Poem By Ben Ditmars Aka The Midnight Writer

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struggling with this relapse
from an abstinence inside you

denying what we are and
what we feel

marriage was the moment
I undressed you with my eyes,
barebacked on the amygdala

and you in stormy silence
did the same.

© Ben Ditmars 2016

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Photograph Courtesy of Kim Stapf

#poetry

New Release: Wild Goose Chase by Jan Romes

imageimageimageWILD GOOSE CHASE ♥
From The Wild Rose Press and Jan Romes comes…
WILD GOOSE CHASE!

My excitement has been building the past few months in anticipation of sharing Olivia and Dezz’s story with you. They’re a unique couple – like-minded nerds who love the written word. You’d think their mutual interest would’ve drawn them together. Nope. It didn’t. Instead of navigating and enjoying the familiar, they become fiercely competitive. Olivia and Dezz’s troubles started in kindergarten and kept going into adulthood. Born and raised in Iowa, they take a job in the Big Apple working for Brilliance Magazine. Olivia’s angst with Dezz heightens to the point of madness. In the mix is their boss, Magda Mattsin, who has had enough of their bickering. To fix their situation (or not), she sends them on a two-week road trip. Separately they’re to find fourteen serendipitous things to enchant their readers.

Did I mention there’s a ton of chemistry brewing too? (Much to Olivia’s dismay) And so sets the stage for plenty of conflict, humor, serious issues, and a resolution that just may give you that moment of “ahhh” when you reach The End.

Photo courtesy of Kim Stapf

Wild Goose Chase is my 20th published book! I can remember when I was desperately trying to get my bearings with book #1. Now here I am at #20. I’m grateful for my publishers, my readers, my family and friends who said ‘go for it’ and who match my excitement with each book, and The Lord who unlocked the potential and continues to guide me every step of the way.

In celebration, I’m giving away some great prizes:

1 – $25 Amazon Gift Card
1 – $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
4 – $10 The Wild Rose Press Gift Cards
2 – e-copies of my very 1st book – One Small Fib
2 – e-copies of Lucky Ducks

** To enter to win, all you have to do is leave a comment saying hello or anything else you’d like to say to me (just keep it clean…*grins*). Please make sure I can find you either by leaving your email address, Twitter name, or Facebook link in case you win one of the prizes. On Monday, May 16th at 12:00 noon (Eastern Standard Time), I’ll be drawing names and I will post them here. **

Thank you for being part of my excitement!! ♥♥

Photo courtesy of Kim Stapf

Here’s the links to find WILD GOOSE CHASE…

The Wild Rose Press — http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/3817-wild-goose-chase.html?search_query=Jan+Romes&results=7

Amazon — https://www.amazon.com/Wild-Goose-Chase-Jan-Romes-ebook/dp/B01DHAUQRQ?ie=UTF8&keywords=Wild%20Goose%20Chase&qid=1462824844&ref_=sr_1_4&sr=8-4

Barnes & Noble — http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wild-goose-chase-jan-romes/1123611430?ean=2940157863975

Burned: I’d Rather Be Growing Grapes By Jan Romes

Anytime I want to laugh, feel good inside, I read one of Jan’s books. Her Characters have sass, humor and love, especially in this book. So many women in one place fighting for a studs hand in marriage. Just like The Bachelor, the tv series, set in a small Ohio town, twenty ladies are vying for Beau Reinhart’s heart. Sabrina Kerrigan’s sister Lilith signed her up for the contest without her knowledge. Lilith thought Sabrina needed a little help finding the right man after what she just went through. Sabrina doesn’t want to do it, but the reason the contest is being held draws her in. Can you imagine what’s going to happen with twenty women fighting for Beau’s attention. Sabrina is a kitchen worker at a school cafeteria, can she compete with these other women? Sabrina thinks any man who is willing to do this has to be a someone she doesn’t want to know. Will Beau Reinhart fall under this category? You’ll have to this awesome, fun book to find out. As with all this author’s books, it’s well written with strong characters. I totally recommend this book to anyone wanting a feel good read.

It’s my pleasure to have Ciara Ballintyne’s New Realease on my blog!! #newRelease

imageBallintyne’s Epic Fantasy ‘In the Company of the Dead’
<center><h4>Only a fool crosses a god, but Ellaeva and Lyram will do anything to get what they want.</h4></center>
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<center><a href=” https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/snuhyrixjy2a7xi/InTheCompanyOfTheDead_300dpi_1842x2763%20FINAL.jpg?dl=0&#8243; rel=”attachment wp-att-3739″><img src=” https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/snuhyrixjy2a7xi/InTheCompanyOfTheDead_300dpi_1842x2763%20FINAL.jpg?dl=0&#8243; alt=”InTheCompanyOfTheDead_300dpi_1842x2763 FINAL” width=”600″ height=”900″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-3739″ /></a></center>

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Title: In the Company of the Dead
Author: Ciara Ballintyne
Series: The Sundered Oath #1
Genre: Epic Fantasy/Fantasy Romance

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<p>Chosen as a five-year-old orphan to be the Left Hand of Death, Ellaeva has nothing to call her own—nothing except a desire to avenge her murdered parents. Her duties leave her no time to pursue the man responsible, until both her work and revenge lead to the same place—the lonely castle where Lyram Aharris is serving out his exile for striking his prince.<p>

<p>Lyram is third in line for the throne, and when the castle is unexpectedly besieged, he fears his prince means to remove him from contention for the crown permanently. Ellaeva’s arrival brings hope, until she reveals she has not come for the siege, but instead she hunts the castle for a hidden necromancer dedicated to the dark god of decay.</p>

<p>Within their stone prison, Ellaeva and Lyram must fight to save themselves from political machinations and clashing gods. But as the siege lengthens, the greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.</p></blockquote>
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Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Other

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Chapter 1
Premonition

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Only a fool would split hairs with a god, least of all the goddess of death, but Ellaeva would count herself such a fool and consider it worth it—if she could get away with it.

She leaned across the knife-scarred timber of the tavern table.

“Are you sure?” she asked, her tone even and barely loud enough to be audible over the noise of the flute and the zither. Her work on behalf of the goddess Ahura, adjudicating the small war here in Dayhl, could only be abandoned in favour of a greater threat. If she was going to chase off after the man who killed her parents, she needed to be sure her arguments stacked up. The pursuit of personal justice wouldn’t be enough.

Is it justice or revenge?

No time to worry about that now. She tugged her black hood farther down over her infamous face, even though deep shadows blanketed the common room corner. She’d chosen a table far from the tallow candles mounted in their stag-horn chandeliers. There was no point taking chances; the black hair and porcelain skin of a Tembran would be remarked here among the platinum-haired Dayhlish. Besides, someone might recognise her.

“In Ahlleyn, sure as the spring comes after winter, Holiness.” The narrow-faced man across from her grinned, baring teeth more brown than yellow. The acrid smoke from the candles didn’t cover his pungent breath.

She half-stood, making an urgent, negating gesture as she glanced around, but the hubbub of chatter from the patrons and the music covered his slip. No one even glanced their way. On the far side of the room, away from the two blazing hearths, tables were pushed aside for dancing. She dropped back into her seat, her black robes fluttering around her booted feet.

Ahlleyn lay on the other side of the continent, months of travel by horse. If her informant was right and a Rahmyrrim priest had been dispatched there, he would likely be gone long before she arrived—unless she begged a favour, but she’d not do that for a lark of her own. However, if it meant catching the man who killed her parents, well then maybe she could come up with an argument that would hold water for a god. Old grief and anger, stale from a decade or more, stirred in her gut, and her fingers curled around the edge of the table.

Releasing her grip, she reached to the inner pocket in her robes where rested the smudged charcoal drawing of a man. Hard work and luck had helped her obtain that picture of the man she believed killed her parents—a man she knew to be a priest of Rahmyr. If she decided to act against her standing orders, then she needed to be sure it was the man she was after, and that he was involved in some act heinous enough to attract her goddess’s attention.

“Did you get the name of this priest? Or his description?” An unknown number of priests served Rahmyr, but she knew six by sight—six still alive anyway.

The thin man shook his head. “Nobody mentioned. I got the impression he’s already there, or on his way leastways.”

She scowled. No way to be sure then that this was the man she wanted. Begging favours of Ahura for her personal satisfaction was a risky business, especially if she neglected her duties, and perhaps it would all be for nothing.

With one hand, she flattened the map that curled on the table between them. The patrons behind them exploded with laughter at something unheard. Ignoring the noise, she stabbed her finger at an unmarked portion of the map in the foothills of the Ahlleyn mountains. If he didn’t know who, maybe he knew the what. “There, you say? What possible interest could Rahmyr have there? There’s nothing of interest at all.”

She lowered her voice even further as she uttered the name of the goddess of decay, and glanced around again. That name spoken too loudly would bring unwanted attention. But nearly all the tavern patrons were busy whirling on the impromptu dance floor or lined up to watch the dancers, their backs to her.

The nameless man leaned forward, treating her to another stomach-clenching blast of foul breath, and touched a spot perhaps half an inch away from her finger. A tiny, unlabelled picture marked something there.

“Here, Holiness.”

She squinted at the picture, letting his lapse slide. The image represented a holy place. There was an old shrine to Ahura somewhere in the Ahlleyn Borders, wasn’t there? And a castle built over it. “Caisteal Aingeal an Bhais.”

“That sounds like the name,” he agreed. “Never could get my mouth around them Ahlleyn words. Pink castle, I heard.”

She grunted. That was the one. “There’s still nothing there.”

Nothing of interest to Rahmyr anyway. The shrine wasn’t particularly important, and the castle held no political significance.

“What’s there,” the man said, “is Lyram Aharris.”

The premonition went through her like a blast of icy wind, stiffening her in her chair as the hand of the goddess brushed against her mind. A light caress, but from a giant, and so it sent her mind reeling. She clutched the table for support. Lyram Aharris’s reputation preceded him the length of the continent: eight years ago, at the age of twenty-seven, he’d brought an end to the centuries-long conflict between Ahlleyn and Velena through a series of brilliant military manoeuvres. He’d survived the Siege of Invergahr against near-impossible odds, brought the crown prince safely clear of the conflict, and fought the Velenese to a standstill using their own guerrilla warfare tactics against them. As a novice, she’d covered the tactics thoroughly as part of her studies. The man was a military genius. That he was third in line for the throne of Ahlleyn was the least there was to know about him—at least it was, until his king dismissed him from court. The rumours on everyone’s lips said he murdered his wife, even if no one could prove it.

What did Rahmyr want with him?

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<span lang=”EN-GB” style=”font-family: &quot;Garamond&quot;,serif; font-size: 12.0pt;”> Ciara Ballintyne grew up on a steady diet of adult epic fantasy from the age of nine, leaving her with a rather confused outlook on life – she believes the good guys should always win, but knows they often don’t. She is an oxymoron; an idealistic cynic.</p>

She began her first attempts at the craft of writing in 1992, culminating in the publication of her debut work, <i>Confronting the Demon</i>, in 2013. Her first book to be published with Evolved Publishing is <i>In the Company of the Dead</i>. She holds degrees in law and accounting, and is a practising financial services lawyer. In her spare time, she speculates about taking over the world – how hard can it really be?</p>

If she could be anything, she’d choose a dragon, but if she is honest she shares more in common with Dr. Gregory House of House M.D. – both the good and the bad. She is a browncoat, a saltgunner, a Whedonite, a Sherlockian, a Ringer and a Whovian… OK, most major geek fandoms. Her alignment is chaotic good. She is an INTJ.</p>

Ciara lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, her two daughters, and a growing menagerie of animals that unfortunately includes no dragons.</p>

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