Tuesday, November 21, 2023



Supernatural Central Short and Quick Interview

1. Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.

In the Pines has two main characters. Sisters, Olivia and Ellie. Though they each have witch blood, they are night and day. Ellie is cutting, musical, and some may even describe her as selfish; while Olivia is more reserved. However, if you catch Olivia in the right mood, she can be just as unruly as her inherited broom head. Together they make two of the fiercest witches the curse they’re up against has ever seen.

2. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?

I do. I am somewhat sensitive to the other side of things, so I’ve had experiences happen here and there throughout my life. The first house my husband and I lived in together (for ten years) had a lot of activity. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very positive. I wasn’t ever afraid of the things that went bump in the night, or watched me constantly from across the room, but I will say this—I would never have raised a child in that house. I once saw a flash of light out of the corner of my eye then quickly reached for my phone to take a picture. It didn’t look like much at first, but when I did a close-up, it revealed a single eye staring back at me. That one was pretty creepy. I also experienced physical attacks when we were readying to sell that house. I had to leave the property between coats of fresh paint on the walls because it was so intense. I literally watched my forearm grow bruises on it from (for lack of a better description) the evil that was growing like mold inside the walls of that house. It literally had a hold of me. 

3. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?

A horror called Betsy. It’s about a closeted lesbian girl named Roxy. It takes place in small town America during the mid-nineties, and the antagonist is a possessed mannequin named Betsy who lives in an antique shop called Perfectly Vintage.

In The Pines
Mariah Stillbrook

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Creative James Media
Date of Publication: November 14, 2023
ISBN: 978-1-956183-50-4
Number of pages: 374
Word Count: 110,334
Cover Artist: Triumph Covers

Tagline: These witches have one month to end the spiritual threat to their bloodline. And not kill each other.

Book Description:

Two witches, two secrets, and a curse that could tear a family apart.

Olivia and Ellie have lived their lives knowing a dark entity is stalking their family, determined to kill them all. After the death of Olivia's son, she abandons her magic and her family, leaving Ellie in a nightmare of heartbreak, her marriage crumbling and her sister gone. 

Determined to save their mother Arianna from a spell that left her comatose, the two sisters must come together to unravel the riddle of the curse that has haunted their family for generations.

But as they delve into the past, the truth they uncover is more twisted and treacherous than they ever could have imagined. Will they be able to break the curse, or will it consume them all?

Amazon     Books2Read     Goodreads


The sound of the waves crashing down below, the impending fog rolling in, the wind sending curses past my cheeks, streaked with salt water—all of it seemed to have been put into slow motion as I stood there, full of rage and powerless against this demon as she held my daughter’s life in her tainted, dead hands. Eight words were all I was afforded in the two seconds that followed. “You were the one who let me in.”

And then it all happened at once. There was a "uttering of feathers, the sensation of a stick being forced into my hand, and the sound of my own screams as my daughter’s body fell; but then I just as quickly lunged forward, standing on air and pointing my bit of willow down at her body just before it was about to make contact with the jagged rocks below.

Maddie, now in possession of her own body, stared up at me with wide eyes and a gaping mouth as I floated over her like the witch I once was. And before she could utter a single word, before I could make out the laughter that seemed to be drifting back into the fog, I used my wand to lift her back up to the cliff and set her down before landing back on solid earth myself.

About the Author:

Mariah Stillbrook, originally from Iowa, lives in Colorado with her white German shepherd, husband, and little girl. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She spends most of her days writing, reading, and enjoying the occasional hike. In her late twenties she realized that her writing was missing something, magic. She now focuses her writing on horror and urban fantasy in both adult and young adult genres.

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Homecoming Chaos
A Model MD Novel
Book One
D. W. Brooks

Genre: Romantic Suspense/ Contemporary Fiction/ African American
Publisher: Life: The Reboot LLC
Date of Publication: October 31, 2023 
Cover Artist: 100covers.com

Book Description:

Jamison Jones Scott has been out of the country and out of contact with most of her family for four years. Distraught, she had left the States previously to join a physicians’ relief organization after canceling her wedding and turning down a cushy job offer.

Now Jamie is back. It’s a homecoming where she is unsure of her family’s reception—especially her mother’s—and she walks into a murder mystery at her family’s business and a big birthday soiree. While trying to navigate her return and learning more about this case, she runs into a tall, handsome detective who is working to solve the mystery and who finds her a sexy challenge even when she interferes.

Can Jamie survive the chaos and protect her family’s business, deal with her family, and handle the dance with the hot detective without managing to get herself killed?

Amazon      GooglePlay     Goodreads     Bookbub



The sound of the flight attendant on the loudspeaker startled Jamison Jones Scott out of her light sleep. Despite having traveled frequently in her lifetime, she still couldn’t sleep comfortably on a plane. The seat location— first-class or economy—didn’t make a difference. The plane was nearing its destination, so the passengers needed to finish filling out their declaration cards. Jamie was returning to Atlanta to stay at her parents’ home with only the clothes on her back, a computer bag, the few items of clothing in her duffel, and a stethoscope. She had nothing to declare.

Her seatmate appeared to be sleeping through the announcements. Jamie was jealous. The four-year-old in front of her turned around and started babbling excitedly in French. She must have noticed that Jamie was finally awake. With her head still fuzzy from her nap, Jamie couldn’t completely follow the child’s rapid words, but the gist was that she wanted something from Jamie. Something about a playdate? Jamie smiled at the girl and hoped the girl’s mother would intervene. No such luck; she was asleep as well. The child eyeballed Jamie expectantly. Jamie realized she and the seatmate had started this situation by playing with the dark-haired child while they were over the ocean. Now, when she didn’t agree to the latest request, the little girl scrunched up her face to cry.

“Nous atterrissons bientôt. Elle ne peut pas aller avec vous,” Jamie’s seatmate answered, eyes still closed. “Mais vous pourriez être en mesure de visiter. Je suis sûr qu’elle tu aimerait garder les enfants.” He grinned.

Jamie gasped while the young girl clapped. This guy had just volunteered her as a babysitter!

“Je suis désolé, mais il se trompe. Je ne serai pas disponible,” Jamie stated. “Je parie qu’il a une surprise, pour toi.” The child looked at Jamie’s seatmate for her present and clapped again. This reply made him open his eyes.

“Qu’est-ce que c’est? Qu’est-ce que c’est?” the child asked. Startled, her pregnant mother woke up and turned around in her seat sheepishly.

I’m sorry, she mouthed. She made her eager daughter turn around in her seat and asked her to leave the other passengers alone. The girl was disappointed, but her mother handed her a shortbread, which made her forget the people behind her.

Her seatmate smiled, opened his eyes, and said, “I could have given her the stuffed bear I bought. I have a daughter the same age.” He stretched gingerly. “I can’t wait to get home. I’ve been traveling for too long. What about you? Looking forward to getting home?”

Jamie thought about her return to Atlanta. She hadn’t been home in a while, so she wasn’t sure how she felt.

Revel in the chaos.

Revel in the chaos.

Revel in the chaos.

Jamie tried to live by this motto for most of her life because her life seemed to invite chaos. She learned to expect—and sometimes encourage—complications. As the plane taxied to a halt, she repeated her motto to herself. This phrase, tattooed on her right hip, particularly applied now.

The international terminal of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport had changed since she was last there. Her brother, Jonathan, would pick her up at the baggage claim—alone, she hoped, and not sporting a clingy girlfriend. Time to re-acclimate and re-establish family bonds. Dealing with an unknown woman in her face when she wanted to spend time quietly with her brother wasn’t at the top of her to-do list.

As she waited in line to get through passport control, she thought about how she got to this point—back in Atlanta after several years abroad. She had spent two of those years working with the non-profit organization Doctors Overseas. Jamie worked in several locations, including the Central African Republic. She had her reasons for joining the charitable organization; not all were altruistic, and she kept those to herself during her entrance interview. The horrors she witnessed overseas helped her put her personal chaos into perspective. She realized her issues were nothing compared to what people endured in other parts of the world. This realization allowed her to embrace her job and enjoy what she was doing, despite the frequent threats of bodily harm. To help maintain her sanity while overseas, she traveled a lot and spent six months in Italy working with a designer friend.

The agent summoning her snapped her out of her reverie. Handing over her passport, she said, “Nothing to declare. Coming back home for my mother’s birthday and Christmas.”

At the check-in counter, the inspector carefully examined her and her passport photo. Jamison understood the scrutiny. At the time of that picture, she had been at the height of her glamor phase with a history of modeling and a resulting, above-average concern about how she looked. In medical school, she often showed up at rounds with perfectly coiffed hair and more than a swipe of mascara and lip gloss.

But in Africa, those concerns fell away. Right now, Jamie was makeup-free, and a baseball cap covered her hair. She was still beautiful, but now it was a girl-next-door beauty. Jamie had high cheekbones, almond-shaped dark brown eyes, a straight nose, a square jawline, and her golden-brown skin was still smooth. She wasn’t stomping down runways anymore, as in her past life, because she had shifted her priorities.

Her mother would hate it.

“Welcome to Atlanta,” the inspector said as she stamped her passport. “Have a pleasant stay.”

About the Author:

The author lives in Texas with her husband and children. She enjoys trying to stay in shape, sporadically cooking, reading (still), writing, and working on her blog. She is eternally grateful to the woman who donated a kidney to her over 5 years ago and continues to advocate for organ donation as much as she can.

Sunday, November 19, 2023


 It's a rainy day in Vancouver and we're waiting for an afternoon of football, but watching this documentary about KLAS reporter George Knapp on YouTube. 

Thursday, November 16, 2023

INTERVIEW WITH SAM FAIRBURN (Potion Master, Fate Cycle Series, Book 1)

Supernatural Central Short and Quick Interview

1. Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.

In Potion Master we follow three MCs: Riley, Finn, and Erick. Riley is ballsy and headstrong and she’s the new potion master at The Drunken Sailor. Ever the scholar, Finn is the picture of sexy dark academia bookshop owner. He will knock your socks off with the strength and intricacy of his spells. Erick is our bad boy. He is enigmatic and cunning. But as crafty as he may be, he can’t always predict how things will turn out… 

2. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?

I do! I’ve experienced too much “weird stuff” to not at least consider it. When I was a kid, I really wanted a new bicycle. So, my best friend and I gathered a bunch of items (rocks, herbs from her father’s garden, tree bark from the forest nearby, and more) and designed a little ritual since we fancied ourselves witches. It was a full moon on that summer evening, and we waited for the moon and the sun to be in the sky at the same time before proceeding. It was just fun and games until… A couple of days later, I came home from school and on my driveway was a brand-new bike. But not just any bicycle. The exact model I wanted with all the neat features and everything. I didn’t even talk about wanting a bike to my parents. Yet here it was. Lest to say, in my little witchy mind, it was confirmation that magic existed. To this day, it is still one of my favorite memories.  

3. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?

I’m currently working on book three in the Fate Cycle series. What I can tell you without spoiling the previous books is that the world becomes a lot more expansive, and the story gets even darker. Our favorite trio is stretched thin with increasing duties. A new character that is introduced at the end of book two will run amok in book three and give our MCs a run for their money. This book has a lot more political intrigues and plays for power which will catapult us to the last book in the series.

Potion Master
Fate Cycle Series
Book One
Sam Fairburn

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Sam Fairburn Publishing
Date of Publication: November 16, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-998204-01-4 
Number of pages: 340 pages.
Word Count: 93976 words
Cover Artist: Erick Robillard at Kinos

Tagline: Moderation is key… That being said, when not one but two enigmatic liars creep into my life, what’s a witch to do?

Book Description:


All I want is to start this new chapter of my life in peace, brewing beer and mixing potions at The Drunken Sailor. Simple. Safe. Single. But when my skills as potion master and healer are noticed by a mysterious stranger, the stalking that ensues leads me to ask more questions than I should. Things take a dark turn as the secret I fought all my life to protect gets uncovered by the deadliest magical mob boss in the city. Now, my best chance at survival is down to a cocky criminal and a bookman that is too clever for his own good. As their presence haunts my every waking hour and the situation gets dire, I don’t know if I can keep fighting this relentless pull between us.


I have focused on only one thing for the last three years—work. But when Riley comes into my bookshop, searching for a way to undo the tracking spell placed on her, I am caught up in a journey that ushers me right back to the one man I am trying to forget. I was his to cherish, his to punish, yet the worst wound he gave me was not a physical one. And she might be my salvation.


My blood is made of hunger and fight, which serves me well on my side of the law. No one but him knows who I am or where I come from. And I have all the intentions for it to stay that way. But when witches start to disappear in the city and no one, not even the Sennex, does a damn thing about it, I make it my business to investigate. Grave mistake. My efforts only lead me to desires I should steer clear of and discoveries darker than I could ever fathom. I fought to keep them away, to keep them safe, but life is never as kind as to bring hope without taking something in return.    

Witchy meets steamy in this tale of soul-wrenching magnetism, dreadful secrets, and magic that could wreck the world.

Potion Master is a slow burn dark urban fantasy MMF romance. It’s book 1 in the Fate Cycle series.


Excerpt from Potion Master :

The blue liquid is shimmering like its magic is trying to get out. One of my better cocktail recipes, I would say. The Siren, I call it, in honor of Evie. Even though she is not one of those long-extinct creatures, her voice bewitches her crowd all the same. Her tales captivate the audience with their rhythm and poesy.

“Hey! Will you give me my drink or not?” the patron shouts over the buzz of the crowded room.

Keeping hold of the glass, I swiftly glide it over the wooden bar toward him. “I don’t know, Carl. Maybe a little more respect and a smile now and then could do miracles for your shitty personality and help you get what you want.” I look the bastard straight in the eye, drink the shot myself, and take the money he had put on the bar top to pay for it. The liquid goes down like the charm that it is, giving me a boost of strength and energy in its wake.

Carl seizes my gloved forearm, “Listen, girl, I know that you’re new here, but when I ask—”

His touch is gone in an instant. A big, burly man hauls Carl by the collar of his shirt toward the pub’s door. Albert’s gray-brown ponytail sways in time with Carl’s feet off the ground as he carries Carl out the door. If I didn’t hate being manhandled by drunk pieces of shit so much, I would be laughing at the sight.

Albert grunts as he throws Carl on his ass out in the street. “Take the rest of the night to cool off,” Albert says, his voice deceptively calm. “The next time you touch one of my employees, you will lose your hand. Is that understood?”

Carl has the good sense to shut his mouth and skitter off. The patrons all shout in triumph and merrily raise their glasses to Albert. When he turns from the door, Albert’s green eyes find me. His face is all red under his thick beard. I nod my head once to show him that I am okay and can handle myself. It’s not my first rodeo, after all.

I don’t have much time to dwell on what happened, though. The Drunken Sailor is packed tonight. Every sticky table and disparate chair is in use. A small crowd has already gathered before the stage in the corner where my best friend will perform tonight, sipping their drinks. The decor is no different than any other Irish pub in Québec City. The only noticeable distinction really is the customers themselves—the vast majority of them have magical abilities or ties to the magical world.

My long black hair annoys me tonight, so I quickly tie it up in a messy bun before filling another pint of my first batch of beer to give to Albert as he passes behind me in the bar area. Then I go back to the steady flow of orders coming in. I am very proud of my first brew. It’s a white ale with faint notes of lavender and rosemary. The balanced taste of the herbs makes for a bittersweet lightness that, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t taste like perfume.

Being potion master and lead brewer are both my pride and my passion in life. It also allows me to work anywhere, in any magical establishment I want, since there are a lot of people that seem to either want to get drunk or out of a hangover—or another predicament—at some point. My healing balms and potions are particularly good if I do say so myself.

Healing is my specialty, after all, and I was well taught. Diane. A sharp pang of grief makes my eyes water at the reminder of my mentor’s passing. They say that home is where the heart is. Well, it feels like my home vanished with her last breath. Throughout the years, she’d always been there for me—be it to kick me in the butt for acting stupid or to help me regain my footing after yet another failed attempt at making something of my life. Her passing is too fresh for me to be able to recall the good memories of her with fondness or a smile. I am still at the anger stage, where every fiber of my being wants to cry hysterically and punch a wall about it, hating death, hating myself for not being able to heal her. I wipe furiously at my eyes and wrestle my mind into a better headspace.

I was lucky to get this job. The Drunken Sailor is one of the best breweries in the province, and its owner is allowing me carte blanche to do with the product creation as I please. All the equipment is state of the art despite the pub’s building being more than a century old—and looking it.

Perfect work arrangements, awesome new apartment, my best friend nearby—it’s all I need, really. This time, I will plant roots. This time, I won’t bolt at the very first mild inconvenience—I can’t. I have no one left to catch me from a fall. I am here to stay, and I mean it.

At the table by the door, four casters are playing at levitating objects in the air while arm wrestling. The first to either lose the strength contest or lose their concentration and drop their object pays for the next round of alcohol. A stupid game if you ask me, but still fun to watch and good for the tip.

Evie pokes her head out from the kitchen door with a mouthful of I don’t even want to know what. “Hey, Ry! I’m on in a couple of minutes,” she says while finishing chewing. “Do you need anything before I get up there?” She motions toward the stage with her head. The movement makes her silver dress sparkle in the dim light, contrasting nicely with the soft coffee of her skin. She recently buzzed her hair close to her head, which accentuates the graceful curve of her neck.

Her hazel eyes drift to the liquid I am currently mixing. She looks fascinated and with good reason. As soon as I sprinkle my last ingredient into the potion—dried hibiscus flowers—red fire seems to emanate from it, although it’s not hot to the touch. Passion is a difficult thing to capture, and it’s always mesmerizing when it’s encapsulated successfully. It’s easily the most expensive thing we sell here. Only one swig is needed to fuel your inspirations and fantasies, allowing you to create at will. Although it cannot put ideas into your head, it will allow you to birth your ideas into the world. Well, until it wears off, that is. I pour the liquid into a small vial and hand it over to the young woman who ordered it.

“I’m fine,” I tell Evie over my shoulder. “I don’t need you mothering me.” I wink at my best friend and turn back to the clientele at the bar. I hear her huff and puff before letting the kitchen door swing behind her. Not a minute later, she swaggers onto the stage, her generous hips swaying as she walks. The usual auditory chaos of the pub falls to whispers.

We’ve always been complete opposites, Evie and I. Where my best friend shines bright on stage, I prefer the darkness at the back of the room. She is all heat and sensuality, while I am all frost and contrast. My moonlight skin, she calls it. Which is a nice way of saying that I am ghostly pale.

As soon as Evie opens her mouth to sing, the crowd starts to sway in time with the rhythm of her voice. The ones closest to the stage are completely enthralled by her story of epic love. They smile and huddle closer together, not aware that they are moving. The casters abandon their game to stare in fascination. As far away as I am, I only feel a small wave of fullness and happiness, but it’s still very nice. I have not experienced the brush of love for a very long time.

I pour the next beer directly onto my gloved hand, which then splashes onto my black tank top and jeans. I curse and shake my head slightly. I must have been more affected by her singing than I thought. Taking off my gloves and wiping them on a dish towel, I smile to myself. I have not been exposed to her kind of powers for some time now. I’ve lost part of the endurance I had built for it.

When I finally succeed at mostly drying my clothes, I throw the rag in the sink and lift my head to take the next order, but most of the patrons have now moved from the bar to the tables closer to the stage, listening quietly.

Most, but not all.


About the Author:

Sam is a Canadian author of dark fantasy romance and dark urban fantasy romance with a healthy dose of spice (because why not?). She loves daydreaming about new characters and can often be found staring into the abyss of the great nothingness, completely lost in thought. She also dislikes talking about herself in the third person. Hence, I’m going to stop this author bio here. 

I am deeply grateful for every reader who takes time out of their day to lay their eyeballs on one of my books. I couldn’t be an author without you. 


Monday, November 13, 2023


Brother’s Keeper
David Vorhees


Supernatural Central Short and Quick Interview

  1. Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book. This book has six different short stories and at least six different main characters. In the first story Shea is the first character you meet and one of the main characters. She is a strong, intelligent, and very beautiful black woman who loves her family and will protect it however she can.

  2. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share? I do. Back when I served in the U.S. Navy I was on watch. It was around 3 in the morning, and I was getting tired. I was doing the aft watch, which took place on the fantail under the helicopter pad. The fantail was U-shaped with 3 points of access. There was the main door in the center of the U. when underway that was the only door that you enter or exit the fantail from. Once you entered the fantail if you turned right and walked around the end it was a dead end. To the left, around the end, there was a ladder that led up to a hatch that accessed the helicopter pad. That hatch was always shut and locked when we were underway. At the end of the U was another door. This door led to the aft paint locker. That door was a watertight door. The paint locker was where we stored all the paint and hazardous material. That door was always locked unless someone was in there and at 3 a.m. there was never anyone in there. 

As I sat on  the mooring bits the main door (the only way anyone could enter or leave the fantail) with a blanket wrapped around me, I nodded off. I my sleep I felt someone jab their finger into my left shoulder. Whomever it was jabbed me kind of hard, I awoke and sat up right away, figuring I was in trouble for nodding off on watch. As I looked around it became apparent I was alone. The door was closed, and no one had entered and more importantly I would have seen and heard if someone had tried to leave through the main door. I took my flashlight and checked the entire fantail, and I was alone. A few moments later the door opened, and the executive officer of the ship walked out. He was checking on watches to make sure none of them had fallen asleep. Later that day I told a few felloe shipmates about my experience, and they told me that the Chief had saved me from getting in trouble. The story goes that a young sailor was working in the aft paint locker. He had left to go smoke a cigarette and a fire broke out on the locker. The chief in charge of the locker showed up and saw the fire, he rushed in to get the sailor unknowing he wasn’t in there. The sailor had returned shortly after, saw the fire, and shut the watertight door and lit off the CO2 fire extinguishing system which attacked and killed all the oxygen in the room, putting out the fire. The sailor did not know the Chief had gone in there and was still in there when he shut the door and set off the system. The Chief was killed instantly and according to legend he still roamed the fantail helping young sailors whenever he could.

  1. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about? I am working on an untitled project about a town seemingly cursed by a stranger. Over a ten month or so time frame there many uncharacteristic deaths that range from accidents to daylight murders. A small town that had never had a murder case now has multiple muders some as simple as a friend shooting and killing hos best friend, a guy walking in and murdering his ex-girlfried as she slept on her couch as her roommates slept in another room. A set of twins dying killed in a car accident on the same road in the same manner, exactly a month apart.  This looks like it will be my first full length novel.

Genre: horror, thriller, family drama
Date of Publication: October 31
ISBN: 9798849162690
Number of pages: paperback 355
Word Count: 89595
Cover Artist: Myers Taylor

Tagline: Families love. Families support. Families betray.

Book Description:

Shea receives a call that completely upends her existence and forces her to return to Sundown, the town she thought she had left behind. Tensions increase as she deals with her brother Donovan’s untimely death, and long-buried family dynamics start to show again. Shea’s return brings back memories of a town with a troubled past that is racially divided as she makes new connections with her childhood friend Marcus, the town’s new police chief, and her elder brother Jay, who is now mayor. The repercussions of the past challenge the ties between family and friends.

Angelo, Andy to his friends, a Navy Veteran who retires from his civilian job of 35 years and decides to return the San Francisco Bay area to see the places he never saw while he was stationed there. Andy meets a beautiful woman who runs the bed and breakfast and almost instantly falls for her. As they grow closer Andy grows closer to unveiling a horrifying secret about this woman and her sick son in A Mother’s Love.

Quarantine tells the story of a Father and Husband who goes to great and horrific lengths to save his family from the ravages of a new and mysterious disease. These and many more tales of family, love, and betrayal await you.

Brother’s Keeper is a gripping collection of love, loss, and the enduring power of family ties. These stories will leave you captivated and emotionally invested in the characters’ journey, making it impossible to put down. Don’t miss these compelling narratives that tackle pressing social issues while delivering heartfelt and engaging stories.  A must-read that will linger with you long after the final page is turned.

Don’t miss out on this emotionally charged tale that challenges societal norms and leaves you craving more.

Dive into “Brother’s Keeper” today and get ready to confront your own assumptions and biases as you become engrossed in a world where love and loyalty are put to the ultimate test.

Available at Amazon

Excerpt – Sundown

“Coffee?” the young pretty waitress asked, holding a pot of coffee.

“Oh, yes, thank you, Shelby,” Jay said and she turned his cup over for her to fill. 

“Do you want your usual?” Shelby asked, smiling brightly.

“Please,” Jay said, smiling back.

Shelby turned and looked towards Shea, and without smiling at her, said, “And you?”

Just coffee please,” Shea said, feeling a little uncomfortable. “Uncle Jeb made me eat a big breakfast before I left.”

“Shelby, you remember my sister, Shea?” Jay said.

“Your sister?” Shelby said, finally looking at the young woman sitting in the booth across from Jay. “Oh my God! Shea! Honey, I didn’t recognize you. Get up here and give me a hug.” Shea stood up and hugged her.

“Hi, Shelby,” Shea said. “It’s good to see you.” 

“It’s good to see you. How long are you back for?” 

“Till tomorrow. I will be leaving after the funeral,” Shea replied.

“Oh, yes, I am so sorry about your brother. Everyone loved Donovan,” Shelby said. “He truly was a good man.”

“Thank you,” Shea said, then Jay cleared his throat intentionally.

“Ok, Mr. Mayor, I hear ya. Let me go and put this order in and I’ll let you guys visit.

We’ll talk later,” Shelby said and walked away.

“You know, I think she has a crush on you,” Shea said slyly.

“You think? I hope so since we have been dating for the past year,” Jay said, laughing.

“Really!? That’s wonderful. I always liked her,” she said.

“She always liked you too,” Jay said.

“So, do you see this going somewhere? I mean, you’re getting a little long in the tooth, don’t ya think?” she said jokingly.

“Yeah, maybe,” he said, smiling. Then his smile faded. “But we’re not here to talk about my love life. We’re here to talk about your husband and kids.”

“Oh, so your love life is off the table but mine is the topic of conversation?” Shea asked sternly, looking at him with a hardened look.

“Don’t look at me like that, Shea. I am just trying to say that maybe it’s not the best idea for them to come to the funeral,” he said.

“Why? Because my husband is white and my kids are mixed?” she asked coldly.

“Yes,” he stated bluntly. He had never approved of her marrying a white guy. Daniel was nice enough but he was white and Jay could not let that go, especially after who killed their parents and now who killed Donovan.

“Uh-huh, I see,” she said. “You have hated Daniel since the very first time you saw him.”

“I didn’t hate him, but you have to understand how wrong it is,” Jay said, trying to reason with her. It was difficult to reason with her when she got mad and, even after all these years, he could tell she was getting angry. 

“Oh, you’re so full of shit. I had been dating Daniel for almost a year. I never brought him home because I knew how you would react to him, and then one day, you and Marcus show up at my school unannounced. You yell at me and get in my face because you caught me kissing a white man, and Marcus gets in Daniel’s face and threatens him. You embarrassed yourself, me, this family, and this whole damn town that day. I never forgave either of you for that and I hoped that maybe because of Donovan, we could get past that and become family again, but I guess not.”

“Well, we wouldn’t have had to come to your school to find out what or who you were hiding if you would have just told us,” Jay said. “I still can’t believe you would even consider dating a white guy after what happened to Mom and Dad.”

“Told you? Why, so you could come up there and threaten to kick his ass if he didn’t leave me alone? Oh, wait, you did that anyways. Besides, what happened to Mom and Dad was an accident. It could have been anybody driving that other car drunk, it just happened to be a white guy. You can’t hold Daniel responsible for that,” Shea said.

“A white guy that got what… two years’ probation and a stint in a rehab?” Jay said, getting angry himself now. “And every white person is responsible for that.”

“The white guy didn’t pick his punishment, that was the system and the system is broken. We all know that,” Shea said.

“And who set up the broken system? White guys.” 

“And we are trying to fix it. Daniel and Donovan were—are—trying to fix and change the system and ya know Donovan liked Daniel and loved those kids. He would want them there, and maybe if you got over your racist bullshit, you’d see how wonderful they are.” She stood, getting ready to leave.

“It ain’t about that. You know how this town is and you know what could happen,” he said.

“I know what could happen, huh?” she said. “I know what should happen. This town you so dearly love should join the rest of us in the 21st motherfucking century. That’s what should fucking happen!” Shea said, turning to head for the door.

“Shea!” Jay tried to say.

“Nah, fuck you. You don’t get to threaten my family and try to justify it,” Shea said. “Fuck you and fuck this town. This kind of shit is why I stayed away for so long, and after tomorrow, I ain’t never coming back again.” She turned and walked away. 

“Shea! Shea!” he called after her as she left the diner.

“I don’t know what happened, but I am pretty sure you need to apologize,” Shelby said.

“Yeah, I know, and I will after she gets back home. I promise,” Jay said as he sat back down. Everyone in the diner had stopped to watch them and now they turned their attention back to their food and their conversations.

About the Author:

Horror and drams are passions to David as a Book Author at Amazon Direct Publishing. He has published three books, The Feast and Other Horrifying Tales and Abigail’s Odyssey, and Brother’s Keeper that explore different themes, scenarios, and characters in these genres.

David’s writing skills are also rooted in journalism education and experience.  He studied Journalism at the University of Phoenix, which he completed online while working as an Assembly Line Worker at Addecco Staffing. Before becoming a Book Author, he worked as a Reporter at The Wapakoneta Daily News, covering local news, events, and stories, as well as taking photos and designing pages. David enjoys learning new things, exploring different perspectives, and creating engaging and original content.

David lives in Ohio with his wife and family.

LinkTree https://linktr.ee/dcvorhees

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Website: https://dcv1975.wixsite.com/davidvorhees

Blog: https://dcv1975.wixsite.com/davidvorhees/blog

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19429806.David_Vorhees


Brother’s Keeper is a collection of tales the dive into family relationships and betrayal while attacking societal norms. Once you enter this world, you won’t be able to leave. #Horror #Family #Thriller #drama #betrayal https://amzn.to/3QBNYxk 

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