• My Review of Kristens NEW Nocturne Falls Story Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case!

    Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town where Halloween is celebrated 365 days a year.

  • Possessed by a Dark Warrior Felicity Heaton

    A Cover Revel of Book 9 from Felicity's aweome supernatural series! don't miss out on these!

  • A Release Day Blitz of The One by Danielle Allen

    Read all about Danielle Allen's new book!

  • A Review of Winter Moon by C.D. Gorri

    A Review of Winter Moon and the Buy links for the books as well as a look at the previous 3 books!

12 May 2016

WW4BB Presents: A Cover Reveal of Till Life Do Us Part by Carmen Stefanescu

Posted by Amanda Masters on 8:25:00 pm

                          

Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Magic, Reincarnation, Mystery, Suspense
Release date: 9th June 2016

Excerpt

Barbara Heyer can hear voices of dead people. They whisper of their deaths, seek comfort for those left behind, and occasionally even warn her about future events. But when Barbara’s brother, Colin, is accused of murder, it will take more than her gift to prove his innocence.

Becoming smitten with the handsome investigator, Detective Patrick Fischer, is a serious complication given his assignment to her brother’s case. Barbara senses there is something far deeper—and perhaps much older—than the surface attraction between them. Could that be why she’s visited by a mysterious woman named Emma in her dreams? Could past life regression tie all the seemingly unconnected events together?

Barbara and Patrick must overcome heartache to find the truth to save Colin, and perhaps themselves.



About the Author 

Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble - the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world that of the books.

She has dreamed all her life to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote during those years remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989 and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Several of her poems were successfully published in a collection of Contemporary English Poems, Muse Whispers vol.1 and Muse Whispers vol.2 by Midnight Edition Publication, in 2001 and 2002.

 Her first novel, Shadows of the Past, was released in 2012 by Wild Child Publishing, USA.

                   Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.

You can stalk the author here:








17 Apr 2016

WW4BB Presesnts: A Blog Barrage of Possessed by a Dark Warrior by Felicity Heaton

Posted by Amanda Masters on 7:54:00 am

Possessed by a Dark Warrior by Felicity Heaton


Possessed by a Dark Warrior, the ninth book in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot paranormal romance series, Eternal Mates, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release of Bleu and Taryn’s long romance novel, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY and sharing sneak peeks of the book.


Enter the Possessed by a Dark Warrior international giveaway (ends April 24th) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate by using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post or at her website, where you can also download a 4 chapter sample of the novel: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/possessed-by-a-dark-warrior-paranormal-romance-novel.php

Here’s more about Possessed by a Dark Warrior, including an excerpt from this paranormal romance novel.


Possessed by a Dark Warrior
A powerful warrior and commander of the dark elf legions, Bleu is a loyal and devoted male, and one who has never failed in anything—except one thing. Love. When an elusive female dragon shifter surfaces in Hell again, giving him a mission to hurl himself into, he gladly returns to his hunt for her and the deadly blade she stole from his prince seven centuries ago, but as he closes in on his prey, fate reveals she is far more than his enemy?

Having escaped from the black market arena and her life as a slave, Taryn sets her sights back on the task she began seven hundred years ago when her brother stole a precious sword, but in the three centuries she’s been a captive, everything has changed. Corrupted by a craving for power, her brother has become dangerously obsessed with finding the blade and using it to claim the ultimate treasure—the position of King of Hell.

Faced with having to end her beloved twin to stop him from bringing all of Hell to its knees before him, will Taryn be strong enough to use the very blade he seeks against him? And when Bleu finally catches his elusive prey, will he listen to his head as it demands he complete his mission or his heart as it demands he claim his eternal mate?
My Review 

Possessed by a Dark Warrior by Felicity Heaton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was given to me by the Author In Exchange For an Honest Review.

This book was amazing! just like all the books in this series Felicity brings this one in with a bang! I was so looking forward to Bleu's story as he has been such a constant throughout all the books. I really loved the character of Taryn she really intrigued me in the previous story and I liked getting to see all of her different facets in this one. The coming together of the two of them was played brilliantly and in true Felicity fashion! The twists and chaos in this one was brilliant! and has become one of my true favs!

I loved seeing the characters of Vail and Fury in this again as well, their characters are favs of mine and Vails story was a true fav of mine. When Taryn's crazy brother came into the scene I really didn't see how things would turn out, cause crazy is tough to beat!...lol....Felicity did it with her spicy and true Bleu ( pun intended ) panache! at times I couldn't believe what could Taryn could possibly be thinking! but her love for her twin brother clouded her judgment A LOT and she couldn't see him for the raging psycho he was!!!!! lol

Seeing Taryn and Bleu come together was the best part! Bleu really denied it as long as possible but in the end couldn't hold back. It was amazing to see him embrace what all of his friends have already found, so that it will not hurt so much when he see them again. Felicity is such a brilliant author and I couldn't put the book down! her magic of the written word, spellbinds and captivates until your powerless but to read every last word!

Make sure you get your copy and don't miss out on this incredible addition to the series! you will not regret it!!!!


View all my reviews


Possessed by a Dark Warrior is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/possessed-by-a-dark-warrior-paranormal-romance-novel.php

Excerpt
Taryn lowered her gaze to the wrapped sword beside her and rested her hand on the blanket that covered it again, feeling its power resonate through her palm. The sword was all her brother thought about. It was all he desired.
She was risking her life by bringing it here, and by returning to Tenak. If he didn’t kill her on the spot when she revealed herself to him, he might only be luring her into a trap to kill later.
And what if she failed?
What if he took the sword and she couldn’t stop him?
She would have delivered the whole of Hell into his hands.
Gods, she was a fool.
She knew she should take the sword and turn back before he could sense her, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it.
She had sworn to stop her brother seven centuries ago, when she had discovered his plan to steal the sword from the elf kingdom because he viewed the sword as belonging to him, not the elves. It was forged of the blood of their grandfather, one of the strongest dragons to have lived, in ancient times when an elven king had ruled in the mortal realm and her ancestors had been free to fly there. That elven king had captured her grandfather and bled him, pouring his life force into the metal of the blade, and mixing it with a single drop of his own blood.
The blade was power.
The strongest of the elven metals and the strongest blood forged into a single weapon that gave the wielder control over ancient magic contained in the blade. It could cut through any armour or weapon, but its true power was the ability to condense the magic it contained into an arc of pure light that could cut through an enemy horde with one swing.
Taryn had tried to stop him from stealing the sword, but she had failed.
He had taken the blade but she hadn’t given up, and in the end she had managed to steal the blade from him before he could use it.
Now, it was her bait. It was her way of regaining her brother’s trust and stopping him from killing her as payment for her betrayal. She was determined to end everything and she had little time to carry out her plan. She had delayed too long, afraid of facing her brother.
Afraid of facing a world without him.
This was her responsibility though, her duty, and she had to be the one to carry it out.
Because a life in slavery had more appeal, had been better, than a life lived in fear of her brother.
If she didn’t go to him, he would eventually come to her, would leave a path of destruction in his wake as he scoured the realms for her. She had heard the stories. Every few years he ventured out from his valley, razing lands and slaughtering thousands as he hunted for her and the sword.
She had that blood on her hands, but she wouldn’t bear any more. She would end it.
She would use her life in slavery, the one she was trying to leave behind, the memories she wanted to purge, to win Tenak’s trust, pretending that the three centuries of torture she had endured had driven her mad with a need for vengeance, filling her with a thirst to rain dark terror down on all the realms.
Taryn shuddered and curled up, pulling her knees to her chest. She rocked slowly, her eyes locked on the wall across from her, not seeing it as she battled the memories that surged to the surface. She focused on Loke, picturing his face, his bright aquamarine eyes that had shown a wealth of concern when he had handed over the sword and told her of the vision.
Told her of the terrible things her brother had done.
Tenak had grown mad with a hunger for violence, bloodshed and death.
It was that madness that had gripped him that she was going to use to her advantage, making him believe they were infected with the same terrible disease of the mind and they were kindred spirits once more.
Her plan was flawless, but she still couldn’t stop the doubts from creeping in and taking hold of her. She had tried to shake them, but in the end she had realised that nothing she did would silence them, and she had set off on her journey with them echoing in her mind.
Maybe she should have left the sword with Loke.
Her brother was stronger than she was, both in dragon and mortal form. He had killed anyone who had strayed into his kingdom. What made her think that she wouldn’t suffer the same fate?
She was his blood.
His twin.
His other half.
She knew she could make him recognise her, because she had done so in the past. He’d had spells of madness before, back in the days before he had grown obsessed with setting himself up as the ruler of Hell and stealing the sword from the elves to make that happen. She had brought him back to her then, and she could do it again.
She had to be strong and believe in what he had once told her—that he would never hurt her.
He never had.
Even in his darkest rages, he had never raised a claw against her.
If anyone could get close enough to him to end him, it was her. She had to try. If she failed, she wouldn’t be alive to see the horror he would unleash on Hell anyway. He would surely kill her.
Taryn shoved away from that grim thought and refocused on the wall, breathing steadily to centre her mind and steady her heart, and her nerves. She steered her mind towards calmer waters, to thoughts that would soothe her so she could sleep well and gain the rest she needed.
Her head and heart filled with images from better days long past, of her brother and Loke. It had felt good to see Loke again after their centuries apart. He was the only person in Hell she was close to now, the only one she trusted. He meant the world to her, was the brother that Tenak had once been, a very long time ago. Loke had taken care of her for thousands of years, over half of her life, after Tenak had grown distant and obsessed with power.
It was still difficult to think of the things her brother had done in her absence and believe they were true. The male she had grown up with had been gentle, tender and affectionate. How had he grown into one who would lead a legion of dragons to their deaths, promising them power and wealth, and then using them as shields on the battlefield, sending them out first so he could weaken the enemy before claiming victory himself.
Her dearest brother.
She loved him, but since escaping the slavers and learning of the things he had done, she was beginning to wonder whether she only felt that emotion because it was what she should feel for him as her twin. Was she blinded by their bond?
She had truly loved him once, with all of her heart, but she couldn’t condone his plans or the things he had done in their centuries apart, slaughtering masses of demons and fae, and even his own beloved kin.
Taryn closed her eyes and settled her chin on her knees, hugging her legs closer to her chest. Her heart felt heavy behind her breast, weighted with the sins of her brother and her responsibility as his sister, and the black future that awaited her if she succeeded in her mission.
A world without him.
A life alone.
Tears burned hot behind her eyes but she refused them, drawing a deep breath to hold them at bay and blowing it out as she sought calm. She pushed away from her sombre thoughts, not wanting to think about it any more tonight. She just wanted to close her eyes, leave her worries behind for a few short hours, and hopefully, she would feel stronger come the morning.
The comforting arms of sleep drifted around her and he was there waiting for her.
Sinful. Wicked. Beautiful.
The elf.
His sinful smile was in place, those violet eyes shimmering with wicked allure as he gazed at her, casting black magic on her that had her falling ever deeper under his spell.
Taryn shoved away from sleep, forcing herself awake again, afraid of dreaming of the male she knew pursued her. Hunted her. He was always one step behind her in this waking world, but forever one step ahead in the dream one, waiting for her to succumb to the lure of sleep and fall back into his arms. Those strong arms would wrap around her, filling her mind with ridiculous hopes as he drew her against him.
Each dream only strengthened her dragon instincts, making her ache with a need to possess him, to sink her claws into the beautiful male and make him belong to her.
Her finest treasure.
Taryn fought the lure of sleep, the lure of the elf male, but he was too powerful, casting an enchantment over her and drawing her back to him. She was too tired to push him away this time and fell easily into the dream, right into his arms, craving the comfort of him even when she feared he would be the one to kill her.
Just as Loke had seen in his vision.
The dark elf male feathered his fingers across her cheek, the touch so light she shivered from it, and slipped them beneath her chin. He tilted her head up, his violet gaze turning hooded as it dropped to her mouth, filled with delicious intent. She didn’t resist him, didn’t have the strength to deny him this time.
She welcomed the kiss, the tantalising brush of his firm lips across hers that stirred the heat in her veins into an inferno and made her burn for him in her dream, and ache for him in reality.
Hungry for a taste of him.
Her dark warrior.

Possessed by a Dark Warrior is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.

Find all the links, a fantastic 4 chapter downloadable sample of the book, and also enter the giveaway and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website: 


Books in the Eternal Mates paranormal romance series:
Author Bio
Felicity Heaton
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.
If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:




ENTER THE AWESOME RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!


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8 Apr 2016

WW4BB & RABT Present: A Promo Blitz of Kyser by Anthony Polinice

Posted by Amanda Masters on 5:59:00 am



Fantasy / Sci-Fi
Date Published: 2/22/2016

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Our world now is known as the Old Times. In the New Age, a young man comes of age, where one global sovereignty rules in a gender and class defined crumbling society, and discovers that its survival is in his hands, as he embarks on an exciting and dangerous adventure.


EXCERPT

I lie in bed and blink my eyes open. I suffer too many sleepless nights and not enough material to tire my mind. At night, when I lie in bed, my mind tends to wander. After the usual subjects of school, work, friends, and family have been exhausted, it hungers for something more substantial. I’ve tried reading before bed, tried drinking, tried drugs, nothing helps. The doctors tell me it’s the other way around. I’m thinking too much and that’s what’s keeping my brain awake.

I blink again, trying to determine which plane of consciousness I currently inhabit, when something on the ceiling of my cubby catches my attention. It looks to be a butterfly. It’s an odd-looking thing with folded paper wings. It grows bigger, the fluttering stops and I watch in amazement as the wings unfold. Of all things, there is a message inside. “The sleeper is awake,” I read aloud. Curious thing. I ask myself, What does it mean? And, just like that, the butterfly folds back up, disappearing as mysteriously as it appeared.

A cold spreads over me, coursing through my veins, leaving a tingling in my toes and fingertips, numbing my senses. My heartbeat accelerates, a vain attempt to keep my blood from freezing, causing me to sweat a cold sweat. I’m having a ripple. I call them ripples simply because I can’t think of a better way to explain the fluctuation I experience when I transition between planes of existence. The ripple washes over me, carries me from the threshold of the present to the plateau of a vision.

I can’t explain what the visions mean or why they are coming to me. All I know is...

 I’m lying on my back in a field of freshly mown grass. I’m looking up at a star-filled sky. Jonyo is lying next to me. Jonyo passes me a joint. Here we are, just the two us blowing smoke rings and getting high. Silver streamers rise up to the sky through our rings as they go by. The moon is full and the Man in the Moon is smiling back at me.

The Man in the Moon speaks. “Thank you,” he says to me. He jangles his new jewelry, a hoop earring, for me to see.

“You’re welcome,” I reply, though I know not why.

“It’s good to have you back,” he says.

Jonyo nudges me. “Man, do you hear the music?”

I do. It’s low and far away. Off in the distance a band is playing. I stand to see where the music is coming from and find the man in the purple cape standing in front of me.

 “Where have you been?” I ask.

“I’ve been here the whole time,” the man says.

“Why have you come?”

He replies, “It is time for the sleeper to awake.”

“Why can’t I see your face?”

“In due time,” says the man before fading away.

Before he goes, I ask, “Who is the sleeper?” The question falls off into thin air, for the man in the purple cape is no longer there.

The field changes and I find myself on a stage. Jonyo is pointing to the audience. “They want you to play.”

Night has turned to day. I look out over a sea of faces. The crowd is chanting, I strain to hear, but I hear only silence. “Why can’t I hear them?” Then I remember where I saw this before...in a vision. “Wait.” I’m looking about. Images of crisp and vibrant colors, darkly outlined, like a cartoon. “Am I not in a vision right now?”

“You are.” The man in the purple cape is back. “You will hear them clearly,” he adds, as his cape ruffles in the wind. “In time.”

“Who is the sleeper?”

He’s fading away again until only his smile remains. “You are.” And, POOF the smile is gone.

My attention is drawn to a young girl in the crowd holding a pink flower. The flower hides her face. She holds the flower out to me. “Will you take my flower?”

I desperately want to see behind the flower. Exasperated I ask, “Why can’t I see your face?”

Jonyo nudges me again. “Dude, they are waiting for you to play.”

I look around the stage. Leni is on drums and Beni stands behind the mic. Scottie strums guitar. Jonyo plays his twanger, feet dangling over the edge.

“They got the old band back together,” I say, taking Juliette out, I begin to play. I’ve been neglecting her of late. My mind is filled with distractions but once I bring the harmonica to my lips, it’s as though we have never been apart.

The flower girl is on stage with me. Her hair is on fire but she does not burn. “I am the one,” she says and wraps her arms around my neck. Playfully she pulls me in and bites my lip. Our lips lock and I part mine to receive her...but she is gone, leaving only Juliette at the tip of my tongue. So I play. A sound so clear it resonates like a bell, echoing down the valley.           

The music calls forth a parade. Couples walk by holding hands. There are others, men and women running alongside, waving flags and banners; the band plays on. “We are the children,” the couples sing. Clear as day, I hear them. “Lead us, young lion. Lead us, Boy King.”

What on Earth do they mean?

People are dancing to my song. The music gets louder, more frenetic. The dancing becomes an orgy. Sex fills the air, the smell, the sound, the feel, so intense it lifts me off my feet. I’m light as a feather as I float over the crowd. I’m being drawn like moth to flame. Suddenly someone grabs my leg and pulls me back. It’s the man in the purple cape.

 “I just want a sip,” I plead with him.

“Trust me. That is not the wine you seek.” He points to the flower girl. “Your wine is over there.”

I thirst so. “When can I drink?”

“Your time will come,” he says. “And when it does the taste will never be sweeter.” He disappears again, leaving me in a thither.

“That is most annoying, “I say. Distracted, I turn around to see — the Great Father is standing before me. The Great Father reaches out to shake my hand. “I’ve been waiting a long time for you. Call me John.”

I recoil in his presence, stagger away; I lose my footing and fall off the stage, brace for impact, and expect to hit the ground hard. I find myself landing in a sand dune soft as a pillow. Brushing the sand off, I sit up. Before me is an aqua blue sea. The air is salty, gulls cry out overhead, the dune grass gently waves in the breeze; a school of fish swim by, pretty as you please, shimmering in the cartoon sun.

I turn to the Great Father. He stops me before I speak, insisting, “Please, call me John.”

I feel uncomfortable calling him by name. “It is not how I was brought up. I was told to respect...”

He holds out his hand, politely, to stop me once again, smiling as he says, “Please, it is I who should be bowing to you.”

“I don’t understand,” I start to say before noticing the beautiful mountain behind the Great Father. On the side of the mountain is a seashell. “Where am I?”

“You are back at the beginning,” John Kyser says and hands me a set of keys, three in all.

“What are these?”

“They belong to you. They are the keys to unlock the future,” John says. “They belong to the one who answers the question.”

“How is it they belong to me?” I am confused. “What question?”

The Great Fath--John disappears. The sand, the sea, and the mountain all fade away.

“Call me John.” I hear an ethereal voice say. I am sitting in front of a computer screen. There is a question on the screen. The words are blurred but the question mark is clear. Next to the question mark is a blinking cursor. My fingers hover above the keyboard and I wonder what I am supposed to type. I ask the ethereal voice, “What am I supposed to enter?”

I get a reply. “The word that means everything,” says the voice, “but has no meaning at all.”

The vision ends and my eyes flash open. Those words ring familiar and I know why. My friends and I have our own language we call kaberky, a made up word that we use when we forget the name of something, or the name doesn’t come to mind fast enough. It’s silly speak, something to keep us laughing.

The visions started about a year ago. It took a while for me to understand that the visions are of the future, my future. It’s all confusing and very frustrating.

I toss the sheets away and sit up in bed. It’s useless to try to sleep. Checking the compad on the night table, I see its only 5:10. I run fingers through my hair and use my nightshirt to wipe the sweat from my forehead.

   I get out of bed, and head to the back door. I’ve lived here my whole life. I exit onto the deck built by father in my eighth year.

The morning sky is clear but I don’t know it. The moment I take a step out the door, a thunderclap strikes me followed by a bolt of lightning. I cover my eyes to protect against the flash and in the bright light I see the butterfly message appear again. This time the paper wings are held between two hands. A raindrop falls, smearing the word, awake. I shake my head and the image vanishes. I look up expecting it to rain, but there isn’t a cloud in the sky. The stars are fading in the indigo light. There are no clouds, no thunder, no lightning. So what is it, then? I wonder as I lean on the rail and light a joint to clear my head.

Today is my birthday, a very important day in the Kyser Society. It’s my eighteenth birthday. I am a man today, ready to sign the Social Contract declaring which service I’m willing to join. It’s a major decision all boys my age go through. I have to choose between joining the Military or the Civil Service. It’s probably the reason behind my sleepless nights.

Based on my Martial Arts score in school, the military is the logical choice. I find that funny because I’m a pacifist at heart. The Civilian service appeals to me more, but I lack the skills to be a civil servant. Both services have their pros and both have their cons and I have all day to make up my mind.

Today is going to be the last day I wake up in dome #3 and look up at the hometown sky. It’s sad. Unlike my friends who couldn’t wait to sign up, I’m in no hurry to leave home just yet. This is the only home I’ve ever known.

I take a drag from the joint. What really makes turning eighteen so special is sex. I can legally have sex now. I can choose to wait until the next Draft where I hold a rank of 79, or I can visit a LaSalle House. To be honest, I’m about ready to burst. The LaSalle looks like a good option. No, not really—I would be foolish to throw away a 79 rank.

Being so highly ranked, I’m looking at getting an 8.5 or a 9 as a mate. If I have sex before Draft Day, I would drop so low in the rankings that I’d be grateful to end up with a 5 or 6 at best. Don’t get me wrong, 5 or 6 girls are still very attractive. I can honestly say that I have not seen one Kyser girl that isn’t attractive regardless of rank, but why settle for merely attractive when I can have near perfection? It all boils down to abstention.

If I was to join the Military, with my MA scores, I could go into the officer-training program. The minimum rank I can receive in officer training is a 9. If I was to join the Civilian service as just an ordinary woodsmith like my father, I would get no less than an 8. That’s heady stuff and definitely worth consideration.

Thinking of sex and objectifying women is something I do twenty-four hours a day. I’m eighteen, after all. Sex is everywhere. In everyday conversations, in publications and in decorations hanging on walls, there is no escaping it. I could be walking down the street and see lovers in the act. I could stand on my deck in the backyard, as I am doing now, and listen to my neighbors having sex—as they are doing now. In the yard next-door, there is a couple having sex. I think, because of the hour, it may be the gardener and his wife. I’m not sure. I could go over to see but don’t feel like getting myself riled up.

It doesn’t help to have two sexually active parents. The open-floor design of the dome I live in, with its air vents and steel grating between floors, leaves very little to the imagination. They are in the room directly above mine. As a small boy I used to try to block out their sounds by putting a pillow over my head. It didn’t work. When I first heard them together, the way mother was yelling, I thought father was hurting her. I was naïve. I wanted to run upstairs and help her. That naiveté went away the moment I started learning what the noises meant. That was during my tenth year when Sex-Ed really kicked in. That’s the year we started watching video with sound. Towards the end of the year, live instructors would come into the classroom to put on demonstrations for us. My eyes and ears were opened that year.

As I grew older, so did my curiosity. Instead of running upstairs to rescue mother, I started to peek through the grating to see what they were doing. I thought it vulgar at first, because I didn’t understand, but the more I watched the more fascinated I became.

From that moment on, I saw my parents in a different light. Mother, especially. Mother is tiny compared to father. She is 5’9” while he is 6’8”. She is a very attractive woman. I have seen her nude my whole life. Nudity is a way of life but I never put it together with sex until tenth year. Prior to that, seeing pictures of nude women was equivalent to going to Stadium Marketta with mother on her shopping days and looking at the lovely women half-dressed in House colors and never imagined them in positions or performing certain acts as portrayed by the class instructors.

I live in a world where the women are beautiful, the men, big and strong. You put those two together in an open society and the results are remarkable. The Society looks upon sex as natural as breathing. I still hear the couple next door and part of me still wants to go over and peek at the couple, but I can tell they are winding down. Funny thing, it would be perfectly normal for me if I did go over. Sex is not reviled. It’s not consigned or confined to the bedroom. To look at or watch other people having sex is not considered a perversion. In fact it is considered a compliment. Of course if I was underage it would be a different story. Children are forbidden to participate in any sexual conduct.

“Enough of that,” I say tossing away the roach and head back inside.

Back in the house, I hear the compad buzzing on my night stand. I run to get it before it stops and wonder who could be calling me at such an un-godly hour? I pick up the compad. It’s father. I scratch my head and rub the fog from my eyes. I must be reading this wrong. The icon showing father’s picture also displays the origin of the call. I have to read it again because I can’t believe what it’s telling me. He’s calling me from the store at Stadium Marketta. “It doesn’t make sense.” I scratch my head again.

Mother comes down just as I am speaking to myself. She’s wearing a silky nightshirt in House colors of green, blue, yellow and black. Still groggy from sleep, she walks passed me with one eye open. She squeezes my shoulder. “Morning,” she says. “Aren’t you gonna answer that?”

“Mother, why is father calling me from the store?”

“I don’t know; try asking him.” She yawns, disappearing behind the screen to use the toilet. I stare at the compad afraid to answer it. I worry that this is a dream, and answering it will cause me to wake up in some alternate universe from which I will never come back. Mother comes out of the toilet and washes her hands at the sink. I let the call go to voice mail.

“How could he leave here without my knowing it?” I look around, trying to figure it out. How long was I outside? I look at the time. It’s only 5:25.

She sounds surprised. “He didn’t wake you?” She slips out of her nightshirt and steps under the showerhead turning the water on. She squeals as the water hits her.

It doesn’t even faze me anymore to see her in the shower. “I didn’t see him,” I reply, still scratching my head. “I’ve been up all morning.”

“Couldn’t sleep again?” She asks over the sound of the shower.

The question is irrelevant. “Why is father at the store so early?”

“He was supposed to take you,” she says, her back to me. She turns around. “Hand me the shampoo.”

When I was a kid, just learning about sex, I would not be able to stand here without showing signs of excitement, but now I have become so desensitized to it, I hardly bat an eye. I dig the shampoo out of the cabinet beside the shower and watch as she lathers up. I’m not sure how to read her right now.

“Why would he take me? Today is my holiday—my birthday. He knows I have the day off.”

“You don’t have to remind me,” she says and rinses her hair, wringing out the excess before turning off the water. “Hand me a towel.”

How can she be so ambivalent? This is really bothering me. Something is wrong and she is acting as if it isn’t. I fetch a towel from the same cabinet and hand it to her. “It’s not for work,” she says and proceeds to wrap the towel around her head. She steps out of the shower onto the drying screen. It’s pointless trying to talk to her now; she will not hear me over the dryer. The grate activates once both her feet step on it. Hot air bursts from vents in the floor and ceiling to dry her off instantly, except for her hair. The towel protects it. When she is finished, she goes into the kitchen to prepare breakfast.

I waited patiently for her attention. “Then why does he need me at the store?”

“I’ll let him explain,” she says and points to the buzzing compad in my hands. “Why don’t you answer it and ask him?” She asks and bends down to take out the coffee pot.

I answer the call, while watching mother fill the coffee pot with water. “Hello.”

“There you are, son.” Father’s image appears on screen. He looks worried. “I looked for you.” He sees behind me. “You’re still home?”

“I was on the deck out back,” I say. “How did you leave without me knowing?”

“You mentioned last night that you might go for a bike ride in the morning, so I just assumed that’s where you were.”

I remember mentioning that I might go for a bike ride in the morning. I didn’t mean this early. “What’s going on, father?”

“I have a very important meeting and I need you to come to the store right away. I’ll explain when you get here.”

Every birthday is a mandatory holiday in the Society. That means no work or school. “Today is my day off.  What do you need me for?” I didn’t want to spend one iota of the day in or near the store. Meanwhile, I watch mother busy around the kitchen, readying breakfast, while pretending she isn’t listening.

“Come to the store and I’ll explain. I promise it won’t ruin your day.”

Mother raises her eyebrows, which tells me she knows something. It doesn’t matter. I can’t refuse my father. “I’ll be there as quickly as I can.” I hang up, and ask mother, “Is this some surprise you guys have cooked up for my birthday?” I try to probe her mind, but she has learned to block me out.

My compad buzzes again. It’s Regan, my life-coach.

She’s in a good mood. “Hello Anthony.” The icon tells me she is calling from her house. No location, just house. I open the icon so her face fills the screen. Regan is in her mid-twenties. I venture to guess she was an 8 during her Draft. She works for the Census Bureau in their Central Monitoring division. She is dressed in CB gray which isn’t flattering. “You’re up early this morning.”

I wonder if she is in on it. “Yes, I am,” I say, feeling grumpy. “I didn’t sleep last night.  And now, apparently, I have to work today.”

“Not today,” she frowns. “Today is your birthday.” She doesn’t even comment on the sleeping problem.

 “Father doesn’t think so.”

Regan sees mother in the background and gives her a shout out, “Hello, Eliza.”

Mother answers, “Hi, Regan.” Mother is hovering. Very strange, I thought.                                                          

Regan keeps talking. “I’m sure your day will not be ruined. I have your schedule right here.” She pulls up the calendar. “You have plenty of free time this morning. I’ll update it with this new development.”

I don’t want my schedule updated. To argue is childish. “Thank you, Regan.” I sit at the table. Mother puts a plate of eggs, and a cup of coffee in front of me, then kisses the top of my head.

Regan goes through the daily briefing starting with the weather. “Showers in the south valley, sunny in the north with temperatures in Meadowbrook reaching a high of eighty-two.”

She finishes the news. I can see there is something on her mind that she is dying to ask before continuing, “What is it?”

Regan is supposed to act stoically, professionally with no emotion; conduct dictated by the Census Bureau that Regan and I dispensed with years ago. Regan is more like a big sister to me. “Have you made a decision yet?”

I look over my shoulder to see mother has moved a little closer. I play it coy with a nod in her direction. “I have until midnight to declare.”

Mother slouches away. “Ugh!”

I laugh as she walks away. “I intend to enjoy every minute,” I say.

“So I take it that means no,” Regan says sarcastically, the way a big sister would say it. In reality, I don’t know firsthand what it’s like to have a big sister. I’m an only child. The only way I do know anything about how sisters treat their brothers is through Jonyo and his two sisters.

“I’ll tell you,” I snark back, “when someone tells me what’s going on.”

Reagan shrugs and continues with her morning brief.

I drink my coffee and listen. When she is done, I get up from the table and wash my face. I look around the room at the eight empty cubbies where the other children of a C4 House would sleep. When I was young, I asked so many questions as to why I was the only child. Those questions were avoided. Now I don’t even bother to ask. I go to my cubby and dress for the day.

I am going to ride my bike to the store; I am permitted to wear shorts when I ride. I put on a yellow and black t-shirt and blue and green biker shorts, tossing a kilt of the same colors along with the compad in my kit bag. Mother walks by on her way upstairs, carrying nightshirt and towel in one hand and mug of coffee in the other. “I have to get ready for the day.” She kisses my cheek and continues on the way. “Love you, son. Happy Birthday.”

I remind her, “Don’t forget, we have a lunch date.”

She doesn’t respond, just continues on her way, humming as she goes up the ramp. She’s acting very peculiar...





About the Author


Kyser is Anthony Polinice's debut novel, first of a trilogy; Book II of Kyser will be available in Fall 2017; Polinice is a Network Engineer, and resides on Long Island with his wife, Lori and their two daughters, Madison and Taylor.







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