Cover Reveal: Penelope

men keep secrets…Adam Monroe kept three.
Genre Contemporary Romance:
Penelope Book two of The Three Mrs. Monroes
Release Date: July 31, 2014
Digital ISBN-10: 1631120409 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-040-4
Print ISBN-10: 1631120417 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-041-1
From loss breeds new life.
Penelope Monroe married on impulse and her heart had been broken by Adam Monroe’s lies. Pregnant she wonders how she will survive, alone, with her baby.
Brock Romero held Adam Monroe when he died in combat. Now released from the Army he makes it his priority to find Adam’s wife and share with her his last words.


On the verge of making the same mistake twice, Penelope must trust her
heart—especially when new lies are uncovered.

New Release: Lilac Lane


Available from 5 Prince
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Release Date: July 24, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-060-2   ISBN 10: 1631120603
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-061-9      ISBN 10: 1631120611


Purchase link :
Lilac Lane
Ella and her son survived her ex-husband’s drunken wrath.
They are starting a new life in a new town, Stutter Creek. She’s even met a
real man. A gentle wild life biologist named Chet Boone. But now, her ex has
been released from prison early. Is that him driving past their new house late
at night? Is he the one causing the strange sounds and flickering lights? Can
they survive a second round with a madman?
About the Author:
Ann lives in Texas with her handsome hubby and several
rescue pets.  Return to Stutter Creek is the second book in this Romantic
Suspense series, the first being the aptly named, Stutter Creek. Ann’s first book with 5 Prince Publishing was All For Love, a heartbreaking story of
ill-fated romance. She is also the author of The Phantom Series.  Book One
is Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot, Book Two is Stevie-girl and the Phantom Student, and Book Three is Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge.  Ann has also published short fiction in the
anthologies Timeless (paranormal love
stories) and Tales of Terror (horror)
as well as a speculative short story, Chems.
Her current work-in-progress is a full-length horror novel.  When she isn’t writing, Ann is reading. Her
to-be-read list has grown so large it has taken on a life of its own. She calls
it Herman.
Public contact information
Twitter: @ann_swann
Excerpt of Lilac Lane:
Chapter One
“I really like it, don’t you?” Ella
Nick, her ten-year-old son, looked up at
her. “It’s okay, I guess.” His expression said more than his words.
Ella hugged him to her side. “It will be
all right,” she said. “Stutter Creek isn’t that far from Albuquerque. It’s just
a little resort town. Skiing in the winter, camping and fishing in the summer.
It backs right up to the National Park, you know. That’s why it’s such a
tourist town.”
Nick didn’t say anything.
“Don’t worry,” she rattled on. “We’ll be
going to visit Nana all the time, and I’m hoping she’ll come to visit us a lot,
too. We’ll even fix up the spare bedroom just for her.”
She ruffled his dark hair and climbed
the porch steps of their new rental. It was a quaint old house that had seen
better days, but the realtor assured her that all the important stuff, like
plumbing and wiring, had been recently updated. It was only the exterior that
needed a little TLC. “Well, that we
can do,” Ella had replied. “I’ve painted a few houses in my time. My dad was a
carpenter. One of my greatest joys was helping him finish out the houses he
built.” Maybe if we paint it we can get a break on the rent, she thought. But
she didn’t say anything. They had more than enough to worry about at the
“I don’t see why we had to move anyway,”
Nick pouted, interrupting her reverie. He trudged up the steps behind his mom.
He’d been very brave the whole time they
were packing and moving, but now that they were here, it had suddenly become
Ella felt her spirits slump. “I know,
sweetie, I wish we could have stayed put, too. But this little diner—they call
it The Drugstore—just beckoned me.” She glanced down and smoothed the hair
she’d just tousled. She never came right out and told him they moved specifically
to hide from his stepfather. She just tried to make it sound like one big
adventure. “We could never have bought anything like this back home. The prices
here are half what they are in the city. And there is only one other eating
establishment in the whole town—if you don’t count the convenience store—and I
don’t.” She squeezed his shoulder. “I hope you understand. I just didn’t want
to keep waiting tables forever. I want more, for me and for you.”
Nick shrugged and plopped the box he was
carrying on the sofa. Fortunately it held only books.
He’s just a child, she thought. Am I doing the right thing? She
remembered the bright red handprint on his cheek the day she’d left him in Anson’s
care. It was the day she’d been called into work unexpectedly. Up until then,
her mom had always kept Nick. When Anson tried to tell her Nick had been
disrespectful, thus giving him cause
for a face-slap, she’d become so distraught he wound up shoving her across the
kitchen. When she told him to leave, he’d simply laughed and shoved her again. This
time, her face hit the doorframe. Then he went back to the bedroom and packed her suitcase. But Ella was no one’s
victim. She called the police and had him arrested. She never slapped her
child, she certainly wasn’t going to stand idly by and let someone else do it. When
the officers arrived, Anson was convinced he could talk his way out of going to
“The boy’s just worthless,” he’d told
the senior officer. “He ain’t mine, you know. Takes after his mother. Or maybe
his old man; who knows? That worthless piece never even claimed him. Now I see
why. Too bad I didn’t know this before I took them in and gave them a home.” He
was talking to the gray-haired cop as if they were sharing confidences over
coffee. He seemed to think every man felt the way he did. Ella assumed it was
the beer talking. Once he got started drinking, things usually got ugly. But
this was the first time they’d gotten physical.
She remembered standing in the doorway
with Nick safely ensconced behind her. “Does he need to see a doctor?” the
younger officer asked.
Glancing back at Nick, the red handprint
standing out on his face like day-glo under black light, Ella shook her head. “No,
he’ll be okay as long as we get away from that madman.” Her eyes were crusty where
she’d accidentally wiped blood from her cheek into her lashes.
“I’ll need you to come to the station
and file an official report. But first, the hospital for an x-ray.” The officer
nodded toward her swelling cheek. “I’m no doctor, but I think you’ve got a
fracture there.”
Tears spilled from her eyes when he said
that. They mixed with the smear of blood and left red trails down her face. “I
feel so stupid,” she said. “How could I have let this happen?”
The officer was kind. “You didn’t let it
happen, and you didn’t cause it. You’re going to follow through and get him put
away.” He hesitated as if gauging his next words carefully. “And you won’t back
out when it comes time to testify. You won’t go back to him and make all this
night’s work be for nothing, right?”
Ella looked at him as if he were crazy. “Of
course I won’t go back to him. I’m not that
“You’d be surprised how often it
happens,” the officer replied. “You would be surprised.”
The paramedics came, but Ella insisted
she could drive herself to the hospital. She didn’t want to start off her
single life with a huge ambulance bill hanging over her head.
As she took her keys from her purse, she
saw the senior officer snap the cuffs on Anson.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” he yelled
in between curse words. “I’ll sue the whole department. I’ll have your fucking
job! What’s your badge number? It ain’t no crime to swat a smart mouth kid. Especially
not one as worthless as that punk.” When he said that, he turned and looked
right at her and Nick.
They’d been trying to get out of the
house without having to confront him.
“Worthless,” he bellowed, struggling
against the cuffs. His face turned the exact shade of an overripe plum, eyes
bugging out as if they would leap on Nick and Ella and finish the beating. “Both
of ‘em. Not worth shit!” He lunged forward, catching the officer off balance.
“Hey!” The gray-haired cop leapt on
Anson’s back and took him to the floor.
“I’ll kill ‘em,” Anson was screeching. “They’ll
be sorry they did this to me!”
The younger officer shielded Ella and
Nick and hurried them outside. “A woman from Children’s Services will meet you
at the hospital to look after him and take your story.”
That terrified Ella. “Let me call my
mother. She’ll meet us there, too. She’ll help us. I know she will. Please,
don’t let anyone take my boy.”
The paramedic patted her hand. “Settle
down,” he’d said. “No one’s going to take your boy.”
But Ella wasn’t listening.
She was pressing her mother’s picture
icon on her cell phone.
Ella swept the painful memories to the
back of her mind and crossed into the kitchen where she deposited her own box
full of dishes and various utensils. “As soon as we get the rest of these boxes
unloaded, we’ll go to The Drugstore, then explore a bit.”
The movers had done all the heavy work,
but Ella hadn’t trusted them with her grandmother’s china. She also had several
more boxes in the Jeep that contained photos and artwork taken from the walls
of their old house. It had been a cramped ride to their new home, but now that
they were here, in the mountains, Ella was thankful they had the Wrangler. The
roads were beautiful but steep. Even the driveway leading up to the house was
narrow and uneven.
We’ll rent for a while, she thought. And
if it doesn’t work out, we can always go back to Nana’s house. The thought stuck
in her craw, though. Not only did she hate the thought of going back to mama,
but Anson had made such ugly threats when she had him arrested, she was afraid
to be anywhere near him, even if he was in the county jail. It was obvious how
much he had grown to despise both her and Nick. He blamed her for every bad thing
that had happened—even though he was the one who hurt them.
Her hand went to her cheekbone. There
was a permanent indentation there; small, hardly noticeable, but what would it
have looked like the next time she did something that displeased him? And what
would Nick look like the next time he “swatted” him? How long before it
escalated to closed fist rather than open-handed slap?
She couldn’t believe she’d fallen for
someone so mean and hateful. Of course, he hadn’t been either of those things
in the beginning. She recalled all the news stories of wives who had married men
who turned out to be psychopaths in disguise. When the wife disappeared, the
authorities almost always looked at the husband first. One woman disappeared
right off the cruise ship while they were on their honeymoon. Another
disappeared when she discovered her husband had been lying about being a med
student. Her body was later found in the local landfill. And what about that
poor pregnant woman whose husband sunk her body in the ocean? She had been
eight months pregnant.
It’s hard to really know someone, Ella
thought. Especially when they seek to deceive.
“Is that the doorbell?” It was the first
time she’d heard it from inside the house. Her first inclination was to call
out, “Come on in!” but her second thought was to yell at Nick not to answer it.
She compromised by hurrying toward the door. “Just a minute, I’m coming!”
When she rounded the corner between the
kitchen and the living room, she could see a woman standing outside the door.
She opened the screen. “Hello?”
The woman held out her hand. “Norma,”
she said. “From next door, well, you know, down the road.” She grinned and
indicated the direction with a wave of her hand. All the houses in this area
were set back from the road at the end of their own stumpy, humpy driveways. Each
one occupied several acres separated from each other by tall pines and junipers.
“Nice to meet you.” Ella took the
proffered hand.
Norma swept streaky gray hair off her
forehead and smiled. “Saw you two unloading boxes and thought I’d stop by and offer
to help. My husband is a long-haul trucker, hardly ever home. So I know how
welcome an extra pair of hands can be.”
Ella returned the woman’s grin even
though she wondered how Norma could possibly know it was just the two of them. How does she know I don’t have a husband lurking
around somewhere?
“Hope you don’t think I’m too forward,”
Norma said, as if she’d read Ella’s thoughts. “Your realtor is my second cousin.
She told me to check in on you guys and make sure you were getting settled.” She
held up a small brown bag that Ella hadn’t even noticed hanging from her arm. “Brownies,”
she said.
Ella laughed and stepped aside so she could
come in. “Nick will love those. Thank you so much. And trust me, we’d welcome
another set of hands if you’re sure you don’t mind.”
Norma passed the bag to Ella and patted
her arm. “Just point me in the right direction.”
Ella called Nick to come in and meet
their new neighbor, and then she showed him the brownies.
“Pleased to meet you,” Nick said
politely. “Do you have any kids?”
Norma shook her head. “Sorry, buddy. My
only daughter is grown and gone. She hasn’t even blessed me with grandchildren
Nick’s face fell.
“But don’t you worry.” Her voice was
sympathetic. “We’ve got a wonderful little school here in Stutter Creek. You’ll
make lots of friends. Besides,” her face grew thoughtful. “I’ve got a godson
who is just a bit younger than you. His name is Danny and he just turned
eight.” She glanced at Ella. “I’ll be glad to introduce the two of them—well,
all of you, of course, when you’re ready. Beth and John are excellent parents. In
fact, Beth is a teacher at Stutter Creek Elementary.”
Ella shot her a look of thanks, then led
the way to the kitchen. “Nick is in fifth grade,” she said. “What grade does
Beth teach?”
Norma clucked her tongue. “Can you
believe she teaches fifth grade? Will wonders never cease?”
“That is wonderful,” Ella replied. “I
can’t wait to meet her.”
She waved a hand toward the kitchen. “We
haven’t bought any groceries yet.” She opened the bag containing the homemade
brownies. “But as soon as we finish unloading the Jeep, I’ll run to town and
get some milk to go with these.”
“Couldn’t I have just one,” Nick
wheedled, obviously won over by the cook. “I don’t have to have milk.”
Ella smiled. She’d thought that would be
his response. He was just like her when it came to chocolate. “Of course you
may.” She handed him a still-warm square and pinched off a little taste for
herself. “Sit at the table, kiddo,” she instructed. “I have no idea where the
napkins are. Hmmm, these are delicious.”
Nick sat at the table and sunk his teeth
into the first moist bite.
Together, the two women backtracked to
the Jeep and began carrying in the rest of the boxes.
It was easy to put the cartons in the
appropriate rooms. Ella’s mom had insisted on labeling each one with a giant
Sharpie while helping them pack up the house back in Albuquerque. “Half the
work is done in the preparation,” she’d said. Ella hated to admit it, but it
had made unloading things a lot easier. Even the movers had commented on it.
When the boxes were stowed away, just
waiting to be unpacked, Norma insisted it was time for her to go. But she
invited them to come over for a visit. “Just stop by anytime,” she said. “It’s
the first one on your right when you head back toward town.”
“Can we drop you there on our way to the
grocery store?” Ella glanced out the front window. “I don’t see your car.”
Norma shook her head, gray-streaked
curls bouncing. “I walked. It’s my greatest pleasure, walking these hilly roads.
Good for my heart and my hips.” She winked at Ella. “Besides, it’s only a mile.”
Ella gave her a brief hug. “I’m in awe,”
she said. “Once we get things all figured out, maybe I’ll just join you sometime.”
“I’d love that,” Norma replied. “And
Nicky, too. We’ve got lots of wildlife in these old woods. And I know a trail
that goes straight from my house to yours.”
Nick’s eyes lit up. “I’d like to see
that. We lived in town before.”
“Well, that’s a date then. The first
chance you get, you two stop by and we’ll go exploring.”
“Sounds wonderful,” Ella said.
Norma walked down the porch steps then
turned and gave a little wave. Just past the edge of the drive, she headed into
the woods. Ella could see the beginning of the trail—in another moment, Norma
was invisible.
Guess the woods are thicker than I thought.
That gave her a moment’s pause. Finding such a bargain for
rent seemed ideal yesterday, but now she wasn’t so sure. Yep. We definitely have to explore that trail. Face the unknown. Otherwise,
I’ll be imagining all sorts of things lurking there.
Anson’s face popped
into her head. But not him, she thought. He’s in jail. And when he does get
out, he has no way of finding us.
Grabbing her purse and keys, she swept
away tendrils of brunette hair that had escaped her ponytail.
“Remind me to pick up the ingredients
for a caramel pie,” she told Nick as they drove into town. “I’ll make one for
Norma to thank her for coming over and helping us get settled.”
“And for the brownies,” Nick added,
patting his midsection comically. “I liked her. I can’t wait to check out that
trail. You think we could camp out in the woods behind the house? Please?”
Ella laughed. “I’ll bet we can before it
gets too cold. But I guess we’d need a tent, right?”
Nick laughed, too. “And sleeping bags,
and a lantern, you know to see by, and—”
Ella rolled her eyes. “And more money to
buy all this stuff!”
She pointed to a neat white house with
butter colored trim on the right side of the road. The house sat back behind a
lush garden of fall mums, bright purple kale, and shiny green holly bushes
graced with tiny red berries. “Must be Norma’s house,” Ella said. “Wonder how
long it takes her to walk a mile anyhow?”
Nick shrugged. “I’ll bet I could run to
her house and back in no time!”
“I’ll bet you could,” Ella replied. “I’ll
bet you could.”

Cover Reveal: Bridge of Hope

Genre: FICTION / Romance / Contemporary
Release Date: August 21, 2014
Digital ISBN 10:163112062X ISBN 13:978-1-63112-062-6
Print ISBN-10:1631120638 ISBN-13:978-1-63112-063-3
Love is like a snowflake; beautiful but fleeting in its presence…
I’ve been in love. But I’ve also been lied to, betrayed by those closest to me and I’ve suffered loss. Sadly it’s those last three things that stick with me the most. The only real constants in my life are music, Angus my dog and Rhiannon; my guitar.
But things changed when she walked into my place of work. All blue eyes, curves and a warmth that could melt even my hardened heart. I was taken over by feelings that I didn’t expect so soon. Guilt plagued me and I took my anger out on her.
On Mallory.
But I fell fast and hard and there was nothing I could do to stop it. When she too became the victim of heartbreak I was the only one who understood her pain but I was the last
person she wanted help from.

Would I ever convince her that we could be friends? And would I ever accept that she couldn’t love me back?

Launch: Crisis of Serenity

Available from 5 Prince
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Release Date: July 17, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-047-3   ISBN
10: 1-631120-47-6
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-048-0      ISBN 10: 1-631120-48-4

Purchase link :
Crisis of Serenity
Tess Copeland lives a quiet life in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Thanks to the government’s witness protection program, she enjoys the freedom
of never having to glance over her shoulder to see if someone is following her.
Life has become safe, serene…and boring. Her heart longs for something more
than just existing…until a ghost from her past shatters her serenity.
Once upon a time, Tess was caught between the FBI and the
men the feds were trying to take down. Jake Coleman is the U.S. Marshal who extracted
her from the jam she was in with the FBI, a man she could have fallen
for…hard…if she had let herself. It’s been a year since she last saw Jake,
and in all the months that have passed, he’s never tried to find her. The
longer he keeps his distance, the more she wonders why his absence hurts so
When a stranger comes to town searching for her, all of
Tess’ old fears are resurrected. Asking Jake for help with her current crisis
might lure him into a dangerous trap involving murder, kidnapping, and revenge.
When Jake and Tess come face-to-face with the past, they will have to use all
their wits to survive.

About the Author:
Denise is a Southern girl. She has lived in
Louisiana all her life, and yes, she has a drawl. She has a wonderful husband
and two incredible children, who not only endure her writing moods, but also
encourage her to indulge her writing passion.
Besides writing romantic suspense, she enjoys traveling, reading, and
Accounting is a skill she learned to earn a
little money to support her writing habit. She wrote he first story when she
was a teen, seventeen handwritten pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious
rip-off of the last romance novel she had read. She’s been writing off and on
ever since, and with more than a few full-length manuscripts already completed,
she has no desire to slow down.
Public contact information

Excerpt of Crisis of Serenity
state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled

Chapter One

was seven a.m. and Sadie’s Pancake Kitchen had just hit its peak occupancy. Morning
rush was prime time, but the pace never slowed from the time the restaurant
opened to the time the last customer waddled out the door at night. Sadie’s
served breakfast all day, every day.
soon as I walked in the door around six, Wendy, the hostess, didn’t waste any
time assigning me a section on the top floor. She did it on purpose because I
had once complained about the trip up and down the stairs. When I worked the
top, I had to climb those stinking stairs fifteen jillion times a shift. The
owner, whose name was Helen, not Sadie, kept telling us she was going to
install an upstairs kitchen or a food service elevator. Yeah, right. Wendy told
me to suck it up and do my job, as if she were my boss. I called her Princess
behind her back one day and the rest of the wait staff picked up the nickname.
The nasty wench obviously held a grudge.
I cleaned the coffee maker and set a fresh pot to brew, I wrapped my apron
around my waist and stuck a pencil behind my ear. Once I entered the dining
room, routine set in. What do you want to drink? What will you have today? Can
I refresh your coffee? Is there anything else I can get you? Slap the check on
the table.
never been a waitress before, but I found I wasn’t half bad at waiting tables. Sadie’s
wasn’t the best job I’d ever had, at least not since the feds decided my life
would be so much better if I was
placed in their questionable witness protection program, but the steady
paycheck served my purpose. The waitressing gig kept my wallet fed. No extras.
Just subsistence. That’s all I asked. All I needed. Anything more might bring
unwanted attention to my existence. After all, the FBI wanted certain
individuals to think I had disappeared from the face of the planet so the bad
guys would stop searching for me. Because I had dared to testify against Bennie
the Goon in federal court, something that didn’t ensure a
long life, I had to cooperate with the feds. I liked living and I liked living
on the outside. I don’t do well in prison.
in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, had settled into a comfortable pattern. Get up at
five. Take my niece to daycare. Bum a ride to work. Roll silverware. Brew
coffee. Clean teapots. Wait tables until my shift was over at three. Catch the
trolley. Pick up my niece from daycare. Go home. Feed the kid. Stuff a few
bites of food into my mouth. Soak my feet. Put Joyce to bed. Watch TV. Pass
out. Rinse and repeat.
of the patrons at Sadie’s were tourists, but quite a few locals breakfasted
there several times a week, some every morning. After a few months, faces, and
then names had blended into my daily grind. The monotony of the ordinary
promised me safety and few surprises. For the first time in years, I wasn’t
looking over my shoulder every second and wondering who was stalking me. The
sameness of my days appealed to me, better than the life I’d led after I
escaped from the Illinois corrections system and the Fugitive Task Force began
looking for me. There was never a dull moment as a fugitive. By the time I came
out of hiding, the FBI had taken an interest in my case and coerced me into
rolling on Bennie. That’s when the feds immersed me in the witness protection
sighed, set Jim Owens’ cup in front of him, and poured coffee from the fresh
pot I’d just made. He smiled at me, revealing a perfectly straight set of
ultra-white teeth. He had one of those symmetrical faces that cameras love. Why
was the guy a cop instead of a movie star? For the first time since I met him, I
smiled back. Just because I felt like it.
a year of living—no, more like hiding out—in Gatlinburg, my stomach had stopped
churning every time a member of law enforcement spoke to me. Sadie’s was a
popular cop hangout early in the morning. If I had known, I would have taken
the job at the souvenir store down the street, despite the fact the owner of
that fine establishment couldn’t keep his eyes off my assets. Where his eyes
roamed, his hands were likely to soon follow. I didn’t need that grief.
ticket booth position my handler had obtained for me at Zombiemania when I
first arrived in Gatlinburg went away when the attraction went out of business.
After that, I found employment on my own. I figured I could do a better job
hunt than the federal agent that couldn’t care less if I survived or not.
I was settled in Tennessee, at least for a while. I gulped down my distrust
every single day and served Gatlinburg’s finest their breakfast, even though I
had certainly had my fill of cops. This particular patrol officer seemed nice, but I swore I’d never trust
a cop again. Ever.
Jim flashed his gorgeous smile. “How are you today, Tess?” His eyes gleamed
with expectation.
You want the usual?” I asked him the same question every Friday at seven a.m.
He always sat at his favorite table. The one that offered the best view of
Parkway. Jim was predictable. I liked that in a man. My ex-boyfriend Trevor was
anything but.
Let’s see… Yeah.” His order never varied. Four buttermilk pancakes. Four crispy
pieces of bacon. Two eggs—over easy.
shiver of dread snaked along my backbone. My head snapped up and I peered
through the window. A thin ribbon of sidewalk separated the two-story-high plate
glass from the roadway. The clink of silverware and restaurant grade china clattered
against the background noise of cars stopping and starting. I wiped my bangs
from my eyes and studied the flow of traffic on the street below. Two lines crept
bumper-to-bumper in view of the restaurant, a small percentage of cars making it
through the green light in one cycle. Stoplight #6 was always busy. A patrol unit
had stopped at the signal. The officer turned his head my way. Our eyes met and
held, and then my heart skipped a few beats. What was he doing here in Gatlinburg? I thought I had left him behind in
on earth could have dragged me away from his stare. Life as I knew it had changed,
and my monotonous existence didn’t feel so safe anymore. The uncontrollable
urge to escape overtook me…again. I had always been good at running.
was thinking…” Jim’s voice drifted in and out of my consciousness.
are you all right? You went pale all of a sudden.”
okay.” I turned my attention back to him. “I’ll put your order in.”
left before he could hint that he wanted to take me out. He was predictable
about that as well. Today wasn’t a good day. There might never be a good
time—not with a ghost from my past invading my newly acquired contentment.

Cover Reveal – A Painted Room

A Painted Room is my second book and will be released on 7th August. I’m excited to be able to reveal the cover!


Genre: Fiction, Family Life

Release Date: August 7, 2014
Digital ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-055-8 ISBN 10: 1631120557

Print ISBN 13:978-1-63112-056-5 ISBN 10: 1631120565

A Painted Room
The best day in a parent’s life turns into the worst.
For expectant parents, the origins of a new life are usually accompanied by excitement, anticipation and just a touch of anxiety about the future. There are classes to attend, prams to buy, and of course, the baby’s room has to be painted.
This description fits Gary and Melinda quite nicely – except Gary hasn’t painted the baby’s room yet. He finally gets around to starting the job, but Melinda’s water breaks before he finishes the first coat.
From there, the situation rapidly deteriorates. Their baby, Justin, is born via caesarean. Shortly after the birth Justin experiences breathing difficulties and is transferred to intensive care a few hours later.
The story follows Gary over a tumultuous few days as Justin undergoes emergency treatment. Gary and Melinda quickly discover that when a baby’s life is on the line, it doesn’t really matter whether or not you have a painted room.

Launch of The Porcelain Child

Available from 5 Prince
Genre: Fiction,
Alternative History, Romance, Historical, Family Saga
Release Date: July
3, 2014
Digital ISBN 13:
978-1-63112-058-9   ISBN 10: 1631120581
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-63112-059-6      ISBN 10: 163112059X
Purchase link :




The Porcelain Child
With less than a decade of stable rule behind them, Lord
Protector Richard Seymour has passed away leaving the country once again in
turmoil. With her connection to the old regimes, seemingly on all sides thanks
to her mother, Adela, Mary might find herself pulled into the heat of battle
whether she wants it or not.


Book 2 of The Broken Line Series, The Porcelain
 picks up with the next generation thrown into the mix.
About Jessica Dall

Jessica Dall finished her first novel at age 15 and been
writing ever since. She is the author of such novels as Grey Areas and The Bleeding Crowd, the Broken Line
Series, and a number of short stories which have
appeared in both literary magazines and anthologies. When not writing, she works as a freelance editor and creative writing teacher in Washington, DC.

How to contact Jessica Dall
Twitter: @JessicaDall
Excerpt of the Porcelain Child

Chapter One

The porcelain a little chipped, Mary still recognized the woman in the miniature. There were
enough pictures of her around, after all. Mary supposed she shouldn’t be
surprised to find it amongst the small box they had sent her of Richard
Seymour’s affects—even as the parliamentarian he was. Queen Adela wasn’t a
symbol of monarchy, after all. Even after everything, she was still the
romantic heroine.
And Mary supposed it likewise wasn’t surprising the surviving Seymours had sent it to
her. Mary hadn’t received much from Richard Seymour’s estate—she hadn’t
expected to—but it seemed to be the logical conclusion for someone going
through Richard’s things to send a picture of Adela Tilden to her daughter.
Mary couldn’t imagine the remaining Seymours would have much love for Queen
Adela themselves.
It was likely they would send it to Aberfirth or use it for target practice.
Touching the gold filigree around the little portrait, Mary finally set it down. Of all the
portraits Mary had seen, this one didn’t look the least familiar. Adela
couldn’t have been much more than fifteen in it. A rare portrait from before her short reign as queen, when she had been baron’s daughter living so far north she was barely on the map.
Still, looking down and off to the side, as if the viewer were below her
interest, the picture still seemed bizarrely fitting—as though she already
considered herself the viewer’s better, far before she had the right to.
The door opened, then slammed shut. William rested back against it, breathing heavily.
Mary frowned, attempting to recover from her thoughts. “What…?”
Motioning for her silence, William winced as someone knocked. He looked at her, mouthed, Help me.
Giving him a suspicious looked, Mary moved forward all the same, letting him hide behind the
dark wood as she pulled the door open.
Mr. Johnson, red-faced and soaking wet, looked up at her, puffing. “Where is he?”
Mary blinked, could feel William tense through the door. “Who?”
Him,” the tutor seethed. “Lord Kedington. I heard him come this way.”
“He must have gone further down the hall, then.” Mary glanced out the door as though looking
where William might have gone. “I haven’t seen him.”
Mr. Johnson didn’t move, hands clenched. A head shorter than her and red as a beet, he
still somehow remained intimidating. Even while dripping on the hardwood.
Mary looked at him, unmoving, daring him to call her a liar.
Mr. Johnson didn’t answer.
“If you’re wanting to catch him, sir, you should likely keep looking,” Mary finished.
Another tense breath, and Mr. Johnson bowed shallowly at the waist, stalking off as his wet
shoes squeaked after him.
Waiting a moment, Mary finally shut the door, looking at the smiling man still pressed
against the wall. She crossed her arms. “Aren’t you getting a little old for
these pranks, Will?”
“It wasn’t meant to be a prank.” The smile grew. “Just a happy coincidence.”
Mary sat at her desk, shaking her head. “I doubt Mr. Johnson will believe you.”
William shrugged, seeming less than bothered as he moved to the box on the bed. “This
the Seymour stuff they sent you?”
Mary looked at it silently, allowing William to change the topic.
Peering over the side, William pursed his lips slightly. “Not much, is it?”
“More than I was expecting, honestly,” Mary answered. “You know what the rest of the
Seymours think of me.”
William just nodded, poking through the few things left in the box. “Should I assume you
aren’t planning on going to the funeral?”
Mary frowned, watching him closely at the change of tone. He hadn’t asked what he’d meant.
She shook her head. “If my mother can’t be bothered to come back from abroad at
all in light of recent events, I see no reason why I should make the effort go
to Carby.”
“He’s your father.”
Mary snorted.
“And who knows,” William continued over her justified skepticism. “It might be exciting.
Getting out of Aberfirth for a bit? Seeing Carby?”
“I really can’t think of a place I’d rather not see, Will,” Mary droned, picking up the
miniature before he could argue. She tossed it to him. “He had that apparently.”
William caught it easily, eyebrows rising as he looked at it. “Very nice.”
Mary frowned deeply. “Could you please refrain from salivating over my mother while I’m
still in the room?”
“I wasn’t salivating.” He smiled, tossing it back to her before he sat. “It’s just a nice
picture. One of her queen portraits?”
“Not one I recognize at least.” Mary set it down without looking. “Do you find it strange
that he had it?”
“Well.” William took a moment, shrugged. “Your mother is a beautiful woman.”
Mary made a face, standing to pick up the box.
William caught her wrist. “Don’t give me that look, May.”
She just flicked her eyes over him, pulling herself free before she moved the box to the
ground. A well placed kick and it slid out of sight.
He watched her carefully. Took his time before speaking. “They’ve asked me to go.”
She looked back up, a low level of panic starting deep in her chest though she wasn’t sure
why. “They who? Go where?”
“Who, parliament,” he said, running a hand through his short blond hair. “Where, the
Mary pulled her eyebrows together. “Why? You’re no one important.”
He laughed. “Thanks, May.”
“It’s hardly a bad thing.” Mary pressed her lips tightly together.
He took her hand, swinging to face her. “I’d like you to come with me.”
“To Carby?”
He nodded, his blue eyes drilling into her.
Her grey ones looked back. “Are you feverish?”
The smile returned. “Carby can’t really be as bad as you think, May.”
“I can’t get within thirty miles of the place without someone trying to draw me into a
royalist plot. I would think especially now.” Mary glanced at the window, the
rolling green hills of Aberfirth seeming to be a false shield from everything
else waiting out there. “Anyway, I haven’t gotten marching orders from my
mother yet. If she thought there were any benefit in me going she would have
already ordered me there. This is Adela Tilden we’re talking about.”
William nodded, glancing out the window himself as if checking she didn’t see anything
before he looked back at her. “When was the last time you heard from her?”
Mary shook her head. “Years? What has there been for her to write about?”
“I would think there’s plenty lately.”
“She’s probably still figuring out her next move. His death was recent enough.” Mary
sighed, brushed it away. “I don’t have her mind. Don’t ask me to try to
understand her actions.”
“I still think you would have made a great queen, May.” William smiled.
Mary’s stomach clenched, her face turning deadly serious. “Don’t even joke like that.”
William’s eyes stayed on her, but he didn’t argue. Fair and tall as he was, Mary had to admit
William had grown into a handsome man from the gangly ten year old that had
shown up to stay eight years ago. She froze, the nature of the thought
registering, making heat rise to her cheeks.
“You are beautiful, you know that, May?” his voice cut in before she could recover.
Mary’s body tensed, the odd sense he had read her mind too jarring.
“Don’t look so shocked.” He rested back on his hands, easy smile unsettlingly handsome now
that she thought about it. “You are your mother’s daughter, after all.”
“And I would give anything that I weren’t.” She rubbed the side of her face quickly,
dropping her eyes.
His eyes stayed on her another moment before he stood, holding her chin.
She looked up, breath catching in her throat as he held her eyes.
“You still have this house, May. You still have your life. I don’t think you have
weathered everything too poorly, all things considered. Many lost much more.”
There was enough to set her head right again. Mary’s jaw locked as she pulled back.
“Thank you, Will, but I hardly need you to remind me.”
He touched her hair gently, pushing a dark auburn strand behind her ear. “Please come, May?
You can’t spend your entire life afraid out here.”
Mary shook her head. “You shouldn’t go at all, Will. Not now.”
William looked at her another moment, finally sighed. “I have to. Anyway, you’re Mary Seymour. I imagine people would leave you alone at Richard Seymour’s funeral.”
“Not when they believe I’d be Mary Claybourne had the old king not lost his head.”
“Seymour claimed you as legitimate,” William argued.
“Words.” Mary slipped away from him, sitting on the bed. “Oaths and proclamations and edicts.
They’re all just words. People hold them cheap these days.”
“I don’t know if I’d say that.” William turned to face her.
Mary looked down at her hands, back up. “Do they know who will be the new lord protector?”
William cocked an eyebrow but let her change the topic. “I think they’re still discussing it.”
“So there’s no one in charge?”
“Well, parliament is.” William laughed. “They won’t allow the country to enter a state
of anarchy just because one man died.”
“We’ll see,” Mary mumbled.
He shook his head, good natured as ever. “No one wants another war, May.”
“Every royalist who lost the last one does,” she returned, face serious.
“We aren’t going to war.”
“Are you certain of that?” She held his eyes.
The corner of his mouth turned up. “Would you like to place a bet?”
Her frown only deepened. “This isn’t funny, Will.”
William sat next to her, placing an arm around her shoulder before he kissed her forehead.
“You’re always so serious, May.”
“Life is serious.” She didn’t look at him.
“It can also be fun,” he said.
“So you always think,” she said, knot still tight in the pit of her stomach.