It’s time for summer reading!

As some of you may know, I work at my local library, as well as writing. It’s a great job for an author who needs a sideline and especially in the summer.

Summer means the kids are coming and it’s an exhilarating time for everyone associated with the library for that reason. Our local library runs a summer reading club for kids. As part of the club, kids set reading goals and receive prizes for accomplishing their goals. It’s a great way to keep children interested in books and feeling they’ve achieved new heights.

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But it doesn’t have to be just for kids. Why not set goals for ourselves this summer? We all need a bit of down time and I’m never more at ease than when I’m curled up with a new book. When we read, it’s our time. Our preferences, our fantasies. Is there anything better than stretching out on a beach or by the pool and cracking the spine of a hot new romance? Or firing it up for the first time on our ereaders, watching it download? I love that anticipation.

What sorts of summer reads do you enjoy? Do you indulge in chick lit? Do you dabble in different genres? Do you refrain from darker, heavier reads and stick to lighter, fun fare?

Share some of your favorite summer books here!

Eighties Rock! by Christy Gissendaner

As I work on edits for my upcoming rocker romance, set in 1985, I’d be remiss to not touch upon the greatest decade ever! True, I may have been a “young’un”, but the 80’s truly rocked. Let me share a few examples with you good people.

1. The Music

Dear Lord, the music. Karma Chameleon, Like a Prayer, Come On Eileen, and Tainted Love – just to name a few of my favorites – truly made the 1980’s a feast for the ears.

2. The Movies

Hands up if you were a fan of John Hughes’ films. Oh man, was I ever. The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, and St. Elmo’s Fire fueled my imagination…and provided kick ass soundtracks.

3. The Fashion

Yes! Clothing of every color imaginable, layers upon layers, and leather everywhere. What’s not to love?

4. The Hair

Teased bangs. Yep, I was guilty. The bigger, the better. Who remembers the smell of White Rain?

5. Blue/Green/Pink Eyeliner

Thankfully I passed on this craze, but my friends looked like they had eye infections as pre-teens.

Thanks for going down memory lane with me. Be on the lookout for Flashback, a rocker romance coming soon. And as a bonus…want to see what Christy Gissendaner looked like in the 80’s? Okay….so I totally looked normal but who can forget Ronald??

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Friends, Bette, and the nosebleed section

I’m so sorry if you’re tired of my Bette Midler stories. It’s just my thing. You know sexy books, studly heroes, and tacky boob jokes mixed in with heartfelt ballads.

Just so you know, I’m not traveling this road alone. Two of my best friends are right there with me. And

Las Vegas 2009

Las Vegas 2009

We realized last night as we had dinner and drinks before yet another Bette concert, that we’ve been taking these trips together for 20 years now.

Twenty fucking years?? I suddenly feel aged.

Now not all of our trips are concert bound, but enough are that I can safely say this isn’t just my thing. This is our thing. And I love it.

Chicago, 2015

Chicago, 2015

Last night’s concert was in Chicago and my girls and I didn’t realize until we got there we were in the nosebleed section. Actually, we were one section above the nosebleeds. One of my girls is deathly afraid of heights and spent the entire concert turned in her seat, watching me, listening to the concert, and cursing me for not getting better seats.

Even so. We had a great time and there is no better way, in my mind, to celebrate all these years of friendship than doing the thing we do.

On a side note, this time, Mr. Mancini tagged along. You know you married the right guy when he’s singing ballads right along with you. His love does have its limits, however. The souvenir stand.

Work in Progress

Yeah, it’s summertime. That means vacations at the beach, weekends in the mountains, boating on a lake, theme parks…basically having fun in the sun and enjoying nice weather.

But for many of the Love, Lust, and Laptops authors, we’re in our writing caves pounding out the next book. I thought I’d give you a glimpse as to what’s up next.

Christy Grissendaner

Title:  Flashback

Sub-genre:  Contemporary Romance

Mini Blurb:  It’s 1985 and Percival Vane, the lead singer of Jericho, is the hottest thing in music. He has it all – the fans, the money, and a gig he adores – but underneath the smoke and flashing lights, he is a tortured soul who’s learned to bury his feelings.

Anticipated Pub Date:  August 2015

Website:  http://christygissendaner.webs.com

Parker Kincade

Title/Series:  Southern Heat – Game On, book 2

Sub-genre:  Sports Romance

Mini Blurb:  Tyler Brady has two goals for the summer: rehabilitate his shoulder in order to get back to the game he loves, and get laid. Not necessarily in that order.

Anticipated Pub Date:  September 15, 2015

Website:  www.parkerkincade.com

Monette Michaels

Title/Series:  Storm Warning /  Security Specialists International 4

Sub-genre:  Romantic Suspense

Mini Blurb:  Take one alpha-male geek, add in one skittish female warrioress—throw them into close proximity and you have the perfect conditions for storm warnings.

Anticipated Pub Date:  August, 2015

Website:  www.monettemichaels.com

Rosanna Leo

Title/Series:  Predator’s Trinity / Gemini Island Shifters 6

Sub-genre:  Paranormal erotic romance

Mini Blurb:  Evil has come to Gemini Island. Will love be enough to defeat it?

Anticipated Pub Date:  Anticipated pub date: August 24, 2015

Website:  www.rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.com

Marci Boudreaux

Title/Series:  Friends Without Benefits / Stonehill Romance Book 2

Sub-genre:  Contemporary Romance

Mini Blurb:  Sometimes a stranger is a broken heart’s best friend.

Anticipated Pub Date:  July 10, 2015

Website:  http://www.marciboudreaux.com

KaLyn Cooper

Title/Series:  Unrelenting Love / Black Swan Book 1

Sub-genre:  Romantic Suspense

Mini Blurb:  Trained as the original test group to prove women can succeed in US Military Special Operations, the five women of Black Swan have man troubles. It takes an Uber Alpha to capture and keep the heart of a Black Swan.

Anticipated Pub Date:  Fall 2015

Website:  www.KaLynCooper.com

Geek love is the sweetest love.

It’s official. I’ve fallen in love again. Well, a few times.

Hubs and I have been plowing our way through a couple of TV series lately and I have discovered a couple of new all-time favorite shows. I can’t get enough of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Silicon Valley. And it strikes me that although these are two very different programs, there is one huge similarity.

The main characters are total geeks.

Now I mean this with love and respect, having been one for my entire life. These shows feature men who are incredibly intelligent and so funny I pee myself more with every joke (not a good image, I admit, but you know what I mean.)

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John Oliver keeps me in stitches. His tirades on politicians, corruption and the lunacy of the world are always on point and well-researched. You can tell this man not only does his homework, but feels passion for the subjects he presents. John Oliver can skewer a celebrity or corporation like no one can, but he does so with English humour and a healthy dose of irreverence. If I’d known him in high school, I would have begged him to be my best friend. We would have huddled in the corners at school dances and giggled at the popular kids.

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And then there’s Silicon Valley. I laugh just thinking about it. The show is about a group of young IT geeks who are doing their very best to start their own computer company, and usually failing dismally because of their character flaws. These are guys with whom I could have gone to school. Smart as whips, they know everything there is to know about technology. As a result, the show is intelligent, never talking down to the audience. But they make mistakes, often huge ones, resulting in major laughs. Oh, and I have a big crush on actor T.J. Miller, who plays Erlich (the big, hairy blond guy on the right). His every line is delivered with deadly precision and the most incredible comedic timing.

So what am I really trying to say in this blog? Just this: gorgeous guys with hard abs and killer looks may be okay. But at the end of the day, if a man can’t make me think and laugh, he’ll get nowhere. Geek love is always the sweetest love.

Vikings Galore!

Come Friday, the Viking and I are headed to Norway!!!!!

Yay! This is a dream trip for me. I have long been obsessed with everything Viking. First of all, I married a Viking,  and, second, I write Viking romances. On this trip we’re visiting almost all of the Scandinavian countries, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. We’re also hitting St Petersburg, Russia, Estonia, and Latvia.

But, for me, the highlights of our sojourn will be the visits to Birka (an ancient Viking trading settlement) and Hedeby, once the capital of the Viking world. So, I’m getting myself into Viking mode and what better way to begin than with a pictorial representation of the nine Viking Worlds.

Viking Worlds

 

Asgard – home of the Æsir gods
 
 

Vanaheim – home of the Vanir Gods
 
 

Alfheim – home of the Light Elves
 
 

Nidavellir – home of the Dwarfs
 
 

Midgard – home of the Humans
 
 

Jotunheim – home of the Jötnar  or Giants
 
 

Svartalfheim – home of the Black Elves
 
 

Hel – home of the Dead
 
 

Muspelheim – home of the fire Giants and Demons

 

Connecting all of these worlds is the mythical tree Yggdrasil, the tree of life. Here’s a wonderful depiction of Yggdrasil and the nine worlds:

yggdrasil-asgard-tableau-688

Right now, I’m furiously writing what I shouldn’t be considering I have another book due—the first tale in my new Viking Invasion series—Wùlfe.

Shhhhh! No tattling on me.

Hope you have a marvelous Monday!

Cheers,

Jianne

Hearts In Danger – Now a USA Today Bestseller!

First, let me say OH MY GOD! *snoopy dance* Just moments ago I was informed that Hearts In Danger hit #60 on the USA Today Bestseller list!  *faints*

Okay – where was I? Oh, right.

Several of us here at Love, Lust and Laptops have been affected by heart disease–directly and indirectly. Odds are, you have too. According to a recent American Heart Association journal, an estimated 85.6 million American adults (>1 in 3) have ≥1 types of cardiovascular disease. Of these, 43.7 million are estimated to be ≥60 years of age. (AHA Journal)

Those are some scary numbers, my friends. I implore you. Know the warning signs: Cold sweat, pain (can be anywhere, not just the chest), shortness of breath, nausea. Rosie O’Donnell created the acronym HEPPP to help women remember the signs–which can be different from those men experience. Hot. Exhausted. Pain. Pale. Puke. Say it with me – Hot, exhausted, pain, pale, puke. One more time … hot, exhausted, pain, pale, puke. Got it?

It’s never too late to start paying attention to your cardiovascular health. Please. Don’t delay.

I am humbled and awed by the response to Hearts In Danger. If you haven’t picked up this fabulous set – there’s still time! It’s only $0.99! (proceeds benefit the American Heart Association). And here’s what you’ll get:

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FOURTEEN stories of thrilling romance to benefit the American Heart Association. These full length, Romantic Suspense stories come from NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, AND NATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHORS!

Accidental SEAL by Sharon Hamilton: Newbie Realtor Christy Nelson holds her first Open House but is given the wrong address, and finds a hot naked SEAL in the master bedroom.

Pick Your Poison by Roxanne St. Claire: Meet Benjamin Youngblood – he’s sexy, smart, spectacular and … about to lose his job for the best security firm in the world. He’s got one chance to prove himself and nothing will stop him. Not even a flower farmer.

Protective Custody by Paige Tyler: Someone is stalking reporter Paisley McCoy, and police detective Gray Beckham is the only man who can protect her. And while she might be sexy as hell, there’s no way he’s going anywhere near the captain’s daughter.

Hot Pursuit by Lynn Raye Harris: When someone starts shooting at Evie Baker, there’s only one man dangerous enough to help her–the man who broke her heart ten years ago. Hostile Operations Team soldier Matt Girard uses all his considerable black ops skill to protect Evie.

SEAL’s Honor by Elle James: Two Navy SEALs jeopardize their lives and hearts in a battle-torn land when they vie for the love of one sexy Night Stalker helicopter pilot.

Against The Dark by Carolyn Crane: Angel is an ex-safecracker forced into one last heist. Cole is an undercover agent with big plans for his gorgeous thief—he’ll make her pose as his girlfriend to help with a dangerous mission.

Hidden Prey by Cheyenne McCray: Tori is in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnesses the execution of a Federal agent by the son of the head of the Jimenez Cartel. Special Agent Landon Walker rescues Tori and sets out to protect her, but soon protecting her isn’t enough.

Dangerous Curves by Nina Bruhns: A spec ops transporter for STORM Corps takes on drones, bad guys, and car chases on the coast of Italy—and falls for a beautiful scientist whose curves are far more dangerous than the road!

Deadly Pursuit by Misty Evans: When Londano escapes a maximum security prison and begins picking off Celina’s friends and coworkers, everyone she knows becomes a target. Including DEA agent Cooper Harris, the man who once broke her heart and is now assigned to be her bodyguard.

Protecting Caroline by Susan Stoker: Caroline helps foil a terrorist plot when she finds herself on a plane that’s hijacked (with the help of three members of a SEAL team), but after she gets home she finds herself still in the sights of the terrorists. She can only hope Wolf and his team will be able to save her in time.

One Night Stand by Parker Kincade: Amanda Martin decides to have a one-night stand. No relationship, no promises just hot, indulgent sex. What she doesn’t anticipate is meeting a handsome-as-sin stranger who gives her pleasure unlike she’s ever known. A stranger with a deadly secret.

Brody by Mandy Harbin: Brody thinks the skittish Xan is sexy as hell, but it’s not her hot body that has him rocked to his core. He knows her from somewhere, and in his line of work, that’s a dangerous thing. Following orders have never been this hard, but when he finds out she’s his next assignment, he will protect her at all costs.

Enemy Mine by Megan Mitcham: Born in the blood of Sierra Leone’s Civil War, enslaved, then sold to the US as an orphan, Base Branch operative Sloan Harris is emotionally dead and driven by vengeance. With no soul to give, her body becomes the bargaining chip to infiltrate a warlord’s inner circle.

Caught in the Crosshair by Barb Han: On a tropical island with a hurricane brewing and dangerous men closing in, private security firm owner Jaden Dean will need to work side-by-side with Lauren James to survive and find her brother. He will have to use all his specialized training and risk everything, including his heart, to outwit the deadly group and keep Lauren safe.

This set is only available until the end of June so, order your copy today!

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/HeartsInDangerAMUS

Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/HeartsInDangerAMCA

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/HeartsInDangerAMUK

Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/HeartsInDangerAMAU

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/HeartsInDangerBN

iTunes: http://bit.ly/HeartsInDangerIT

Google Play: http://bit.ly/HeartsInDangerGP

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/HeartsInDangerKO

Mommy Brags

Okay, maybe this isn’t the best blog for kid stories, but Imma share anyway.

My lovely daughters are all about music. Trombone, French Horn, Piano…they play them all. My eldest can pick up just about any instrument and belt out a tune and sound like she was born playing it. The youngest is picking up on this talent quickly. She just taught herself how to play Joy to the World on the piano. It sounds like Christmas in June at the Mancini house!

They’ve both been in youth chorus for years, which has led them to a fantabulous opportunity… A few weeks ago, I got an email from the director of an event inviting my girls to sing the National Anthem for Relay for Life! Not going to lie, I squealed with excitement and crossed my fingers and toes that they’d want to do it (which of course they did!).

Tonight is the night, and I’m fairly certain I’m going to be that mom who sobs uncontrollably when her kids are in the spotlight. How do I know this? Because I choke up just listening to them practice.

Equally as exciting is that telling people they are doing this has led to other opportunities for the girls to sing the anthem at other events. We’re already booked for later this summer at a stock car race. This is so great, not just because they are doing what they love, but my eldest is building her college application portfolio and this will just add to her list of accomplishments.

So this may not seem like much, but to two little kiddos who feel like music is everything (and their mama), this is HUGE!

As my eldest says, “Mom! They ask people like Taylor Swift to sing the National Anthem. And they want me to do it?”

Yup, baby girl. They want you.

Road Trip!!

postcard-4.5inx6.5in-h-frontYes, I am on the road tomorrow and heading for Lori Foster’s RAGT in Cincinnati.

Hubby and I will pack up the family truckster (in this case, a Lexus SUV Hybrid — Chevy Chase really needed one of these for his summer vacay) and depart shortly after lunch and two hours or so later, we’ll be there. So excited to have dinner the first evening with Paige Tyler and her hubby and Paige’s and my gal Friday, Janet Snell and her hubby at Paige’s fave restaurant, PF Chang’s.

While in Cincy, hubby and I will see our son who moved to the southeast side of Cincinnati way back in February. We’ve only seen him twice since he moved and I need a big hug.

Friday and Saturday at this con will be packed. Besides the usual parties, other boardroom activities, and the raffle baskets for charity — I and a bunch of other authors were invited by my author buddy KaLyn Cooper to participate in an author hunt involving a Brag Book.

So, if you are coming to RAGT, you’ll need to see me or one of the other participating authors to get your empty brag book and start collecting author cards.  Show the filled brag book to KaLyn in the Madison boardroom and you will be entered for a chance at some really great prizes (I’m giving a full set of SSI print books).

As part of the Liquid Silver Boardroom and in celebration of 15 years in the e-publishing business for LSB’s parent company, I and the other LSB authors (KaLyn Cooper, Kelli Evans, Wendi Zwaduk, Eve Langlais, Maddy Barone, and Lynn Rae) are doing a Be Charmed by an LSB Author hunt — the participants (limited to 200) will receive a basic bracelet and must find all seven authors and get a charm from them.  Once the bracelet is complete, the lucky person can enter to win even more prizes.

As you can see, Lori Foster’s Reader Author Get-Together is a fun convention and the attendees get a chance at lots of lovely loot. charm bracelet less beads

Even if you are not attending, the public can come on Friday night and then again Saturday, for the book signings.  Both are scheduled from 3-5 pm in the lobby of Cincinnati Marriott North at Union Centre. Barnes and Noble will be selling books as will some of the authors who have print on demand books.

So, if you live near Cincinnati, come see me on Saturday afternoon from 3-5 pm.  I will have print books for both my SSI and Prime Chronicles series (in limited supply).

I’ll return home on Sunday and go into deep revision cave mode on SSI book 4, Storm Warning.  Some lucky people will get to read a Chapter 1 excerpt.  I have a limited print supply to hand out at the book signing on Saturday. 🙂

 

Beach? Pool? River? Lake?

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Little River flows from the Great Smoky Mountains right past our land.

I love the water in the summer and need, yes , to be near it, on it or in it. But how I enjoy water has changed over my lifetime.

I spent a few hours last weekend with female friends floating down the Little River in my kayak until we got to our land. When I say we floated, we literally sat in the boats and allowed the current to take us most of the time. We didn’t hurry at all. The river was low but moved fast enough to carry us the few miles home. It was our first float of the year and felt great!

canoeing on Findley Lake

Canoeing on the lake was a Summer passtime, when we weren’t swimming, boating or skiing

I grew up on a small lake in Upstate New York paddling flat-bottomed canoes on water as smooth as glass. We water skied, putted around in the boat sometimes and flew over the water others. We swam, jumped off the dock, raced to the island or a raft and practically lived in and on the water.

Onslow Beach on Camp Lejeune N.C. is wide, clean and beautiful as seen through the eyes of a Marine wife.

Onslow Beach on Camp Lejeune N.C. is wide, clean and beautiful as seen through the eyes of a Marine wife.

Marines often have a different view of the same beach. These are Amphibious Assault Vehicles practicing a beach invasion.

Marines often have a different view of the same beach. These are Amphibious Assault Vehicles practicing a beach invasion.

While following Macho Marine around the world, we went to some of the best beaches, all located on Marines Corps bases.

When the children were in high school, we had an in-ground pool in the back yard and we swam from early May through October.

Now, we live on Little River that flows from the Great Smoky Mountains and paddle as often as we can.

So tell me your water preference. Beach? Pool? River? Lake?

A taste of Predator’s Trinity.

I’m so pleased to announce the upcoming release of my next book in the Gemini Island Shifters series, Predator’s Trinity. Slated for publication August 24 at Liquid Silver Books, book 6 brings us the romance between jaguar shifter twins Percy and Byron Moon and human librarian Suzan Marsh. Not only will they have to deal with the strong emotions of a menage relationship, they must find a way to vanquish wolf shifter August Crane.

You will remember August from book 5. He’s not a nice man and will do anything it takes to defeat our friends on Gemini Island.

I don’t yet have a cover but hope to be able to share one soon. However, if you’d like a sense for what Byron and Percy look like, I envision them a little bit like this.

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Not bad, huh?

Please enjoy this snippet from Predator’s Trinity, but before you join my shifters, I’ll take a moment to let you know I’ve started a street team, Rosanna Leo’s Pride. If you’d like to join us on Facebook, it’s a great way to join some like-minded readers and be among the first to learn about my work and read my ARCs. Hope to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/groups/RosannaLeosPride/

Blurb for Predator’s Trinity:

Librarian Suzan Marsh is an empath and has always felt assaulted by the feelings of others. She has had to distance herself from the people in her life, raising a mental barrier to ward off unwanted emotions. When wolf shifter August Crane abducts her, he breaks through the walls she constructed, forcing her to accept a frightening new truth.

Jaguar shifter twins Percy and Byron Moon are familiar with the evil ways of August Crane. Because of him, their childhood was destroyed. Because of him, their way of life at the peaceful Ursa Fishing Lodge and Resort is threatened. And they won’t rest until he is dead.

When Crane drags Suzan into his cult and decides to make her his “concubine,” Percy and Byron know they must save the human woman. Their connection to her is strong and they cannot deny the dream they always held close. That they could share a woman and make her their mate.

But even after rescuing Suzan, none of them are free from Crane’s clutches. The wolf shifter has plans, ones that involve the demise of every shape shifter at the Ursa Resort. Not only must Percy and Byron keep Suzan safe, they must convince her to accept them both. In order to stop Crane from hurting everyone they love, they must learn to fight together.

Excerpt:

“I will kill those Moon boys if it’s the last thing I do.”

At the mention of the name Moon, Suzan cracked open her eyes, but not enough to elicit attention from Crane and his mongrel friends. Still bound to the chair, she remained still, breathing slowly so they’d think she was still unconscious.

The men were huddled in the opposite corner of the sitting room, gathered around an occasional table. She didn’t dare glance toward the clock, but from the shadows in the room, she could tell she’d been out for a while, maybe hours. The windows in the room were open and a light breeze made the curtains rustle. Should she chance a scream? No. Crane hadn’t bothered to shut the windows. He knew no one would listen to her screams here.

One of the men shifted his balance from one foot to the other. “Do you want us to take them out?”

She knew the voice. It was Tyler, Crane’s favorite henchman, the one who’d turned into a tiger.

“Don’t be stupid,” answered Crane. “We can’t do a thing while they’re surrounded by their shifter friends from Gemini Island. I need to recruit more people for our cause. But when the time is right, I’ll take pleasure in ripping out their throats.” He paused and then out of nowhere, growled and pounded the table. “I hate those Moons!”

A few documents fluttered to the floor, along with a couple of photos. Thanks to the breeze at the window, several of the photos slid toward her on the floor and came to rest in front of her feet. She dared a glance while Crane and his cronies talked in the other corner.

The photo closest to her pictured two men, twins, by the looks of it. Both blond and ruggedly handsome, their images captured her imagination in a way that had her sucking in shallow breaths. She knew who they were. Percy and Byron Moon. Crane had spent much of his time complaining about the residents of Gemini Island and the Moon brothers were tops on his hit list. Them, and their older brother Killian. It seemed they had a shared history, one Crane regarded with blistering resentment.

Dazzled by the photo, she gazed at it until the rambling of the men in the room faded into nothingness. With her abilities, she could glean knowledge, even from a photo. Staring at Percy and Byron, she felt things. Warm and wonderful things that had her shifting in her seat. She perceived emotions from these men, as clearly as she did from Crane. Only the sensations she derived looking at the Moon twins were quite different. They made her happy and hopeful, and sad to be locked in a room with August Crane.

And she knew, as well as she knew the stacks in her library, that the Moon brothers would be her salvation.

For as long as she could remember, she had just known things. It was a gift that startled, no, terrified her adoptive family. It had lost her friends and prevented her from having regular relationships.

Nevertheless, as much as she often tried to tamp down her ability, one look at the Moons had her convinced they were her future. One glance at the photo and it seemed the wheel of fortune spun her in their direction.

For the first time since being abducted, she wanted to smile.