Archive for the ‘Latest News’

Author Kathleen Pooler

October 20, 2014 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News 4 Comments →


Ever Faithful To His Lead : My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse is a memoir, a true life tears to triumph story of self-defeating detours and dreams lost and found.

A young woman who loses sight of the faith she has been brought up with attempts to find her way in the world, rejecting her stable roots in lieu of finding adventure and romance. Despite periods of spiritual renewal in which she receives a prophecy, she slides back, taking several self-defeating detours that take her through a series of heartbreaking events.

When Kathy’s second husband, Dan’s verbal abuse escalates, Kathy finally realizes she must move on before she and her children become a statistic.

How does a young woman who came from a stable, loving family make so many wise choices when it came to career, but so many wrong choices when it came to love, so that she ended up sacrificing career and having to flee in broad daylight with her children from an abusive marriage? What is getting in her way and why does she keep taking so many self-defeating detours?

The story opens up the day Kathy feels physically threatened for the first time in her three-year marriage to her second husband. This sends her on a journey to make sense of her life and discern what part she has played in the vulnerable circumstance she finds herself in.

She must make a decision–face her self-defeating patterns that have led to this situation and move on or repeat her mistakes. Her life and the lives of her two children are dependent upon the choices she makes and the chances she takes from this point forward.

Paperback: 242Pages

Genre: Memoir Publisher: Open Books Press (July 22, 2014) ASIN: B00M17OXYO Twitter hashtag: #EFaithPooler
Author Interview:

please tell us a little bit about your current projects?

 Currently I am in the book launch/initial marketing phase of my first memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse which was published on July 28, 2014 by Open Books Press.. I am 15,000 words into a second memoir, a sequel. The working title is Hope Matters: A Memoir of Faith. It will be about how my faith gave me hope during the simultaneous battle of a diagnosis of Stage Four NonHodgson’s Lymphoma and my young adult son’s downward spiral into substance abuse. I continue to blog weekly about memoir writing, publishing and social media and do guest posts on other blogs. I feature other authors and their work on my blog as well.

 When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?

 I don’t recall one specific moment but I do recall an unrelenting desire to write—whether it be in my diary or writing plays for my maternal grandmother and her friends as a ten year old; journaling my way through relationship conflicts or penning the annual Christmas Letter. Writing has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. I finally answered the call to take my writing to the next level in 1999 when I took my first writing course Getting Started in Writing through Writer’s Digest. However, I did not call myself a writer until 2009 when I was told during a Writer’s Digest Editor’s Intensive Weekend that I was a writer because I wrote.

Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?

 I met a literary agent at my first national writing conference in 2010 in Boston who in response to my pitch, said: “Fascinating story. It will all be in the telling.” In that moment, I realized that I needed to commit to learning the art and craft of writing if I was to get my story out there in a meaningful way. I think of that encounter often.

  What are some of your favorite pastimes?

Reading, writing, playing the piano, exercise classes, especially Zumba.

What has been your biggest adventure to date?

 In September, 2-13, my husband, Wayne and I traveled to Italy for eleven days- Rome, Pompeii, The Amalfi Coast, Florence ad Venice. While in The Amalfi Coast, I hired a translator and driver to pick us up one day and drive us to the home of my paternal grandfather in Dugenta, a tiny mountain village near Naples. We spent six hours meeting relatives, reminiscing and eating. It was a trip of a lifetime. The amazing part of this trip was the immediate connection I felt with the family. They were the nieces and nephews of my grandfather, now in their 8os. Their mother was my grandfather’s sister. Although they had never met my grandfather, they knew him well through their mother.

If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?

 I left my heart in Italy and would love to go back someday.

When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?

 I like to be adventuresome, although I do like to eat healthy. Variety is important. Probably my favorite foods are fresh from the garden. I also love “peasant food”—soups and stews. Of course, I also love a good, rich dessert, especially if it has chocolate and nuts in it.

 How do you describe yourself?

Sociable, friendly, sensitive to others, perfectionist, hard worker

How would your family and friends describe you?

 Kind, compassionate, overly-sensitive, creative, earthy, industrious.

What is your favorite comfort food?

 Spaghetti and meatballs, mostly because it reminds me of my maternal grandmother, Nan. Eating it takes me right back to that 1950’s kitchen where Nan stood at the white stove stirring the sauce. She’d always spoon some out for me to taste.

What is your favorite season?

 Autumn for it’s new beginnings, brilliant colors and family-related activities—apple picking, carving pumpkins, cool, sunny days.

  What do you love about it?

 I get the sense of a return to order, starting with a clean slate, switching gears from the hectic days of summer. Fall is hectic but in a different, more focused way.

What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without?

 As much as I hate to admit it, I am tethered to my cell phone. I know that because I feel a sense of panic when I can’t find it. Of course, garage door openers, TV remotes, microwaves, computers all take a close second.

 What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?

 I’m not a romance writer but my idea of an ideal romantic evening is sharing time and space with someone who makes you feel valued, whether it be over dinner by candlelight or lounging on the coach watching a movie together. It’s not the activity, it’s the person you are with that makes it romantic.

 Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?

 My website, Memoir Writer’s Journey: has a section on Events where my book-related activities are listed.

I blog weekly on this site and also do guest posts on other sites.


About the Author: Kathleen Pooler is an author and a retired Family Nurse Practitioner whose memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse, published on July 28.2014 and work-in-progress sequel, Hope Matters: A Memoir are about how the power of hope through her faith in God helped her to transform, heal and transcend life’s obstacles and disappointments:  domestic abuse, divorce, single parenting, loving and letting go of an alcoholic son, cancer and heart failure to live a life of joy and contentment. She believes that hope matters and that we are all strengthened and enlightened when we share our stories.

She lives with her husband Wayne in eastern New York.

She blogs weekly at her Memoir Writer’s Journey blog:

She still loves Twitter @kathypooler

LinkedIn: Kathleen Pooler:

Google+:Kathleen Pooler:



Personal page,

Kathy Pooler :

Author page:

Kathleen Pooler/Memoir Writer’s Journey:

Pinterest (

One of her stories “The Stone on the Shore” is published in the anthology: “The Woman I’ve Become: 37 Women Share Their Journeys From Toxic Relationships to Self-Empowerment” by Pat LaPointe, 2012.

Another story: “Choices and Chances” is published in the “My Gutsy Story Anthology” by Sonia Marsh, September, 2013.

———-Blog Tour Dates Monday, October 6 @ The Muffin Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!


Tuesday, October 7 @ Choices

Find out what fellow memoir writer Madeline Sharples thinks after reading Kathleen Pooler’s memoir, Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey to Memoir. This is a blog stop you won’t want to miss!


Wednesday, October 8 @ All Things Audry

Join Kathleen Pooler as she explores “How a Nurse Learns to Care for Herself” as she visits All Things Audry with her memoir Ever Faithful to His Lead. Kathleen is generously offering an ebook copy of Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey to Memoir to one lucky winner of a giveaway. Thank you to both Kathleen and Audry!

Friday, October 10 @ Sherrey Meyer

Join Kathleen Pooler as she writes a guest post titled “Writing as a Pathway to Healing” and shares her thoughts with author and friend, Sherrey Meyer. Find out more about Kathleen and her insightful memoir Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey to Memoir.


Monday, October 13 @ Women’s Writing Circle

Kathleen Pooler sits down with Susan Weidener for a friendly conversation about how Kathleen crowdfunded her memoir, Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey to Memoir.


Tuesday, October 14 @ Lauren Scharhag

Don’t miss Kathleen Pooler’s interview with Lauren Scharhag as these ladies discuss the hot topic of memoir. Find out more about Kathleen and her own Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey to Memoir


Tuesday, October 14 @ Vera’s Version

Join Kathleen Pooler as she guest blogs about “How Writing Memoir Helped Me Find Self-Forgiveness” at Vera’s Version and shares insight into her memoir Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey to Memoir.


Wednesday, October 15 @ About Amish

Kathleen Pooler and her memoir Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey to Memoir makes a stop to visit Saloma Furlong at About Amish where you can read Saloma’s review and get in a giveaway for an opportunity to read Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey to Memoir for yourself!


Thursday, October 16 @ Lisa Haselton

Join Lisa Haselton as she interviews Kathleen Pooler and we all learn more about Kathleen’s memoir Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey to Memoir.


Friday, October 17 @ Jerry Waxler

Author, Friend, and Fellow Memoir Writer Jerry Waxler reviews Kathleen Pooler’s Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey to Memoir. This is a blog stop you won’t want to miss!


Monday, October 20 @ Romance Junkies

Join Kathleen Pooler as she stops at Romance Junkies for an insightful interview about herself and her memoir, Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey to Memoir.


Tuesday, October 21 @ Mary Gottschalk

Kathleen Pooler shares her latest project: Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey to Memoir as she visits with friend and fellow author Mary Gottschalk and fittingly writes about “Girlfriends Matter”. This is a blog stop you won’t want to miss!


Wednesday, October 22 @ CMash Reads

Join memoir writer Kathleen Pooler as she guest posts at CMash Reads. Kathleen will share her story of “Writing Through the Pain” and tell more about her popular memoir Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey to Memoir.


Thursday, October 23 @ Bring on Lemons

Hear what Crystal Otto has to say as she reviews Kathleen Pooler’s Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey to Memoir. Don’t miss this blog stop as Kathleen Pooler has graciously provided a copy of her memoir for one lucky reader to win via a giveaway!


Author Matthew J. Metzger

October 17, 2014 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News No Comments →


Jesse has never had a real boyfriend before. He’s a firefighter, and that’s all that anyone’s seen before—a quick and thrilling screw, and a story for the future. So when he lands Ezra Pryce, the most beautiful man in the whole of Brighton, Jesse can’t quite understand why Ezra is still here eight months down the line.

Not that he’s going to complain. Ezra’s sexy, sarcastic, and doesn’t treat Jesse like he’s stupid, but Jesse can do the math. Ezra is nothing short of perfection; and Jesse falls a very long way short of it. Jesse isn’t going to be enough for someone like Ezra in the long run, and he is living—and loving—on borrowed time. When a disastrous weekend in Norwich introduces Jesse to the staunch disapproval of Ezra’s family and the six-pack of his ex-boyfriend in one fell swoop, Jesse’s fate is sealed. He cannot hope to live up to an ex who has every intention of getting Ezra back, and all the looks and charm to do it too. Jesse is not enough for Ezra and he’s never going to be.

Until the accident forces Jesse to re-evaluate, and shows him exactly what he looks like through Ezra’s eyes.

Read a free chapter sample here, the ebook here, and the long-awaited print book here.

Buy Link


Read An Excerpt:

Jackie’swas a loud cross between a bar and a club, with a sticky dance floor populated by both straight and gay couples, and a tiny LGBTQ flag above the bar with a sign declaring it to be a “safe space.” Jesse had no idea what that meant, but he grasped that it was okay to be gay in here, and slid an arm around Ezra’s waist at the bar.

“You’re clingy,” Ezra said lightly, but tucked his head briefly against Jesse’s neck in a kind of half-hug pose. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” Jesse said, and slapped Ezra’s hand down. “I’ll get this round. I want you to get tipsy, and you’ll never do that if you stick to your bloody lager.”

“Mr. Dawkins, are you trying to get me drunk?”

“Yes,” Jesse said, handing over a twenty to the bored bartender. In the pause as the guy wrestled with the till, he twisted to kiss Ezra soundly, transmitting his exact intentions with his tongue and his hand possessively low on Ezra’s hip.

“Mm,” Ezra hummed as he pulled back, and his eyes were just a little darker. “Maybe I’ll get a little bit drunk.”

“You do that,” Jesse said, and pressed the glass into his hand.

Jackie’slivened up a little as the bar slowly filled and the money kept changing hands. Jesse kept Ezra on the vodka, relishing the chance to be able to get him drunk. Ezra didn’t like to get drunk if Jesse couldn’t, and Jesse often couldn’t drink because of the risk of being called to an emergency at work, so it was nice to get to let go a little, to drink a bit more than the two-pint maximum, to feel the first fuzzy edges of poor coordination and disjointed thinking take over his brain. The music was kind of shitty – late nineties stuff he hadn’t heard in years – and the bartender was stingy with the doubles, but it was fairly cheap and it was nasty enough to work, and when that wide, beautiful smile bloomed across Ezra’s face when a tiny little lesbian and her girlfriend dragged him to dance with them, insisting they knew him as insistently as he said that they didn’t, Jesse felt happy. Despite Mrs. Pryce, despite Audrey Hepburn being a lesbian, despite the crucifix on the gatepost, he felt happy.

He drained his glass and went to the bathroom, relieving himself clumsily in a definitely nasty bathroom with the telltale streaks of sticky white powder on the counter that said that at least one part of the sex, drugs and rock and roll was going down in here on your average evening. Rinsing his hands off, he wondered if another round was called for, or another bar. Obviously they’d keep going a bit longer. He could still think, for one. And thinking was counterproductive for later, when he’d get Ezra’s long legs wrapped around his waist and try and suck all the alcohol back out through his mouth. Or his neck. Or other places.

Then he left the bathroom, and saw him.

Ezra had escaped the tiny lesbians, and was leaning very precariously against the bar, a fresh drink in hand, and smiling—beaming—at a man who was just offensively good-looking. He looked like one of those underwear models or something. Tall in a too-tight-T-shirt, with spiky dark hair in a style that could have been achieved with an electric razor but he’d probably paid fifty quid for at a salon aimed at women. A waxed chest, judging by the naked v of skin that was visible below his neck. He was flashing a chiseled, perfect, cologne-ad smile at Ezra. People could model cologne and underwear, right? Because this guy definitely did.

Jesse hesitated at the bathroom door, and felt a shaky warmth bubbling up in his stomach as the underwear model reached into his back pocket and passed Ezra a thin bit of card. His number, maybe? Why the hell was some underwear-cologne model giving Ezra his number?

Why the hell was Ezra putting it in his pocket?

Ezra turned from the bar, eyes scanning the room, and that placid, drink-smudged smile widened when he locked eyes with Jesse. He leaned back against the sticky wood, weight on his elbows, and beckoned with one long finger, and it was like an invisible rope reeling Jesse in. The underwear model glanced Jesse’s way and melted back into the crowd on the dance floor and Jesse’s anger went with him. He planted his hands on either side of Ezra’s waist, bracing himself against the bar, and crowded Ezra against it to kiss him and taste the drunken want on his tongue.

“You ran away,” Ezra accused, tugging on Jesse’s hair lightly.

“You started talking to other guys,” Jesse murmured, and yet with Ezra’s hand playing with his ear and the wide, blissfully peaceful expression he wore when he was drunk, it somehow didn’t matter.

“Only because you ran away,” Ezra teased, and bumped his nose against Jesse’s clumsily.

“Can we go?” Jesse whispered, dropping a hand to slide it around Ezra’s hip and down to the top of his leg, rubbing against the denim of his jeans lightly. “Back to the hotel? I have designs.”

“On what?”

“On you and the bed and being bendy.”

Ezra grinned, and downed the rest of his glass in one expert motion, his back and neck flexing like liquid in suspension. “I knew you got me drunk,” he accused, and Jesse laughed, putting a hand into Ezra’s back pocket to hook him in and guide him out. The night air was cold after the heat of the bar, and the underwear model had vanished like an ugly, sexy mirage.

“You shouldn’t talk to underwear models,” he blurted out, and Ezra laughed too loudly in the street.

“I only talk to your underwear,” he retorted, and then all the sense of it was slipping away, and Jesse simply forgot in favor of other things.

For the moment.

Author Interview:

please tell us a little bit about your current projects?

Thank you for hosting me!

I’m currently on a blog tour for Enough, my first adult romance novel. Enough came out as an ebook in May and was an instant hit, so within two weeks the publishing team wanted to bring it out in print as well. And as that day finally arrived, here I am! I’m a huge fan of print over ebook, so it always makes my year if one of mine is going to be available in both forms.

Enough is a story about jealousy, self-esteem and the way someone sees themselves. It was a blast to write, sweet and sexy all in one go, and I absolutely loved the characters from start to finish. There’s a free chapter sample here, the ebook here, and the long-awaited print book here.

What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?

Besides writing? Er…

I kid. Sort of. I’m not a collector of anything, but I’m crazy for travelling. I get serious itchy feet. I have plans to go to Iceland and Germany next year, and hopefully the year after I’ll have the funds to go to one of the Canadian or American conventions. My big dream is the Galapagos, but I seriously don’t have the cash for that!

What has been your biggest adventure to date?

I went to Thailand in 2012. Never been anywhere like it before (or, sadly, since!) and it. Was. Incredible. Beautiful islands, amazing seas, fascinating marine life. I loved the hell out of that trip and I’m itching to go back and explore some other parts of the country. When I came back to England I was stopped at customs and questioned at length. Halfway through the interview I realised they’d stopped me because I’d tanned so much I didn’t match my passport photo anymore!

If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?

For all I just talked about travelling…right now, I would be whisked back to Sheffield. I had a friend visit me from there last weekend, and I knew I missed him, but hadn’t realised quite how badly until we were eating fish and chips in my living room and nattering like old times. I miss him even worse now he’s gone home, and Christmas is too long away to visit. So yep – my ideal location right this second is a freezing Yorkshire house with serious draught issues, in a cold and rainy city settled by some genius amongst sadistically steep hills.

How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you?

I made the mistake of asking my best friend. Her reply was (and this is an exact quote):

‘How would I describe Matt? Apparently I’m not allowed to swear too much so he’s a right arsehole and he’s damn good at what he does. I love slash hate him. He’s stubborn, ornery, and snarkastic as hell, but he’s awesome when he’s not being all of those things. Loyal as hell too. but goddamn he can drive me up the wall!’

We’re British, so about 95% of that is an expression of deep and unwavering love, would you believe!

She has it pretty dead on. My family would agree with her, certainly, and hell, I agree with most of it! (Especially the right arsehole part.) But apparently a few people who met me at the UK LGBT Fiction Meet this year thought the opposite – I distinctly remember the words ‘charming’ and ‘sweet’ being thrown around. I presume there was another Matthew Metzger in attendance!

What project are you working on next?

My current work in progress is a young adult novel called Baci. The story follows the events that unfold when the new kid at Luca’s swimming club finds out Luca is gay and objects – to put it mildly – to having a gay kid in the same water or changing rooms as him. It’s quite a fun write as the new kid, Jack, is a belligerent little so-and-so, but Luca is half-Italian and has a right temper of his own, so the two clash several times and the physical altercations are definitely not one-way. There are sneak peeks here and here – I’m about 20,000 words in, but with NaNoWriMo looming in November, I’m not sure Baci will be done in time for that.

About Matthew

Matthew J. Metzger is the front for a British author working a difficult day job and from the inside of a closet. When he’s not writing or working, he’s asleep. That, really, is how six books in two years is possible. Matthew writes LGBT fiction about contemporary issues, from ‘gay issues’ such as coming out through to wider issues such as domestic violence, racism and terminal illness. Matthew is open to some low-level stalking once in a while, and can be stalked on Twitter, Facebook, and at his website.



Cover Him With Darkness by Janine Ashbless

October 17, 2014 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News No Comments →


If You Loved an Angel… How Far Would You Fall with Him?

What happens when the daughter of the village priest falls in love with an archangel banished from heaven? Milja’s heart is struck when she catches a glimpse of the preternaturally beautiful prisoner her father keeps captive beneath his church’s altar. Torn between tradition, loyalty and her growing obsession with the fallen angel, will Milja risk losing her family, and her eternal soul, for the love of this divine being? Janine Ashbless will transport you to a world where good and evil battle for true love.

Buy Link:

Read An Excerpt:

“What did he do?” became a question I repeated many times as I grew up, along with, “Who is he?” My father didn’t lie, but neither could he answer my question truthfully. He was an educated man, though he had taken up the vocation of priest of an isolated village in one of the most barren, mountainous corners of our rugged country. He had studied engineering at university in Belgrade, but he admitted that the answers to my queries were unclear to him. “The gods have condemned him,” he would say, with a sigh. That sounded so strange coming from an Orthodox priest that I didn’t know what to think.
Every Sunday, after going down into the village to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with the congregation in the church there-nobody ever climbed up the two hundred steps to our dingy little chapel carved into the sheerrock-he would descend into the prisoner’s cave. He would take the manwater and bread, and wash his face. My father was not without compassion,even for a prisoner, and he felt the responsibility of his position.
“Is he…Prometheus?” I asked when I was ten, and had been reading the Greek myths in one of the dog-eared books Father had brought from the capital. “The gods chained up Prometheus forever. Is it him?”
“It may be.”
“But…Prometheus was good, Papa. He taught us how to be civilized. He stole fire from the gods to bring it to men. He was on our side!”
“What did man do with fire, Milja?”
“He smelted iron, little chick, and with iron he made swords. He made all the weapons of war, and men have slaughtered men in countless millions ever since. Are you sure Prometheus had our best interests at heart? Would we not have been happier if we’d stayed in the innocence of the Stone Age?”
I was too young to answer that. Father sighed and fetched a black-bound book, laying it on the table by the window where the light could fall upon it. He opened the pages to somewhere near the beginning.
“My grandfather told me that it is Azazel we hold in our keeping. Have you heard of him?”
“No,” said I in a small voice.
“Neither man nor pagan titan, little chick, but a fallen angel. A leader of the Watchers: those Sons of God who lusted after mortal women. The Israelites dedicated their scapegoat sin-offering to Azazel every year when they drove it out into the wilderness. And just like the Greeks’ Prometheus, he is credited with teaching men metalworking and war-craft-and women the arts of seduction and sorcery. Here in the Book of Enoch, see; the angel Raphael is commanded by God: ‘bind Azazel hand and foot and cast him into the darkness. And lay upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there forever.’”
“Which is right, then?” I asked. “Is he a demon or is he Prometheus?”
“Maybe he is both, and it’s the same story. Or maybe he is something else altogether. All I know is that he’s been here since the beginning, and that it is our duty to keep him bound. It’s what our family forefathers dedicated their lives to. And you must carry on when I am gone, Milja. You must marry and teach your husband and your sons, so that it is never forgotten. And you must never tell anyone else, all your life. It must not go beyond the family. Promise me!”
“Why not?”
“What if someone, someone who did not understand, felt sorry for him and set him free? What if he is one of the great demons, Milja? What would happen to this world?”

I was eleven when I started to visit him in secret. I took him food, because I couldn’t bear any longer to lie awake in bed thinking of how hungry he must be. I knew he could get water-when it rained it would run down the rocks onto his face-but at eleven I was always ravenous myself, and starvation seemed the worst of tortures. And the image of him lying bound there haunted my dreams more and more, evoking feelings I had no words for-not then-until it seemed impossible for me to stay away.
Still, I went at midday, when the light was strongest and the cavern least frightening. I brought him bread crusts and cheese. I picked berries from the mountain bushes and fed them between his cracked lips.
I remember the first time I did it, the first time I went alone. I climbed up on that big rock slab and knelt over his dirt-streaked body, and he opened his eyes and looked up into mine. His irises were so dark that they couldn’t be distinguished from the pupils, and in this half-light they looked like holes.
“What’s your name?” I whispered.
I don’t know if he heard me. He certainly didn’t reply. He just looked at me, from the depths of his private torment.
“I brought you some milk.” I tipped the teat of the little skin of goats’ milk to his lips and let it trickle into the side of his mouth, carefully: I was scared of choking him. His throat worked and his lips twitched, bleeding. He drank it all and I sat back. That was when, with obvious and painful effort, the lines of his face pulled into a brief smile-a smile so fragile a butterfly might have trampled it underfoot.
That was when I was lost.

I was fourteen when I first heard him speak.
“Milja,” he murmured, greeting me. His voice was hoarse from disuse, but its depths made the hair stir on my neck. I nearly fled.
“What’s your name?” I asked once again, but he didn’t answer, withdrawing instead, it seemed, into his anguish once more. He only twisted from one hip to the other to ease the strain on his back, and hissed with pain. The power of his corded body, terrible even under constraint, made me tremble.
He spoke only rarely in the years that followed, and what he said made little sense to me-often it wasn’t even in any language I knew, and when I could make out the words they seemed to be nothing but fragments. “Leaves on the brown-bright water…” he might mutter to himself. I think he was remembering things he had seen before he was imprisoned. As I grew to realize how the uncountable years had stolen even his mind, I felt dizzy with horror.




Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure – and that’s “fantasy” in the sense of swords ‘n’ sandals, contemporary paranormal, fairytale, and stories based on mythology and folklore.  She likes to write about magic and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000, and her novels and single-author collections now run into double figures. She’s also had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, and Ellora’s Cave among others. She is co-editor of the nerd erotica anthology Geek Love.

Her work has been described as: “hardcore and literate” (Madeline Moore) and “vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love.”   (Portia Da Costa)


Janine Ashbless Facebook

Amazon UK Author Page

Amazon US Author Page




October 16, 2014 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News No Comments →


When the the leader of a powerful cult kidnaps the woman Holt loves, he teams up with his best friend to save her from a fate worse than death.

Fans of Jonathan Maberry’s ROT & RUIN and AMC’s hit series, The Walking Dead will devour Hill’s action ­packed take on the Zombie genre. DEAD NEW WORLD is now available at Amazon and Curiosity Quills. Get to know more about Ryan in this exclusive letter to readers



Zombies aren’t mindless anymore.

Before the world fell into chaos, the undead existed only in the imagination. Now, more of them walk the earth than living. Zombies move about freely, while humans entomb themselves inside concrete barricades to stay alive.

All that, while the leader of a powerful cult – known only as Reverend – becomes the next threat to the rebuilding United States. Believing zombies to be God’s latest creation, making humanity obsolete, he wants to give every man, woman, and child the chance to become one. With his combined army of humans and zombies, he may well get his wish.

Best friends Holt and Ambrose went up against the Reverend once. Holt lost a foot and a zombie bit Ambrose…though he survived the virus, only to become a human-zombie hybrid, reviled by the living and unwelcome among the dead. When the Reverend kidnaps the woman Holt loves, the race is on to save her from a fate worse than death.


Ryan Hill

Growing up, Ryan Hill used to spend his time reading and writing instead of doing homework. This resulted in an obsession with becoming a writer, but also a gross incompetence in the fields of science and mathematics. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Ryan has been a film critic for over five years. He lives in Raleigh, NC, with his dog/shadow Maggie. Ryan also feels strange about referring to himself in the third person.

Connect with Ryan at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | GoodReads | Tumblr | Instagram

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Oct 13th: Buy Zombie

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Oct 14th: I Smell Sheep

Oct 15th: Stuart Conover’s Author Page

Oct 16th: I Read Indie

Oct 16th: Romance Junkies

Oct 17th: Drew Hayes Novels

Oct 17th: Indie Authors, Books, and More

Oct 19th: Horror Tree

Oct 20th: Paranormal Book Club

Oct 21st: Run With Jackabee

Oct 22th: Sizzling Book Blog

Oct 23rd: Literary Escapism

Oct 24th: Wicked Lil Pixie

Oct 24th: Literal Addiction

Oct 29th: Bea’s Book Nook

Oct 30th: Not Everyone’s Mama

Oct 31st: Tanya’s Book Nook

Christmas Romance Giveaway – Blog Hop (Authors Grace Burrowes, Terry Spear, Carolyn Brown

October 16, 2014 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News 2 Comments →

Holiday Hop Featuring Jill Shalvis, Carolyn Brown, Grace Burrowes, Terry Spear, and Sarah Morgan + Giveaway

Ready or not, Christmas is right around the corner, which means shopping, food, family — and holiday romances! This season, award winning authors Jill Shalvis, Carolyn Brown, Terry Spear, and Sarah Morgan each have Christmas romances releasing. To get readers into the holiday spirit, the authors answer the following question: You can give a gift to one of your characters. What would you give and why?


Ladies, take it away!

Jill Shalvis author of One in a Million

What gift would I give to one of my characters? That’s a tough one because by the time I finish writing their book, I feel like I’ve given them everything they need. :) But maybe, if I could, I’ve give them the gift of real life so that there would really be a Jax, Ford, Sawyer, Ty, Matt, Josh, Luke, Jack, Ben, Sam, Cole, and Tanner walking around in real life. Gah. Can you imagine the hotness?


Carolyn Brown author of Cowboy Boots for Christmas

I would give Callie cowboy boots, but I think Finn already has that covered because she’s really a rancher at heart and just needs the boots to figure it out.


Grace Burrowes author of What A Lady Needs for Christmas

They already have true love, so I’d give Dante and Joan the gift of good health. With those two gifts, almost any obstacle can be surmounted.


Sarah Morgan author of Maybe This Christmas

I would give my heroine, Brenna, courage to do what she has always wanted to do, but by the end of the story she finds that for herself so she doesn’t really need my help.


Terry Spear author of A Highland Wolf Christmas

The gift of love. Gifts come and go over the years, but love that’s everlasting is all that matters. Family, loyalty, caring and sharing—these are what makes for the best gift ever and Calla Stewart and Guthrie MacNeill have some rough bumps to get over, but in the end, the gift of love will see them through anything.


About the Authors

Jill Shalvis’ bestselling Lucky Harbor series continues with three consecutive releases It’s In His Kiss (August), He’s So Fine (September), and One In A Million (October). If you are ready for some Alpha heroes, crazy high jinx, and nosy neighbors, learn more about Lucky Harbor here at the author’s website


Carolyn Brown kicks off her newest Western romance series with this month’s Cowboy Boots for Christmas. All readers are welcome to Burnt Boot, Texas where two families face off in a decades long quarrel. Fightin’ and feudin’ has never been so fun! Visit the author at


Award winning author Grace Burrowes delights readers with her gorgeous tales of historical happy-ever-afters. What a Lady Needs for Christmas, featuring the author’s popular MacGregor brothers, is a beautiful Victorian set tale of second chances. Learn more about Grace and her bestselling books at her website:


Get ready for shifters in kilts as Terry Spear releases the next book in her Heart of the Wolf paranormal romance series, A Highland Wolf Christmas. Find all of the author’s titles at


Maybe This Christmas, the third book in Sarah Morgan’s O’Neill Brothers series, releases this October. Get the inside information on this holiday tale that features friends-turned-lovers at Sarah’s website:


Follow the Holiday Romance Hop tomorrow as the authors visit Reading Between the Wines -



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Point of No Return by Torie James

October 15, 2014 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News No Comments →



Full of seething, sensual shadows and hidden faces, the annual Masquerade Ball at Lymbo Resort is one event anyone would sell their soul for.

One night a year, impiety and temptation take center court at the invitation only event hosted by the mysterious Avan Noxturna. Decadent darkness, burning lust and wicked intentions hide behind innocent masks in the most innocuous places.

The fires of hell may blaze hot but the flames of passion consume common sense when obsessive memories escape to ignite an inferno of intimate bliss that will sear both saint and sinner.

Buy Links:


Author Interview:

Please tell us a little bit about your current projects? I’d love to! Currently, I’m working on Book 4 of my New Camelot Series, A full length novel about Avan (the heroine in my newest story, Point of No Return), a couple of short stories and gathering research for a book I want to write about the Tudors.

When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer? I’ve always known, somehow. I can’t remember ever wanting to be anything else. Unless you count being Han Solo’s wife. Shush. Don’t judge.

Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day? My grandmother. She told me to never give up or in. That my time would come.

Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you? At this point in life, the perfect hero for me need only to accept and love the fact that I’m totally imperfect. Oh. And he must not give me “the look” when I am consuming chocolate.

What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections? I love bowling and painting! Lately, I’ve discovered an affinity for photo programs and making book trailers. *sheepish grin* And I collect swords, daggers and old movie posters. Mostly from Horror Movies.

What has been your biggest adventure to date? I wore mismatched socks out in public. #IDoWhatIWant

If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why? Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland. It sits right on the shores of Loch Ness and I’ma huge, freaky fan of that place. I’d renovate the castle and spend my days writing and gazing out the window onto the loch below.

When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes? I am notoriously picky when it comes to food. No one likes dining with me. *huffs* Actually, I’m rather plebeian. I love simple foods and rarely go outside of my tasty comfort zone. I ate haggis once though. Yeah. No. Never again.

What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without? Wifi. I. Must. Have. *laughs* Product of my times, I guess.

What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”? My idea of a romantic evening would be a casual dinner for two and then out for a walk along the beach as the sun sets. Or or! A trip to the bookstore. You can tell a lot about a man by the sections he browses! *shifty eyed*

How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you? Insane. My loved ones would say I’m VERY insane.

What is your favorite comfort food? Chili dogs!

What is your favorite season? Winter! What do you love about it? The chill in the air, the smell of the cold, the darkness and the general easy beauty that winter brings. It gives me a dreamy feelingI am most creative during the winter and get a lot of writing done without having to bribe the muse!

Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?

You can always find me at the following places:

Blog and Website:




Amazon Author:

Breathless Press Website:


Author Bio:

Torie James has loved reading since she was old enough to hold a book in her lap. While her friends were out playing, she was generally curled up nearby falling down rabbit holes, catching second stars to the right, and stepping through wardrobes into mysterious lands and countless adventures. When those stories ended, she made up her own and kept going. This later on translated into a strong passion for writing that has helped her keep her feet on the ground while her head stayed firmly in the clouds. Lover of Dr. Pepper, all things chocolate, and Duran Duran, her dreams finally became a reality with the publication of Timeless Night and Timeless Desire, Books One and Two the award winning New Camelot Series. Slated for 3 more books in that series, she’s also currently working on The Cloie Chronicles, The Tudor Files, Avan Noxturna: Soul Broker and the Fables of Blood and Stone. Two short stories, No Change Policy in Room 8 and Reclaiming the Rabbit Hole can be found in My Bloody Valentine and Wonderland Tales, respectively, through her publisher, Breathless Press.

Torie lives in Southern California with her family and a houseful of pets who rule the roost.

Author Saylor Storm

October 14, 2014 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News No Comments →


seduction book banner2

Author Note: I just wanted to let you know that I’m running a special on my books; Sue’s Seduction and Sue’s Rapture as a thank you to your readers, they are temporarily $0.99.

Saylor Storm’s Book 1 and 2 for Sue’s Journey Trilogy.


Sue’s Rapture:

At long last, seasoned and savvy, Susan Kent, finds the love of her life, compassionate attorney, Roger Grayson. The two create an idyllic life until Roger receives devastating news that could change their lives forever. Unwilling to give up on her perfect love, Sue devises a plan to get their lives back on track. Sue could never have imagined how her perfect plan could have gone so completely out of control. Will Sue be able to repair the damage and will she even want to after she sees a darker side to Roger?

Currently Available:

Sue Seduction:

Middle aged, overweight, depressed and lonely, Susan Kent, becomes part of an anti-aging clinical trial and is offered a lease on life. She swiftly transforms into a budding beauty. Her newfound tender age brings opportunities, lovers and tragedy. Sue’s youthful path takes her on a journey that she never could have imagined and catastrophe brings sobering consequences. Compassionate attorney, Roger Grayson, enters her life and saves the day. In the end does Susan choose youth or the promise of love?

Sue’s Rapture Shortcut: AMAZON


Sue’s Rapture Shortcut: BARNES & NOBLE


Sue’s Seduction: AMAZON


Sue’s Seduction: BARNES & NOBLE

Check out her Raffle Copter Contest!


Author Interview:

please tell us about your current projects?

Thank you for having me here today. I am currently working on several projects. First is the release of Book 2, Sue’s Rapture, in the Sue’s Journey Trilogy. Book 1, Sue’s Seduction, lays out the premise of the fountain of youth in a pill. Because I wanted readers to understand Sue’s JOURNEY, I decided this blog tour would begin with the first book while releasing the second.

Next is a book of love trivia and fun facts that I have been posting on my Facebook page for the past year or so. I am also working on my first romance thriller called Basking in the Light, which is due for release in March 2015. In my “spare” time I am writing the third book in the Sue’s Journey Trilogy called Sue’s Legacy.

When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?

I don’t think there was an exact moment for me; it was more of a feeling that I’ve had since early childhood that I would end up writing one day. Writing romance novels came as a big surprise to me as I always assumed I would write children’s books.

 Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you today?
My high school English teacher, Liz Lanier, sat me down one day and explained thoroughly how to write an exceptional essay. Her advice stuck in my mind and my papers improved tremendously.

Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you?

The perfect hero to me is someone who has been through some challenging times in his life, but has learned from his difficulties and as a result continues to evolve as an individual. He has a good heart and strives to do the right thing. He has integrity. My reoccurring character, Arnie Darrow, is a perfect example of someone who has had some tough blows in life, but continues to grow and learn.

What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?

I’m not much of a collector. Most of my free time is spent photographing and hiking in the spectacular Sierra Mountains where I live in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. I have always been fascinated by the wine industry and have completed level 1 sommelier certification and plan to continue on to level 2.

What is your biggest adventure to date?

Starting a writing career in mid-life without having any previous experience or knowledge about the writing industry. It has been quite an education and an adventure!

 If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?

I’ve been daydreaming about spending a year on a tropical island. I did quite a bit of research and Belize makes a lot of sense to me; it’s beautiful, affordable (in certain areas), English speaking and not too far away.

When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true food and recipes?

Trying new things is part of the fun of life. Trying at least one new thing each day, whether it be food or an experience, is one of my favorite goals.

How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you?

I would describe myself as positive, grounded, loyal and determined. My family and friends describe me as fun, compassionate, dependable, faithful, easy going and tenacious.

 What is your favorite comfort food?

Cheese and fruit; it’s a family thing.

 What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?

Fall is by far my favorite time of the year. I’m exhilarated by the crisp air, gentle breezes and gorgeous fall colors. It’s perfect weather for hiking.

 What project are you working on next?

Two unrelated science fiction novels, a fairy tale and the next book in the Arnie Darrow romantic suspense series called Grace’s Deception.

Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?

My virtual book tour will continue though the end of October and the schedule can be found on my website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


About Saylor Storm

Reality becomes fantasy, or is it that imagination turns into real life experience? Saylor Storm is fascinated by how frequently the line between reality and fantasy crosses in her writing practice. She feels that writing romance novels is an astonishing way to play with something from real life and turning into something fun, playful and perhaps a bit twisted.

Her characters all experience real life joy and pain, reinvention, survival and victory. They share the process of evolution and expansion. The places in her stories take place where she has lived or visited, from the beaches of Malibu to the islands in Fiji and destinations in between, including the monastery in her novel, “Dr. Selfish.”

Saylor’s stories reflect her many personal interests including fitness, wine, healthy foods. She’s intrigued by the spiritual world and that of metaphysics. Love and passion are at the root of her tales, after all isn’t that what life is all about? She hopes the reader is as entertained reading her books as she is writing them. Viva la passion!

Saylor enjoys being an active member of the Romance Writers of America. She currently lives in Lake Tahoe and one of her many passions is hiking the nationally known Tahoe Rim Trail. Readers can enjoy fabulous photos of her treks posted on her Facebook page, Saylor Storm.




Tell Me My Name by Mary Fan and Slam by Tash McAdam

October 14, 2014 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News No Comments →

StoryTime is a tri-annual event created by Glass House Press. All proceeds from the StoryTime events will be donated to SDDAS Spirit Fund, a
nonprofit society dedicated to giving homeless animals the medical care they need. For more information, visit their website at


In Mary Fan’s second novella from Glass House Press, a teen girl wakes up in an icy cell, alone and frightened. She has no memory of who she is or how she came to be there.

She does know that she must get out, at all costs. And that escape must start with remembering the simple things – her own name. Her place of origin. Her possible powers.

When a group of dark magicians reveal themselves to be her captors, she finds herself in the clutches of those who will stop at nothing to uncover the secrets locked within her lost memories. With her life fading under their merciless spells, the need to escape becomes dire.

But can she get out when she doesn’t even know who she is? Can she count on one unlikely ally for help? Or is it already too late for her, a girl without a name?

Tell Me My Name introduces the main characters in Mary’s new fantasy series, Fated Stars, with the first book, Windborn, due in late 2015.

Purchase on Amazon:

About Mary Fan

Mary Fan is a hopeless dreamer, whose mind insists on spinning tales of “what if.” As a music major in college, she told those stories through compositions. Now she tells them through books—a habit she began as soon as she could pick up a pencil. Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil follows a well-received debut novel, a space opera titled Artificial Absolutes (2013), and is the first in the Flynn Nightsider series. Mary would like to think that there are many other novels in her bag, and hopes to prove that to the world as well.

Mary lives in New Jersey and has a B.A. from Princeton University. When she’s not scheming to create new worlds, she enjoys kickboxing, opera singing, and blogging about everything having to do with books.

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Telepaths, torture, mindwipes … the Institute has it all, and they use each of their brainwashed children as weapons, the way they see fit. To control society, repress its people. To make certain that they stay in power, no matter the cost. Serena’s baby brother Damon is one of those children, and these days he’s so altered that he doesn’t even recognize her.

When it comes to getting Damon away from those who kidnapped him, there’s nothing Serena won’t do. Even if she has to kill him to save him. First, though, she must prove to her father that she has what it takes to be a soldier against the insidious threat of the Institute. Her first mission has to be perfect.

But with inaccurate intelligence, unexpected storms, and Gav Belias, people’s hero of the Watch, on the prowl, will she even survive? If she doesn’t succeed, they’ll never let her go after her brother.

And that would be unthinkable, when it was her fault that he was taken in the first place.

Slam is Tash McAdam’s first work with Glass House Press, and serves as a prequel to her series The Psionics, with the first book, Maelstrom, due in 2015.

Purchase on Amazon:

About Tash McAdam

Tash McAdam’s first writing experience (a collaborative effort) came at the age of eight, and included passing floppy discs back and forth with a best friend at swimming lessons. Since then, Tash has spent time falling in streams, out of trees, learning to juggle, dreaming about zombies, dancing, painting, learning Karate, becoming a punk rock pianist, and of course, writing.

Tash is a teacher in real life, but dreams of being a full-time writer, and living a life of never-ending travel. Though born in the hilly sheepland of Wales, Tash has lived in South Korea and Chile and now calls Vancouver, Canada home.

Maelstrom, the first book in The Psionics, is Tash’s first published work. Visit the website or facebook for news, gossip, and random tidbits about Tash’s adventures.

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COVERT by G.K. Moore

October 13, 2014 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News 2 Comments →

Chicago Angels Series, #1
BOOK GENRE: New Adult Contemporary Romantic Suspense
AUTHOR NAME: G.K. Moore       
PUBLICATION DATE: December 2nd, 2014

Alessandro is the unwilling heir of a Chicago crime family. Intent on leaving the life set out for him, he decides to run as fast and as far away as possible. His plans crumble when one girl crash lands in his life. He should hate the daughter of his fathers mistress, but its near impossible when he finds that they are alike in more ways than one.
Olivia grew up watching men walk in and out of her mothers life. When one man finally decides to stay, she learns that crime lords dont leave until someones dead. Olivias salvation comes from the person she least expects: his son.
Six years later, Olivia and Alessandro are reunited when her life is threatened. If time has proven one thing, its that repeating their parentsmistakes seems inevitable.
In a world where friendship is a luxury and love a death sentence, two unlikely lovers find each other only to be separated by their cruel reality.
Covert is a full length novel. Contains mature themes.

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G.K. Moore loves cake, romances with alpha males and happily ever afters. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, stalking friends on Facebook, watching bad reality TV, traveling, torturing her hubby with ideas for new stories or doing all of the above at the same time. Her debut novel, a romantic suspense, is coming out December 2nd and the backdrop is one of her all time favorite cities, Chicago.
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October 13, 2014 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News No Comments →

                                            SLEEP IN PEACE TONIGHT

                                                By James MacManus

It’s 1941 and a madman named Adolf Hitler is on a mission to invade Great Britain. The constant sound of bomb blasts followed by the stench of flaming homes and buildings are a part of everyday life in London during the Blitz. The threat that the Nazi’s next stop will be on American soil hangs in the sooty air.

SLEEP IN PEACE TONIGHT (Thomas Dunne Books; October 7, 2014; $25.99) is author James MacManus’ newest historic novel set in war-torn London. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dispatches his most trusted advisor, a tall, gaunt man named Harry Hopkins, to

London to meet with Winston Churchill. There, Hopkins must assess the growing crisis in Britain. The White House is conflicted and many of FDR’s advisors oppose America joining forces with Britain. During his many meetings with the Prime Minister, Hopkins is bombarded by Churchill’s dramatic rhetoric and constant drinking. Churchill knows the only way to save Britain is with help from the United States. During a dinner in Glasgow, Scotland Churchill implores Hopkins to tell FDR to “give us the tools and we will finish the job.”

In his latest novel, MacManus paints a stunning portrait of a battered London with larger-than-life personalities from history and a mysterious love interest that work together to change the course of history. During his travels in Great Britain, Hopkins is assigned a beautiful young driver named Leonora Finch. The two find consolation in each other’s arms from the threat of war. Hopkins falls deeply in love and the couple’s passion artfully unfolds on the pages. While in London, Harry and Leonora befriend veteran CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow who frequents a secret nightclub named the Black Cat Club that features an unusual mix of colorful characters.

As Harry and Lenora grow closer, she confides that she’s a member of a secret British spy agency. Leonora craves wartime action and will stop at nothing to prove she should be on the front lines, even if it means risking her life.

SLEEP IN PEACE TONIGHT takes readers on an exciting and heartbreaking adventure as they follow two star-crossed lovers on an epic journey. MacManus brings to life an expertly researched and tragic tale of courage, loyalty and passion and spotlights the sacrifices they make in the name of love and loyalty.

 Read An Excerpt


Chapter 1 Excerpt


In spite of the whisky and the long journey, Hopkins found sleep difficult that night. He had been shocked by the earsplitting cacophony of guns, bombs, and sirens during the raid. News reports from London all talked of civilian deaths, the destruction of homes, the plight of the homeless, food shortages, rationing, queues, but none mentioned the deafening nightly thunder of the Blitz. He wondered how anyone got any sleep.


The next morning, as his car drove down Park Lane to 10 Downing Street, he realized that sleep was probably a dimly remembered luxury for most Londoners. Despite the cold, he wound the window down and caught the acrid smell of smoke and burning. He saw pale faces pinched with cold waiting patiently at bus stops, trying to get to work. People stamped their feet and rubbed gloved hands against the cold, craning around the queue hoping to see their bus. Others gave up the wait and trudged past still- burning buildings, heads down, hands clasping handbags or briefcases, all wondering on that freezing morning whether there would be transport home that night. They looked exhausted, hollowed out, half people.


Red double- decker buses lumbered over still- smoldering rubble strewn across the roads, weaving past piles of shattered brick and occasional geysers of water as they went from bus stop to bus stop scooping up passengers from long, orderly queues.


As they passed Hyde Park Hopkins saw the antiaircraft crews cleaning and servicing the guns for the night ahead. Piles of expended shell cases were stacked neatly in brass pyramids under the plane trees. Elderly men and women walked dogs around the gun emplacements as if it were normal to find batteries of long- barreled 3.7- inch antiaircraft guns in the middle of a city park.


That’s the point, Hopkins realized. This is normal. The Blitz had been going on for four months. Twenty- eight thousand people had been killed in London alone and forty thousand homes destroyed, leaving almost half a million people displaced. And yet here on the streets on a bitter January morning people were queuing for the bus and trudging to work over the debris from the latest raid. The chargé d’affaires had been right. No one in Washington had any idea of what was happening in London.


Hopkins opened his briefcase and pulled out his letter of authorization from President Roosevelt:


Reposing special faith and confidence in you, I am asking you to proceed at your earliest convenience to Great Britain, there to act as my personal representative. I am also asking you to convey a communication in this sense to His Majesty George VI. You will of course communicate to this government any matters which may come to your attention in the performance of your mission which you may feel will serve the best interests of the United States.


With all best wishes for the success of your mission I am,

Sincerely yours

Franklin D. Roosevelt


SLEEP IN PEACE TO NIGHT. Copyright © 2014 by James MacManus. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010


JAMES MACMANUS is the managing director of The Times Literary Supplement. He is the author of Ocean Devil, which was made into a film starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers. His other novels include The Language of the Sea and Black Venus.

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