Mary’s Heart

Mary’s Heart

by Rebecca Carpenterchristmas tree

Mary sat in the dark room and stared as the Christmas tree lights blinked from white to blue to multi-colored—unwrapped presents spilling from under the branches. Located near the top, a hand-made star shimmered silver on one side, gold on the other, the inscription “Manney – 2016” written in black permanent marker along the edge. She approached, touching the ornament as if it were made of glass. Rough glitter met her fingertips—soothing, calming.  A tear slipped down her cheek.

From behind, strong arms wrapped her waist, and warm lips pressed against her neck. “Come to bed, love,” her husband Joe whispered in her ear. “You know we have to get up early to meet with the donor-recipient’s family.”

Mary crossed her arms over his and squeezed. “Not yet.”

He kissed her cheek. “Soon, then.” With drooped shoulders, he shuffled to the hallway.

Mary removed the star ornament and clasped it to her chest. “Do you think he’ll accept our boy’s heart?”

Joe paused but didn’t turn back. “That’s up to his body … but I hope so.” Footfalls faded, but a heart-wrenching wail echoed through the house.

Mary dropped to her knees. Tears gushed in a raging, torrential river that shook her entire frame. How in the world would she ever get through the pain—fill the void that replaced her beating heart?

Her hands grasped a package, rending it until the box ripped and a Superman shirt with attached cape slipped out. With a gleam in her eyes, she lifted the garment. “Daddy wanted you to wear a nice suit, but I think this is much better. Superman was your favorite hero, and now you get to be someone’s hero.” She folded the shirt and lovingly placed it in her lap.

Between two gift bags, a small, square box wrapped in brown paper with a hand-drawn Christmas tree caught her eye: “To Mom, Love Manney” scribbled on the tag. With trembling hands, she parted the bags and clasped the box, meticulously tracing the letters with her fingertip before unwrapping the gift, careful to preserve the paper in its perfect form.

Inside, a white jewelry box beckoned to be opened. She inhaled a deep breath and lifted the lid. A folded note lay on top, hiding the contents. Unfolding the creases, Mary revealed a cut-out heart.paper heart

Dear Mommy,

You always say I’m your heart, so now you can have me with you all the time. Hope you like the necklace.

I love you!!!!!!!!!



P.S. Daddy helped me spell all the words.


A whimper, long and guttural filled the room. Mary pressed the note to her lips, kissing the paper, wishing more than anything it was her son’s face. Placing the paper on his Superman shirt, she returned to the box and fingered the silver necklace with heart locket, peeling apart the edges to reveal a headshot of Manney—his wide, front-toothless grin the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. She removed the necklace from the packaging and clasped it around her neck, the locket resting directly over her heart.GUEST_310cda83-2e7b-455a-b447-d5160ca3ab09

Warmth seared under the metal, a faint beating reacting to the glimmer of hope and healing.

The tree lights switched from white to blue to multi-colored, each reflecting off the heart that she now wore on the outside—at least for a while.



historical romance · love · new release

New Release! THE LIGHT AT FINNIGAN’S END by Jody Gallegos


The stand-alone historical romance that stole America’s hearts has a sequel coming out TODAY! A Shine that Defies the Dark by Jodi Gallegos released in December 2017 and has received amazing reviews and shout outs from the public. So much so that the author decided to expand the world of the novel and create another sequel or world novel that can be read as part of the series or as another stand-alone Historical Romance. The Light at Finnigan’s End is now available for purchase! Grab your copy of book two in The Rum Runners Series today. Also, to celebrate, readers can check out the first novel for free on any online retailer this week only!


The Light at Finnigan’s End
Jodi Gallegos
Published by: Changing Tides Publishing
Publication date: November 5, 2018
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

Cleric’s Cove is home to the most brutal gang of bootleggers in Southern Louisiana, the Moret family. Desperate to find out what happened to her brother Finn, Deirdre Cassidy is determined to use her skills as a healer, as well as her feminine charms, to infiltrate the Moret crime family. Once she’s ensconced in the Moret hideout, she hopes to gather information that will lead her to Finn—or help her destroy the family that caused his disappearance.

But the one thing Deirdre never counted on is Mo Moret. The eldest son and head of the Moret gang, Mo is incredibly dangerous, yet magnetic—the attraction between them palpable. Still, Deirdre doesn’t believe he’ll ever set aside family loyalty for love. And even if he did, Deirdre has vowed to see the end of the Morets—whatever the cost.

The second installment in the popular Rum Runners series by Jodi Gallegos, The Light at Finnigan’s End is a fast-paced romance with elements of historical fiction, set against the gritty backdrop of depression-era southern Louisiana.

Goodreads / Amazon / Nook / Kobo / iTunes



A Shine That Defies The Dark
Jodi Gallegos
Published by: Changing Tides Publishing
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

Gripping, romantic, and evocative of its time— A Shine that Defies the Dark is a spellbinding story of one woman who will stop at nothing to survive during a tumultuous time in American history.

After a six-year exile, Ophelia Breaux and her mother are overjoyed to return to the Louisiana bayou. But it seems the ghosts of the epic feud that drove them away still haunt Plaquemines Parish, and with the Great Depression sweeping the nation, the two soon find they can’t make ends meet.

Seeing no other option, Ophelia’s mother takes the drastic step of sharing her bed with the town judge in exchange for a reduced rent. The judge has had a life-long obsession with Momma, and Ophelia is desperate to end this arrangement and get her away from him.

When Remy Granger shows up, Ophelia knows it could mean more trouble—and that’s the last thing they need. Handsome and dangerous, he’s the first boy she ever kissed, and a member of the most notorious family in southern Louisiana—but he’s also got an opportunity for fast money in rumrunning. Ophelia goes all in, and it turns out she may have a knack for the business. But she’s going to have to run even faster if she wants to save Momma… dodging the cops, rival gangs, and her traitorous heart at every turn.

Goodreads / Amazon / Nook / Kobo / iBooks


Author Bio:

Jodi is a YA & NA writer, black belt, and registered nurse. She lives with her husband, three sons and an evolving herd of undisciplined animals in Colorado. She has a well-earned fear of bears, but tolerates the Teddy and Gummy variety. She has been obsessed with books, both reading and writing them, for most of her life and prefers the written word to having actual conversations. The most current projected completion date of her To Be Read book collection is May 17, 2176.

Website / Facebook / Twitter



new release

Book Blitz for Garden of Thorns

Garden of Thorns (Garden of Thorns #1)
by Amber Mitchell
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Release Date: March 6th 2017
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.

Add to Goodreads



Amazon:  http://a.co/d/d4RMvrH

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/garden-of-thorns-5

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/garden-of-thorns-amber-mitchell/1125780960;jsessionid=835C67C4327B460CD2E15A7B58FE8443.prodny_store01-atgap05?ean=9781633758483&st=AFF&2sid=Goodreads,%20Inc_2227948_NA&sourceId=AFFGoodreads,%20Inc

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/garden-of-thorns/id1205729578?mt=11

Entangled Teen: https://entangledpublishing.com/garden-of-thorns.html

The sequel, War of the Wilted, releases on October 1, 2018! (cover coming soon!)


Rose will not rest until the Gardener is dead. But there are bigger battles to fight, and Rayce—leader of the rebellion and the only man Rose has ever loved—believes their best chance at winning the war is to join forces with her sworn enemy.

Saving innocent people is more important than her quest for revenge. But their new ally can’t be trusted—and he knows her darkest secret. One betrayal could leave the war and Rayce’s life hanging in the balance, and Rose will need to make the ultimate sacrifice to save them all.

Add to Goodreads

Preorder links for the second book in the series, War of the Wilted!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H25DNLB/

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/war-of-the-wilted

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/war-of-the-wilted/id1435076000?mt=11

Entangled: https://entangledpublishing.com/war-of-the-wilted.html


About the Author

Amber Mitchell graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA in Creative Writing. She likes crazy hair styles, reading, D&D, k-dramas, good puns and great food.

When she isn’t putting words on paper, she is using cardstock to craft 3D artwork or exploring new places with her husband Brian. They live a small town in Florida with their four cats where she is still waiting for a madman in a blue box to show up on her doorstep.

Garden of Thorns is her debut novel from Entangled Teen.

Author Links:



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book Blitz Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours



New Release Sale!

BB2 release graphic 2

Buy BUTTERFLY BLOOD on Amazon for only $0.99 from August 27th – 31st): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DYLLVDX/

And BUTTERFLY BONES is FREE on Amazon from August 27-31): https://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Bones-Coming-Age-METAMORPHOSIS-ebook/dp/B01M1E9854/





Butterfly Bones and Butterfly Blood are on Sale!



AD 4Buy BUTTERFLY BLOOD on Amazon for only $0.99 from August 27th – 31st): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DYLLVDX/

ad 1
And BUTTERFLY BONES is FREE on Amazon from August 27-31): https://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Bones-Coming-Age-METAMORPHOSIS-ebook/dp/B01M1E9854/




Amazing sale on The Metamorphosis Series



ad 3Buy BUTTERFLY BLOOD on Amazon for only $0.99 from August 27th – 31st): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DYLLVDX/
Previous Book in the Series (click on image for Goodreads link):

And BUTTERFLY BONES is FREE on Amazon from August 27-31): https://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Bones-Coming-Age-METAMORPHOSIS-ebook/dp/B01M1E9854/




Sale! Butterfly Bones and Butterfly Blood

ad 5Buy BUTTERFLY BLOOD on Amazon for only $0.99 from August 27th – 31st): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DYLLVDX/
Previous Book in the Series (click on image for Goodreads link):

And BUTTERFLY BONES is FREE on Amazon from August 27-31): https://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Bones-Coming-Age-METAMORPHOSIS-ebook/dp/B01M1E9854/



cover reveal · new release · YA Author · YA Book · YA contemporary science fiction · young adult · young adult novel


Hey guys! I’m so excited to reveal the cover for Butterfly Blood, as well as the new series cover for Butterfly Bones. They are gorgeous, and I have to give kudos to Emma Wicker, the amazing creative designer for Lakewater Press, who takes my ideas and turns them into works of art. I can’t stop looking at them!

Without further ado, here they are!

BB2 release graphic 2




Butterfly Blood (Metamorphosis #2)
by Rebecca L. Carpenter
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Release Date: August 2018
Lakewater Press


A sixteen-year-old girl who cheated death continues her fight for survival as she goes up against real-life monsters, desperate for her unique blood, while risking everything to reunite with the love of her life, who is battling his own soul-sucking demons.


Add to Goodreads


pre-order on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DYLLVDX/


An excerpt from BUTTERFLY BLOOD:


Darkness consumes him.



His lungs burn as if they’ve been lit on fire.

He reaches out for something.


But nothing is familiar.

The smells.

The sounds.

The voices.

And he can’t feel anything.

Except numbness.

Someone speaks.

But it’s a foreign language.

Foreign and muffled.

Light enters his brain, blinding and as painful as staring into the sun.

The brightness grows, with it the sharpness of a thousand needles.

He wants to scream.

He opens his mouth to scream.

But only a weak cry slips over his parched lips.

So dry.

So dry.

The light retracts.

Darkness slithers toward him, coiling up his leg …

Moving ever so slowly until it reaches his mouth and slips inside.

And all he wants to do is drink it up.

So thirsty.

So thirsty.



The first book in the Metamorphosis series, Butterfly Bones, has a cover redesign!


Butterfly Bones on Goodreads


BUTTERFLY BONES AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Bones-Coming-Age-METAMORPHOSIS-ebook/dp/B01M1E9854/

BUTTEFLY BONES B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/butterfly-bones-rebecca-carpenter/1124807692?ean=9780994451170


head shots and family pics with lexi

About the Author

Rebecca Carpenter is a native of western Colorado. She is married with two grown children and has been blessed with five amazing grandchildren. She owns and directs a large childcare center where she shares her love for books. In her spare time, she freelances as a copy editor, helping others attain their writing dreams. She self-published a memoir about her teen pregnancy in 2012, and her award winning, science fiction young adult novel, Butterfly Bones, was released on Nov. 28th, 2016 by Lakewater Press, with the second book in the Metamorphosis series, Butterfly Blood, scheduled for release in late August of 2018.


Author Links:




Cover Reveal Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours