Friday, 13 November 2015

Quotes from Shielded Past by Patti Morelli

Welcome to my tour stop of Shielded Past by Patti Morelli.  The full tour schedule can be seen here.


Shielded Past is riveting and full of suspense. So many questions need to be answered. We find out about Kate’s life in foster care after being abandoned by her mother. We meet Annie Collins, her best friend since their high school days.

Kate meets her ideal man and they purchase their dream home. This home was restored to its magnificent grandeur by her husband Gregg, and it is here that the intrigue begins. There is a light that shines every evening from the adjacent abandoned Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey, and with this, the suspense commences. We journey with Kate and Annie as they seek answers to the source of the light.

It is not only the light they are seeking answers to, Kate’s past is also in question. Her seemingly bright future becomes more clouded by the unknown as the questions multiply. Kate wants to know who she is and finds out rather quickly that she was lucky to be shielded from her past. The forces that must be contended with are both dark and light. The two are not always distinguishable, and knowing who to trust is not always obvious. When Kate finds out her real surname, it connects her to a family she never knew existed. With the help of her new found family the past is unravelled and the truth about her parents is revealed.

Kate must now live with the memories of the horrors that were inflicted on her loved ones. Meet the man and learn his reasons for torturing so many innocent victims. The suspense does not end here.

There are questions that still remain. Was there a connection to her dream home and her past? Why does Kate and all those who love her feel that she is in danger?

Buy @ Amazon


Patti's first book was written under a pen name because the personal contents. Her book was the first in 2014 to received the Gold Seal of Literacy Excellence through Trafford Publishing.

Patti Morelli was born in Manhattan, she previously lived in Staten Island, New York and Marlboro, New Jersey. Patti now resides in Oxford, Florida

Patti has achieved success in business, politics, marriage, motherhood as well as the challenges life has given her. She is a mother of three and now enjoys the moments shared with her children and her two grandchildren.

Patti's husband suffered a massive stroke in 2008, being his caretaker has open a world she had never known before. She finds peace in her writing, Patti has been writing for over 30 years, she now has the confidence to publish her work.

Shielded Past was written over ten years ago, after Patti viewed the grounds of the Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital. She said standing in the halls of the building, she felt an eeriness that could not be explained. Through her vivid imagination and her love for suspense novels, she conjured up the characters and then invented what could have happened in this hospital many years before.


Kate walked over to the window and saw the light also. When the light moved, Sam barked again.
“You know something is out there, don’t you Sam, you’re a good boy.”

Annie walked over to one of the windows, exclaiming, “Look Kate you can see the side of your house from here. I can see your bedroom window. This must be the room that the light comes from and look, there is a staircase in the hallway.”

 “A family has been reunited because of their faith in God. They have truly suffered in the past and are being rewarded by the Lord because of their strong faith.  This is a day of rejoicing for this wonderful family and for all of us. This is a blessed day. Let us pray and praise the Lord for His mercy and kindness.”

“What a case. This man is like an onion, I peel one layer and another one appears. Where do I start?

One night, when I had gone to bed, he locked my door and then I heard the car leave. I looked out of my window towards the hospital and about ten minutes later I saw a light go on, it was on the second floor. I shuddered, remembering how he would go into Joshua’s room at night. Could that be Joshua’s room, I thought to myself?
 “I was not always this monster. I believed I was going to change the world for the better. I truly wanted to help people."

 “Are you kidding me? We are dealing with possibly two murderers out there and you are falling in love with me? Don’t you think there is something wrong with this picture?”

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Excerpts from Jo Barney’s Henlit Titles (Her Last Words, The Runaway, Never Too Late)

Welcome to the tour stop of for blog tour for the author Jo Barney for her three Henlit titles: Her Last Words, The Runaway and Never Too Late.  The tour runs from November 9 – 13 and will consist of reviews, guest posts, interviews and excerpts.  The full schedule can be seen here.


Every summer four old friends flock together at Madge’s seaside house to swap stories and sip wine. Throughout divorces, children, and new marriages, only the beach house and the sisterhood that comes with it, hold constant. This time, though, something is different
Madge, the writer friend who brought them all together, is acting strange. She asks them for a risky, unthinkable favor. And then one morning, she disappears.
In Madge’s absence, her friends discover the unfinished manuscript to what will be her final novel. It is the story of past forty years of their lives, a story that may reshape their futures.
Ellie is in her sixties, gruff and independent. She doesn’t expect much from life; it’s broken enough promises to her. The only ugliness in the world Ellie can truly clean up is the graffiti marring mailboxes in her neighborhood, and she centers her days around this as one of the few acts that gives her a little peace.
When a fifteen-year-old goth girl appears offering to help, Ellie is surprised—and suspicious. Sarah has been shunted from house to house in the foster care system. Now she’s run away from a forest camp managed by a tyrannical, enigmatic man…. But escape is not that easy, and soon she finds her life in danger. And Ellie may be wrapped up in this more deeply than either imagined.
Decades ago, a shotgun wedding locked Edith into a life with a husband she’s not sure she ever loved. At sixty-five, she feels like a ghost in her own life, wondering where all this came from: the scornful husband, the mercenary brood of grandchildren, her well-meaning but controlling daughter-in-law. Then one Christmas morning Edith wakes to find her husband dead, and the role she played for so long crumbling. Gray-haired, but by no means done with life, Edith has a chance to discover the woman she could have been.
Soon questions arise about her husband’s death, and papers discovered in his pockets send Edith unraveling secrets of the man she thought she knew. Edith’s son Brian is the focus of her life, but he may not be as perfect as she thought. Revelations that he might be cheating shock her. As Edith investigates the mysteries of her family, she may just find who she truly is.


Early Monday Morning: Flotsam

“My God,” Lucius says, as close to praying as he has been in years. “We’re on Venus.” Monoliths rise ahead of him like black specters, their crags and angles cutting through the mist, jutting towards the high, bluing sky.
The others, silent, have dropped their handholds on the rope. Lucius bends to loop it over his arm, and as he does, he sees the man in the slicker, his bag over his shoulder, kneeling, rising, waving at them.
“That guy’s found something. Let’s go.”
He runs, slogs, really, his boots heavy with water. The women in their sneakers move faster, their arms reaching out to the dark figure and whatever lay at the foot of the rock he’s leaning against. Lucius cannot tell if it is the gulls or the women crying out.
Then they drop to their knees, a huddle of sorrow. They don’t look up as Lucius and the two firemen come up behind them. The mussel gatherer, his empty bag hanging from one grimy hand, a walking stick in the other, stands to one side, his eyes red and wild-looking, his sou’wester pulled down to his eyebrows. Hanks of wet, black hair drag over his eyes, drain down his cheeks like tears.
Madge Slocum lies wedged under an overhang, her face gray. Sand seeps from her mouth. A strand of seaweed wraps her out-flung hand like a bracelet, her bare feet seem ready to run, the toes spread, arched. An arm folds over her body, across a pack strapped to her waist. Several mussels have fallen from the pack and nestle at her throat.
“She came here for mussels,” Lou cries. “For us.” The women reach for her. They grapple with the iron until it falls, and they pull it away from her. Their fingers close her eyes, brush grit away from her lips. They remove the pack and empty it of its black shells. Joan crouches, takes a hand, massages it as if to warm it. Jackie closes the torn jacket, covers the white skin under it.
The ocean ripples as it awakens. White-edged swirls send the little birds skittering.


September 2009

I can remember every second of that last graffiti patrol with Ellie. Maybe it’s the meds they’re feeding me, or maybe I’m a little crazy right now. The nurse says I probably should be with all the stuff I’ve gone through in the past couple of weeks, Ellie at the center of it all.
It was chilly that morning, and we shivered a little as we headed toward the first mailbox, me, in my punk clothes, Ellie in her old lady sweatshirt and red sneakers. She had her supplies and towels in an old shopping bag, like usual, and I could tell she was still mad at me, at my knowing how the graffiti got on the boxes. I was thinking about that, too, but she didn’t know the whole story, not then.
“Spray!” Ellie ordered, and I stopped remembering and pointed the bottle at the mailbox in front of me. We scrubbed, Ellie not talking to me yet. After a couple of minutes, the black polish on my nails began to melt like the paint scrawls we were working on. Ellie muttered “Good” when she saw me rubbing at them. As soon as the box was as clean as Graffiti X could get it, we headed toward the next one. By the time we got to the street with the big trees, I was hot and glad for what little shade was left, the limbs above me almost bare. Leaves crunched under my boots.
Then I stumbled and heard the heel of my boot snap. Shit, my only shoes was my first thought. I had to walk like a cripple, one leg short, one long.
“Take ’em off!” Ellie said, shaking her gray head at me. “Stupid to wear boots like that; you look like a baby hooker.” I watched where I was going, hoping I wouldn’t step on dog poop or something yucky hidden under the leaves. That’s when I saw the white basketball shoe sticking up from a pile of debris at the curb. Someone must have lost it. Except that the shoe also had a sock in it. And in the sock, a leg.


Christmas Morning, 1993

I poke a foot out from under a tangled sheet. Find some joy! yesterday’s horoscope had advised me. Right now, I’ll settle for coffee. The air is morning-warm, the furnace groaning somewhere under me. I push the covers to one side, turn toward Art’s flannelled back, the wall he builds between us when he comes to our bed. 
I know I’m being mean-spirited, a disposition Christmas always delivers like a seasonal virus. Joy, I tell myself again and touch Art’s hump of a shoulder, give it a poke. If I have to get up, layer the cheese strata, set the table, pick up yesterday’s newspapers, he at least can help by turning on the tree lights and starting the fire in the fireplace. Shit! I’ve forgotten the stockings. They, and the stuff I’ve collected to fill them, are piled in a box in the closet. I shake him a little harder. “Get up!” 
Art rolls over on his back. His blue eyes stare up at the ceiling fixture hanging above his head. His mouth is open, as if he’s about to snore, but he isn’t rasping, gurgling, even blinking. 
I raise myself up on an elbow. I pat his arm, bring my hand up to touch his cheek. His skin feels like that of an unripe peach, hard under whiskery fuzz. Cold.
My ear grazes his mouth as I listen for a breath. Silence. I press my hand against his chest, feel his pajama buttons with shaking fingers.
Art is dead.
It isn’t as if I never imagined him dying, leaving me to finish my life alone. At those times, the idea hadn’t been frightening, maybe even the opposite. A new life for me once he was gone, I envisioned, a better life, maybe. But this actual moment is not part of that scene. I drop my head back to my pillow and try to figure out what to do. My breath isn’t taking hold. I seem to be leaking at the seams, lungs empty, about to be as dead as Art.

After graduating from Willamette University, Jo spent the most of next thirty years teaching, counseling, mothering, wifing, and of course, writing.
Her writing first appeared in small literary magazines and professional publications. Since retirement, she has had time to write four novels and two screenplays.
Her stories and essays, as well as the novels, reflect her observations of women’s lives and the people who inhabit them: the children, husbands, parents, friends, and strangers who happen by and change everything.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Happy Release Day: Love or Justice by Rachel Mannino

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Title: Love Or Justice (Protect And Serve #1)
Author: Rachel Mannino
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Laurie Shelton is the only person alive who can identify Hawaii’s most notorious mob boss… After stumbling into a deadly kidnapping, Laurie’s life is in grave danger, and it falls to US Marshal Dante Stark to keep her safe until she testifies against Kaimi Quamboa—assuming he can be captured.
Dante knows he’ll lose his job if he becomes romantically involved with a witness…
But when he has to comfort her through constant nightmares, he finds it nearly impossible to fight his attraction to the beautiful, strong young woman he is sworn to protect. Laurie feels it too, but aware she’s in a high-stress situation and that when the danger is past she’ll never see Dante again, she tries to ignore his easygoing smile and the security he offers.
Laurie and Dante are forced to flee again…
When Kaimi’s men descend on their hideaway, they escape to a second safe house, only to be tracked down there as well. Dante now knows there’s a mole inside the US Marshal Service, and the only thing left to do is disappear. Kaimi will never stop looking for Laurie, and if he’s caught, showing up to testify could be the last thing she ever does. With each choice as dangerous as the next, Dante and Laurie must confront the boundaries of what they’re willing to sacrifice, and which is more important…
Love or Justice.
Buy The Book
Love or Justice
Laurie glanced at the folded piece of paper in her hand. She made sure the penthouse suite was on the list of rooms ready for cleaning, then swerved her cleaning cart around, and backed up to the door. With practiced fluidity, she swiped her key card and opened the door wide, ready to prop it open, before she sensed the presence of another person. She looked up. What she saw stopped her cold. A man with salt and pepper hair stood there. Dressed in a trim, black suit, his long hair dangled to the crisp, white collar of his button-down shirt. His hair thinned on either side of a widow’s peak. Several deep pockmarks dotted each of his tanned and weathered cheeks, accentuating his prominent cheekbones. He looked like any other businessman on the islands, except that extending from his hand was a polished, silver gun, gleaming in the light streaming in from the open doorway. The man looked at Laurie with a mixture of shock and a little horror, as he waved his gun at her. “Grab her.” A scream caught in Laurie’s throat. She didn’t have time to think before a man standing between her and the gunman ran forward and grabbed her arm. He kicked the door shut, wrapping one thick hand around Laurie’s mouth. He twisted her arm and sparks floated across her vision. The man dragged her into the living room. Laurie’s eyes widened. The closer she got to that gleaming gun, the more she struggled. The man with the gun stepped forward and pressed the cold metal of the barrel to her forehead. Laurie gasped, stiffening. Her heart thundered in her chest. She barely breathed. She thought each breath would be her last, and she wondered if it hurt to die. “Do not scream. Do not move or I will kill you.” He pressed the gun more firmly against her skin. Laurie saw the coldness in his eyes. They were the color of granite, and just as unyielding. She looked down and away, standing perfectly still. “What are you doing here? Who sent you?” His voice was like silk with underlying hints of gravel. Laurie said nothing, too terrified to speak. “Answer him,” the man holding her instructed, twisting her arm. She cried out in pain. “I work for the resort.” Her voice squeaked and popped. “The head housekeeper told me you checked out. They said you left, and I had to clean the room for the next guest. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Laurie’s breath came in gasps now. She felt lightheaded. She continued to look down, but a movement beside her caught her attention. Laurie glanced over to see another woman kneeling on the floor. The woman had long, blonde hair, like Laurie’s, but longer, stretching halfway to her waist. Bruises crisscrossed her delicate features. She had a bloodied lip and a cut along her cheek. Her hair was dirty, tousled. There was a rip in her dress above the shoulder and all along the hem. The woman turned her head, casting Laurie a look of deep fear and pity from her hazel eyes. “Obviously I haven’t checked out. Why would they send you up here?” He leaned forward until he was nose to nose with her, his granite eyes flashing. “I think you’re lying.” He pressed the gun into Laurie’s skull. “No, please.” Laurie licked her dry lips and suppressed her urge to call for help. “They make mistakes sometimes. They have two new people at the front desk. They must have made a mistake and checked out the wrong room.” There was a long pause. “Please, I’m very sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” Laurie directed her words of apology at the woman she had locked eyes with. “Help us,” the woman mouthed to Laurie. Laurie blinked, not understanding. Then she noticed a thin arm circling the young woman’s waist, and two small hands clasped together. The child moved his head into view, resting it against the front of the woman’s waist to catch a glimpse of the new arrival. He was young, Laurie realized. Painfully young. “I doubt you’re as sorry as you should be.” The man drew back, the unyielding presence of the gun receding. “Who knows you’re here?” Laurie bit her lip, staring at the little boy in horror. The boy had bruises on his arm and his face. He stared up at Laurie with a vacant expression. Laurie felt like he was staring straight through her. His short blond hair was also unkempt, and he was so thin his tiny wrist bones looked like they would crack if Laurie so much as reached over to take his hand. “Who knows you’re here?” The gun was back at her temple. The man pulled the gun away and smacked Laurie hard across her cheek. Laurie cried out as pain exploded in her head. The man behind her grabbed her hair, jerking her face up to look at the man with the gun. “I radioed that I was on my way up. So, um, my boss, the whole housekeeping staff, and security.” Laurie shivered as she lied, her heart racing. Her boss would know, perhaps some of the other housekeepers, but she hadn’t radioed anyone. Security wouldn’t have any idea where she was. There was a pause as the man before her thought that over. Laurie could feel his eyes pouring over her face, looking for any signs of a lie. “Should we take her with us, too?” asked the man holding her. “We’ve got enough baggage, I think.” The man waved his gun in the direction of the woman and child. Laurie trembled with the unspoken threat... 

About The Author
Rachel Mannino is a passionate writer who creates characters and settings that allow readers to explore power dynamics in relationships, the empowerment of women, and the ethical and moral dilemmas love can create in our lives. Rachel also uses her writing skills to raise thousands of dollars for entities that enrich our lives and create community change around the world. She has worked for the Peace Corps; the Humanities Council of Washington, DC; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; and the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events in Boston, MA. Her first novel, Love or Justice, will be published by Limitless Press in 2016. Her second novel, Fractal, will be published by eTreasures publishing in the spring of 2016. Rachel has a BA in theatre studies and writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College, and she has used it every day since graduation. She lives with her husband, author Christopher Mannino (, and their adorable dog and cat in College Park, Maryland. Facebook | Twitter


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