Drop Out by Neil Ostroff

When the Twin Towers fell, Nathan Cruz saved the lives of dozens of strangers but the one life he could not save was that of his pregnant fiancé. Wracked with survivor’s guilt and unresolved goodbyes, Nathan drops out of society where he lives self-sufficiently on a houseboat in Florida.

A twist of fate lands him into the home of Miriam Kanter, a young, fiercely independent woman with a shocking secret. Alone together in the midst of a raging hurricane, Nathan discloses the nearly unbearable sorrows of his past and finds strength to piece his shattered life back together. Being with Miriam, he feels the connection he’d been missing, stirring up feelings buried long ago. But will Miriam’s own life cut short and plunge Nathan back into his world of reclusive isolation?
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Sydney’s Song by Ia Uaro

Olympic fever runs high in the Australian summer of 1999 and 17-year-old Sydney has caught it. Little does she know taking a holiday job in the beehive that is the Olympics’ public-transport call centre will be life altering. Shaken by her parents’ divorce, the sheltered Aussie is further plagued by abusive callers, obnoxious government agencies, constrictive office rules, and liberated friends. She is trying to negotiate these challenges as her own personal Olympics when Pete finds her. Pete, Boston’s former child prodigy whose soothing voice floats across her workstation, sees through Sydney’s tough outer shell. Pete knows what it takes to present a dignified front when all you want to do is howl at the moon. Treating their friendship like an art, he invests time and creative effort to pull Sydney out of her despair.

Tragedy strikes when an accident leaves Pete with a major brain injury in a Boston hospital. When the going gets very, very tough, will you abandon the one who has promised to love you until he dies?

Set in Sydney and Boston where heartbreaks are juxtaposed humour, SYDNEY’S SONG is a young girl’s courageous journey to adulthood and a love story. A work of fiction based on real events, this novel with an Australian accent also shows the world that living with disabilities does not prevent a person from attaining happiness. Continue reading

One Christmas Eve by Walt Lamberg

Sergeant E-5 Dell Thomas had been assigned twice to the U.S. Army Intelligence School at Fort Holabird, Maryland. The first time was after he completed Basic Training and then did his Advanced Training as a student in Military Intelligence. The second time was after Thomas had completed a thirteen-month combat tour in South Korea. He was assigned as an instructor at the Intelligence School.

The best part of that assignment was hanging out with four good friends, three other NCOs and a corporal. That almost always meant going some place for drinks. But one Christmas Eve, they did something very different, and Thomas enjoyed his best experience as a soldier.

[This ebook is one of a series of 13 books. The first page lists the books in the suggested, but not required, order for reading them. This ebook is a single rather long short story with 24 pages, 8,348 words. Note: There are photographs on the last page of the ebook. The book cover photograph and the other photographs were taken by Alan Lamberg. WARNING: The story has many obscenities, because, from my experience as a soldier, many soldiers talk that way.] Continue reading

The Midwife’s Secret: The Legend of ‘La Belle Ecossaise’ by Linda Root

When Marie Stuart, Queen of Scots, surrendered to the knight Kirkcaldy of Grange at Carberry Hill in 1567, she was noticeably pregnant, ostensibly with twins conceived before her marriage to the Earl of Bothwell, and that she miscarried them while imprisoned at Loch Leven. But after her escape and flight to England, rumors emerged that one of the twins survived, a daughter who was smuggled to France where she later became a nun. In June of 1588, a year after Marie Stuart’s execution, a novice name Marguerite Kircaldie was ordained at Saint Pierre les Dames in Rheims, and later became its abbess. During her youth, her origin was a secret and when visitors came to the convent, she was hidden away in cellars or holes. Some said that she was the love child of the executed traitor Kirkcaldy of Grange, but Kirkcaldy had only one legitimate daughter who died mysteriously in London in 1572. The residents at Saint Pierre were told that the child who they called ‘La Belle Ecossaise’ was kept hidden from outsiders because of her exceptional beauty. Others suspected that the true reason was the resemblance she bore to the Dowager Queen of France, Marie Stuart, who was the anointed Queen of Scots, a possibility that made her a pawn in the politics of nations and put her life at risk. Continue reading

Gifts of the Peramangk by Dean Mayes

In 1950s Australia, during the height of the divisive White Australia Policy, Virginia, a young Aboriginal girl is taken from her home and put to work on an isolated and harsh outback station. Her only solace: the violin, taught to her secretly by the kind-hearted wife of the abusive station owner. However, Virginia’s prodigious musical gift cannot save her from years of hardship and racism.

Decades later, her eight year old granddaughter Ruby plays the violin with the passion Virginia once possessed. Amidst poverty, domestic violence and societal dysfunction, Ruby escapes her circumstance through her practice with her grandmother’s frail, guiding hand. Ruby’s zeal attracts the attention of an enigmatic music professor and with his help, she embarks on an incredible journey of musical discovery that will culminate in a rare opportunity. But with two cultural worlds colliding, her gift and her ambition will be threatened by deeply ingrained distrust, family jealousies and tragic secrets that will define her very identity. Continue reading

Oleanna by Julie K. Rose

Set during the separation of Norway from Sweden in 1905, this richly detailed novel of love and loss was inspired by the life of the author’s great-great-aunts.

Oleanna and her sister Elisabeth are the last of their family working their farm deep in the western fjordland. A new century has begun, and the world outside is changing, but in the Sunnfjord their world is as small and secluded as the verdant banks of a high mountain lake.

The arrival of Anders, a cotter living just across the farm’s border, unsettles Oleanna’s peaceful but isolated existence. Sharing a common bond of loneliness and grief, Anders stirs within her the wildness and wanderlust she has worked so hard to tame.

When she is confronted with another crippling loss, Oleanna must decide once and for all how to face her past, claim her future, and find her place in a wide new world.

Available in both ebook and paperback formats. Continue reading

Euthanasia by Mack Mulluncey

She lies on the cold, metal table—clad in a loose, white paper dress—waiting, waiting, waiting, as her lover claims his next victim.

When Alex left the clinic that day, she thought she could move on from the rape that left her pregnant and the agonizing decision to have an abortion. That is, until the child she thought she left behind contacts her. Terrorized by mysterious phone calls and guilt, Alex feels her sanity slipping away as she becomes convinced that she must find the man who brutalized her to make a family for her dead daughter.

Anti-abortion crusader Tobin Bartell wouldn’t have it any other way. As The Leader of The Movement, when he’s not organizing protests or giving speeches, he’s orchestrating a campaign of harassment against women like Alex…and plotting to kill the local abortion doctor.

And Tobin has no shortage of candidates for the job: Paige wants money, Courtney wants love, Derek wants to belong. Tobin just wants it done…and it doesn’t matter to him who does it.

Life. Death. Murder. It’s all the same to them. Continue reading

The Rock Star in the Mirror (or, How David Bowie Ruined My Life) by Sharon E. Cathcart

Joe is a small-town Oregon guy. He’s madly in love with Lynnie … who has a huge crush on David Bowie. Joe will do almost anything to get Lynnie’s attention, but there are always consequences.

“The Rock Star in the Mirror” is a double nominee in the 2013 Global eBook Awards, for Best Short Story and Best Cover. Continue reading