“The Monster Upstairs” –Another YA Paranormal Hit from Elle Klass

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Elle Klass fans will undoubtedly love “The Monster Upstairs”,  latest in her “Bloodseeker” series set in historic St. Augustine, Florida.

This heart-stopping sequel to the first book in this series, “The Vampires Next Door”, provides a wild ride (some onboard a rather hot werewolf) as the lethal conflict between Bloodseekers and Slayers intensifies. Slayers aren’t alone in their quest; in case you haven’t already guessed, werewolves are likewise engaged in this timeless battle, as well as Light witches and Dark witches, their mysterious ties revealed in this suspenseful Young Adult thriller.  I’m not normally a vampire fan, but Elle’s have a slightly different twist and culture, that makes them more interesting. Especially the Slayers, tasked with keeping them under control or, better yet, eliminated, through individual powers endowed through their amulets.

The author continues her enviable ability to bring vivid and memorable characters to life, as she has with all of her series. In this story we meet teenage Mandy, who’s suddenly confronted by unexpected and daunting challenges associated with her fated destiny. Previously unaware she’s the product of a forbidden liaison, she discovers family secrets in a shocking turn of events that change her life forever. Whisked away to Wolf Manor, she discovers the true nature of the mysterious man named Joel and his mother as well as the fateful roles they’ve played in her life.

Each supernatural entity has its own fascinating agenda as the forces of good and evil battle for dominance. The author brings refreshing new twists to classic supernatural beings you only thought you knew and understood. Their respective cultures and the relationships between them, both as individuals and groups, are nicely developed, bringing depth and credibility to their intriguing world.

Alison and Rodham, along with the other amulet-wielding Slayers you met in “The Vampires Next Door”, return, their fates converging with Mandy’s and Joel’s, as this clever tale gathers momentum and complexity, ultimately converging in a clash between powerful supernatural forces in historic, mystery-laden Saint Augustine. And there’s more in this series to come!

This Teen/Young Adult thriller is a fast read, but in spite of the paranormal subject, not overly graphic or so scary you can’t read it at night. I’m a real coward when it comes to such stuff, but had no problems being creeped out. I recommend reading “The Vampires Next Door” first, if you haven’t already, so you can follow more easily how the two books and characters fit together.

You can preorder your copy here.

While you’re waiting, get your copy of “The Vampires Next Door” here.

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New Thriller in Elle Klass’ “Ruthless Storm Trilogy” Just Released!

The Mind boggling conclusion to the Ruthless Storm Trilogy. Release date October 14, 2016.

My characters are fictional but crime, murders and serial killers are real. No crime is victimless. Buy In the Midst of the Storm during October and every cent Elle receives will be donated to victimsofcrime.org to help real victims.

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The thrilling conclusion is filled with suspense! Here’s an excerpt:

The cold air chilling her to the bone, she walked swiftly towards her apartment. Her mind cloudy from too many beers. A trail

through the woods surrounding her apartment complex opened up to her left. If she stayed the course of the street-lit sidewalk, it’d take her longer to get home than if she took the path through the woods that led almost directly to her door. Her body shivering, she decided to take the chance and cut through the woods. Really, it was just a small chunk of trees with a well-worn path that most people used for walking their dogs.

Halfway through the shortcut, she heard voices talking. She slowed her pace and listened but assumed it was a couple walking their dog.

“What the hell are you doing?!” yelled a male voice.

She jumped and on instinct plastered herself against a large tree and scanned the area. Hoping she was fully camouflaged by the thick trunk. She peeked her head around it and spotted two young men. One had jeans sagging past his buttocks and a red jacket. The other wore all black and he held a glinting silver object. Her mind flashed back to the shining object and black eyes that chased her within her nightmares. She breathed deeply, trying to stay calm, and considered her options. The last time she’d run through woods didn’t fare well for her and she ended up in a coma for a week.

Running was out of the question. Going forward was out of the question. She felt the cool metal of the pendant against her chest and remembered its soothing qualities. Taking a deep breath, she

crouched, using the trees for cover and squat-walked towards the next tree. She couldn’t avoid the piles of leaves littering the ground, but hoped her steps were gentle enough the guys would consider them an animal.



The voices moved closer to her and she went into near panic mode. Breathe, breathe. They’re probably just smoking pot and mean no harm, she soothed herself, but the feeling in her gut sent shivers of horror flying through her body. Bad memories resurfaced and she saw his face, the monster, Evan’s face. She closed her eyes, attempting to gather her courage.

Leaves rustled beneath their pounding footsteps, growing closer with each one. No longer able to control her fear, she took her chances and ran.

“Who’s there?” called one of the men, as Eilida sprinted through the woods. Not watching where she was going, she ran smack into broad shoulders and a rock hard abdomen. Waves of horror shuddered throughout her body.

Listen to the In the Midst of the Storm Soundtrack!

It’s sexy!

He wanted to make all the bad in her life disappear and he wanted her. The vibes bouncing off Eilida suggested she desired him just as much. Setting his plate on the table, he turned to face her and cupped her face in his hand. Then he brought his lips to hers. His sexual hunger matched by hers.
When they released the kiss, she set her plate beside his and brought her body closer to his, melting in his arms. Their mouths met again as their hands explored the other’s assets. His hand lingering on her perky breasts as he lifted her shirt and drew his tongue closer to them for a taste…

Review of Elle Klass’ “Baby Girl 6: Return to the Bay”

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Cleo’s saga continues in another suspense-filled episode. If you’re a Cleo fan like I am, you won’t be disappointed in this latest segment of her ongoing story. This one picks up where Baby Girl 5: Caribbean Heat drops you off with a nail-biting cliffhanger. Cleo, her best friend, Kacy, and La Tige have been ambushed and left in dire straits in a warehouse. Upon surviving this ordeal, the set out to figure out who the culprit is and his possible motive. More of Cleo’s family secrets are revealed in the fast-moving sequel. As always, the characters are convincing and endearing and by the time you make it this far in this enjoyable series, they’re like your own family. Cleo’s story just gets better and better.

Pick up your copy on Amazon here.

Review of Elle Klass’ “The Vampires Next Door”

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This fast-moving tale is populated with engaging characters whom you feel you know personally as this intriguing story unfolds. Freshly transplanted to St. Augustine, Florida, Alison is a shy teenager with the usual insecurities inherent to her age who lives with her recently divorced mother. The two of them reside in an apartment where Alison engages in some people-watching, particularly Rodham, whom she has the hots for, as well as a bunch of young women who occupy the apartment next door. These particular neighbors are given to loud, boisterous partying into the wee hours of the night while her mother, a shift nurse at a local hospital, is typically gone. Of course the title of this story serves as a spoiler as to who and what those nuisance neighbors actually are.

Much to Alison’s horrified delight, Rodham introduces himself and the pair begin a warm friendship moving toward a cozy romance as they investigate exactly what’s going on with these weird neighbors. A variety of surprises and plot twists quickly ensue, presented in Elle Klass’ outstanding, character-driven style with which she’s developed a unique vampire culture known as Bloodseekers with whom an eternal war wages with their mortal enemy, the Slayers. Skillfully woven into the history of the USA’s oldest European-established, continuously occupied settlement, you’ll find a liberal dose of paranormal phenomena intermingled with magic that will satisfy Harry Potter as well as other fantasy fans. You’ll have to read this exciting tale to find out where the young hero and heroine fit into this fascinating tale, but rest assured you won’t be disappointed.

Even better, since you’re bound to fall in love with Alison and Rodham, this is the first volume of a trilogy which promises further exciting adventures. While this story contains plenty of action and intrigue, it’s well within the PG range and thus suitable for adolescents and teenagers. It gets creepy and a little scary, but not terrifying, just exciting. The author’s former life as a junior high school teacher comes through beautifully in her understanding of teen motivation, behavior and emotions. Nonetheless, the book contains enough substance, character development and plot twists to satisfy readers of all ages. I’m not a big vampire fan myself, yet thoroughly enjoyed this suspense-laden tale by this up and coming multi-genre author.

You can pick up your copy on Amazon here.

“The Calm Before the Storm: Evan’s Sins” – Nail-biting Murder Mystery Suspense

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If you like extreme suspense that lingers somewhere in the dark with The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock and Mary Higgins Clark, then you need to check out Elle Klass’ latest chiller, Calm Before the Storm: Evan’s Sins. There were parts of this book that were simply too much for this faint-hearted reader to handle!

There were a few scenes I contributed to via my Whobeda persona. I had fun doing this interview for Elle’s blog with the fictitious Whobeda which you can find here. After we discovered that astrology works on fictitious characters (see my previous blog on the subject here) Elle decided what we’d discovered was too good not to include in the book as part of its occult angle. Stay turned for an excerpt that contains some of the results. It wasn’t originally intended to be a blatant plug for my book, Whobeda’s Guide to Basic Astrology, but it turned out that way. In fact, the reason it’s now available in print as well as an ebook is because Elle wanted to give away an autographed copy as part of her book launch activities. Talk about motivation!

It’s no surprise that Elle’s a night-owl whose imagination feeds off shadows and creaks in the attic. Her previous works include As Snow Falls (which I loved); Eye of the Storm Eilida’s Tragedy (creeped me out), and the Baby Girl series (if you haven’t met Cleo, you need to). Eye of the Storm Eilida’s Tragedy, first book in this new series, is a Reader’s Favorite Fiction-Paranormal Finalist in the 2015 Reader’s Favorite Awards. The Calm Before the Storm Evan’s Sins is a worthy sequel (prequel, actually) that’s even creepier. Elle has a gift for suspense which in this series has turned lethal. (It’s moderately graphic in the sex and violence department to say nothing of nail-biting suspense so I’d rate it in the “R” range.)

Visit her website at https://elleklass.weebly.com.

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Blurb:

Evan O’Conner isn’t a normal child. His father’s alcoholism and mother’s abuse drive him to concoct a plan to rid his life of them permanently. The night is fraught with a horrendous storm, thunder and lightning as the beast inside him is born. Even in her death his mother won’t leave. She haunts his subconscious as he attempts over and over to kill her.

Evan meets his match when Officer Burkhalder enters the picture. One of her closest friends and his family fall victim to violent deaths during the worst hurricane Billows Hollow has ever seen. With only a sketch she learns the identity of the perpetrator and digs into his life, pries into his past – hunting him. Will she stop him? Or will somebody else?

Excerpt

Eilida yelped at the chance to make the OPA conference and her chance to meet nationally renowned Patrice Renard. The 9th annual professional astrology retreat in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She flew down the stairs and flopped her body on the couch next to Sage. Leaning her head against her friend’s shoulder she blurted her news. “I did it. We’re in!” She lifted her head to gauge Sage’s response.

“OMG!” The two women leapt off the couch and jumped up and down like two school girls going to see their favorite band. Both women believed there was more to life, something brewing beneath the surface, or in this case above the surface – dictated by the stars and planets of the vast universe.

Sage and Eilida arrived at the convention center and took the nearest escalator to where the conference was being held. They stepped inside the vendor room, eyes soaking in the activity around them. The huge room was divided into several aisles with more vendors lining both sides as well as the perimeter. Astrology related materials, from jewelry to crystals, were everywhere. As they strolled the aisles, Eilida tried not to be too obvious ogling the name badges of those around them, looking for someone whose name she’d recognize. Some astrologers looked appropriately weird in long, flowing skirts matched only by their hair, with more rings than fingers while others were in jeans and others still in business dress. The men were mostly in casual dress, though one in particular was wearing a kilt. Her eyes took in his strong, muscular legs and sent a quiver bounding through her as she imagined the kilt tossed on the arm of a chair and… She shook the image from her mind.

The pair perused the plethora of goodies, Eilida dragging her friend by the hand when she saw a crystal table, spending a good bit of time examining the many offerings. She felt drawn to certain ones, slips of cardstock the size of a business card accompanying each one describing the stone’s influence.

She stood there a while, admiring one in particular for its odd shape. The card said it was a desert rose, good for transmuting hatred into love and healing past conflicts. She took it in her hand to see how it felt. It felt good but she could see the vendor guy was occupied with other customers so set it back carefully, deciding to come back later.

Another table caught her eye, this one apparently occupied by an astrologer. The lady behind it had shoulder length salt and pepper hair, maybe a bit more salt than pepper. Her genuine smile and attentiveness to those talking to her attracted Eilida. While other patrons talked to the astrologer Eilida browsed her books, one of which was entitled Whobeda’s Guide to Basic Astrology. She picked it up and flipped through the pages, reading sporadically.

As much of an astrology buff as she was, most of it really confused her. Written in terms that made sense, Eilida decided to buy one and waited in line to get it autographed.

At last it was her turn and she handed over the book, grateful no one was behind her so she could chat a bit.

“Hi,” the woman said with a smile. “Would you like me to inscribe it to you personally or leave it plain so you can sell it on eBay when you’re done?”

Eilida laughed. “I wouldn’t do that!” she responded.

“Yes, you would,” Sage muttered, giving her a friendly nudge.

Continue reading

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Some things are too weird to explain. Now before I step into territory that’s way, way out there, let me preface it with the fact it takes a lot for something to be so off-the-scale that I can’t even explain it in a fictitious manner. After all, among other things I AM a science fiction writer who has come up with all sorts of things. But this is real. At least if you believe in stuff like astrology.

You may or may not know that I’m a professional astrologer, another hat that I wear when I’m not writing science fiction. Yes, I have a physics degree, and yes, I worked at NASA for over twenty years and yes, there actually is a thread albeit a tenuous one, holding those three things together in that they all involve space in one form or another.

8489944_sIn college I was “taught” that astrology was nothing more than myth and superstition and I believed them. I believed them so much that when I was writing a novel several years ago that had a physicist protagonist I decided to make his ex-wife into astrology to make her as annoying as humanly possible. Wanting my book to have the details correct meant I had to learn a little bit about astrology, so I found a used paperback copy of “Sun Signs” by Linda Goodman as a start. And much to my shock, I discovered that it worked!

It was several years before I got into astrology more seriously but a year or so before I retired I started studying with the International Academy of Astrology, eventually graduated from their professional training program and started practicing via my website, ValkyrieAstrology.com. This course of study took years and felt equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. I was astounded (and still am) about how much there was to learn and how much I didn’t know (and still don’t).

As a writer, I immediately recognized that knowing the characteristics of the different sun signs can come in very handy for developing characters. I even have a blog about it called “Creating Star Characters.” Then I did a character interview for Susanne Leist’s “The Dead Game” character, Shana Logan. I created the astrological chart from scratch based on how Shana acted in the book. It was apparent she was an Aries due to her impulsive sense of adventure and her bright, flashy manner of dressing threw some Leo in there, too. She was creative and multi-faceted in a way that hinted at a Sagittarius Moon. I plugged the data into my report software and a complete description came out that was very much as expected and surprised Susanne.

shanaloganNCSince the chart was fabricated entirely by me including selecting a birth date and tweaking the timing to fit, this wasn’t that much of a surprise.

Sometime later, however, in working with fellow author, Elle, Klass, it inadvertently went to the next level. Elle had given her characters an actual birth date and place as part of her character development process. First, I must explain that Elle is not an astrologer. She didn’t specifically decide that Eilida would have the traits of an Aries when she chose April 5 as her character’s date of birth. Having read the book (“Eilida’s Tragedy: Eye of the Storm Book 1”), however, I had already pegged her as one so had to smile when Elle told me the date. The character’s penchant for detail implied Virgo so I arranged her time of birth to provide a Virgo ascendant. I ran another natal report. Not only was the character’s backstory implied but it also included allusions to events to come in the next book in the series. We were both astounded

Having had that work so well, we decided to run a report for her antagonist, Evan O’Connor, as well. I gotta say he’s one of the nastiest villains ever to grace a fictitious page and I’m glad he’s not real. And lo and behold, the results fit him just as well, right down to his attachment to his mother.

CBS teaser 2Like I said earlier, Elle loves details, which is one thing that makes her such a superb writer, so she had dates of key events in her book as well so I ran what is called a transit chart and compared it to the character’s natal charts. (For those of you unfamiliar with astrology, a transit chart is the position of the planets at a given time and place. These interact with the horoscope of the person and create certain energies which fit the archetypes of events and situations around them.) Again, the fit was so accurate that it was downright creepy.

How could it be?

These were fictitious characters involved with fictitious events fabricated by a very human author yet they fit as well as if they were real.  Huh???

That certainly introduces some extremely interesting philosophical and metaphysical speculations. As an author myself, I know how characters take on a life of their own. After you’ve been writing for a while you learn to let them be born as opposed to created and watch them spring to life endowed with a personality that often brings surprises as you turn them loose within the framework of your plot. But how could these characters have a natal chart that then proceeds to fit the transits of subsequent events in a novel?

Frankly, I have no idea. I do maintain that whether real or not each moment contains a certain unique energy. As a physicist I believe that astrology’s mechanism resides in the mysterious world of quantum mechanics and the concept of quantum entanglement. When a baby takes its first breath, leaving his or her previous home in another dimension to be joined with a physical body, s/he takes the cosmic energy of that moment with him or her. Then, as the planets move through their cycles those changes are felt by the original imprint. I know that is probably a stretch but hopefully someday we’ll know for sure. Until someone comes up with something better it seems to fit.

To make a long story short, my astrologer persona, Whobeda, eventually became a character in Elle’s upcoming book, “Calm Before the Storm: Evan’s Sins,” to be released next week along with some of the astrology we pursued along the course of the story. You can find her interview with Whobeda on here blog here. The beauty of it is if any of her readers are into astrology they’ll recognize it as accurate, even if they go so far as to check the charts.

CBS award ebookWhile I may not be able to explain why it works, nonetheless it does. As a fiction writer myself I definitely plan to use this to my advantage in upcoming works. You can find “The Calm Before the Storm” via links below.

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Amazon – http://amzn.to/1FECDEx

Amazon.co.uk – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Calm-Before-Storm-Ruthless-Trilogy-ebook-x/dp/B015VD6856/

Amazon.ca – http://www.amazon.ca/Calm-Before-Storm-Ruthless-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B015VD6856/

Amazon.com.au – http://www.amazon.com.au/Calm-Before-Storm-Ruthless-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B015VD6856/

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/571520

Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Elle_Klass_The_Calm_Before_the_Storm?id=JlufCgAAQBAJ

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-calm-before-the-storm-evan-s-sins

Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-calm-before-the-storm-evans-sins-elle-klass/1122731283

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/calm-before-storm-evans-sins/id1045083502

Baby Girl Series Box Set Now Available!

Babygirl bannerI’m excited to be one of the stops on the blog tour for the release of Elle Klass’ Baby Girl Series Box Set! I loved the stories the first time I read them as separate books, which tended to be several months apart, which meant that I often forgot who some of the characters were during the time gaps. Thus, I truly enjoyed being able to reread the entire story, start to finish, as one contiguous story. Some scenes were expanded or even added which further enhanced this amazing tale of an abandoned girl’s quest to not only find out who she really is but to survive.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Elle was born in Redwood City, California and spent her childhood growing up in the fabulous San Francisco Bay Area. She is an avid San Francisco Forty Niners fan. She has raised two beautiful daughters, and currently resides in Florida. For fun she reads, spends time at the beach, travels, and enjoys time with her favorite friends, and family. She is a night-owl known as most her creative energy and ideas strike after 9 p.m. I interviewed Elle here on my blog site a few months ago which you can find here.

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The box set includes the entire saga as told in the original four books entitled In the Beginning, Moonlighting is Paris, City by the Bay, and Bite the Big Apple. The story begins when abandoned at 12, Baby Girl is forced to face the harsh realities of life and struggles to find her path. She forages for sustenance, steals from the wealthy, and sleeps in any dark hole she can find. A ‘family’ of sorts forms between her and a band of other youngsters. Together they fight for survival, friendship, and love in the midst, but that is only the beginning. Life throws her one curve ball after another until secrets are revealed and the search for her true origins begins and ends with the powerful truth.

Here are excerpts from each of the individual stories that comprise the Baby Girl Box Set.

Book 1: In the Beginning

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Approaching Winter

We burned stray wood and paper in the trashcan for warmth, and stock-piled blankets, coats and extra clothes during the frigid winter months. Star and Peewee huddled together for warmth and Einstein held me close. The city was marvelous and bustling with life making it easy now to fit into a crowd and earn extra money. We tricked people out of hundreds of dollars in cash taking advantage of their generosity.

Einstein found an old small plastic Christmas tree in a dumpster and brought it to the warehouse. He insisted it wasn’t Christmas without presents so we found gifts for each other and placed them under the tree. It was the first Christmas in my life I celebrated. My mother never celebrated any holiday, nor did I ever receive gifts on special occasions such as my birthday. My mom’s gift every year was an expressionless ‘Happy birthday’. I found a working gold watch with engraving on the underside of the face plate, but that didn’t matter. I gave it to Einstein because of his preoccupation with keeping track of time. Star found and gave Peewee a new pair of shoes as his were falling apart at the seams and unsuitable for trudging through piles of snow. Star gave me a fiction book as I loved to read, and Einstein gave Star a tiara because she adored anything with sparkles and glitter. Instead of eating leftovers or cooking canned meats or hotdogs, we took our money and ate inside a nice restaurant. We splurged and partied creating an unforgettable Christmas.

Einstein survived on his own longer than the rest of us and wanted more than dumpster leftovers and abandoned warehouses. He grew eager to leave and developed a plan to heist jewelry and small valuable items from people’s homes while they were away on vacation. Later we’d sell everything for cash.

We became obsessed with staking out neighborhoods and houses. The four of us wanted the same thing, a “normal” life. We found homes spaced apart geographically, hoping to draw less attention than if we hit homes in the same areas. Einstein and I hit the first home and everything went smooth as melted caramel. We chose the house after observing the owner’s leaving the spare key hidden under a stone behind the house. The ordinary neighborhood and tract homes meant no alarms. For our first heist we made a wise choice.

Once inside the house we used our flashlights to find our way around, careful not to shine them towards the windows and take the chance of alerting the neighbors. In the master bedroom we found a solid gold chain, two gold rings with precious stones that Einstein said were amethyst, emeralds, and onyx but mostly costume stuff. How Einstein knew each stone stumped me. In the dining hutch we found crystal goblets. Einstein claimed they were real crystal because he wet his finger, swirled it around the top of one glass and made it sing. A cool trick I wouldn’t have known on my own. I took his knowledge of precious stones and crystal as clues to his upbringing and guessed he’d lived a more privileged life than myself.

“How did you know to do that?”

The corners of his lips turned upward in a smile. “I can’t tell you all my secrets.”

We wrapped the goblets in dish towels using great care and placed them into our backpacks.

After Einstein and I successfully hit a few homes, Star decided she wanted in on the scam. Einstein thought it was a bad idea because of Peewee, but Star insisted. She wanted a piece of the action. She and Einstein butted heads over it causing friction amongst us.

One night Star and Peewee followed us out and caught up to us as we finished hijacking items from the house. The second we stepped outside the house a familiar whisper, “Cleo” alerted me Star followed us. My body halted mid-stride as I caught sight of her and Peewee’s shadows standing against the wall of the house. Einstein motioned for them to edge their way to the back of the house where there were no light sensors. Star shuffled towards us, but Peewee stepped out too far and the lights went on brightening the entire side of the house. Oh crap! We fled in varying directions. I held the bag of loot in my hand and once I ran I didn’t turn my head to look behind me. I hastened my pace at the sounds of people. Several blocks away I cowered in an alley to catch my breath. Einstein was right behind me and ducked into the alley with me.

“Star and Peewee, are they with you?”

He shook his head as if to say ‘no’ and turned his eyes downward. “It’s time to leave” he said after a moment of silence.

“OK, yeah, we need to get back.”

He grasped my shoulders. “Leave – as in this city. There were too many lights, commotion, and sirens at the scene for Star and Peewee to slip away. They aren’t as savvy as we are. The police are gonna be looking for us next.”

My mind absorbed with escaping I missed the wailing sirens. He was right and my head reeled at the implications his words threw at me.

“You think they’ll tell on us?”

The nod of his head told me ‘yes’.

I couldn’t leave yet I needed my bag from its secret place.

“We gotta go back to the warehouse. I have something hidden there that I need.” His eyes grew soft, and he agreed.

Back at the warehouse, I went straight to my secret place. Within minutes the sound of voices tickled our eardrums and lights flashing beneath us.

“Squish in beside me.”

Without a moment to spare Einstein squeezed in the cubby hole. Radios blared on the other side of the cubby and police scoured the building but came up empty. I whispered in Einstein’s ear, “Star and Peewee squealed quick.”

“They did – or the police are here for something else.” ‘Something else’ was possible. Either way, neither of us wanted to get caught. Hours passed with Einstein and I scrunched on top of each other. Teenage hormones, close quarters, and our semi attraction to each other brought our relationship to a new level. Our hearts raced together from the excitement. Einstein held me flush against him.

“I love you Cleo.”

The sound of his words caused a wave of want to wash came over me and I kissed him. My first kiss ever. I drove my tongue deep inside his mouth. Einstein’s words and kiss melted my heart. My own mother never showed me any affection. As I kissed him, he kissed me back. We explored under each other’s clothes. Our fingers and hands discovering the joys of the opposite sex. I yearned for his love and firm embrace. The moment thrilled me, I didn’t want it to end.

The next day we waited for Star and Peewee, but we both knew the police found them. Under the cover of dusk we snuck out, taking great pains to not get caught.

Book 2:  Moonlighting in Paris

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Here and Gone

Our engagement party stood out as the soirée of all soirées: co-workers, friends, and I invited Kamisha. I unexpectedly grew used to the flamboyant lifestyle, but on the inside – it wasn’t me. The focus of the night centered on Didier and I and it overwhelmed me. People I barely knew, or never met congratulated me, and young ladies eyed me with envy. Whispers circulated the room: Who is she? Where did she come from? Then You don’t belong… You don’t belong in smudged lipstick echoed inside me. I snuck away finding a deserted room I closed the door behind me and took a deep breath then composed myself. The echoes in my head faded, and I emerged into the hallway.

The door closed behind me and a warm, sweaty hand slipped across my mouth. Heavy breathing followed by a crackling voice said, “You need to go back to wherever you came from, Justine.” Her voice reverberated inside me and Sam’s self-defense skills blossomed into action as I grabbed hold of the mystery woman’s arm and slung her over my shoulder. A puff of dark hair and a small frame came thundering forward, landing on the floor with a loud thud. I drove my shoe into her side for good measure and ran down the hall, rounding the corner I ran into Sam.

The expression on my face gave away my fear. “Wow! Where have you been? What happened?”

“I threw her in the hall, on the floor.” I squeaked. He burst down the hall.

Didier’s forehead creased with lines and his eyes grew dark as he walked towards me. He scrutinized our actions. “Where is Sam?”

“I used the skills he taught me. A woman caught me from behind, I flipped her, and left her in the hall crumpled on the floor.”

A look I didn’t expect came over his face as his lips curled into a smile of satisfaction. “I will remember not to get on your bad side. Was she the same woman from Aruba?”

“I don’t think so. Her hair was dark and short, although her size and frame are correct. With her hair covering her face, I can’t be sure.”

The woman disappeared by the time Sam arrived. He and security scoured every inch of the hotel, and scanned the video footage, though apparently she busted the camera in that hallway. My immediate thought was, how convenient you little bitch. They didn’t find her, although we didn’t come up empty handed. I threw her so hard she left a small blood stain behind, it got collected and sent in for analysis. In the cover of night she fled, but I would soon know who she was and I’d be ready. My devious mind schemed for her return.

Over the next few weeks, I assisted in planning my wedding and succumbed to being a public societal figure. In the past I worried about my transgressions slamming me in the face, but now I looked my fear in the eye and assisted in the hosting and planning of various charity events. I wanted this would-be assailant woman to find me. With my ears open and eyes peeled, I watched and waited.

Book 3:  City by the Bay

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The Tomato Shack

I worked up the courage over a weekend to visit the places my mom frequented, according to the letters, every three years with Slug. The Tomato Shack was a divey little sub sandwich shop outside Sacramento. The blue paint on the outside peeled and cracked from sun and lack of upkeep. Each window displayed the ad, Lunch Sandwich Special 12 inch Sub Plus Large Drink and Bag of Chips $5.00, along with multiple sets of fingerprints. Inside, dirt built up in the corners of the tile floor, and dark mucky splotches muddled the walls. The whole place reminded of an unclean public restroom. The counter and tables looked clean, although I doubted bleach had touched them for years.

A young girl, no more than sixteen, stood behind the counter. She twisted at her blond ringlets while smacking on what sounded like an entire package of bubble gum, her hands gliding over the screen of her phone. I grasped she wouldn’t be able to provide me any info, although I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask. She glanced my way with steely, battleship-gray eyes as I approached the counter, “Ready to order?” she asked, placing her phone on the counter with a sigh like I was intruding on her.

I flipped my P.I. card at her. “I’m looking for information. Is there a manager or owner whom I could speak with?”

“My dad owns the place. He’ll be in tomorrow.” Her words came out in spurts between chomps, followed up with a mega-sized bubble I expected to pop all over her face. She sucked it back in without a single strand sticking to her face. Her blank stare told me her synapses halted firing and her brain was a few walnuts shy of the tree.

“Thanks, about what time?”

Chomp, chomp, smack. Her eyes jolted to life alerting me that her synapses were back online. “‘Bout one in the afternoon.”

“I’ll be back then.”

My next stop was 1523 Tanwood Dr. Rows of duplexes lined the street on both sides circling around a cul-de-sac. The construction was ‘80s style with lackluster brown paint on each and every cloned home. 1523 sat on the outer edge of the cul-de-sac. I walked up the street, contemplating what to say. I considered this place had been something to Slug, not my mother, and many years passed since he’d sent the letter. Neighborhoods like these were transient, revolving doors for people trying to make a start or dealing drugs. Thoughts flopped around in my head something like a lizard’s tail missing its body. The front door coming ever closer with each step.

The door now stared me in the face, the doorbell a hands length away. Without warning heavy metal music blasted like an automatic rifle against my eardrums, and the sound of a sputtering engine halted me in my tracks. I turned to see a late model Camaro pulling into the driveway. A fortyish man stepped out of the vehicle, a mane of thick brown hair flowed in a bad mullet from his head, a denim jacket minus sleeves covered his torso. The sleeves handmade judging by the frazzled ends of the fabric around his arms, with a black rock T underneath, and jeans that boasted more holes than my worst pair during my homeless days, covered his legs. “I’m not buying, so go away,” sputtered off his lips with a vengeance.

Did I look like a saleswoman in my jeans and T-shirt? His obvious negativity towards me resonated inside my head, forcing me to make up a story and quick. “No, no, I’m not here selling anything. In fact, I’m hoping you can help me?”

“You’re a little young for me, but maybe we can work something out.” He murmured edging ever closer attempting to invade my space. I felt uncomfortable, and thoughts of planting my foot straight into his most prized bodily possession lingered at the edge of reality. Carefully, I chose my words, “Are you Frank Tomey?”

I knew Slug, Frank, or whoever, was sitting inside a jail cell; however, I meant business. He stopped a few feet from me; narrowed his eyes into tiny slits while rolling his fat sickly yellowish tongue across his lips. “Frank. What do you want with him?” Satisfaction overwhelmed me. He knew him. My fabrication formulated with every word that sprung from my mouth.

“I believe I’m his daughter. Many years ago he dated my mom.” At this point I pulled out the picture of Perdy I lifted from her mother’s and poised it in front of his face.

“I never seen her and haven’t talked to Frank in a decade.” His eyes prickled at me to go away, and with each ensuing second that passed the air thickened with tension. I stood my ground, an out of shape, ‘80s castaway was no match for me.

I drilled him with my cold hard stare until he relented. “Alright, Frank is my kid brother but we don’t talk. He got messed up in some bad shit I didn’t need rolling back on me.”

I continued my glare, attempting to boil information from his innards. “I didn’t know he had a kid, doubt he knew he had a kid. You gonna keep staring me down?” Since studying La Tige’s tactics this had been my first opportunity to use them and they worked far better than I expected. Sweat drops bubbled on his forehead. “He’s in jail, killed some kid a few years ago. He’s not a good guy. Not even when he was a young pup. Always played dirty.”

Now that he was talking I dared to reenter the conversation using the sympathy card. “I’m not looking for him to be a father figure. I just want to know about him.”

“It’s been a long night. Can this wait?”

“No, it took me days, and switching several busses to get here after finding a love letter he wrote to my mother asking her to meet him here, and to bring me.” I fudged the love letter thing, thinking that my continued appeal to his compassionate side would at least get me in the door.

He rolled his eyes. “A love letter? He’s a psychopath, an extreme narcissist.” He flopped his hands to his sides in surrender. “Come in. I’ll tell you what I got.” And whatever I asked he answered.

The tales he told were too far-fetched not to be true. “Frank left home at 17, went to Georgia, or Alabama. I forget. He hooked up with some chick, I’m guessing your mom. Then he got a big job in New York working as an enforcer for a rich, powerful family named Britt or Bridge, Bridd? I figured they were mafia, but the name sounded English. I’d figured it would be Scarletti or something Italian. After that he’d come visit every few years. Driving a truck, I’m on the road a lot, so I’d let him crash here. He talked big about his job, being the muscle for that family puffed up his self-centered ego. After a while I didn’t hear from him no more. He’s my brother, but he’s a bad egg, so I didn’t miss him. Then several years ago, he calls me from jail. Hadn’t heard from him in years and suddenly he wants money for a lawyer.” He clicked his tongue. “He’s not head smart, but I can’t remember him ever mentioning a kid.”

I pondered his words, swishing them around mentally. “I don’t think he wanted much to do with me. She raised me alone, never said a word about who my father was. When I grew old enough to ask she blew it off, changing the subject. I found the letters while snooping around her room.” It wasn’t a total embellishment; at least the snooping and single mom things were true. He gave me Slug’s (Frank’s) address in prison. One day I’d pay old Slug a visit, but not until I fit the puzzle pieces together.

The following day arrived with a chill in the air and fog so dense I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. By noon a carpet of blue sprawled across the sky, and the fog dissipated without leaving a trace. The sandwich shop looked just as dismal and murky as the previous day. A pimply faced young man replaced gum-smacking blondie at the counter. I went through the same routine without squandering a single second. “I was here yesterday and a young blond girl told me the owner would be in today?”

“Dad, a lady’s here to see you!” He hollered. His buzz cut moved as his mouth opened.

A family-run business, perhaps he didn’t sell enough sandwiches to hire real help. Within a few minutes a staunch, grossly overweight man shuffled towards me. His eyes were tiny beads set inside rolls of dough, and large wet stains filled the cloth beneath his armpits, I noticed as he offered me his hand, mumbling something that sounded like, “What can I help you with?”

I shook his pudgy, cold, clammy hand. “I work for a P.I. We’re looking for a woman. She used to frequent here about fifteen years ago.” I pulled out Perdy’s picture, which he took and examined, holding it an arm’s length from his face.

He rubbed his available hand across his mouth and nose as if deep in thought, his chest heaved in and out. “I remember her. She met a man in the parking lot once, called the police on him. He hit her right outside the door, and knocked her on the ground; her nose was flowing like a sieve. Scared my customers.”

I looked around at the vacant shop attempting to envision people eating here. He must have read my body language. “This place used to get business, high school kids, day time regulars, until crime moved in and everyone else moved out. Police cleaned it up, but it’s too late, everyone’s gone.” His voice laced with melancholy for the booming place his restaurant had been.

He talked in short sentences, followed by heavy breathing as if each word formed was a struggle. I felt no need to keep this man talking or reflecting on a time past. I had enough. I’d call the sheriff’s office tomorrow and get the police report faxed.

Book 4: Bite the Big Apple

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Catch Me if You Can

I searched the surrounding woods looking in all the nooks and crannies I would have hid inside of. My advantage, I played in the woods as a child and knew the best hiding places. I found them in a hollowed out tree trunk, one of my favorite childhood spots. I walked up to the tree keeping my voice calm. “Come on out. I’m not going to turn you in.”

One at a time they crawled out of the tree trunk. Both stood before me staring at the ground. “We’re sorry. We didn’t know you lived there.” Said the girl.

“I don’t anymore. What are your names?” Their eyes met then both sets locked onto my eyes.

“I’m Rosey and he’s Thorn.” Obviously made up names, same M.O. as Einstein and I.

“Rosey and Thorn, nice to meet you. Are you hungry?”

Thorn grabbed Rosey’s hand. “Yes, thank you. What’s your name?” I envisioned the many times Einstein held my hand in a similar way.

“Shanna, I don’t drive but town is a short walk.”

“Why don’t you own a car?”

Rosey poked Thorn in the side and whispered, “She invites us to eat and you complain she doesn’t have a car?”

I chuckled. “I don’t like to drive.”

We strolled into town and chatted most the way. Once we sat down for dinner they ate like little pigs, another sign confirming they ran away. When they filled their bellies I asked them questions.

“I won’t waste my time or yours. Rosey and Thorn are not your real names. I want to help you but you have to trust me.”

“We can leave, thanks for dinner,” said Thorn.

I put my palm out instructing them to stop then waved my hand towards the seat for them to sit. They were compliant and planted their butts back into the booth.

“Spill.”

Rosey opened her mouth first. “My mother is ill. She can’t work and my father is dead.”

I raised my eyebrow then turned to Thorn. “And you?”

He sat silent for a moment his head angled towards the table. He rose his head without looking at me. “OK, Rosey is a better liar than me. Her mother isn’t ill and her father isn’t dead. We go into your cabin sometimes and smoke pot.”

I nodded. “The made up names?”

“We didn’t want to get caught. It’s still illegal for us.”

“Unless you have a medicinal card which two minors wouldn’t have. Where do you get the pot?”

Thorn shrugged. “My dad’s stash.”

“Do you live close?”

“I do, Thorn is my cousin. He’s staying with me this weekend.” Rosey slid out of the booth.

“I’ll walk you both home.”

Relief washed over my body until I saw Rosey’s house. The siding missing in spots, junk cars littered the driveway, and the front window had a long crack in it. Poor didn’t mean her parents weren’t loving people. I sucked in my judgements until I met her parent’s.

“Thanks, you don’t need to follow us inside.”

“I’d like to say hi to your parents.”

An outside light lit up as we walked towards the house. And the front door opened. A bulky man stood in the doorway, blocking the inside light. “That you Jen?”

“Yes dad.”

“Who’s that with you?”

“Shanna, we met her in town today.”

Her father carried his large bulk towards me. “Shanna, nice to meet you and thank you for seeing they got home safe. Would you like to step inside for a minute?” I accepted his offer as I worried for the teens. After thirty minutes of discussion he passed my test, and I left. The shack stood on the other side of the patch of woods from their house.

Crickets chirped their night time song, and the gibbous moon lighted my way. I stayed one last night. The next morning I bought $346 worth of groceries and had them delivered to Rosey’s (Jen’s) house.

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Cleo is the main character in the Baby Girl series so let’s learn a little bit more about this feisty and resourceful girl.

MF: What is your name?

Cleo

MF: Do you have a nickname?

I’ve had more names than blades of grass on a lush lawn Justine and Shanna to name a couple.

MF: What is your hair color?

My natural color is dark brown but it’s been various shades depending on my persona.

MF: What is your eye color?

Green

MF: How old are you?

21

MF: Where were you born?

Brennan California. Not really, I grew up there but was born in a hospital in New York.

MF: Where have you lived since then?

Most everywhere in the U.S. – Alabama, California, New York, Seattle. I also lived in Paris for a couple years.

MF: Where do you currently call home?

Where ever my heart takes me.

MF: What is in your refrigerator right now?

I love to cook so a little of this a little of that. You won’t find any hot dogs or junk food.

MF: What is on your bedroom floor?

The carpet. OK, seriously my favorite pair of flip-flops. They’re black with beads adorning the toe piece.

MF: What is on your nightstand?

A picture of my fun in Santa Cruz. Fetch, Kacy, myself, and Javier took a group photo in the hot tub. The picture brings back fun memories I like to think about when I’m falling asleep. I have an alarm clock shaped like a shell that plays Wipeout.

MF: What is in your garbage can?

Trash, an empty bottle of Sauvignon blanc,

MF: Who are the people you are closest to?

La Tige, Kacy, James and Will. We talk and visit every chance we get. La Tige isn’t a big talker so I dominate our conversations but he’s like a father to me. Kacy is the best friend a girl could ever have.

MF: Who is your funniest friend?

Kacy! She is crazy and makes silly facial expressions while doing impressions.

MF: What is your most treasured possession?

My back pack memories – pictures of Einstein, memorabilia of our times together.

MF: What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Einstein was my first love. A huge part of my heart will always belong to him.

MF: What do you most value in your friends?

Their big hearts. I grew up without a “real” family. My best friends are my family. La Tige has done more to help me than any single person without prodding. Kacy and I have an inseparable bond and Will is Will. James was always there for me when I needed shady business done. It felt really great to do something for him.

MF: What is your motto?

Don’t give up!

Cleo’s Pinterest Pagehttps://www.pinterest.com/elleklass/cleos-favorites/

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BUY LINKS:

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YDJX24K/

Amazon.co.uk – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Baby-Girl-Box-Books-I-IV-ebook/dp/B00YDJX24K/

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/545931

Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/baby-girl-box-set-books-i-iv-elle-klass/1122002631

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/baby-girl-box-set-books-i-iv

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/baby-girl-box-set-books-i-iv/id999488342

Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Elle_Klass_Baby_Girl_Box_Set_Books_I_IV?id=3HXKCQAAQBAJ&hl=en

Youtube Trailer- https://youtu.be/pVBnqyMGAY4

ELLE’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Bloghttp://thetroubledoyster.blogspot.com/
Websitehttp://elleklass.weebly.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ElleKlass
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7216745.Elle_Klass

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ElleKlass

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Elle Klass’ Latest Hit: Baby Girl 4 – “Bite the Big Apple”

Baby Girl 4 cover

The 4th and concluding episode to Elle Klass’ popular “Baby Girl” series, “Bite the Big Apple,” is out at last and fans will undoubtedly eat it up as they have the preceding three. For those familiar with the series, a rundown and excerpt is directly below. If you’re new to Cleo’s story, skip to the end of this post where you’ll find my review which provides a bit more background for this suspenseful saga.

SYNOPSIS

Cleo was abandoned at 12 and left to fend for herself. Now grown and coming full circle in book 4, she finds answers to the questions that have haunted and plagued her existence.

Masquerading as Shanna, she is hot on the trail of finally learning her identity. After spending a lifetime living lies she now finds her biological family, and learns the truth about her birth including why she was kidnapped at the hands of Perdy and why Slug hunted her down; killing her one true love.

Excerpt:

“Did you know my son?” The voice startled me out of my thoughts of Einstein. I looked up from my solace to see who I assumed was his mother. Her hair was blond like Einstein’s only she had streaks of white. The skin around her gentle eyes bore webs in the creases. She too was tall and thin. He looked much like her.

“No, I didn’t know him, but have heard what happened. I think it… is heartbreaking… what happened. I had a friend who… I just wanted to visit and pay my respects.” I wanted to tell her ‘yes, I loved your son’ but couldn’t bring myself to. Instead, I made up yet another story.

“My son was a very special young man. He wanted to do incredible things.” He did do something incredible. He loved and took care of me, but I didn’t say that to her.

“Do you mind me asking…? Do you know why he ran?” The questions ran out of my mouth like water from a hose. I kicked myself mentally for being so insensitive.

“I don’t feel that is your business.” The pain in her eyes was evident, although she didn’t ask me to leave. Maybe she needed to talk about it, wanted to talk about it. I needed to talk about it and didn’t want her running off so I continued.

“I’m sorry. I had a friend who ran and I don’t know why. Why kids leave a good home. You seem like such a nice woman, a good mother. My friend also had a good family but still he ran.”

I breathed a silent sigh of relief when she continued. “It seems ridiculous now. I can’t seem to forgive myself. We didn’t always see eye to eye with Burke.” For a long time we just stood there, saying nothing, each of us deep in our own sorrow for this lost young man.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

iBooks

Google Play

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Elle’s Social Media Links:

Website- https://elleklass.weebly.com

Blog- https://thetroubledoyster.blogspot.com

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7216745.Elle_Klass

Cleo’s Pinterest Page- http://www.pinterest.com/elleklass/cleos-favorites/

Twitter- https://twitter.com/Elleklass

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/ElleKlass

My Review

Fans of the “Baby Girl” series can now enjoy the long-awaited conclusion of this suspenseful saga about Cleo, a girl virtually orphaned at the age of twelve who not only has to survive on her own but elude someone who is trying to kill her. Cleo’s travels have taken her near and far, partly to escape from whoever is pursuing her with evil intent, but also in search of her true identity since the woman she knew as her mother clearly wasn’t her biological parent. This missing piece leaves a gaping hole within herself which she’s desperate to fill with the truth.

As Cleo follows additional leads toward the answers she has sought for years, she finds herself in New York where she finally succeeds in finding her biological roots. I don’t want this review to be a spoiler so won’t go into it any more than to say it’s a surprising yet very satisfying ending which answers all the questions presented in previous episodes. I do suggest, however, that readers might want to refresh their memories of how Baby Girl 3: “City by the Bay” ended because this one picks up at that point without fanfare. In fact, if you haven’t followed Cleo throughout her quest you should read all previous episodes first to fully appreciate this great conclusion.

There is plenty of food for thought in this volume as Cleo synthesizes some important lessons. One is that a person’s biological family is often not the desired source of nurturing and love you might expect. Orphans and adopted children tend to fill this painful gap in their background with an idealized version of who their parents are, which is seldom accurate. At some point it becomes apparent that parental surrogates and role models who have been there when you needed them as well as friends who have accepted, helped and loved you for who you are, even when you didn’t know yourself, are your true family as opposed to blood relatives. Often when people think they’re bereft of anyone who loves them it’s simply because they have not yet learned to know and love themselves.

Throughout this series Cleo has assumed various personas such as Justine when she was in Paris and Shanna in San Francisco as she attempted to hide from her unknown enemies. These were never entirely comfortable for her because she knew they didn’t represent who she really was. When she eventually discovers the identity of her biological family and finally answers the question which has haunted her most of her life, she realizes that it doesn’t change as much as she expected. She’s still the same person she’s always been and is actually better for her experiences than she probably would have been if she’d been raised by her biological family. This knowledge frees her at last just to be Cleo, who she’s been all along.

Review of Elle Klass’ “Eye of the Storm: Eilida’s Tragedy”

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A deranged serial killer, a violent thunderstorm, a neighbor inadvertently witnessing the gruesome scene. Seen by the perpetrator as she peeks through the backdoor, she tumbles down the side of a mountain trying to escape, sustaining a concussion and near-fatal injuries. Who is she? And what is the bizarre connection that links her with Sunshine, an ordinary young woman working as a receptionist at the local paper? This psychological paranormal thriller, reminiscent of the “Twilight Zone,” is a chilling tale with mystery and intrigue saturating every page. Told through the viewpoint of two different individuals, just when you think you have an inkling what the link between them might be another surprise comes out of nowhere, drawing you deeper and deeper into this bizarre tale.

Vivid imagery, strong characters and an intricate plot make this a story mystery fans won’t be able to put down. If you love a good murder mystery with paranormal overtones you’re sure to enjoy wading through the author’s cryptic miasma of clues trying to determine how everything ties together from the first page all the way until the heart-stopping climax.

AMAZON LINK

http://www.amazon.com/Eye-Storm-Eilidas-Tragedy-Ruthless-ebook/dp/B00OC2H712/
CONNECT WITH ELLE:

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http://thetroubledoyster.blogspot.com/
http://elleklass.weebly.com/
https://twitter.com/ElleKlass
https://www.facebook.com/ElleKlass

“As Snow Falls” by Elle Klass — A Simply Beautiful Story with a Deeply Profound Message

new cover 2

First of all, this is an excellent model for anyone who would aspire to write a personal history. The story’s easy and sometimes random flow of reminiscing demonstrates the simple memories and events which make a person come alive. It’s the daily routine from which we evolve even though the unusual experiences often change the course of our lives. As far as I recall, the woman whose life is recounted never gives her name, yet oddly enough this anonymity served to personalize it even more.

This story’s rendering is as unique as its enigmatic cover, which fits perfectly as you journey through the memoirs of a woman who has experienced the kind of life most of us would want; one with loving parents, kind siblings, faithful spouses and children who honor their parents. On the surface this could be considered too idealistic and even be a put-off to readers who have experienced divorce, abuse or perhaps harbor bitterness toward past events as well as anyone who sees it solely on the superficial level. On another more spiritual level it’s an effective allegory for what each of us may experience when the time comes as viewed through one woman’s life as it parades before her while she lingers at death’s door. Of course the season is winter, so often used as an analogy for the declining years and end of life, an archetype which operates at the subconscious level and makes the message more powerful.

I suppose this book hit home for me not only because I am now a retiree looking back on my life but also as someone who was raised in a family which gave even the Bunkers and Bundys some level of appeal. My upbringing was far from ideal and I likewise raised a family with a less than illustrious history regarding interpersonal relationships. Nonetheless this sweet story helped me remember the good times even while grieving for that which never was. Its pages chronicle the life so many aspire to yet never achieve, one of intergenerational love and dedication accompanied by an easy flow of income that precludes the stress and trials of financial woes. Unrealistic? Of course. Idealistic? Ditto. A person lacking depth could see this story as schmaltzy and sentimental. Yet without an ideal before us how can perfection be visualized much less attained? The question we should ask is not do such families exist but rather why not?

Another element this story captures at the soul level is that of meaning, that there are connections between us all. There are no coincidences. Everything happens for a reason and there’s a lesson in every experience. Beyond all else it begs the question, “Until we can each get along and perfect our families how can there possibly be hope for the world?” Its message will stay with me for a long time, a book I’ll never forget.

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Connect with Elle:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElleKlass

Website: http://elleklass.weebly.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ElleKlass @elleklass

Blog: http://thetroubledoyster.blogspot.com

Amazon Link:

http://www.amazon.com/As-Snow-Falls-Elle-Klass/dp/1482779706/