Glorious Day by Skye Kilaen #amreading #review #lesfic #scifi @skyekilaen

I read this novella earlier this month, and I have to say, I was pretty impressed. There are quite a few twists and turns in it. It’s got the perfect amount of plot for a novella. Check it out and my review.

 

The bodyguard is a traitor. The princess is her one true love. And the revolution is almost here.

Elsenna Hazen left spaceport security and ended up a royal bodyguard. She should have known better than to fall in love with a princess.

It’s been two years since one ill-advised kiss in the garden pulled them apart. With uprisings in the streets, the nervous princess transfers Elsenna back into her service. Her Highness has no idea Elsenna is leaking data to the revolutionaries bent on overthrowing the princess’s oppressive father.

Now Elsenna wakes up each day wondering what will happen first: her own execution, or that of the woman she could never stop loving. When rebel attacks escalate and the king plans retaliation, Elsenna discovers that the fights for her love and her life are one and the same.

This was a great quick read. I’m a slow reader, and I think I read it in about four hours start to finish. I enjoyed the simplistic plot, by that I mean the plot itself wasn’t simplistic, there was just really only one plot line, which is perfect for a novella of this length. The main character, Elsenna, was well-rounded and I loved having her insight. I definitely missing insight into the princess, but that was okay. She was intriguing character, and I could see why Elsenna was interested in her from beginning to end.

But this isn’t really a romance book. It’s a story about taking back our control of the government, kind of fitting to read this week actually since I am based in the US.

I would have given this 5 stars except it took awhile for the story to get really moving, and the first couple chapters were difficult for me to be interested in what was going on. The writing in the beginning seemed stiff/aloof, but it quickly morphed once the turning point in the story started and flowed much more easily.

Want to check it out?

Find it here…

Publisher
Amazon US

Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone 1) COVER REVEAL #amreading #lesfic

Today, I’m officially revealing the cover for Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1). This book. This book, you guys. I can’t even. I love it.

It’s a fuller expansion from a short story I wrote in 2015 called “A Blizzard’s Blow” in an anthology titled Young Love, Old Hearts. I have wanted to expand this story for YEARS, and I finally decided to do it.

Serial killer investigations need a woman’s touch, luckily Agent Morgan Stone is the best profiler the FBI has.

A twenty-year veteran of the FBI, Morgan has worked her fair share of cases. When Chicago Homicide Detective Fiona Wexford calls for a second opinion, Morgan jumps at the opportunity to help.

With a growing crush on Fiona, Morgan fails to weave the personal and professional when it becomes clear Fiona’s suspect is a serial killer. Taking over the investigation, Morgan rushes to solve the mystery and makes an egregious error in the process.

Will Morgan reclaim her case and catch her suspect before one more person has to die?

If you have read any of my Grace novels, you will recognize the main character’s last name. Morgan Stone is the oldest of the Stone children, Amya (Grace’s long-time girlfriend) being the youngest. And it may explain a lot as to why Amya puts up with so much from Grace or why she understands Grace’s quirks a whole lot.

Morgan is a 20 year veteran of the FBI. It’s been her life, and she loves it. She’s not someone who ever wants to be in a long term relationships (she was married once, it didn’t last long, and she thinks it was a HUGE mistake).

Morgan, also being the oldest child, gets the bulk of the family drama from most of her siblings and definitely from her mother. Who we will meet in person in Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2) — a Detective Grace Novel which releases in December of this year!

I have twelve books briefly outlined for this series, not including three crossover books with Grace and Amya. Those are going to be a blast. The design of this series is that every three books should go together in a sort of trilogy. You don’t have to read all of them at all, but there are hints of information in the first two books that lead a big case in the third.

So…we have…

Stone’s Mistake — Book 1
Race War — Book 2
Mr. Jimmy — Book 3

but alas, I’ve talked too much I think and should give you a bit of an excerpt. ALSO!!!! If you want an ARC (they’ll be going out in the next 1-2 months), send me an email (adrianjsmithbooks@gmail.com) and I’ll put you on the list for when they’re ready.

Morgan had arrived early that morning, but she had to wait for the local PD to let her in before she could go to the crime scene. She’d walked the apartment complex twice before the detective arrived well past nine in the morning. The murder had been discovered the night before, the car Morgan had been searching for parked by the apartment had only pissed her off even more.

When it had been run, an alert had popped up on her end, and she had immediately called Taylor and told him she was leaving in the morning. He readily agreed. She clenched her jaw and glared at the detective in charge. If St. Louis Police Department had only taken her inquiries seriously then perhaps they would have one less dead body on their hands.

Morgan stomped straight toward the detective’s vehicle. Pax’s rental SUV stopped her short, and the window rolled down. Pax gave her a grin, and Morgan sneered at him. “You better brighten up, buttercup, if you want any information from them. Going in there like that will get you nowhere.”

“Shove it. You got the good stuff.”

“Always, love.” Pax handed her the cup of coffee out the window, and she breathed in the aroma before taking a sip and hissing. “It’s hot.”

“No shit,” she muttered but took another sip anyway.

Pax drove ahead and parked next to the detectives vehicle. There were still uniformed officers on the property. Morgan walked to meet up with Pax, but he was already talking to the detective in charge. She raised her eyebrow at him and waited for introductions to be made.

He nodded at her. “This is my partner, Special Agent Stone. This is Detective Hadley.”

“Pleasure to meet you.” Morgan put her hand out for him to shake, but he stared at her and turned back to Pax. Inwardly groaning, Morgan listened and drank her coffee, absorbing anything he said. She worked it into her already built profile.

When Hadley offered to let them in the apartment, he turned to her with a hand on his hip and a smirk on his lips. “It’s a bloody mess in there, forewarning you.”

“Why? Because you think that I’m a lowly, petty woman who is going to faint at the sight of blood or because you just think I might be interested in the fact that this murder is a lot more violent than the others?”

Hadley’s lips thinned.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” Morgan pushed her way around him and walked up the awkward cement steps to the building. She made it to the top floor before Pax and Hadley were even at the second floor. She was pissed, and the anger running through her veins was not going to do her well. She flashed her badge at the uniform at the door and went inside after putting on her booties to cover her shoes, not wanting to wait one more minute for the asshole behind her.

No one was in the apartment but her. Taking in a deep breath, she caught the scent of flowers and bacon. Someone had cooked recently. Walking into the kitchen, Morgan found the dishes done and no sign that anyone had eaten there recently, much like the other crime scenes. Whoever was committing these murders was meticulous before they left about making sure the house or apartment was in complete order.

Morgan moved to the dining room. Nothing looked amiss there either. The chairs were tucked under the table, pushed in and out of the way. The living room had the throw blanket folded and tossed over the arm of the couch. Pax walked in, his breath slightly heavy from the climb up the stairs. She’d tease him about it later but really didn’t want to open any opportunity for the asshat to talk more than necessary. “Body found in the bed?”

“Yeah, this way.” Detective Hadley grunted and then led the way into the back bedroom, passed the bathroom. It was a small apartment. No more than five hundred square feet. It wasn’t spotlessly clean, but it was tidy. Everything was in place, just as she had requested it, except for the body. They had already taken that to the morgue, she knew. She and Pax would make that stop next, but first she’d wanted to get into the mind of her murderer.

The bedroom was a completely different story. The bed sheets were bloody, but the vague outline of where the body had been was imprinted into the pattern of blood. Splatters of red littered the ceiling, the headboard, and two walls, like the killer had shifted position in the middle of stabbing the victim. Unlike Andrea’s murder, this one was violent. If Morgan didn’t know better, she’d say her killer was angry.

“She’s getting more violent,” Morgan commented to Pax, bypassing Hadley.

“She?” Hadley asked.

Morgan refused to answer and let Pax do the talking for her. If she didn’t have a direct question to ask Hadley, she wasn’t about to talk to him, and she might even be of mind to complain to his supervisor if she could find the energy and the time.

“Theory is our killer is a woman.”

“Not theory. She is a woman. Your tests will come back, undoubtedly, that the victim had sex before she was killed with a woman. There has never been a sign of a male in the homes of our victims.”

“Jesus,” Hadley muttered.

Morgan spun on him with a grin on her face. “Want to make another snarky comment about women now or afraid one of us might kill you?”

Hadley blanched but wisely kept his trap shut. Morgan took her own photos on her phone, knowing she’d get copies of everything anyway but wanting access to it sooner rather than later.

A love affair with words…

Good morning, blog readers! The exciting part about this week is you get to hear from me. The sad part is you don’t get to hear from who I had planned.

I’m going to give you a random yet important topic today. Most people think that all authors love to read. That we have loved to read from birth and we have always loved to create stories from the time we were little.

I was not one of those people.

I passionately hated reading. It wasn’t until about seventh or eighth grade that I really picked up my first book without being forced and sat down and read it. I remember in third grade my mom knew I wasn’t doing well in reading. She talked to the school and they pulled me out of class for some testing.

Now, I was great at phonics. So that meant when they had me read out loud to them, they thought nothing was wrong. What they didn’t know was I had no freakin’ clue what I had just read. None of it made sense to me.

When we had reading time in class, I wouldn’t read. I had time the other students and averaged out how long it took them to flip a page in a chapter book. Then, instead of reading, I would watch the clock and wait for those thirty-three seconds to pass before I would change the page. Just because I didn’t read, doesn’t mean I wasn’t smart.

This pretty much continued until fifth grade when I moved to California with my mom. I went to a school for three weeks, and we had reading homework. Now that I think back on it, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who had reading home. Damn mom and her cleverness of getting the teacher to assign it. I had to read for thirty minutes each night. Bleh!

As soon as the timer went off on thirty minutes, I would shut the book and go do something else. It didn’t matter if I was in the middle of a chapter, a paragraph or even a sentence. Time rang, I sprang!

Later that year, in a new school, I was given the standardized tests. Oh boy… I was in the 36th percentile. 98th in math, but 36th in reading and language arts. I absolutely detested reading. None of it made sense in my head. The words didn’t go together to make sentences or anything that would create something beautiful. There wasn’t a story in those letters—there was a massive explosion getting ready to happen of confusion, frustration and stress. By sixth grade, with some poking and prodding from Mrs. Rogers my fifth grade teacher, I had managed to increase my test score to 41%. That’s still not great.

Throughout all of this, it didn’t mean I wasn’t reading. I would read. I’d read the same stories over and over again. I think because by the time I got through it six times, I might actually understand at least half the story. But it wasn’t fun. It wasn’t exciting. It wasn’t interesting. And it wasn’t anything I wanted to be doing.

It’s hard for me to look back and see this fifteen years to the future. I wish I could have just said, “Hang in there, kid. You’ll never guess what’s going to happen!”

I have a master’s degree. I graduated with just under a 3.5 GPA, and I rarely struggle with reading now, especially if it’s reading for pleasure. I started writing. I create my own stories, my own characters, my own worlds. I started a love affair with the words I had spurned for so long.

I’m an author. Go figure! I’m a freakin’ author. Do you know how exciting that is? Do you know how rare it is? How amazing it is that I, a child who detested reading, who hated writing, who hated doing anything with a blank sheet of paper and a pen or pencil, is an author!?

It’s something I had never imagined. Something I had dreamed of in high school once or twice, and something I never ever thought would happen. My high school senior project was on the publishing industry. It was just at the cusp of a great change. Self-publishing was becoming a viable solution to rejection letters from the big publishing houses.

For six years I didn’t look at the industry. There was a massive change! Small press publishers were around in floods. Self-pubbers knew exactly what they were doing (for the most part since it’s still all a guessing game). I wrote so much, but I had never published anything. It wasn’t until a publishing contract dropped in my lap that my past struggle with reading and words vanished.

I write about three books a year. For being a full-time student with a part-time job, I think that was pretty darn good. Now that I’m in transition once again, I wonder how much I’ll be able to write. I wonder if my love affair with words will fizzle out and the passion be lost.

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