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HULK @HerCountryGirl

 

“As soon as I saw you, it was like a light shining down from the heavens. As I got to know you, I realized that light went soul deep, and I fell for you so hard.”

 

Hulk

 

After an accident and my girlfriend leaving, I didn’t think I’d find anyone to share my life with. Sure, I had my brother and the club, and I never thought I wanted anything more. That was until Claire walked into my life. She had a harrowing story behind her, and it forced my protective instincts forward, and they raged at full force. I simply had to get past the walls she’d built so tightly around her.

 

Claire

 

Some say amnesia is a new start, which is true. But what happens when you wake up one day and everything’s a blank. Let me tell you, it’s not fun but more like downright scary. 

 

That was my life now. Sure, I’d made a family and new memories with Monique and the triplets, but when Monique reunited with Derrick, he came with a whole new family. Hulk was the Sergeant at Arms for the club and the man who would steal my heart. Unbeknownst to me, the man who had hurt me previously was closing in, and he wanted to finish what he’d started. 

 

Will Hulk be able to save Claire from a madman, or will he be too late to have his angel with him forever? 

 

 

Get your copy on Amazon:
USAUUKCA 

 

 

Thor (Thorny Devils MC) Book 1

 

After being separated for fifteen years, can they let the past be in the past, or is there too much hurt to forgive and forget.

 

 

Purchase your copy today!
US : AU : UK : CA 

 

 

Australian author MLJ Quigg – lives in NSW, Australia, with her husband, three adult children, and six cats—yes, you heard that right, six. 

 

Growing up in a huge family of eight kids was always noisy and didn’t give her enough alone time to unwind.

 

Books have always given her an outlet from the craziness that is her life. Nothing is better than curling up with a good story to take her mind off her surroundings. 
As a new author, she hopes you enjoy her stories and helps you get out of your world and into hers for a few hours.

 

Connect with Mlj Quigg:

 

Andrea Perez @HerCountryGirl

In 2010, Andrea’s husband, Sergeant Edward Bolen, died in combat in Afghanistan when she was just twenty-five years old. From the moment the two soldiers arrived at her doorstep with the devastating news, to the struggles of the following months and years, she shares frankly about the raw pain of losing not only her husband but herself. She learned the hard way that if given the chance, grief takes and takes until you become little more than the labels cast upon you. She wasn’t Andrea anymore. She was the Widow.  

Her story is more than a tale of the emotional imprisonment of grief and the devastating price of lost innocence. It is a testament to rebuilding a broken life, and a message of hope for those who are as lost as she once was. She found healing, acceptance, and love, and discovered her own enduring well of strength.  

 

 

 

 

Excerpt: 

 

I used to associate pain as being primarily physical. Now that I’ve endured the reality of internal pain, however, I know physical pain pales in comparison. Emotional suffering runs deep and darkens the soul. It’s pain that cannot be seen but is nevertheless real and experienced every day.
My pain starts in my heart, flows through my brain, and spreads throughout my body. Some days it’s hot as fire, boiling my blood and triggering instant rage. A moment later, I’m cold as ice and just as numb. But the sadness is the hardest. When depression takes over, it’s difficult to escape. When I’m angry or numb, at least I know the feelings will pass. Depression doesn’t. Caught in its grip, I have nowhere to go, nowhere to turn. 
When I find myself in that dark, limitless place, overwhelmed by hopelessness, Eddie saves me. His memory comes to my rescue and helps guide me out. Until the next time I fall. But no matter how smothering my sadness, how deep my depression, my heart knows he will always come. He won’t let me be lost in that bottomless hole.

 

I became a military widow at the age of twenty-five. Several years later, I began journaling as a form of therapy. While I uncovered truths about myself, I simultaneously discovered a story with the power to help others. Rather than reframe the work into a typical, self-help format, I focused on creating an intensely personal narrative. 
It took me 6 years to write my story. “Who Are You Calling a Widow?” targets not only the military community, but anyone drawn to the widow’s perspective, whether or not they have suffered a loss. I hope to light a candle of hope for those who need it, and offer necessary advice to those uncertain of how to engage someone in the midst of grief.  




Connect with Andrea:

 

Like A Hurricane Duet, Book 1 @HerCountryGirl

 

 
Wrecked by Her
Like A Hurricane Duet, Book 1

 

 

It’s LIVE!
mybook.to/HurricaneDuet1 

 

Loving Jules in high school was easy—gentle and natural. But that was eight years ago, before she left town. Before she took off and left my heart shattered.

 Now she’s back…with a kid I’ve never met.

 A hurricane, that’s what she is—powerful and potentially destructive, yet so thrilling and intense.

 

If she leaves me wrecked again…I won’t survive.





Excerpt:

 

“Great actually. I’m not usually a morning person, but this morning has been great. I even got flowers.” I blushed a little.
“Oh? Does someone have a secret admirer?”
I shook my head still smiling, but before I could speak, I was cut off.
“It’s never been a secret how I feel about Jules.” Just the sound of his voice had my stomach doing somersaults.
I closed my eyes. I couldn’t help it. I was not ready to see him, but I was excited all the same. Wait, did he just say how he feels? As in present tense?
He touched the small of my back ever so slightly igniting my whole body. Leaning in, he brushed his lips against my cheek, and my eyes snapped open. Is that a beard? I turned to see for myself, and he was right there. His lips were a mere inch from mine.
“Hi, Jules.” He was smirking at me, was he always this sexy?
Say something, move your mouth. “Uh, um, hey, Hunter.” Smooth, stutter much?
I looked away for a second, but my body betrayed me by turning back to take him in again. He was still smirking at me like he could read my mind.
“I’m sorry. I’m just in shock. How are you?” I gave him a hug, that was a normal thing to do right now, I believed.
Hunter wrapped his arms around me tightly. I didn’t want him to let go; it felt so good to be in his arms. When I finally pulled back, he kept his hand on my waist.

 

 

PreOrder your copy of Saved By Him today!
US : UK : CA : AU

 

Don’t forget book 1, Wrecked By Him
US : UK : CA : AU 




I’m a feisty redheaded Canadian/American who fell in love with romance novels when my friend Phil bought me a Kindle and it hasn’t left my side since.

 

My fave books to read are anything taboo and super sick and twisted, I’m not sure I will ever write anything dark but I would love to give it a shot one day.

 

I live in South Florida with my high school sweetheart and 3 kids.

 

I grew up in Burlington, ON, Canada but made the move to South Florida in 2013 and definitely don’t miss the snow.

 

I’m not sure where this writing journey will take me but either way I know it will be a fun new adventure and I’m super excited about it.

 

Connect with Kristie:

 

WRECKED BY HER @HerCountryGirl

 


Wrecked by Her
Like A Hurricane Duet, Book 1



 
It’s LIVE!
mybook.to/HurricaneDuet1 



Loving Jules in high school was easy—gentle and natural. But that was eight years ago, before she left town. Before she took off and left my heart shattered.
 
Now she’s back…with a kid I’ve never met.
 
A hurricane, that’s what she is—powerful and potentially destructive, yet so thrilling and intense.
 
If she leaves me wrecked again…I won’t survive.



Excerpt:
 
I looked down at my papers and breathed deep before starting. “Mama left us too soon and way too quickly.”
A sob broke free. Overwhelmed, tears fell again. I couldn’t do this. I closed my eyes and then looked at Hunter. I held out my hand, gesturing for him. He smiled and got up immediately to come to my side.
“I’m right here. I’ve got you,” he said and gripped my hand.
I squeezed his and turned back to everyone. “Mama left me a note. In it, she told me to celebrate her life. She would’ve been so happy to see y’all here celebrating together.” Deep breath. “Mama was so full of life, vibrant, caring, and just one of the best people I knew. She was always there, no matter what you needed.” Deep breath. “As most of y’all know, I have been living in California for the last eight years. I didn’t get to see her much, but we spoke often. I probably know just as much gossip as the rest of this town.”
Everyone laughed, and it was such a relief.
“Small towns and all that. She was a wonderful grandmother. I wish she had been able to see Calum more.”
“Me Calum,” Calum said from down front, and everyone laughed, again.
Hunter squeezed my hand, and I looked at him. He had concern in his eyes. I was so bad at public speaking that I knew I was just rambling. “Mama also told me in that note to live every day to the fullest. So, I’m going to do my best to live life as she did…with no regrets.”
I looked over at my mother, and another tear slipped free. “I love you, Mama. Bigger than the sky.” I couldn’t say anything else, but I thought I’d said enough. I stepped down from the podium and felt a little lighter knowing I was able to get through it.
We sat back down. “Thank you,” I whispered to Hunter.
He squeezed my hand and smiled at me, pulling me close.
 
 
PreOrder your copy of Saved By Him today!
US : UK : CA : AU
 
Don’t forget book 1, Wrecked By Him
US : UK : CA : AU 
 
 
I’m a feisty redheaded Canadian/American who fell in love with romance novels when my friend Phil bought me a Kindle and it hasn’t left my side since.
 
My fave books to read are anything taboo and super sick and twisted, I’m not sure I will ever write anything dark but I would love to give it a shot one day.
 
I live in South Florida with my high school sweetheart and 3 kids.
 
I grew up in Burlington, ON, Canada but made the move to South Florida in 2013 and definitely don’t miss the snow.
 
I’m not sure where this writing journey will take me but either way I know it will be a fun new adventure and I’m super excited about it.
 
Connect with Kristie:
 

HULK @hercountrygirl

 

“As soon as I saw you, it was like a light shining down from the heavens. As I got to know you, I realized that light went soul deep, and I fell for you so hard.”

 

Hulk

 

After an accident and my girlfriend leaving, I didn’t think I’d find anyone to share my life with. Sure, I had my brother and the club, and I never thought I wanted anything more. That was until Claire walked into my life. She had a harrowing story behind her, and it forced my protective instincts forward, and they raged at full force. I simply had to get past the walls she’d built so tightly around her.

 

Claire

 

Some say amnesia is a new start, which is true. But what happens when you wake up one day and everything’s a blank. Let me tell you, it’s not fun but more like downright scary. 

 

That was my life now. Sure, I’d made a family and new memories with Monique and the triplets, but when Monique reunited with Derrick, he came with a whole new family. Hulk was the Sergeant at Arms for the club and the man who would steal my heart. Unbeknownst to me, the man who had hurt me previously was closing in, and he wanted to finish what he’d started. 

 

Will Hulk be able to save Claire from a madman, or will he be too late to have his angel with him forever? 

 

 

Get your copy on Amazon:
USAUUKCA 

 



 

Thor (Thorny Devils MC) Book 1

 

After being separated for fifteen years, can they let the past be in the past, or is there too much hurt to forgive and forget.

 

 

Purchase your copy today!
US : AU : UK : CA 

 

Australian author MLJ Quigg – lives in NSW, Australia, with her husband, three adult children, and six cats—yes, you heard that right, six. 

 

Growing up in a huge family of eight kids was always noisy and didn’t give her enough alone time to unwind.

 

Books have always given her an outlet from the craziness that is her life. Nothing is better than curling up with a good story to take her mind off her surroundings. 
As a new author, she hopes you enjoy her stories and helps you get out of your world and into hers for a few hours.

 

Connect with Mlj Quigg:

 

Escape The Night @HerCountryGirl

 

Escape The Night
The Sparrow and The Raven Novella
By K.A Graham
Published: January 15, 2019

 

The hardest prison to escape is your mind.

 

My brother was always the smart one. The one people turned to when they needed guidance and comfort. I looked up to him my whole life. He was my best friend. He had his demons, but so did I.

 

Until the night my wife was taken away from me and my world crumbled to the ground. Where was he then? He became the face of the man that murdered my wife. All I saw was an enemy, no longer my brother.

 

It took me years to come to terms with my wife’s death and the fact that Dominic really wasn’t to blame.

 

I never dreamt I’d find love again, but then I met Morgan. She’s crept into my heart, and there was no way to escape, nor do I want to.

 

Do I continue to live for my deceased wife, or do I finally open myself up for a second chance at love?

 

 

Get your copy here!
Amazon US : AU : CA : UK

 




 

 

 

 

 

Amazon US : AU : CA : UK
**On Kindle Unlimited

 

 

~ Meet K.A. Graham ~

K.A. Graham grew up in a small town in Oregon. Through the years, her love for writing and poetry, turned into something she had only dreamt of. Writing her own book. She’s faced many obstacles in her life, but the love and devotion of her parents, have always kept her grounded.

She is an avid reader, blogger and does PA work for a few authors, which keeps her quite busy. Hard rock music lover and horror movie buff, with a love and appreciation for tattoos. Her addictions include copious amounts of caffeine, Chinese food and Haribos candy.

#EmbraceTheLove #ForgetTheHate


~ Connect with K.A. Graham ~
Email : Facebook : Twitter : Instagram : Goodreads : Amazon : Bookbub

 

Guest Post Colleen S. Meyers @_BookMistress

Colleen plays many roles. Not only is she a veteran, a mother, and a practicing physician, but she is a writer of science fiction and contemporary romances. Colleen’s dreams include surviving her son’s teenage years, exploring every continent on this planet, except Antarctica, cause that’s way too cold, and winning the Nobel peace prize. Dream BIG! Currently, she is working on Distant Memory, the third in her SciFi Romance series. In the meantime, look for her at https://www.colleensmyers.com

Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/colleensmyers
https://www.twitter.com/colleensmyers
https://www.instagram/com/csmyers3637
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/colleen-s-myers

 

Seri Therotian lost everything to the E’mani. Her brother, her betrothed, her place among her people. But it turns out there is even more to lose including her life, her father, her people unless she is willing to lead the broken race that had forsaken her to victory.

Buy your copy at any one of these great retailers

Universal Link: books2read.com/47ZQDN

#iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1410452943

#Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wings-of-the-wicked-1

#Nook: https://bit.ly/2NPOKEL

#Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/wingswicked

 

Guest Post

A lot of people ask me what it is like being an author which I find hard to answer because writing is just not one thing. There are some authors that are plotters (They plan out every aspect of the story before they come close to putting the words on paper) and there are pantsters. These are authors that know kind of what they are writing about and just let the words come tumbling out.

I consider myself a combo of the two. I get a general outline for a series and know what is going to happen each chapter but the how’s and whys and reactions when the words come out continuously surprise me.

I try to write every day, even if it is blog post or a well-meaning FB post. I usually fail but I always try. Once I have an idea in my head though, usually I can put down a large chuck at one time and go with it.

Some people write by making sure every word is perfect and take forever writing a paragraph. I type about 100 words a minute and can type exceptionally fast. My paragraphs come fast, furious and full of typos!

That is what it is like for me being a writer but for other people yourself included, it will be your own journey. Have fun with it.

Seri’s grip on the sheer mountainside above the wind-swept canyon slipped. But her right claw managed to break the surface of the rock and halt her fall.

Thank goodness for sharp nails.

She scrambled for purchase until she got a more solid hold. Her fingers ached but she maintained her grasp. She had no choice. The pale E’mani clones in their dark gray jumpsuits were patrolling the path beneath her; at least four of them. She couldn’t take that many, even with her father’s help. They had weapons and shields. She had a wooden bow. Even with her magic, if it affected them, that was not much of a match.

She could fly away, but that did not seem like the smartest play either. They might notice a flying fluffy pink girl. She did kind of stand out, even among her own people. Most of whom were grey or brown like her father.

Speaking of her father, she turned to look at Jax hanging on a nearby rock face, his rust colored wings pulled close to his body. He blended with the surface of the mountain on the windswept peak. She on the other hand with her bright red feathers and orange underbelly was screwed. If the clones’ gazes rose, they’d spot her.

This sucked.

She shifted her grip to hang from one hand to the other and flexed her fingers, then repeated the gesture on the other side.

Jax whistled at her in warning and she glared in return.

Yes, she was moving, but that kept her from falling.

She wasn’t as used to hanging as enemies paced below her. She was only twenty after all, barely an adult by Avaresh standards and much less battle-forged than him. What did he expect?

Her mouth twisted. Wait, what was she thinking? Her father expected everything of her, she was after all a Therotian. How could she forget. She had a destiny. What a load of-.

Her clawed fingers dug into the rock causing dirt to rain down in a small waterfall onto the E’mani’s heads.

Shoot.

She didn’t mean to do that.

She shared a startled glance with Jax who swore under his breath.

He pushed off from the wall as the clones gazed straight up at them and fanned his wings to make himself a bigger target. But he was dark to her light. In the dusky sky, she stood out against the horizon.

They raised their weapons.

ESCAPE THE NIGHT @_BookMistress

 

Escape The Night
The Sparrow and The Raven Novella
By K.A Graham
Release Date: January 15, 2019

 

The hardest prison to escape is your mind.

 

My brother was always the smart one. The one people turned to when they needed guidance and comfort. I looked up to him my whole life. He was my best friend. He had his demons, but so did I.

 

Until the night my wife was taken away from me and my world crumbled to the ground. Where was he then? He became the face of the man that murdered my wife. All I saw was an enemy, no longer my brother.

 

It took me years to come to terms with my wife’s death and the fact that Dominic really wasn’t to blame.

 

I never dreamt I’d find love again, but then I met Morgan. She’s crept into my heart, and there was no way to escape, nor do I want to.

 

Do I continue to live for my deceased wife, or do I finally open myself up for a second chance at love?

 

 

Purchase today!
Amazon US : AU : CA : UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon US : AU : CA : UK
**On Kindle Unlimited

 

 

~ Meet K.A. Graham ~

K.A. Graham grew up in a small town in Oregon. Through the years, her love for writing and poetry, turned into something she had only dreamt of. Writing her own book. She’s faced many obstacles in her life, but the love and devotion of her parents, have always kept her grounded.

She is an avid reader, blogger and does PA work for a few authors, which keeps her quite busy. Hard rock music lover and horror movie buff, with a love and appreciation for tattoos. Her addictions include copious amounts of caffeine, Chinese food and Haribos candy.

#EmbraceTheLove #ForgetTheHate


~ Connect with K.A. Graham ~
Email : Facebook : Twitter : Instagram : Goodreads : Amazon : Bookbub

 

Guest Post @JannaYeshanova @_BookMistress

Originally from the former Soviet Union, Janna Yeshanova escaped in 1989 when persecution became violent during the crumbling of the Soviet state. This required getting permission to emigrate and a long dangerous train trip across central Europe with her elderly mother, her young daughter, and the $126 she was permitted to take out of the country. She did this by overcoming gridlock in Russia, animosity and graft at the border, and neglect in the west. Safely out of Soviet control, Janna and her family spent months as refugees waiting for permission to come to the United States.

Arriving in the United States knowing not a soul, Janna settled in Ohio and began to rebuild her life. She earned a second masters Degree and was invited as a speaker at the Bosnia and Herzegovina International Peace Conference in 1996. While building her business as a Leadership Trainer and consultant, she has become a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation. She offers life coaching services to individuals, conflict resolution to couples and groups, and soft skills training to organizations of all sizes.

Her book, Love Is Never Past Tense, offers a message of hope and inspiration, showing that nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself.

Her Blog Facebook Twitter

A couple’s quick romance and hasty marriage is torn apart by family and fate, leaving them to face the collapse of the Soviet Union separately. Years later, old memories are stirred to give their love a second chance.

Serge and Janna’s chance meeting at a Black Sea beach sparks a passionate romance and a quick marriage. Serge’s parents, suspicious of Janna’s motives and heritage, force him to break up with her. As the Soviet Union collapses, revealing ethnic and social pressures, each faces danger separately. Serge drowns in self-doubt, his life spiraling down and in. Janna plots a dangerous exodus to America with her mother and daughter. Years pass, stirring old emotions.Then, changing circumstances give their love a second chance. Janna Yeshanova tells a story, providing a very personal view of political and social change.

Love is Never Past Tense is part romantic drama and part a look at real people responding to life-changing events, but mostly a suspense adventure about living through one of the biggest changes in living memory.

Love Is Never Past Tense is available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback and Kindle eBook formats. The newly released audiobook is available on Audible, Amazon and iTunes. The audible and Kindle versions are enabled with WhisperSync.

The audio is narrated by Daniela Acitelli, a narrator with dozens of audiobooks to her credit. Even those familiar with the story found new meaning in her presentation. It took me two years to find her.

http://www.loveisneverpasttense.com

Audiobook sample https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nBbMxrEb1g

Book Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quPSNk7EnoA

Buy Links:

Audio Book at audible.com https://adbl.co/2FrEWAs

Audio Book at Amazon https://amzn.to/2Bt9s8W

Audio Book at iTunes https://apple.co/2Kvh8KX

Amazon Author Page https://amzn.to/2AhhY9j

Amazon Kindle https://amzn.to/2Ku6h3S

I shared my story in my book Love Is Never Past Tense, but my life could have gone in a very different direction. For those who have never gone through it, immigration is only a political problem. All immigration is personal to the immigrant, and each person takes a different path. Today, my old friends help me explore a path I didn’t take. You met them in my Exodus story, but they have a story of their own. They offer a great example of rebuilding lives and contributing to their new homeland. It would have been a great American success story, except they didn’t go to America.

It is very difficult to leave the country where you were born, raised and established yourself as a human being, to relocate even when you relocate to a safer place, to make sure that your family is not threatened by the unpredictability of the next day, and your kids are not in danger.

fullsizerender

Boris and Marina Bubis

In 1989, inspired by my friends Boris and Marina Bubis and motivated by the USSR crumbling around me, my family and I fled the country in search of a brighter future. Boris bravely took the first leg of the train trip with us to help with luggage and see us safely off the Soviet state, putting his own safety at risk by doing so. He escorted us as far as Chop, a border city that required special permits even short visit. We had them – he did not. We were ordered to get off the train with our luggage, where we would need to wait two days for the next train.

Excerpt from Love Is Never Past Tense – Part Three: Exodus

Boris grabs the trunks and carries them to the door. I go to the conductors. “Guys! What can be done not to make us leave? My mom is sick and I have a child.”
“Nothing,” the boys say. “We’ve been on this route for several years. Everybody leaves. The visas are already collected. We gave them to the customs officers.”
“Boris!” I shout. “Put the trunks back into the compartment!”
“You are out of your mind,” Boris was taken aback. But he drags the bags back. Then he takes off from the train car and hides behind a night train, so as not to be caught by the frontier guards. A person without the special permit is, at the minimum, sent to a prison cell with a long time to figure things out. For us, especially for him, this is not needed.
My story, including the harrowing train trip across Europe, is in the book. For all I knew, that would be the last time I saw Boris. I had to get back to the train and find a way to survive the next couple days. He had to sneak back home through the country I had just escaped, knowing he could be asked for a permit he didn’t have at any moment, and find a way out for his own family.

Fortunately, my plan to move to America succeeded and his plan to take his family to Israel did as well. In spite of the chaos, we kept in touch. My exodus story is told in the book. Almost 30 years later, I chatted with my old friends on Skype and I heard their version of what happened after he left us.

Both of them have made their mark on their new home (Israel) and the world at large. During our conversation, Boris masked his courage and expertise with characteristic modesty. Marina offered a bit more about her work and what’s happening with their children—toddlers in my story now grown into adults following in their parent’s footsteps on a path of their own.

J:(Janna) Hi Boris! I am so glad you agreed to the interview! So, I never asked you what happened after you jumped out of the train. Can you tell me?

B:(Boris) Sure. Practically, nothing exciting. It was November 29. It was around 12 AM or so, and you remember how cold it was outside. Thank God, I was in a warm jacket! I was looking for dark corners to hide to be unnoticeable, after I bought a return ticket. Luckily, the clerk was changing her shift and in a hurry did not ask me for the permit. Still, when I came back home it was a relief. Marina and kids were happy to see me back safe. Remember, at that time we did not have the cell phones?

J: Marina, I am assuming that for you it was very scary to let him go with us to the border. I remember, having this thought, but I did not want to ask you anything about your feelings not to amplify the fear. I thanked you for this in my mind so many times!

Close friends in our culture are the same as family

M:(Marina) Yes, Janna, it was pretty tough, but we are friends, and close friends in our culture are the same as a family. Isn’t it what friends do for you? We were waiting anxiously for him to come back home safely and learn that you left safe. So it happened!

J: I appreciate you, guys, for instilling in me the thought about the departure. I even have this very moment in my book at the time we had a vacation in Crimea:
The days flew cheerfully in Koktebel. In the evenings we gathered at Anna and Vladimir’s home, local residents who provided simple living for people on vacation. We sang songs with a guitar, told jokes, laughed a lot, drank plenty, and ate heartily.
“It is time to split,” Boris said.
“You’ve only arrived! Why do you have to leave?” I asked.
“But not in this sense …” Boris stretches his words in thoughtfulness. “There is no place to come back to, as a matter of fact. Before our departure from home, someone scratched a cross on the door of our house. Do you know what this means?”
“No,” I answer.
“It means, that we are marked by these thugs-nationalists. Nobody stops them. Not law, not government, not militia. Tomorrow a battle cry will resound: Beat the Jews!—And the Holocaust will begin with a new interpretation. And the most repugnant thing is that at work they hint to me about another nominee for my position. Fortunately, they let me go on vacation. They even paid me money. But I think it is just a tribute to good manners. When I return, they will show me to the door.”
Boris broke off, filtering sand through the thin palm of his hand.

Boris knows everything

Boris is my close friend since childhood. He is handsome and very smart. Boris knows everything. Even when he has no answer, he, all the same, knows everything. I knew too, that in Moldova anarchical forces were rising. They are gathering in parks and plazas, crying out chauvinistic slogans: “Moldova—for Moldavians!” All the others—Slavs, Jews, and other ethnic minorities, should in their opinion, leave the country. But I did not give it much thought: they were just youth gatherings, I thought, nothing more …
“Hitler’s Germany began with street processions too. And then six million Jews went to the gallows and to the gas chambers. To leave, it is necessary—you understand, Jannoshka? Or are you immune? ”
“Where to split to, Boris?” I whisper.
“Where? Probably, to Israel. Where else can you split?”
“And what will you do there?”
“I want freedom. I want to live easy!” Boris stands up and with long steps goes to the sea.
In fact, everything is so good: the hot sun, the sea. What slaughter? What gallows? But, in fact, Boris said that. And he knows everything.
“Marin, what do you think on this occasion?”
“I think like Boris,”—was the short answer. It was August 1988.

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My last evening in the Soviet Union with my dearest friends Boris & Marina Bubis

Shortly after I came home from that vacation, I found a Star of David scratched in my door

J: It was tough to understand that you were going in a different direction. Now, when all is quiet, tell me please why you chose Israel over the United States?

M: I doubted whether to go to Israel or to the United States. My aunt, who lived in America, asked Boris’s profession and whether he spoke English. My Mom said ‘He is a very good person.’ My aunt said ‘This is not a profession.’ We understood it would be better to go to Israel. We knew Boris’s parents and sister would not go to America. This is why the vector was directed toward Israel.

B: I felt Israel is closer to my heart and better for me. I had relatives here, cousins, aunts, everybody was here.

J: It means to me that not everybody wants to come to America…

Not everybody wants to come to America…

B: You wanted! You were saying you wanted to live in a free and diverse place. I didn’t have a second thought of going anywhere but Israel. I never wanted to go to America. Maybe, in the United States it’s more comfortable, but I am comfortable here. I am good here! My friends are here! I hope my kids will have nests of their own here.

J: Did you have any moments you were sorry you went to Israel?

B: None.

J: What kind of difficulties did you have when you came to Israel?

B: It’s a bunch of difficulties like everybody else when they relocate for good: language barriers, mental barriers. I didn’t read or write as well as a native speaker. And this was before, and still, the language is not native. Still, I’m sure I made the right decision to move here.

J: Marina, I remember your parents had difficulties to leave. Why?

M: When I was leaving, I practically said farewell to my parents. At that moment, it was absolutely not clear if they could go with us. My Dad had clearance and his dissertation was under clearance as well. It was very problematic that he would be allowed to leave the Soviet Union, even at that time.

J: This is so horrible, so horrible Marina! I can’t even imagine how you felt leaving your parents behind.

M: OK, Janna, I was leaving because I wanted to take the kids out of there, because it was scary to stay there. Do you remember when you came to our house and said pogroms were about to start? By the time of your departure, there started to appear signs of hope that my parents would be able to leave, and my Dad’s classified dissertation was no longer a problem.

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Marina’s Mom, Boris, Mark, Ettel, Marina, Marina’s Dad and Nely, Marina’s aunt in Israel (1996)

J: Yes, I remember! This was the time when my family and I, and even our birds in the cage came with us. You guys had a metal door, and it felt safer at your house. We did not know how long we would stay, and the birds had to be cared for every day. So, we had to bring that screaming crowd in the cage with us.

With everyone safely out of the country and accounted for, our conversation turned to their lives after leaving the Soviet Union. Immigration doesn’t end a story. It merely starts a new chapter.

J: I am sure you could write your own book about your immigration and new life. So, can you please share, Marina, what was the reason that during a long period of time you were flying to the US several times a month? I remember you came to our house for a whole week years ago, as you were earning your Ph.D. in Biochemistry.

M: I actually came at 1998 at the end of my postdoc. I visited you on my way to the 2 weeks “Cold Spring Harbor course”.

J: Oh! Yes! You were at an International Conference in Las Vegas before that…

M: I presented our company’s work at APS (American Paraplegia Society) – 7-9/09/2004 in Las Vegas.I was working in a team of the cell therapy company named Proneuron. Those times we conducted phase 2 clinical trials in Israel and the US. We worked hard to transfer the experimental technology developed in Israel for the treatment of severe spinal cord injuries to its US manufacturing sites and also flew to take a necessary part in the manufacturing of this therapy for the US patients enrolled in the trial.

J: Marina, what’s going on with your kids, Ettel and Mark? Mark was my best buddy when he was three years old. Do you remember, he listened only to me for some time?

M: Both of them served in the army. Both of them are professionals. Ettel is in the beginning of her Ph.D. Mark is studying in Jerusalem University to be an engineer in Electronics.

J: Boris, now, back to you! I recall that you worked as a worker in Israel, although you were an engineer by profession. I am so proud of you that you became an engineer again!

B: I finished a certification course, and those who went through this program had access to engineering jobs like the one I am doing. It was very hard to start. Everyone who started the course was an engineer already. At the beginning, we were just workers. After a few years, we got back to our engineering positions.

J: When I visited you guys in Israel a couple of years ago you took me to the 9/11 Living Memorial in Jerusalem and you shared your role in it.

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Janna Yeshanova & Marina Bubis, 2014

I was so proud of you that you had such an input into world peace, Boris! This makes me feel closer to Israel. 9/11 was so shocking to me as a US citizen! It shook the whole world! How did you become the Quality Engineer for this world monument?

B: Janna, it’s so simple. Do you know how many huge projects I had? This one has a big significance, but by volume, I have bigger works. For me, it’s just my job. During this project, I learned how to solve some technical problems we were trying to solve. I had the blueprints for this Memorial, and I had to make sure they were followed.

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Boris Bubis at the 9/11 Living Memorial, 2014

J: What about this project was special for you?

There are plaques with three thousand names on this monument. Someone told me that he died or disappeared… His name was Adik Zaltsman. He was a gorgeous young man. He was very talented and goal oriented.

 

 

B: There are plaques with three thousand names on this monument, and I found the name of my friend who died on 9/11. He was an architect and we worked together for the same company back in the Soviet Union. We weren’t close friends, but …

By the way, the architect of this project is the son of parents from Moldova.

J: This is a huge thing, Boris. We started new lives being adults. We did not play Four Square in these countries as kids. And suddenly you were responsible for engineering works, quality engineering for a monument important to Israel, to America and to the whole globe.

B: There are a million people like me. There could have been another person working on this Monument.

J: And instead of Yuri Gagarin there could have been a different person as well! Yes, Boris? And you and me could have been different people too! But we are who we are, and WE do what WE do! We live in the free countries we chose, and we are talking now without being threatened. So, we made it, Boris! WE, Boris, made it!

So there you have it, the path I didn’t take but others did. Immigration is always personal and always painful. I hope that our grandchildren, and their grandchildren, will know of immigration only through old stories!

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Commemorative plaque on the base of the Monument

 

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The 9/11 Memorial in Jerusalem

 

Serge didn’t try to catch up to the shuffling, thin, leather skirt. He hadn’t a clue what he would do if he actually caught up with her. So he continued following her along the high embankment for a fairly long time, until they crossed the whole of Lanzheron Park. But, reaching the beach, the girl quickly descended to the sea. Serge even began to jog a bit to keep her in sight. His head was clear this morning, and soon he would try out his cunning for the first but not the last time this day. The spy set up camp at the upper solarium and watched over her. Maybe she was waiting for some company, or a young man, or a girlfriend (which would undoubtedly seem to be better), but to our spy, all were equally bad possibilities. This guessing game carried on in his head, but it seemed she wasn’t looking for anyone. She ducked into the changing room, and her leather skirt momentarily hung over the edge of the stall. After a minute, she exited, and Serge, pulling his long hair away from his head with both hands in anguish, groaned something unintelligible. Her breasts exited the little room first. The spot from where Serge looked down provided such visibility that his knees began to tremble. Her face was impossible to discern through her long hair and sunglasses, but something told him it would also be in order. She laid before her a light beach towel, and laying down she took a book from her bag and began to read. Burning her “landing site” into his mind, Serge took off like a shot to the nearest cabana rental. Fast as lightning, he exchanged his clothes for a key, crammed two metal rubles in the pocket of his swimming trunks, and became Don Juan. He feared, though, that there were already a bunch of admirers slinking ever closer to the sacred beach towel, and that he would simply be too late. He’d have to crawl to his place in line, and like the others, would have a poor chance of success.

He flew down the stairs and quickly found the beach towel, but … its owner was nowhere to be found. There was a book, a beach bag, and sunglasses, but their owner had disappeared. Oh, yes! This would be the second time that a smart thought visited Serge’s head today. People come to the sea to swim, after all! This interpretation of her disappearance comforted and delighted Serge. He became bolder and impudently tossed his glasses onto the same towel and cheerfully marched to the water. With his half-blind eyes, he surely could not see her. And where, among dozens of bathers? He dove into a wave, and swam away from the shore. First, he couldn’t stand to watch bathers jumping around like frogs in the shallow water. Secondly, at this moment, his exceptionally quick-witted head told him he couldn’t be the first to return to her beach towel. Then he’d have to take his glasses and fiddle around a bit in front of the beach towel to buy time as he came up with a new plan. Perhaps he’d cover himself with the towel, or maybe … no, he needed to work on his initial scenario.

He even came up with a sophisticated opening: “Excuse me, young lady, but I left my glasses here on your towel. I simply didn’t have anywhere to put them, or myself for that matter.” With this, his stockpile of ideas was depleted …

At last he climbed out of the water and headed along the well-trodden route to her beach towel. The towel was in place, and on this towel lay the magnificent body of its hostess, but Serge’s glasses were lying a little bit farther on the edge of the towel. Serge squatted down and mumbled his introduction. He was counting on her to respond with typical beach chit-chat: “Where are you from? How long ago did you arrive in Odessa?” or other such nonsense.

“Your glasses are fine,” she responded. “I figured someone just confused their beach towel with mine, but have a seat anyway.”

She scooted over, freeing up half the beach towel. He got scared. If he lay down, then he wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to nuzzle up to her. Then he’d certainly look like a pervert, a youth brought up with no manners, or a pest—in a word, he would give the exact opposite impression than he wanted. He mumbled something like a “thank you” and lay down beside her on the sand. She motioned towards him with a little bag of sunflower seeds, “Help yourself.”

” Oh God, what’s this?” resounded in Serge’s mind. “Are you kidding me … sunflower seeds?” And his hand with a subsequent “thank you” reached in the bag.

“Do you like Ilf and Petrov?”2

” Lord, who is she talking about? I’ve only heard of them in passing, but I don’t know the slightest thing about them …” Serge thought to himself.

“My name’s Janna,” she came to his rescue.

“Sergey,” he stammered in reply, “but at the institute everyone actually calls me Serge, or Seriy …”3

She chuckled.

“Grey. You’re actually black as tar. Where did you get such a tan?” she asked, spitting out sunflower seed shells. Not even awaiting a response, she exclaimed: “Here is an interesting moment”—and she began to read her book aloud, something about Ptiburdukov and his Varvara, who was leaving her first husband for him but couldn’t make up her mind. Janna read for a while, probably about five pages, and then thrust the book towards Serge and said, “You read from here,” marking the place with her fingernail. Serge began to read, but he didn’t understand a word. He was too busy worrying about his diction, trying not to miss any letters or words. He fought through two pages, but his audience was clearly not impressed.

“Would you like a cigarette?”

“If he has a smoke, then he’ll stop reading.” Serge could almost hear her thinking. He pulled a cigarette from a mashed-up pack of Javas, the best tobacco the Soviet Union could offer at that time. She handed him the matches. He brought the flame close to her face. She took a drag and rolled over on her back. Serge absolutely didn’t know what to do: read, blow sand from her, ask her about something. But she was not waiting for any questions and didn’t ask any questions. It was as if he simply was present. And that was that. The only thing that remained was for Serge to stare dumbfounded into the sand and observe the ants. Having smoked half the cigarette, she jammed the other half into the sand and turned back over on her stomach, brushing her leg up against Serge’s. But she did not hasten to remove it. Silent Serge, who really didn’t look the part of a reasonable person, turned into an animal. His uncontrollable desire sprang to life, pulling his swimming trunks down into the sand with such force that it became painful. Serge secretly burrowed a hole in the sand, easing the pressure. He became obsessed with a craving to climb on top of her. But this was out of the question, which made his desire even stronger …

“It’s hot. Let’s go for a swim,” she said, lifting herself up on her elbows. For the first time he could see her breasts up close, causing his heart to leap through his ribs like a bird in a cage. He muttered he’d catch up to her, and when she left, his desire ever so slowly began to hide itself away, until he was finally able to get up and head towards the sea.

She splashed around in the waves, which towards midday became quite sizable. He flopped about next to her, often brushing up against her body. Then he suggested tossing her in the waves. He cradled her head and shoulders, gathered her hands into his, and finally lifted her up and tossed her into the waves. Janna liked it, and so did he, but for a different reason: every time she hit the waves, her bathing suit slid down slightly, and when her breasts finally became exposed, he was ready to splash to his very death. Suddenly, she ended up cradled in his arms. With one arm, she grasped his neck, and he now understood that everything will happen, he just needed to patiently wait.

Once something starts, eventually, it ends. The delightful swim as well: they returned from the water and again lay down on the beach towel.

“I want to get tanned like you.” (She had already switched to the informal you4 in the water. He liked this, as it made him feel less uneasy around her). She placed her arm next to his for comparison, and her brown skin seemed much paler than his almost blackened arm. Guiltily, he informed her that he just returned yesterday from his apprenticeship in Baku, and so it was not surprising that he was so dark.

“You have beautiful hands,” she pensively remarked. Then, determined, she added, “No, you just wait. I’ll catch up with you in two days. Just wait and see.” These words poured over his body like oil. For Serge, this meant that he would spend at least two more days with her.

“Get some ice cream. Do you need some money?”

“I have it,” answered Serge, but before he could get up and leave, he had to turn and crawl to hide his “desire” …

***

During their first three days together, Serge (as they called our hero at the time) was the quieter of the two, once in a while muttering some insignificant phrases. The first time he saw her, he silently followed her for a long time. She walked along easily, shifting her long, rather well-proportioned legs. Her thin leather skirt swung from side to side, barely hiding her shapely hips. A green blouse tightly covered her beautifully straight back. All the while, Serge followed her like she was a vision, lacking the courage to come closer or to back away. He knew that making her acquaintance was a long shot; she was simply out of his league. How could he possibly know that she, a complete stranger, would inexplicably impact his life and be with him forever, whether she was at his side or not?

ESCAPE THE NIGHT @HerCountryGirl

 

 

Escape The Night

The Sparrow and The Raven Novella

By K.A Graham

Coming: January 15, 2019

The hardest prison to escape is your mind.

 

My brother was always the smart one. The one people turned to when they needed guidance and comfort. I looked up to him my whole life. He was my best friend. He had his demons, but so did I.

 

Until the night my wife was taken away from me and my world crumbled to the ground. Where was he then? He became the face of the man that murdered my wife. All I saw was an enemy, no longer my brother.

 

It took me years to come to terms with my wife’s death and the fact that Dominic really wasn’t to blame.

 

I never dreamt I’d find love again, but then I met Morgan. She’s crept into my heart, and there was no way to escape, nor do I want to.

 

Do I continue to live for my deceased wife, or do I finally open myself up for a second chance at love?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon US : AU : CA : UK

**On Kindle Unlimited

 

~ Meet K.A. Graham ~

K.A. Graham grew up in a small town in Oregon. Through the years, her love for writing and poetry, turned into something she had only dreamt of. Writing her own book. She’s faced many obstacles in her life, but the love and devotion of her parents, have always kept her grounded.

She is an avid reader, blogger and does PA work for a few authors, which keeps her quite busy. Hard rock music lover and horror movie buff, with a love and appreciation for tattoos. Her addictions include copious amounts of caffeine, Chinese food and Haribos candy.

#EmbraceTheLove #ForgetTheHate


~ Connect with K.A. Graham ~
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