Monday, November 10, 2014

Raif and Me: Part 6

It's Monday again! So that means it is time to continue the adventures of Raif and Tabitha. If you want to catch up, here are the links to the other parts written by Wendy Knight, Leah Sanders, and myself.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Raif wanted to be far away when she woke up. He needed to not be in the room with her. It was difficult enough to watch her sleep, so peaceful.


          Not his.

Not. His.

She belonged to part of this body they shoved him in—if that made any sense. It didn’t to him. All he knew was he woke up and he wasn’t himself. He wasn’t anything—and he was everything.

Memories that weren’t his came into his mind from time to time: walking on the beach, kissing on a ferris wheel, laughing at a movie, making out in the backseat of his car.

He loved her.

She loved him.

And then he died.

Or… something like that.

He didn’t know her. Not really. And truthfully, back then, she didn’t know herself either. The first time she turned into the Phoenix—it scared them both.

Then the Collective came and recruited her.

He (the other him) told her not to do it, but she wouldn’t listen. She was scared. She wanted to save the world.

She picked the wrong side.

He woke up in Linoge Headquarters. They treated him well. Gave him assignments and a gun. Gave him a purpose which was more than one could ask for in the afterlife.

And then they sent him out to learn how to pretend to be human. He stunk at it. That’s where the routine came from. People, most people, thrive on routine. He thrived on chaos—on helping the cause.

The Collective sent Tabitha to stop him because they thought she would bring out the humanity, the true humanity, in him. They didn’t think he would hurt her. They thought their past would keep him from finishing his job.

They thought wrong.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

QUEEN by Heather Gray

Back Cover Blurb:

You can't hide from the past.
Queen's world was shattered, and she was banished to a foreign land. Years pass before she dares to return, but what she finds is of little comfort. Greed and dishonesty have festered and grown in her absence. Embittered and cynical, Queen trusts few people.

 Owen pursues a clandestine investigation and finds himself working side-by-side with a veritable ghost, an agent few have seen, a master of disguise known simply as Queen.  He craves her trust…but then uncovers a secret from his family's past that could destroy her.

 Queen once sought refuge in America and now seeks it in disguise. Owen has always found his refuge in God, but will his faith be strong enough for the challenges ahead? Can he convince Queen to stop hiding, or is he doomed to become her most hated enemy?


"I don't want him knowing what either of you look like. You need to leave until I get him back to the inn."

"It's not safe."

"The situation is a disaster, but he's safe. I trust him."

Owen listened to the voices. The first was Isadore/Iola. Thankfully, she'd dropped the horrible screech she'd been using as part of the barmaid act. The other belonged to a man. Older, he guessed, but he couldn't say by how much.

"I don't like it. This isn't part of the plan."

A woman's voice, also older. Isadore/Iola's parents?

The voices talked some more in a hushed whisper, then a door opened and closed.

"You can stop pretending to be unconscious, Mr. Loring."

"How do you know my name?" Owen sat up, his movement slow. He winced at the pain while taking in his surroundings. He was on a pallet in the main room of a small cottage. His hand explored the source of his discomfort and found a tender lump on the back of his head.

"I make it my business to learn things about people." She stood near the front door, not very far away in the smallness of the room. Her frizzy red hair looked as if it might take flight were it not held down by the small linen cap that was part of her uniform at the inn.

"I'm at a disadvantage, then, because I'm fairly certain I don't know your name. Isadore. Or should I say Iola?"

A kind of tired silence was her only response, and Owen decided to go for the jugular.

"Maybe it's Queen?"

Her hissed intake of breath told him he'd hit the mark.

"I stopped to visit Peter on my way here. He mentioned you two went fishing."

She smiled then, and the lines of tension eased from around her eyes. "Peter never mentions anything on accident."

Owen stared, puzzling out her words. "You didn't go fishing, did you?"

A quick shake of the head. "But you and I appear to be fishing in the same pond."

Peter had always been a sly fox. He'd told Owen, but the younger agent hadn't listened.

"Nobody's seen you in these parts for a long time."

She tipped her head in agreement. "Four years."

"Where have you been?"

"Does it matter?" She frowned at him.

"You told someone in this room that you trust me. So trust me now. Tell me what's going on."

"Where do I start?"

"Your name would be a good place."

Her mouth again stretched wide, her eyes crinkling at the corners, and light danced in the blue orbs. "Let's stick with Queen for now."

Author Bio:

Heather Gray authors the Ladies of Larkspur inspirational western romance series, including Mail Order Man, Just Dessert, and Redemption.  She also writes the Regency Refuge series: His Saving Grace, Jackal, and Queen - plus contemporary titles Ten Million Reasons and Nowhere for Christmas.  Aside from a long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather’s greatest joys are her relationships with her Savior and family.  Heather loves to laugh, and this theme is prevalent in her writing where, through the highs and lows of life, her characters find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.

You can find Heather online at,, and  She can also be found most days at The Inspired Inkpot, a street team, prayer group, and all around awesome place to hang out -



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