Saturday Special! Show No Weakness.

Meet fellow Canadian author Joyce Holmes and her new book, Show No Weakness

SnW Email Siggie


She’s a tenderhearted social worker, looking for her Happy-Ever-After. He’s a distrustful RCMP Corporal who’s sworn off relationships. Factor in a surly teen heading for delinquency, and you have a case of passion and turmoil too explosive to handle.

As a defense mechanism to deal with his guilt and grief over his daughter’s death, Cole Dennison has become an expert at compartmentalizing his feelings. He keeps his personal life private, while making it his professional mission to rescue children in peril.

Joely Sinclair is fiercely protective and openly compassionate. When she meets Cole Dennison, she falls hard. He’s everything she admires in a man, and because she wears her heart on her sleeve, she can’t understand how or why Cole keeps all his emotions to himself.

As much as Cole resents his interest in Joely, with her inquisitive and caring nature, he can’t deny her appeal. Against his better judgment, he becomes involved in both her and her son’s lives. Taylor is in desperate need of a positive male role model, and Cole can’t turn his back on the boy. But when Joely starts talking love, Cole’s inability to commit puts an end to their relationship—until a dangerous situation throws them back together.

When given a second chance at love, will Cole risk letting Joely into his battered heart?


Does her love have the power to heal this wounded man?


“By the time I turned sixteen, I was pregnant. I became a child bride at seventeen, married to an adult-sized infant with chest hair, with a real live baby doll to take care of, as well. That marriage was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. Before I hit twenty-one, it was over.” She heard the bitterness in her voice and stopped talking.

“That had to be rough, but isn’t it time to stop beating yourself up about it? At least you had enough sense to get out.”

The compassion, the offer of understanding in his voice almost overwhelmed Joely. She wondered if he’d be as sympathetic if he knew she had left her precious little boy with her alcoholic husband while she worked. And it took four years and a serious injury before she clued in to the fact her toddler didn’t get all his bruises from being overactive and clumsy.

No, Cole had it wrong; she didn’t have a whole lot of sense when she was younger.

He pushed his coffee cup aside and leaned forward in his chair to stare sharply at her. She realized he must be very good at his investigative work. Those dark penetrating eyes would intimidate anyone into telling the truth when they flashed as fiercely as they were right now.

“You’re upset. I didn’t mean to do that,” he apologized. “I wanted to make you feel better.”

“Oh no, hey, I’m not upset with you. I actually appreciate your effort. I can’t remember the last time I had a conversation with a man who cared how I felt about myself. Men are usually much more concerned about how I feel about them.”

“You already told me you didn’t like me.” He smiled brilliantly, his eyes crinkling. “Whaddaya say to giving me a chance to change your mind?”

For just a moment, Joely saw beneath the laughing, self-confident grin to the flicker of loneliness in his eyes. He was new to the area, she remembered. He probably didn’t know many people, and here she was monopolizing the conversation. She ignored his question and posed one of her own.

“Why did you choose law enforcement for your career?”

His gaze unexpectedly turned cold. His features revealed no emotion, nothing to indicate why he suddenly shut down. The pause grew a little too long, giving Joely the impression he preferred not to answer.

“I take a lot of satisfaction out of my job, especially working with the kids,” he eventually replied, his voice back to that aggravatingly polite, neutral tone. “But it wasn’t a matter of choice so much as of doing what was expected.”

“Your parents said you had to become a cop?” Joely wanted to keep her mouth shut and let him do the talking, but stunned disbelief made her blurt it out before she could stop herself.

Cole smiled tightly. “My grandfather was a cop, same with my father. As far as they were concerned, there was no other suitable job for a Dennison, and they presumed I’d follow their lead. My mom didn’t get a say; she died when I was five.”

Joely let out an involuntary gasp of sympathy. “Oh, I’m sorry. How sad for you to grow up without a mother.” Not having a father had left a gaping hole in her childhood and even though her mom would’ve never won mother-of-the-year, she’d always given freely of her hugs and kisses. She was important to Joely, and Joely couldn’t imagine growing up without her.

Cole lifted a shoulder casually. “I survived. You don’t miss what you never really had.”

“Yes, you do,” she replied fiercely. “You miss it and you want it terribly. At least I did. I wanted a father more than I wanted anything else. It was the defining reality of my childhood. How can you say you didn’t miss your mother?”

Something hard and acrid flashed in his eyes, and he didn’t acknowledge her words. He pushed out of his chair abruptly. “We should get back to the detachment. Your son’s waited long enough.”

Buy Links

Roane Publishing:

Barnes & Noble:


Holmes 1.5x2.25Author Bio:

Joyce Holmes lives with her husband and very small dog in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. Photography and blogging about her travels are two of her passions, along with visiting her kids and grandkids. When she’s not dreaming up stories in her head or planning her next great adventure, she’s off enjoying the great outdoors.

Author Links:

Twitter @Joyce_Holmes


Friday’s Featured Author: Iris Blobel

This morning’s guest is author Iris Blobel.

Subscribe to Iris’ newsletter for a free copy of NEW BEGINNINGS, the first book in this series.


~~ More Beginnings ~~
by Iris Blobel


♥♦♥ BLURB ♥♦♥

Zach Taylor, an escort in Sydney, living in Hobart, enlists the help of Natasha Peterson when his teenage friend, Mia, runs away. He soon finds out that the ‘dragon’ is really more of a kitten. And although Natasha, Mia’s teacher, is attracted to him as well, she has her own problems to deal with, not to mention her initial reaction to Zach’s occupation.

Will Zach’s job keep him from a chance to be with Natasha?

Life is good for teenager Mia Levesque. But when Darren Schuster shows up in Hobart, she knows something is up once Sophie and Mark cut their weekend away short and rush home in the middle of the night. When Sophie won’t answer Mia’s questions, emotions run high, and Zach confirms Darren’s identity to Mia. Disappointed, angry, and feeling alone, Mia runs away.

Will life settle back into a routine for Mia once she finds out about the stranger in her life?

New Beginnings have given the Levesque girls a new start in life, will More Beginnings be another chance for them?

♥♦♥ EXCERPT ♥♦♥
Zach Taylor’s young neighbour, Mia, let out a long sigh as she joined him on his front porch and sat next to him on the swing. Enjoying a cool lemonade, he invited her to grab a soft drink from the fridge as well. It was a warm summer day, and the air showed no sign of cooling down. A lot of people in Hobart were weary of the unusual hot spell for
the very southern Australian city.
With another hefty sigh, Mia raked through her long, blond hair and stared into the distance. “Honestly, Zach, she’s a dragon. I’m sure she does it on purpose. She doesn’t like me. She thinks I’m spoilt.”
The dragon in question was Miss Peterson, Mia’s high school English teacher. There was no doubt that Mia liked school, and she enjoyed her classes. And even though English wasn’t her worst subject, it certainly was the toughest one, with Miss Peterson piling on
homework one after the other.
Zach took a sip of his drink before he replied, “Hey, pumpkin, settle down. What’s that supposed to mean you’re ‘spoilt’?”
She lifted her shoulder in a slight shrug. “You know!”
Raising his brows, he replied, “Actually I don’t know! Isn’t she Sophie’s good friend?”
Another shrug. “Kind of, I suppose. They used to do the boxing stuff together, and since Soph’s carrying a baby, they go and enjoy coffee and cake instead every once in awhile.”
Ignoring his chuckle, she went inside and helped herself to cold lemonade. She opened the can with a simple click as she returned outside and took a long sip.

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

Social Media Links:
Click here to subscribe to Iris’ Newsletter

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Thanks for joining us today! 

Souls Discovered Promo Launch

Souls DiscoveredTitle:  Souls Discovered

Author: Miranda Brock

Genre: Teen & Young Adult

Price: Now only $.99 or FREE on Kindle Unlimited

What Reviewers are saying –

“A tangled web in the battle of good versus evil, fated responsibility and feelings from the heart as one girl must rise to the occasion and go beyond the call of duty.”

“Exciting and magnetic, drawing the reader into the action and emotions of the characters.”

 “The interesting characters and fast-paced action had me captivated to the end.”

 “You will love the characters, you will love the story, you will scream and cry and try to slam on the brakes as you ride the rollercoaster of this plot.”

souls discovered 3


Spin away with young Autumn as she finds a seemingly innocuous gold necklace on her family’s farm and inadvertently uncovers her destiny as “The Keeper.” Autumn’s discovery of the necklace activates “The Window” and alerts both good and evil forces to her whereabouts. Autumn is pulled from everything she knows and tossed into a life of unknowns. Enigmatic enemies called Dehmons hunt her at every turn and if captured the very world she lives in will fall into destruction. With the help of seven Searchers Autumn must learn to use the power she has been given before it is too late.

Will she choose to follow the dangerous destiny thrust upon her?

Will she be able to withstand the temptation of a relationship that could jeopardize everything?

Most importantly, will Autumn be able to find the strength within herself to fight the dead-eyed evil Dehmon souls?

souls discovered 5Author Bio:

From an early age Miranda Brock has always loved fantasy and adventure everything. Since she doesn’t live in a world of enchanting powers, mythical beasts, and things unbelievable she has decided to write about them. (Although, if you happen to see a dragon flying around, do tell her.)

Born in southern Illinois, where she still resides with her husband and two children, she grew up running through the woods, playing in creeks, and riding horses. What started out as writing poetry grew into short stories and eventually led to her first novel, Souls Discovered.

Miranda lives in the country where she finds inspiration in the simplicity and beauty around her. With the help of a ridiculous amount of coffee and some good music she writes whenever she gets a chance.


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Midweek Tease: Sworn to Protect

New midweek tease imageIt’s midweek tease time again. Many thanks to Angelica Dawson for making this blog hop possible each week and to all the dedicated authors who share their work and their comments with me.  I learn to be a better writer from you.



This week, I bring you another scene from Sworn to Protect, this one comes after last week’s tease.

The blurb:

Sworn to ProtectFour years ago, a car accident robbed Nancy Frost of her child and her mother, taking what was left of her marriage with it in the process. A forensic accountant, she agrees to look at a company’s books in a divorce case, trying to find hidden assets, but her meeting with the lawyer goes terribly wrong when the restaurant is attacked.

The moment US Marshal Neil Copeland discovers his wife has been shot in a Baltimore restaurant, he rushes to her side, determined not to let her down again. As the police investigate, evidence suggests the attack was a ploy to hide a specific hit. When a professional assassin tries to kill Nancy a second time, it’s clear that she was the target and whatever’s going on is a lot more complicated than they think.

When Nancy awakes after a month in an induced coma, not only does she not remember the attack on the restaurant, she doesn’t remember marrying Neil.

Faced with the challenge of protecting his wife from a powerful, faceless enemy, Neil must bring her up to date, dredging up all the sorrow that tore them apart in the first place, hoping something will jar her memory.

As he races against time, can he save her from an unknown assassin and convince her to give the love they once had a second chance?

 This week’s tease:

Neil fought to get his emotions under control and failed. His palms were wet, and his stomach was filled with molten lava. On his right, the doors held a sign that read Authorized Personnel Only. Nancy was somewhere behind those doors. He swallowed nervously, more frightened than he’d ever been. Turning left, he walked toward the waiting room, his footsteps echoing the frantic beat of his heart.

The sitting area was filled to capacity. Some people were pacing quietly, others were seated, holding onto one another for support, while a few were sobbing. One man had his head bent in prayer. A baby girl no more than a few weeks old sat in a carrier at his feet. He hoped God was listening to the man’s pleas. Little girls shouldn’t grow up without a mother. A nurse sat behind a desk over to one side. He walked over to her, and once more took out his badge.

“Yes, Inspector Copeland. How can I help you?” She smiled, but the smile didn’t reach her tired eyes. How much bad news had she dispensed in the last hours? Before he could answer her question, the phone beside her rang.

“Surgical Floor… Yes, Doctor Crites. That’s good news. I’ll tell the family.” She hung up the phone, and the smile she gave him was genuine. “I’ll be right back.”

He wanted to scream, “No! Stay here. Talk to me,” but instead he fisted his hands at his side so tightly his nails almost drew blood.

She crossed the waiting room to an older couple sitting apart from the others. As she spoke quietly, Neil saw hope and then joy bloom on their faces while they listened intently and then hugged one another. He was happy for them, really he was, but not knowing how Nancy was doing tore his heart to shreds.

The nurse quickly resumed her seat, her smile still firmly in place.

“Their nineteen-year-old son was working as a busboy today—his first day on the job. It’s still touch and go, but he made it through surgery. If you’re here to talk to Detective Evans, he just went to get some coffee.”

Neil gritted his teeth and took a deep breath. Biting her head off wouldn’t help him get the information he desperately wanted any faster.

“My wife is one of the victims,” he said, fighting the tremor in his voice. “What can you tell me?”

The nurse’s demeanor changed immediately. “I’m so sorry. I thought you were here to add to security. Here I am yakking … What’s her name?”

“Nancy Frost.” It had been Nancy Copeland, but she’d gone back to her maiden name when she’d returned to work.

The nurse’s face was serious, and she lowered her voice.

“Inspector, I know you know more about these types of injuries than most of the families here, and I’m sure you want the truth. When they brought her in, she was in the early stages of hypovolemic shock. They took her into surgery as soon as they stabilized her. Two of our finest surgeons are working on her.”

“Do you know what the extent of her injuries are?”

“Not exactly, but there’s a thoracic surgeon and a neurosurgeon in there with her. I’m sorry I don’t have any more information to give you.”

He gripped the edge of the desk, hoping for the strength to stay on his feet.

“Thank you.” He swallowed the fear clogging his throat. A neurosurgeon? That meant a head wound. There was no telling how much trauma the brain had suffered. Even if she survived the surgery, she might not wake up. Could he pull the plug?

Want more? Sworn to Protect is available in both ebook and paperback from all Amazon sites.

Now, please stop by and visit the rest of this week’s teasers. 



#MidWeekTease June 14, 2017

This is a Blog Hop!

Monday Musing: Cover Reveal!

This morning, it’s my pleasure to offer you a sneak peek a Heather Renee’s new book due out in August.


Title: From The Falls

Series: The Falls Trilogy, Book Two

Author: Heather Renee

Release Date: August 4th, 2017

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Amazon US Preorder Link:

Amazon UK Preorder Link:

Amazon AUS Preorder Link:

Goodreads Link:


From The Falls


Arvata is thriving and Kali is finally getting a handle on being an Elder. She’s been learning her Arelia abilities, while enjoying being a newlywed. The only thing missing from Arvata is their town healer, who left a year ago and didn’t tell anyone why.

Lorelle finally returns and explains to the Elders what the Fates had assigned to her, but she now needs their help with the mission. Half-Guardians, that shouldn’t even exist in their world, are out there and need to be protected, but time is running out.

Dark magic lurks within these hybrids and nobody knows how they came to be. They possess powers unlike full Guardians and it’s up to Kali and her friends to figure out how to protect the half-Guardians and prevent more from being created.

Trust will need to be earned, unseen powers will emerge and loved one’s lives are threatened. Will the risk be worth it in the end?


About The Author:

Heather Renee lives in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest in Oregon. She writes YA Fantasy that has a mixture of suspense, humor and a little romance.

When Heather’s not writing, she is spending time with her beautiful daughter and amazing husband. Two cats and a dog who loves the snow, complete their household. On weekends, if she doesn’t have a book in her face, you can find Heather going on different adventures with her family. Her favorite being hiking Multnomah Falls.

She loves to hear from her fans, so visit her webpage and the Contact Me link for ways to connect.

Best of luck with your new release!


Tuesday Tales:From the Word STONE

badge-for-tt-very-small-1Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. As always, this is your chance to read a scene from works in progress. Many thanks to Jean Joachim who makes this weekly blog hop possible.

Here’s this week’s scene from Wedding Bell Blues, the continuation of  Paul’s heart-stopping rescue of MJ.

Paul held MJ in his arms as the engine on the small craft coughed to life. The fishing vessel bobbed on the horizon. How had they drifted this far from it? He couldn’t imagine having swum that distance in the turbulent water. He blinked. The ocean was now as smooth as glass, the sun’s reflection turning it the same color as MJ’s eyes—mermaid’s eyes as Lucette’s grandmother had called them.

He exhaled, his heart still beating frantically in his chest, his knee throbbing from the exertion. He would be limping for a day or two, but that wouldn’t matter as long as she was okay.

MJ’s eyes were closed, pink tinging her cheeks. The reassuring rise and fall of her chest as she took each steady breath should be calming him, but the adrenalin rush from the rescue and the fear he’d lost her wouldn’t be appeased—at least not until he got his hands on the man responsible for this. People around here might believe in Quimbois and mermaids, but he was ruled by facts, not myths and legends.

As soon as the smaller craft came alongside the larger one, hands secured the vessel while others eased him away from MJ so that they could lift her onto the deck. Paul followed the basket up the ladder.

Bill and Mark stood at the gunwale. Seeing the man responsible for all this standing there snapped what little control Paul had over his emotions. His hands fisted.

“Is she okay?” Bill asked, his face almost as pale as MJ’s had been, his forehead creased.

“Yes, no thanks to him,” Paul said, reaching for Mark, grabbing his shirt with his left hand and pulling the man to him, his face only inches from his. “How could you do it? How could you push her into the water like that?” He raised his right arm and pulled back his fist.

“Are you frigging nuts?” Mark asked, losing what little color he had. “Look, I know MJ and I have had problems, but I would never do something like that. My God, she’s a lousy swimmer. She could’ve drowned.”

Bill grabbed his arm before Paul could deliver the punch. “Back off, Paul. If someone pushed her in, it wasn’t Mark. He was below deck with me and Melena when the alarm went off. I don’t know what history you two have, but as far as this is concerned, you’re dead wrong.”

Paul released Mark so suddenly the man almost fell to the deck.

He ran his trembling hand through his hair, shaken to the core by what he’d almost done. If Bill hadn’t stepped in, he could well have beaten Mark to a pulp.

“I’m sorry,” he said, looking down at MJ, her open eyes huge in her frightened face.

Mark straightened his shirt. “No hard feelings,” he said. “Given what’s happened between us, it’s a logical conclusion, but no matter what you think of me, I would never endanger someone’s life like that.”

Before Paul could comment, the man who’d approached him earlier stood beside him.

“Sorry, buddy. I’ve been around the boat twice, and I haven’t been able to find the man I saw.” He shook his head, pointing at Mark. “It definitely wasn’t him, but like I said, the guy was reaching for her, not pushing her in. It makes no sense. The captain doesn’t understand how that door was opened. It hasn’t been opened in years. It was bolted shut months ago when they started doing charter tours. Here he comes with Nate. Ask him yourself.”

“Let me by; I’m a doctor.” The man with the captain pushed his way through the gawkers, forcing Paul, Mark, and Bill aside. He knelt beside MJ still strapped into the rescue basket. “I’m Nate Jeffries. How do you feel?” he asked, unbuckling the restraints. Any pain anywhere?”

MJ smiled weakly and shook her head. “My head aches and my chest is sore, but otherwise, I’m fine,” she answered, her cheeks turning red. “Can I get out of these wet clothes?”

“In a minute,” the doctor said, reaching for her wrist. “You have a hell of a bump on your head, but the cut isn’t deep enough for stitches. The soreness in your chest probably comes from the CPR.” He glanced up at Paul. “You gave your hubby a damn good scare. Now, take a deep breath for me? Does it hurt any more than it did?”

MJ shook her head.

Paul looked for signs that her asthma was acting up. Surely if anything was going to cause an attack, that misadventure would, but MJ was surprisingly calm—obviously embarrassed, but calm.

“My sincerest apologies, madame,” Captain Pierre said, stooping next to the doctor. “I don’t understand how that gate was opened. The bolts have simply vanished. It makes no sense. And the turbulence—I haven’t seen anything like it in all my days on l’Étoile de la Mer. It’s as if it came from beneath us. The wind gauge was barely registering.” He scowled. “I’ve radioed for information on underwater quakes, and given them our position at the time.” He shook his head, looking out at the now calm water, wringing his hands.

“Captain, I’m fine,” MJ said. “It’s my own fault. I thought I saw something—maybe a dolphin or a small whale. I leaned over to get a better look … It was just an accident. I’m prone to them.” She shrugged. “In my wild imagination, I thought I’d seen a mermaid.”

The captain’s eyes grew large, but he just nodded.

“You swallowed a lot of seawater,” the doctor said, cracking an ice pack to activate it. “Put this on the bump for now. I suggest you go below deck and change into something dry. When we get back to the resort, have their medical staff check you over.”

Paul moved closer to MJ once more. “Thank you for helping her. She’ll definitely see the doctor as soon as possible.” He squatted awkwardly beside her, his knee barely strong enough now to hold his weight. “Ready to try and stand?”

“Yes,” she answered, taking the hand he offered her and rising as he did. He pulled her into his arms.

“Doctor Jeffries was right about one thing. You scared the living daylights out of me.” He pressed a gentle kiss to her mouth, releasing her much sooner than he wanted to.

“I’m sorry,” she said, her eyes bright with unshed tears. “What I would really like right now is a drink. All I can taste is salt and whatever else was in that water.”

Christy materialized beside them with a bottle of mineral water. “Here. I suppose champagne isn’t a good idea until the doctor checks you out.”

“Thanks,” MJ reached for the bottle and drained it.

Paul held her tightly to him, afraid to let her go. “Can we go below so I can change now? You probably should, too.”

“I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about me.” Stone-faced, looking over her head, Paul watched the sailors hoisting anchor. Vanishing bolts? Missing men? What the hell had happened here?

Now, don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales.


Saturday Special: Happy Release Day to Sworn to Protect.

FireworksWelcome to the celebration! When I submitted Sworn to Protect to Kindle Scout, I hoped it would win one of the publishing contracts, but it didn’t. Rather than see the book wither and die on my desktop, I opted to self-publish it and it’s available in both ebook and paperback format today. Since i did go through Kindle, it’s in KNP, so that makes it exclusive to Amazon.

The blurb: 

Sworn to ProtectFour years ago, a car accident robbed Nancy Frost of her child and her mother, taking what was left of her marriage with it in the process. A forensic accountant, she agrees to look at a company’s books in a divorce case, trying to find hidden assets, but her meeting with the lawyer goes terribly wrong when the restaurant is attacked.

The moment US Marshal Neil Copeland discovers his wife has been shot in a Baltimore restaurant, he rushes to her side, determined not to let her down again. As the police investigate, evidence suggests the attack was a ploy to hide a specific hit. When a professional assassin tries to kill Nancy a second time, it’s clear that she was the target and whatever’s going on is a lot more complicated than they think.

When Nancy awakes after a month in an induced coma, not only does she not remember the attack on the restaurant, she doesn’t remember marrying Neil.

Faced with the challenge of protecting his wife from a powerful, faceless enemy, Neil must bring her up to date, dredging up all the sorrow that tore them apart in the first place, hoping something will jar her memory.

As he races against time, can he save her from an unknown assassin and convince her to give the love they once had a second chance?

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve had a few tastes of the story already. Here’s another excerpt to whet your appetite:

Nancy was drifting off again when she realized all sound in the room had ceased, and it was getting hard to breathe. Her eyes flew open.

The woman stood near the wall, her back to the bed. The plug to the monitors and some of the other equipment dangled from one hand, and she held a syringe in the other.

Maybe she had improved, but something didn’t feel right. If she were better, why was it so hard to breathe? Whatever covered her mouth and nose deprived her of oxygen, and Nancy raised her hand to pull it off, her movement slow and sluggish. Panic filled her.

The nurse turned at the sound she must’ve made, and the cold look on her face froze the blood in Nancy’s veins.

“You’re awake,” the nurse said. “No matter. This would have been easier on you if you’d stayed in the coma, but meh. Awake or not, it makes no difference.”

Nancy frowned at the woman’s words. With all the strength she could muster, she managed to get her hand up to her face and dislodge the mask. She gasped as air filled her lungs once more.

“You’re only prolonging the inevitable.”

Fear filled Nancy as the woman injected the contents of the syringe into the IV port just above the small clear bag filled with medication.

When the syringe was empty, the woman approached the bed and removed the pillow cushioning her head so that Nancy was flat on her back. Reaching over, the nurse removed the oxygen mask completely and dropped it over the side of the bed.

“You won’t be needing this anymore.”

“What … doing?’ Nancy asked, her words low and garbled.

Somehow the woman understood her.

“My job. You should have minded your own business. Relax. It’ll be easier on you if you do.”

The nurse moved away from the bed, walked over to the windows, and looked out.

Nancy sensed the familiar grayness creeping up on her, but fought to stay awake. If she could just reach…

“Oh no, you don’t,” the woman said, slapping her hand away from the call bell. “This is ridiculous. I can’t wait all day. Someone may come in before it’s over. No matter. We can hurry things along a bit.”

Grabbing the pillow with both hands, the nurse placed it firmly over Nancy’s face and pressed down hard.

Do Svidaniya.

Nancy struggled, pushed valiantly at the woman’s arms, trying to move the pillow off, but the woman was too strong, and as weak as she was, her strength vanished in seconds.

She couldn’t breathe. The pain in her head increased with the pressure. Her heart beat wildly as if it would punch right through her chest. The blackness creeping into her mind swallowed her, and her last thought was for the man who’d left her here to die.

Want more?