Niki Cluff lives in Northern Arizona with her husband, three children, and Great Dane who also doubles as a pony. For the last four years, she has worked as a literary intern sorting through queries while writing her own books. When she isn’t writing or watching BIGBANG and EXO videos, she’s sketching, playing video games (Legend of Zelda is her favorite), crocheting, and cooking. Copycat recipes are her specialty. She’s also a massive anime fan (Sailor Moon forever!) and hopes to visit Tokyo some day.
Allyson has been in a coma for the last nine months. What’s worse, she can hear everything the doctors say. She knows they’re keeping her in a coma and that she’s at the mercy of the hospital’s First-in-Human trial—a VR system implanted in her brain for a second chance at life.
Attached to the VR, Ally discovers worlds unlike home. She can do whatever she wants, but she misses her parents. With help from Harrison, a rabbit-eared boy, they work together to free themselves from Aishwarya, the mad queen of the world.
But when Harrison wakes up and doesn’t come for Ally, she’ll split her soul to the brink of death to save herself.
No one answers my calls. I’m
overwhelmed by the sinking sensation that I’m alone in this world too. Always
alone. I let out a frustrated puff of breath. I look at my hands, my body.
Everything appears normal, but the grafts on my skin, the itchy scarring and
bandages, they’re all gone. My chest tightens, but I don’t know if it’s out of
fear or relief. In this world, I’m perfect. I’m barefoot as I glance at the
ground. A dirt path stretches in front of me and behind me. It’s smooth without
large rocks or divots. I don’t know where the path leads. To the left is a
blank space of darkness and to the right, the forest stretches on. I head right
since it’s the only direction I have.
This is the virtual reality system again.
It has to be. My mind hasn’t created elaborate visions like this since I first
arrived. Everything I knew became blurry over time. But I don’t know why it’s
put me in this world and not the home I’d built before. Or the school like
Doctor Zain had promised my parents. Clearly, I don’t have control over where I
travel in the VR. Along the path, I spy drops of dew larger than my head
clinging to long leaves. I take a moment to look at my reflection. My hair is a
light shade of blonde, almost white, the same as it was before I entered the
hospital, but my dark roots haven’t grown in yet. They should have after nine
months. It’s longer than I remember it being, hanging well past my chest. I
don’t know if it’s an exaggerated version of myself or the way I look after
nine months of not seeing my own reflection in the mirror. I still don’t know
what I look like.
I continue moving down the path as strange birds, or what I
think are birds, possibly pieces of toast covered in jam, maybe both, pass
overhead. Lightning crackles in the sky. A sense of awe and wonder overwhelms
me. A thrill travels down my spine and I shiver. “Well, well,” a voice purrs,
but I can’t tell where it’s coming from. There are so many places in the thick
leaves and heavy overgrown grass to hide. “Looks like we have a newbie.” “Who’s
there?” I ask, squinting my eyes to see the body behind the voice. I turn in
circles, taking in the shadows and umbrella-like leaves and petals. “You’ll
never see if you don’t look up.” The voice chuckles.
In death she found life.
Florence Sterling should be perfectly happy. She’s been given a second chance at life with her beloved husband. But all is not well. She yearns for more children, even though Alex is reluctant. Memories of the day she and her baby were murdered still haunt her. And she can’t shake the feeling she will be separated from Alex again.
As if in confirmation of her premonition, Alex is called on a dangerous mission to enlist America’s aid in WWII. Trying to distract herself, Florence investigates what really happened when her son died. As she searches, she becomes convinced her son is alive, although witnesses say otherwise. And with each clue she discovers, she unwittingly draws closer to her old enemy—the deranged woman who will stop at nothing to destroy her.
When Alex goes missing in action, Florence must reach deeply into her faith as she faces her greatest fears. If Alex is lost to the war, will she allow herself to love another man and fulfill her desire to have a family? Or will she remain alone the rest of her life?
Book one in this series WON the bronze medal with the Readers’ Favorite International competition
in the historical-mystery category!!!
Make sure you Check out both books in this series!
Marcia was born and raised in Argentina during the military regime which ended with the loss of many young lives in the invasion of the Falkland Islands. Amidst the devastating effects of military government and war, reading and writing became a passion which expanded and transported her imagination with the possibility of a brighter future.
At the age of eighteen, she moved to the United States, where she studied English and started her own family. She soon discovered that the love she has for her husband and children would naturally unfold towards her European roots, leading her to become a genealogist and family historian. A decade of searching, compiling, and learning the stories of thousands of people has instilled in her a profound gratitude for the strong ties that can be achieved in families through personal sacrifice.
So it is that through fiction, Shadows of Time duology (Awaken, Shadows of a Forgotten Past and Alive, Shadows of a Living Past) explores and exposes the characteristics of true love and loyalty in times of fear, war, and finally, death. But perhaps the most captivating element in the story is the battle within the souls of the main characters as they search to know who they really are and how they are connected.
Alive: Shadows of a Living Past by Author Marcia Maidana is a classic novel about second chances. Though it’s a sequel, it can be read as a stand alone, too. Florence is a wonderful and strong female lead character. The author did a wonderful job at detailing the conditions during the World War II. Florence who found life after death still can’t get rid of the nightmares about the son who died immediately after she gave birth. When her husband Alex was called for a special mission to assist with the war strategies, Florence works on her own trying to solve the mystery of her son’s death in her previous life. The female villain in the book is very strong. This book is a complete package of history, class, romance, mystery, love and strength. I enjoyed the book totally.
Here’s another post about my trip to Sikkim some time ago. I thought I would share the memories rather keeping them to myself. Thus, I wrote my travel story on Tripoto. Check it out here. I look forward to presenting more travel posts going forward.
HEATHER TULLIS has been reading romance for as long as she can remember and has been publishing in the genre since 2009. She has published more than twenty books.
When she’s not dreaming up new stories to write, or helping out with her community garden, she enjoys playing with her dogs and cat, cake decorating, trying new jewelry designs, inventing new ways to eat chocolate, and hanging out with her husband.
Learn more about her and sign up for her newsletter on her website.
Jonah Owens thought moving to Echo Ridge to open his art gallery would solve all of his problems. The need to sell his grandma’s house adds an unexpected complication. It would be easier if his neighbor didn’t have all those farm animals.
Kaya Feidler’s family has owned their land for nearly a hundred years–long before the neighbors were there. There’s no way she’s giving up the animal therapy business she’s been struggling to make profitable. She gets a temp job helping Jonah in the gallery.
Spending time together is a recipe for romance, but can they overcome their own hangups to be more than friends?
Jonah turned to a new page, thought of the boy and started drawing him on the sorrel, his gangly arms and legs seemingly out of proportion with the rest of him as boys so often were at his age. Jonah didn’t draw him straight on, but at an oblique angle, his excitement showing from the way he held his arms and legs, the implied movement of the horse. It felt a little like joy.
When he finished a rough draft, he flipped the sheet and started on one of the girl in the wheelchair and the happiness that had suffused her face as she held out a treat for the goat. It nuzzled her hand and she grinned brightly, joy on her face. She was detailed, and the goat was moderately detailed, but the rest of the space, the straw, the wooden beams and windows were little more than shapes in the picture, lines shooting off in different directions, adding dimension and mood without being fully formed.
It felt good to create, to feel the dust of charcoal, the sharp edges of the rectangular stick pressing into the pads of his fingers. His hands ached to hold a brush and spread paint across the paper, to see the form emerging from his mind and heart as he created something more than either part of him could ever do alone.