from head to foot. “Don’t
you look cute!”
Andy stiffened. She didn’t need any help appearing different in front of the men.
She cocked her head to one side, her sharp gaze taking in every aspect of the safety
woman, but it was difficult to assess much past Molly’s floral perfume. The fumes
were overpowering to the point of making Andy’s eyes water.
“I didn’t know they made Carhart coveralls so small,” Molly gushed, “Where ever
did you find those?”
“At the store.” Andy replied, taking a step back to disengage the woman. “Well,
they’re absolutely adorable…”
Adorable? Insulated coveralls? With an irritated shrug, Andy tried to sidestep
around Molly and follow the other workers, but the older woman grabbed her arm.
“I’m glad to see you here,” Molly continued, her expression serious. “Us girls need
to stick together.”
Buck had offered Andy only one bit of advice that morning, and it had been short
and simple. “Don’t let nobody push you around out there.” Molly may be the only
other woman on the job so far, but Andy had no intention of being cowed on day one,

so she offered a grimace of a smile and tugged her arm from the older woman’s
grasp. She may need to gain allies, but something told her that this woman wasn’t
the place to start.
Back in the front office, Andy spotted Buck near the heater, surrounded by men.
She wandered to the edge of the group, picking up scraps of the conversation. From
the corner of her eye she spotted Buck’s hardhat on the table alongside his stack of
site plans and clipboard filled with paperwork. She could see small safety stickers
randomly stuck on his hat, so she stuffed her safety glasses into her overall pocket,
then tucked her hard hat shell under one arm and cautiously peeled the sticker off it’s
Careful not to wrinkle the thing, she retrieved her hat, turning it this way and that
as she looked for a good spot. As she assessed the hat, the plastic bag containing
the inner workings fell on the floor.
Embarrassed, she attached the sticker on what she hoped was the front, then
tipped the hat over to look inside. Having never held a hardhat, she had no way to
know it would be just a blank plastic bowl. She bent to collect the bag of parts
consisting of a crisscross assembly with a nob on one side. Obviously the items in
the bag fit on the inside of the shell to keep the thing on her head.
The workers paid her no attention as they stood talking and joking amongst
themselves, so Andy sidled closer to the table and lifted her grandfather’s hat for a
peek inside. Sure enough, the crisscross part fit into slots on the inside of the shell.
She’d never been much good at working puzzles under pressure. Left to her own
devices she could figure things out, but she hated looking like a fool. And
unfortunately, this job was prime territory to look clueless. Which she definitely was.
The last time she’d felt this insecure was back in her Human physiology class and the
professor had–
The door slammed, bringing her back to reality with a jolt. Quickly she replaced
Buck’s hat on the table and side stepped, attempting to appear nonchalant as she
inserted the assembly into her hat. How difficult could it be to put together a hard hat
after all? As luck would have it, more difficult than she thought. The tabs didn’t line up
with the slots.
“You have it backwards.”
Andy glanced up to find Rooster at her shoulder, and did a double take in surprise.
He was even more handsome and imposing up close. She’d always been small for
her age, even full grown she was only five foot two. Next to Rooster’s six foot three,
she felt at a disadvantage. She hated feeling this way and it was sadly becoming the
His sky blue eyes assessed her in a penetrating manner.
She turned the hat in her hands. Sure enough, the slots matched up, but with
Rooster glaring over her shoulder, her hands trembled. The tabs on the headpiece
should have slid into the notches, but for whatever reason they didn’t fit.
She glanced up at Rooster in question and he nodded, confirming that she had it
right, so she tried again. Using both thumbs she pressed harder on the plastic.
Nothing happened. She gritted her teeth and braced the hardhat against her
stomach. Still no luck, damn it all!
“Give it here,” Rooster huffed as he snatched the hat away. With little effort he
snapped the plastic lining into the hat and pushed it back at Andy. He didn’t say
anything as he walked away, but his opinion of her was clear. Pure disgust.

Andy watched his retreating back as he made his way through the crowd to the door.
For the hundredth time that morning she wondered what on earth she’d been thinking
to come here.
“You ready?” Buck asked at her elbow, bringing her back to the present. Then
without waiting for a reply, he turned away.
One of the workers tossed a curious glance her way and she offered a limp grin.
The man turned away to mutter something about her to his coworker. Two more men
turned to stare at her over their shoulder. That familiar sick feeling she’d first
experienced on the plane crept back into her stomach. Her shoulders slumped.
“Get your coat, I’ll meet you at the truck.” Buck tossed over his shoulder.
That’s how the old man operated, she supposed. He’d issue a command then walk
away. Maybe her mother was right about him. With a resigned glance toward the
door, she collected her coat from the back of a chair, and hurried to follow her
The men trudged out of the office, leaving the door wide open to bang in the wind
against the side of the trailer. Frigid air poured in, motivating Andy to shrug into the
heavy coat. Zipping the bulky thing, however, was no easy task as she juggled her
hardhat and vest and wove through the crowd of men.
On the wooden steps of the trailer she squinted across the yard into the sunrise.
With the freezing wind pulling at her hair and burning her cheeks, she plopped the
hard hat on her head and hunched down into the collar of her coat. The glare of sun
off the snow-covered ground was blinding, so with icy fingers she pulled the safety
glasses from her pocket and fumbled with the plastic wrapper.
When they’d arrived at the yard at just after five that morning, it had still been
dark, but she’d been aware of a few men loading trucks. Now, with her tinted safety
glasses on, she paused in shock at the hubbub spread before her.
The yard consisted of a huge, four-acres wide dirt patch, with trailers spread along
one side and pieces and parts of long three-foot diameter pipe organized in several
rows at the other end. Two inches of fresh snow had fallen the night before, but was
now churned into a muddy path of tire tracks made by a multitude of large trucks and
assorted vehicles, most still parked, back-end first, against the fence line.
Andy moved to one side of the steps and tugged her gloves from her coat pocket.
Continuing to gawk, she pulled them on.
A strange configuration of semi truck trailers near the office caught her attention.
One trailer was pulled in endwise with the hinged back doors open and a deck built
across them for access. Inside the trailer she could see what looked like a well lit and
heated office, but one entire inside wall of the trailer also contained three roll up
doors, with more trailers pulled up to the openings endwise, like a giant letter E. The
configuration was a brilliant way to bring in a warehouse full of supplies, she
supposed in fascination.
A large tank of some kind was situated at the other side of the yard, with trucks
lined up near it. In shock, she realized the men pumped gas from the tank. Weren’t
there regulations against pumping gas outside of a gas station? Men she recognized
from the class hustled in all directions, loading supplies into pickups, and onto flat
bed trucks. Some of the gear she didn’t recognize, but amid the materials she saw
ladders, chains, ropes, hoses, shovels, and cases of bottled water. Two men jostled
what appeared to be a heavy roll of black plastic onto one truck. Workers stood in
groups of two or three, smoking, laughing and talking as they hunched into their

coats in the wind.
She noticed several of the men turn to stare at her, and the ripple effect spread
across the yard, all eyes on her, as their conversation died. One man smirked and
elbowed another and a worker whistled a sexy call.
A lump formed in Andy’s throat, and her cheeks burned with heat, even through the
cold. The men ranged in age and body type, all wearing jeans and heavy coats, ball
caps or hard hats, tinted safety glasses, and most had a beard or goatee. And every
last one of them stared at her.

the tour HEREfor exclusive content and a giveaway!


Exile of the Seas Book Tour & Giveaway

of the Seas
of Dasnaria #2
Jeffe Kennedy
Dark Fantasy

Date: 9/4/18

the shifting borders of the Twelve Kingdoms, trade and conflict,
danger and adventure put every traveler on guard . . . but some have
everything to lose.


she was known as Jenna, Imperial Princess of Dasnaria, schooled in
graceful dance and comely submission. Until the man her parents
married her off to almost killed her with his brutality.
all she knows is that the ship she’s boarded is bound away from her
vicious homeland. The warrior woman aboard says Jenna’s skill in
dancing might translate into a more lethal ability. Danu’s fighter
priestesses will take her in, disguise her as one of their own—and
allow her to keep her silence.
it’s only a matter of time until Jenna’s monster of a husband
hunts her down. Her best chance to stay hidden is to hire out as
bodyguard to a caravan traveling to a far-off land, home to beasts
and people so unfamiliar they seem like part of a fairy tale. But her
supposed prowess in combat is a fraud. And sooner or later, Jenna’s
flight will end in battle—or betrayal . . .



of the Crown
of Dasnaria #1 
was raised to be beautiful, nothing more. And then the rules changed
. . .
icy Dasnaria, rival realm to the Twelve Kingdoms, a woman’s role is
to give pleasure, produce heirs, and question nothing. But a plot to
overthrow the emperor depends on the fate of his eldest daughter. And
the treachery at its heart will change more than one carefully
limited life . . .
Gilded Cage
Jenna has been raised in supreme luxury—and ignorance. Within the
sweet-scented, golden confines of the palace seraglio, she’s never
seen the sun, or a man, or even learned her numbers. But she’s been
schooled enough in the paths to a woman’s power. When her betrothal
is announced, she’s ready to begin the machinations that her mother
promises will take Jenna from ornament to queen.
the man named as Jenna’s husband is no innocent to be cozened or
prince to charm. He’s a monster in human form, and the horrors of
life under his thumb are clear within moments of her wedding vows. If
Jenna is to live, she must somehow break free—and for one born to a
soft prison, the way to cold, hard freedom will be a dangerous path


to Goodreads

Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans
decades. She lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine Coon cats, a border
collie, plentiful free-range lizards and a Doctor of Oriental
Medicine. Jeffe can be found online at, or every
Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog.


Chapter 1
I crept up to the Valeria’s deck in the predawn dark to watch the sun rise. Though I felt safer, and
smarter, keeping to the confines of my cabin, this one excursion had become a sort of habit. I clung to
the small rituals, the basic routine I’d been able to establish. Otherwise, I was as unmoored and
unanchored as the Valeria on her long ocean journey, sailing over unfathomable depths to unimaginable
Perhaps this was the nature of exile: that all the thrust was in the escape, the moving away. After that,
what did you have? If I am any example—and I’m the only example I had—then the answer was not
much at all.
I did have my habits, though.
The Valeria was powerful in a way I wasn’t and would likely never be. Ideally suited to her environment,
an extension of the waves and master of them, she possessed a singular direction and purpose. The very
things I lacked. Thus, I’d become oddly grateful and attached to the ship, inanimate though she was. As
long as I was aboard the Valeria, she provided purpose and direction for me. I clung to her the way an
infant burrowed into her mother’s breast, murmuring fervent prayers of thankfulness that she hadn’t
shrugged me off to drown in the cold, uncaring sea.
Mostly I kept to my cabin. The servant boys and girls brought my meals and fresh water, took away my
waste, and otherwise left me alone. It had been easy to adjust to being waited on, as I had been my
whole life, and I would’ve been at a loss to put together more than the most basic meal for myself. I
wouldn’t let them come in otherwise, which was a new freedom and power I enjoyed flexing. No
servants in the walls here, listening to my every movement. And I felt better with the door barred, even
though it was only one thin, wooden thing against the world. A world of a sailing ship on a vast,
unknowable ocean.
I slept a lot. Which was good because my body began to heal more. And I danced, to relieve the
boredom and to encourage flexibility, so I’d heal strong. Dancing felt familiar, too. Something I could do
alone in the dim cabin, one of the few things left that remind me of who I’d been.
No matter how much I slept, though, I always awoke early. Well before they brought my breakfast at the
seventh bell. In the darkness of my cabin, I marked time by the watch’s bells, practicing the simple count
from the longest toll at midnight to the dawn call. I woke. Listened for the six bells. Then unbarred my
door, made sure the passage remained empty, and slipped out.
A sort of daily exercise in escape.
Moving silently down the passageway of closed doors, I allowed myself to exult in that ability, one I’d
never expected to be what saved my life. All those years I practiced the traditional dances, particularly
the ducerse, which required utmost skill to keep the many bells from making sound until the preciselytimed moment. I’d thought I was preparing to dazzle my husband and make my emperor proud. Not
teaching myself stealth.
But stealth had turned out to be far more useful. It let me keep to the shadows, unnoticed. In my
brother Harlan’s too-big clothes, my hair shorn into a short fluff, I looked nothing like Her Imperial
Highness Princess Jenna of Dasnaria. If anyone on this foreign ship had ever heard of that doomed girl.
Nevertheless, I wrapped myself in the thick wool cloak, pulling the cowl deep around my face. It made
me feel safer, for no good reason, and I needed it for the chill. After a lifetime in the cloistered warmth
of the seraglio, it seemed I’d never be warm again.
On deck, the sky shone with incipient day. I hadn’t understood this before, that the sky lightens in color
before the sun appears. The paintings never show it that way. They depict night or day, sometimes
sunrise or sunset, but never those moments before or after. But predawn is different than night, and in
its soft in-between-ness, I could see well enough.
Keeping to the edges like a cat might, I skirted the main paths the sailors traveled as they did their jobs.
It meant I picked my way through the ropes, barrels, and other supplies lashed to the deck, but I viewed
that as another way to improve my dexterity, especially in the clunky boots I couldn’t seem to get used
to. In my cabin, I went barefoot, which felt natural and right, but going on deck, I put on shoes like I
wore the cloak. The more covering, the better.
It had been nearly a week, but I harbored no illusions about my ignorance of the world outside. I had no
idea how long I would have to run, or how far I’d have to travel to escape my pursuers. I’d been
unforgivably stupid about this in the past, so it seemed the only wise choice would be to assume that no
amount of time or distance would be enough.
At least that gave me a guideline. Never and nowhere might be places without finite boundaries, but I
could understand them.
The goats mewed at me from their pen next to the chickens as I passed, making the sounds so oddly like
the newborn kittens in the seraglio of the Imperial Palace, where I grew up. I stopped to scratch the
little horns on their heads, their fur soft and scraggly against my fingers. We’d become friends on this
journey. Goats and the Valeria—they kept me alive and kept my secrets.

the tour HEREfor exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!




Galactic Mandate Book Tour & Giveaway

Mandate: A Radical Cause
M.R. Richardson
SciFi, Space Opera
galaxy is in turmoil. The two main powers, the Acolyte Empire and the
Clone Defense Force, vie for supremacy. 




in between are the weaker Galactic Planetary League and independent
planets, pawns to be used and discarded in the greater game. The
peace of the galaxy rests on a powder keg…and the fuse is about to
be lit.



the son of the Acolyte Emperor God-Reign, Devante lives a life of
power and luxury that few can fathom.



childhood, he has devoted his life to one thing: freeing the clone
slaves of the CDF and banning the practice of cloning throughout the
galaxy. But he is about to uncover a secret that goes to the heart of
the empire he loves and serves, one that will set him on a course of
vengeance and destruction that will shake the galaxy to its



this backdrop of war, treachery, and intrigue, Galactic Mandate tells
an epic saga of god-emperors and assassins, spies and queens,
princesses and slaves.



lives of all will be irrevocably changed as Devante embraces his
destiny—for when empires collide, no one is safe, and there is no
place in the galaxy to hide.



Richardson is a new African-American science fiction author. He hopes
to spread a new type of story. Something raw, and original that
everyone over 18 can enjoy.

Richardson is the author of Galactic Mandate: A Radical Cause, and
the founder of Room 10 Publishing.

A clear, simulated sky covered the dome, its fake sun feeling just as warm as any real one.
Insects buzzed around, birds chirped, and the tropical bio-dome was full of life. Devante, a timid
boy, sat near his father, Reign, waiting for the hover car to arrive. It wasn’t long before an
immense tank-like vehicle pulled up, loaded with all the hunting gear they required.
“Take this shotgun,” Reign ordered. Looking down, he saw Devante’s eyes raised with concern.
“It will get the job done quickly. Trust me. You don’t want this to linger on.”
Devante stopped inspecting the gun and jumped aboard the hovering SUV. Then they were off
on their journey to complete the hunt.
About forty-five minutes passed while they tracked broken branches, searching for their prey.
Frustrated at not finding anything, the driver called out, “We can always call it a day. There’ll be
plenty of hunting to do tomorrow.”
“Hell no,” yelled Reign. “I paid good money for this. We get this done or we stay out here.”
Devante felt his sense of relief fade away at his father’s words. Suddenly, a bush shook, and the
driver fired at it. Laser fire scorched the air as he took two quick shots.
The entire party set out on foot, rushing after their quarry. Devante quickly outpaced his father,
following close behind the driver, who was an expert tracker. Soon, they heard a human voice
up ahead shouting, “Ahh!” This was followed by a thud. Suddenly, a rock struck the driver’s
face, and he smacked against the ground with another thud.
Devante looked down, his eyes focused on the sight before him. His mouth curled down in a
frown, and his eyes watered. The emotions flooding through him made his skin crawl with
horror. An exact copy of himself stared back, equally shocked.
The firm hands of his father came to rest on his shoulders. “Take the shot, son.”

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for exclusive content and a giveaway!




The Enigma Broker Book Tour & Giveaway



Enigma Broker
Enigma Series Book 8
Charles V. Breakfield & Roxanne E. Burkey
Techno Thriller
drops in world markets for oil, copper, coal, and other commodities
are destabilizing nations to the point of economic collapse. A
conspicuous increase in production numbers for primary oil producing
companies results in a call for help from governments and a large oil
distributor. The R-Group quietly engages amid fears that further
drops in value could devastate civilization.
Michaels is called directly by ePetro’s Mike Patrick, CEO of the
multinational oil broker, due to some prior data and network security
he had performed. The early investigation into the production number
manipulation by Jacob, with his coworker and lover, Petra, suggests
the problem is a result of hacking by a Dark Matter Organization.
Where is the DMO operating, who is at the helm driving commodity
prices down, and how does the search evolve into a perilous hunt
which puts Jacob, Petra, and other members of R-Group directly into
the path of mortal danger!?
leadership of the DMO is fierce and lethal when it comes to
protecting the organization and its plans of global commodities
market control. The enforcers of this agenda are quick to execute
orders without question as soon as they are issued. R-Group’s
advantage of leading technology resources, brilliant technologists,
and years of experience may not be enough to locate the genius source
bent on commodity market domination. Has cyber good versus evil from
the dark net become a challenge they simply cannot win?
Enigma Broker, by Breakfield and Burkey, the award-winning authors of
The Enigma Series, takes readers on a journey from the affluence of
London to the extreme poverty of Panama and everywhere in between.
The layers of planning and conspiracy by the cruel DMO supply
suspense and intrigue to the very end.



and Burkey
writing non-fictional papers and books, but it wasn’t nearly as fun
as writing fictional stories.They found it interesting to use the
aspects of technology that people are incorporating into their daily
lives more and more as a perfect way to create a good guy/bad guy
story with elements of travel to the various places they have
visited, either professionally and personally, humor, romance,
intrigue,suspense, and a spirited way to remember people who have
crossed paths with them. They love to talk about their stories with
private and public book readings. Burkey is also conducting regular
radio interviews with other authors,which is interesting. Her first
interview was, wait for it, Breakfield. You can often find them at
local book fairs or other family oriented events. 



original series is based on a family organization called R-Group.
Recently they have spawned a subgroup that contains some of the
original characters as the Cyber Assassins Technology Services (CATS)
team. The authors have ideas for continuing the series in both of
these tracks. They track the more than 150 characters on a
spreadsheet, with a hidden avenue for the future coined The Enigma
Chronicles tagged in some portions of the stories.Fan reviews seem to
frequently suggest that these would make good television or movie
stories, so the possibilities appear endless, just like their ideas
for new stories.
They have completed
book video trailers
for each of the stories,which can be viewed on YouTube, Amazon’s
Authors page, or on their website, website is routinely updated with new interviews, answers to
readers’ questions, book trailers, and contests. You may also find it
fascinating to check out the fun acronyms they create for the stories
but summarize on their website.


Quip added with his usual comedic observation, “Yeah, I see what you mean, since no one is
interested in buying extreme religious beliefs or terrorism, which are free exports anyway. They
really do need some more viable products that are desired exports. When your only marketable
raw resource is oil, you get branded as a one-trick-pony.”
Otto and Wolfgang rolled their eyes as Wolfgang resumed, “This turn of events has added
legitimate quantities of oil to the world markets, not just bogus numbers. However after being
ostracized from the international markets for so long, their accounting practices have
deteriorated, and they do not have the appropriate measures of financial governance to
participate with other international entities. Basically, their financial checks and balances,
required to play in the global marketplace, would be like having an uneducated teenager, from
some backwater farming community, show up at a high society gala dressed in overalls while
everyone else is in tuxedos and gowns. Their size may allow them in, but they would be
hopelessly outclassed in participating with the others.”
Otto puzzled that comment for a moment and then asked, “I admit that they may not be as
sophisticated as the others of the world market, but they have legitimate product to offer. Where
are you going with this, Wolfgang?”
Wolfgang responded, “If the so-called sophisticated oil commodity traders are being
maneuvered with bogus figures, how can this fresh entrant into the marketplace expect to
compete? I believe that their systems will be so porous that whomever is boosting the other
world producers will do the same to Iran, and inflate their production numbers with yet another
quasi-legitimate oil source. Moreover, they won’t have the financial discipline to resist selling for
an ever lower dollar per barrel price. I see them playing right into the hands of this DMO.”
Quip mused, “It’s as if this conspiracy is growing legs and walking off on its own. With
everything you are seeing, perhaps we should just turn around and float downstream with the
current instead of fighting it.”
Otto and Wolfgang both turned to give Quip a hard look, as Wolfgang tersely stated, “That is
exactly what happened when the Nazi party came to power in Germany in 1933. No one
contested their illegal activities because the economy was getting boosted by the flagrant
disregard of the laws.
“Now, here we are again, things are being manipulated inappropriately, but because the results
favor me currently, why should I complain? This situation is no different, because the laws of
civilization are being violated with the end game that we all will lose. Individuals, corporations,
nations, and belligerents must be made to play by the rules, or we all end up in a world war like
1939. We are here in this place and in this time with knowledge of history that clearly illustrates
that flagrant disregard for the law cannot be tolerated. The answer is always the same; either
stop it early, or stop it later. The only difference is how much more effort it takes to stop it later.”
Quip nodded thoughtfully and quietly stated, “Point taken.”

the tour HEREfor exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!




Cloudy Rainbow Book Tour & Giveaway

Debbie De Louise
Paranormal Romance
revised edition celebrates the 10th anniversary of the author’s
first published novel.
When you lose a
loved one, whether it’s a relative, friend, or precious pet, you
wonder where that special soul has gone and if you will ever see him
or her again. For Dulcie Mills, Long Island computer programmer, the
answer may lie between a virtual world and the real one, between the
past and the present, between dreams and reality.
Unable to get over
her fiancee’s death and facing the impending loss of her
15-year-old cat, Dulcie escapes to a virtual world. When Dulcie’s
best friend accepts a job from a clairvoyant who offers predictions
regarding Dulcie’s dead fiancée and Dulcie becomes attracted to an
online stranger, history begins to repeat itself in ways that are
both promising and terrifying. What Dulcie discovers through a
virtual séance may mean the only chance she has left for love or
death itself.
Addressing topics of
reincarnation and soul transfer in similar ways as Greg Iles’ Sleep
No More and Nora Roberts’ Midnight Bayou, Cloudy
Rainbow features an interesting mix of technology and the
paranormal and will also appeal to cat lovers. 




name is Debbie De Louise. I am a reference librarian at a public
library on Long Island and the award-winning author of the Cobble
Cove mystery series. I have a B.A. in English and an MLS in Library


My first novel, a paranormal romance, “CloudyRainbow” (Booklocker 2008) received an honorable mention in the
Writer’s Digest self-published awards. I wrote that book after my
beloved cat, Floppy, died from diabetic and liver complications. The
book is dedicated to him, and he is featured as a character in
My second novel, the first book of the Cobble Cove Mystery
series, “A Stone’s Throw,” (November 2015) was published by
Limitless Publishing, LLC. It is the story of a widowed librarian who
visits her husband’s hometown and finds a new love with the town’s
newspaper publisher but also discovers some alarming truths about her
husband’s death and its connection to the publisher and his family.
Along with a variety of characters, there is also a cat and dog who
play minor but interesting roles in the novel. The second Cobble Cove
Mystery, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” was released in
October 2016 by Solstice Publishing and a reprint of “A Stone’s
Throw” with an additional chapter was published in March, 2017.
The third book of the series, “Written in Stone,” was
released in April, 2017. I’ve also published a romantic comedy
novella, “When Jack Trumps Ace.”
I’m currently
working on a standalone mystery, Reason to Die, and have several
other writing projects planned for 2018 including a new cozy mystery
series along with the fourth volume of the Cobble Cove
I’m a member of International Thriller Writers,
Sisters-in-Crime, the Cat Writer’s Association, and Long Island
Authors Group and have published articles in Cats Magazine and Catnip
(Tufts University Veterinary Newsletter). I won the Glamour Puss
special award from Hartz Corporation for my article,
“Brushing your cat for bonding, beauty, and better health,”
(June, 2016). My short mystery, “Stitches in Time” was
published in the Cat Crimes Through Time Anthology, (1999). I have
also published several other short stories of various genres in
Solstice anthologies. I live on Long Island with my husband,
daughter, and our cat, Stripey.


Dulcie glanced to her left at the gray and white cat sitting next to her keyboard. Floppy, her fifteen-year-
old male shorthair, purred as she paused in her typing to pat his head.“I don’t mean to ignore you, big boy,” she murmured. “Visiting a virtual world isn’t as compelling as
spending real time with you.”
She hit the ESC key from the online game she’d been playing to pass the time and shut down her laptop.
She glanced around the tiny kitchen she used as an office.
Tonight, would be especially hard. Thank goodness for Floppy’s company. October 9th, three years ago.
She looked at her kitchen clock, which featured her name encircled by yellow roses that matched her
wallpaper. It was an apartment warming gift from her friend Valerie. She was lucky she’d been able to
bring Floppy to her new home. She couldn’t stay at Frank’s place. Too many memories, clouded now but
like light through a rainbow.
They would’ve been married two years this past summer, if a tragic accident hadn’t torn them apart.
Tears spilled down her cheeks. She wiped at them with the same hand that had petted the cat. He put out
his paw gently as if responding to her sadness. The whitebooted foot gently touched her elbow. She gazed
into his yellow eyes and wondered if he remembered Frank, was just responding to her feelings (cats were
intuitive that way) or was just asking for more attention or his supper.
She couldn’t sit here anymore, so she got up and went to the pantry to take out a can of cat food. As she
opened the chunky chicken feast with a pull of its flip-top lid, Floppy jumped off the table and bounded
toward her as fast as his old body could carry him. She was worried about his slower movements, and the
aging that was becoming more apparent recently. Although more indoor cats were living to twenty or
older, a cat over eight was considered a senior.
Dulcie had studied the cat age charts on the Internet and in her feline health books and knew that Floppy
would now be well into his seventies in human years. It seemed such a short time ago that she had first
adopted him and held him in her hands. Her roommate had found the stray kitten near her dormitory at
college. Many changes had happened in her life since then. She’d studied journalism in college, secretly
hoping to make a career out of being a reporter, to live the glamorous yet poor life of Lois Lane without a
Superman. Then Frank came along, and she switched from writing articles to writing computer programs
to be near him in the computer science classes he taught as a junior professor.
Floppy’s plaintive meow brought her back to the present, and she remembered that she still hadn’t
scooped cat food into his food bowl. “Sorry, fellow,” she
apologized. “Mom was just daydreaming, or nightdreaming since it’s almost time for bed.”
She watched him lap up the food and then cleaned and filled his water bowl. She knew she was just
putting off getting into bed tonight. In the last few months, she’d traded watching late night television for
playing a computer game called Virtual Universe. As fans of this game were eager to point out, it wasn’t
a game but a virtual world where people via the Internet highway were able to communicate under
different names and even create characters that represented themselves. Was this unlike the
pen names that some authors used or the characters that they wrote about in their books? But these
computer images—avatars— had identities and even interacted in this virtual space. She’d once gone
dancing using a computer animation with a guy who called himself Nero.
She’d immediately thought of the Roman emperor. But to give the guy credit, he didn’t have any tattoos
and hadn’t built up his biceps in any virtual gym. He was ordinary looking, if computer images could be
labeled ordinary. She ran into him occasionally when she logged on, and they’d chat for a bit. But neither
knew much about the other, and she wasn’t about to indulge in any online relationship. For
all she knew, Nero could be a woman or a married man.
“I think I’ll just stick with you, Flops,” she said, bending down to give her cat a pat as he finished his
She took a last glance at her laptop, stifled a yawn, and headed across the room to her daybed which
doubled as a sofa. Valerie often berated her about why she’d chosen such a small apartment. It wasn’t a
matter of cost. She didn’t need much. It was only her and Floppy. The converted garage apartment she’d
had years ago before Frank came back into her life was taken now, so she had to find something else.
Fresh starts in new places were always best after life-changing events.
She pulled open the bed and then went into the bathroom to brush her teeth and change into her cat
decorated nightshirt. When she finished, she turned off all the lights but the reading lamp, got under her
quilt that was also cat patterned, and opened the Nora Roberts book she was in the middle of reading.
Before she could start another page, Floppy was there, treading gently up to her pillow.She lay the book down and cuddled with him. It was relaxing to stroke his soft fur and listen to his purrs.
While it wasn’t the best substitute for a lover, it was easier and less stressful in many ways.


the tour HEREfor exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!