Uncategorized

Remember Me Always is on Kindle Scout

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So as an update to my last blog post, I am now three days into my Kindle Scout campaign.  I submitted my newest romance novel, Remember Me Always, into the Kindle Scout program.  My campaign started on April 1st, and it will run until May 1st.

My advice for anyone who is interested in submitting a novel to Kindle Scout in the future would be to utilize all of your resources right out of the gate. I did a lot of self-promotion the first day, and my book ended up on the Hot & Trending list.  There are only 20 books on that list, and Kindle Press shows the list on the bottom of every book page and at the top of their homepage.  So they are basically showcasing your book for you, which is a huge plus!!

So how exactly do you self-promote yourself?  If you have an email list, send out an email informing everyone of your campaign.  Tell your friends and family.  Remember that anyone with an Amazon account can nominate you, and every nomination counts!  Post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.  Share your promotion in Facebook groups.  Join a Facebook RT team for Twitter.  There are a LOT of ways you can self-promote your campaign, but I will warn you — it is time-consuming!

[[ I recently created a Thunderclap campaign as well. ]]

So how is my Kindle Scout campaign doing so far?  Well, I’ve been in the Hot & Trending list for almost the entire time (save for the first few hours of my campaign on day number one).  As I said in my previous blog post, I think being on the Hot & Trending list is vital to having a successful campaign.

Also, I’ve had hundreds of total page views.  I’m not sure how much the total page views matter.  In my research, I saw that a person with 5,000 views did not get published with Kindle Press, whereas a person who had a little over 1,000 views did.  So as of right now, the total page views are not as important as the Hot & Trending list, in my opinion.

So I’m going to continue doing what I’ve been doing since it seems like it’s working…for now at least!  I’m excited to see how long I can keep on the Hot & Trending list for the rest of my campaign.  More importantly, I’m excited to see if Kindle Scout chooses my book for publication! 😉

If you would like to nominate my book, please go to my campaign page.  Thank you very much for your support, and I hope you enjoyed this blog post.  Below is some information about my novel, Remember Me Always.

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REMEMBER ME ALWAYS

Synopsis:

PENNY

Five years ago, I left for college in New York, leaving behind my hometown and my high school sweetheart. I had a plan after I graduated; but somewhere along the way, my train, which was on a one-way trip to happily ever after, somehow got derailed. And so I’m back in Willowbrook, Alabama for one reason and one reason only — to confront Colton Crawford, the guy who broke my heart and a lot of promises. But instead of getting the answers I’m looking for, I only end up with even more questions.

Colton doesn’t remember me, and I suddenly lost the most important person in my life in the blink of an eye. I don’t know if I can win back his heart, but I’m going to try with every fiber of my being to bring Colton back to me.

COLTON

Everything changed five years ago, and my memory was basically wiped clean. A clean slate was exactly what I needed since I wasn’t able to save my brother in the accident that almost claimed my own life. Bringin’ up the past just makes me realize how much I’ve lost, and so forgettin’ is what gets me through the day. Not wantin’ to remember wasn’t really a problem until a pretty blonde by the name of Penny Preston shows up in my bar demandin’ answers…answers that I can’t give her.

I try to ignore the longin’ in my heart, but it’s almost impossible. Somethin’ keeps drawin’ me back to her…no matter how hard I try to push her away. Even though my brain can’t remember her, my heart just can’t seem to forget.

©Angela Snyder, 2016

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Nominate Remember Me Always on Kindle Scout here:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1EUH2ZN9WIHTP

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please like and comment.  Thank you!
Uncategorized

My Experience With Kindle Scout

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Recently, at the suggestion of a friend and fellow author, I decided to submit my newest romance novel, Remember Me Always, into the Kindle Scout program.

Welcome to reader-powered publishing.
Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.

The submission process is relatively easy.  You fill out a form with basic information about your new, never-before-published book.  What I really liked is that Kindle Scout will feature a “backlist” of your books currently published on Amazon.  I have a few books already self-published on the Amazon website.  So the fact that they are driving extra traffic to my other previously published books is a huge plus in my eyes.

Once you submit your book, they send you a verification email, which said it could take the Kindle Press team one to two business days (or more based on number of submissions) to get back to me.

It only took one business day for them to approve my campaign.  They scheduled it for April 1st, and it will run for 30 days through May 1st.  They emailed me the approval along with some links — a preview page (for my eyes only) and the actual link (which wouldn’t be activated until my campaign started) for the public.

Kindle Scout breaks down your campaign into two categories, which are you able to keep track of — Hours in Hot & Trending and Total Page Views.   What they don’t show you — How many nominations you receive.

I had done a fair amount of research before actually entering my book.  There appears to be some sort of secret algorithm that Kindle Scout uses in the selection process.    Now, in my research, I have heard several different authors say that Total Page Views do not seem to count all that much.  Someone with 5,000 views did not get picked, while someone with only a little over 1,000 did.  The only thing that seems to be prominent throughout my searching seems to be that this “secret algorithm” is exactly what it sounds like — it’s secret, and the authors have no way of knowing what the Kindle Scout team is actually looking for in making their decision.

However, one thing that seems to be the best indicator of being picked is that the books chosen appear to have spent a lot of time on the Hot & Trending list.  Only 20 books are chosen for that list, and it updates hourly.  What does that mean exactly?  That means you are going to have to do a LOT of sharing/tweeting/emailing during your 30-day campaign.  You are competing with all of the books in your category, but probably more importantly — you are competing to get into the Hot & Trending category and stay there for as long as you can.  It doesn’t guarantee a contract, but, hey, it most likely helps.

My campaign just started today, so I am anxious to see how it goes.  If you would like to nominate my book, please go to my campaign page.  Thank you very much for your support, and I hope you enjoyed this blog post.  Below is some information about my novel, Remember Me Always.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

REMEMBER ME ALWAYS

Synopsis:

PENNY

Five years ago, I left for college in New York, leaving behind my hometown and my high school sweetheart. I had a plan after I graduated; but somewhere along the way, my train, which was on a one-way trip to happily ever after, somehow got derailed. And so I’m back in Willowbrook, Alabama for one reason and one reason only — to confront Colton Crawford, the guy who broke my heart and a lot of promises. But instead of getting the answers I’m looking for, I only end up with even more questions.

Colton doesn’t remember me, and I suddenly lost the most important person in my life in the blink of an eye. I don’t know if I can win back his heart, but I’m going to try with every fiber of my being to bring Colton back to me.

COLTON

Everything changed five years ago, and my memory was basically wiped clean. A clean slate was exactly what I needed since I wasn’t able to save my brother in the accident that almost claimed my own life. Bringin’ up the past just makes me realize how much I’ve lost, and so forgettin’ is what gets me through the day. Not wantin’ to remember wasn’t really a problem until a pretty blonde by the name of Penny Preston shows up in my bar demandin’ answers…answers that I can’t give her.

I try to ignore the longin’ in my heart, but it’s almost impossible. Somethin’ keeps drawin’ me back to her…no matter how hard I try to push her away. Even though my brain can’t remember her, my heart just can’t seem to forget.

©Angela Snyder, 2016

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Nominate Remember Me Always on Kindle Scout here:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1EUH2ZN9WIHTP

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please like and comment.  Thank you!
Cover Reveal

Remember Me Always ~ Cover Reveal

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Remember Me Always by Angela Snyder

REMEMBER ME ALWAYS

(A Southern Contemporary Romance)
*Blurb subject to change before release*

Synopsis:

PENNY

Five years ago, I left for college in New York, leaving behind my hometown and my high school sweetheart. I had a plan after I graduated; but somewhere along the way, my train, which was on a one-way trip to happily ever after, somehow got derailed. And so I’m back in Willowbrook, Alabama for one reason and one reason only — to confront Colton Crawford, the guy who broke my heart and a lot of promises. But instead of getting the answers I’m looking for, I only end up with even more questions.

Colton doesn’t remember me, and I suddenly lost the most important person in my life in the blink of an eye. I don’t know if I can win back his heart, but I’m going to try with every fiber of my being to bring Colton back to me.

COLTON

Everything changed five years ago, and my memory was basically wiped clean. A clean slate was exactly what I needed since I wasn’t able to save my brother in the accident that almost claimed my own life. Bringin’ up the past just makes me realize how much I’ve lost, and so forgettin’ is what gets me through the day. Not wantin’ to remember wasn’t really a problem until a pretty blonde by the name of Penny Preston shows up in my bar demandin’ answers…answers that I can’t give her.

I try to ignore the longin’ in my heart, but it’s almost impossible. Somethin’ keeps drawin’ me back to her…no matter how hard I try to push her away. Even though my brain can’t remember her, my heart just can’t seem to forget.

©Angela Snyder, 2016


Add Remember Me Always to your Goodreads “Want to Read” Shelf here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29219790-remember-me-always

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I am going to be looking for book bloggers to sign up to receive an ARC of Remember Me Always in exchange for an honest review.  Look for announcements posted on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/AuthorAngelaSnyder

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Release Date: Spring 2016

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please like and comment.  Thank you!
Uncategorized

Wicked After Dark Anthology Release Party & Rafflecopter Giveaway!

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☆.•°*°•.☆Wicked After Dark Anthology Release Party☆.•°*°•.☆

Join the authors of the Wicked After Dark anthology for our Facebook release party on Tuesday, October 6, 2015.  We are giving away BOOKS, PRIZES, SWAG, GIFT CARDS and more!  Please RSVP and tell your friends!  https://www.facebook.com/events/746868068751598/

Also, enter our Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a Kindle Fire and other great prizes: http://gvwy.io/6u87sbf

Wicked After Dark is a paranormal romance anthology and contains stories from 20 best-selling authors.  You will get 45 hours of reading time for only 99 cents, and 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the Epilepsy Foundation!

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Wicked After Dark: 20 Steamy Paranormal Tales of Dragons, Vampires, Werewolves, Shifters, Witches, Angels, Demons, Fey, and More

20 paranormal romance stories from your favorite USA Today best-selling and award-winning authors just in time for Halloween!
All proceeds to benefit The Epilepsy Foundation.


Mina Carter – The Reaper and the Cop
Julia Mills – Her Dragon to Slay
Stephanie Rowe – Darkness Unleashed
PM Briede – Spark
Jami Brumfield – Remote Paranoia
Claudy Conn – Dark Love
Eden Elsworth – Frippe House
Nicole Garcia – A Love for Somnus
Lane Hart – Let Him Reign
Tracey Jane Jackson – Bound by Fire
Melanie James – Conjuring Darkness
Gena D. Lutz – Chasing Magic
Michelle Mankin – Strange Magic Part I, II
Marie Mason – You Lucky Witch
A K Michaels – The Witch, The Wolf and The Vampire
Angela Snyder – Vampire Next Door
Candice Stauffer – Exquisite Breath of Darkness
Melissa Stevens – Change
Izzy Szyn – Bite Thy Neighbor
C.A. Tibbitts – Shifter In Training


╔════════════════╗
………..Amazon Links………..
╚════════════════╝
Amazon US ~ http://amzn.to/1h37PSc
Amazon UK ~ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wicked-After-Dark-Paranormal-Werewolves-ebook/dp/B011576CZS
Worldwide Amazon Link ~ http://myBook.to/WickedAfterDark
╔════════════════╗
..B&N, iTunes & Kobo Links..
╚════════════════╝
Barnes and Noble ~ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wicked-after-dark-mina-carter/1122266450?ean=2940152232028
iTunes ~ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1017397869
Kobo ~ https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/wicked-after-dark


Wicked After Dark Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WickedAfterDarkProject

Mobile Facebook Page Link: https://m.facebook.com/WickedAfterDarkProject


Here are the authors you’ll find in this anthology:

 Click on the author’s name below to visit their Facebook page and find out more about their books and upcoming releases.  Follow them on Twitter and find out news about the Wicked After Dark anthology using the hashtag #GetWickedAfterDark

Mina Carter@MinaCarter
Julia Mills@juliamills623
Stephanie Rowe@StephanieRowe2
PM Briede@PMBriede
Jami Brumfield@JamiMBrumfield
Claudy Conn@Claudyconn
Eden Elsworth – @denwor

Nicole Garcia @AuthorNGarcia
Lane Hart@WritingfromHart
Tracey Jane Jackson@trixiejaxn
Melanie James @AutMelanieJames
Gena D. Lutz @GenaDLutz
Michelle Mankin @MichelleMankin
Marie Mason @mariemasonwrite
A.K. Michaels @AvaKMichaels
Angela Snyder @AuthorAngelaS
Candice Stauffer @crstffr999
Melissa Stevens @MelissaTStevens
Izzy Szyn @izzyszyn
C.A. Tibbitts – @catibbitts

WickedAfterDark_3DCover

If you liked this blog post, please like and share it.  Thank you! ❤

Uncategorized

Wicked After Dark Anthology

☆.•°*°•.☆Wicked After Dark Anthology☆.•°*°•.☆

WickedAfterDark_3DCover

Twenty paranormal romance authors are contributing their books in the Wicked After Dark box set. This anthology will be released October 6, 2015, priced at only $0.99, with all proceeds donated to the Epilepsy Foundation.

Wicked After Dark: 20 Steamy Paranormal Tales of Dragons, Vampires, Werewolves, Shifters, Witches, Angels, Demons, Fey, and More

20 Hot-As-Hell stories from your favorite USA Today best selling and award-winning authors just in time for Halloween!
All proceeds to benefit The Epilepsy Foundation


Mina Carter – The Reaper and the Cop
Julia Mills – Her Dragon to Slay
Stephanie Rowe – Darkness Unleashed
PM Briede – Spark
Jami Brumfield – Remote Paranoia
Claudy Conn – Dark Love
Eden Elsworth – Frippe House
Nicole Garcia – A Love for Somnus
Lane Hart – Let Him Reign
Tracey Jane Jackson – Bound by Fire
Melanie James – Conjuring Darkness
Gena D. Lutz – Chasing Magic
Michelle Mankin – Strange Magic Part I, II
Marie Mason – You Lucky Witch
A K Michaels – The Witch, The Wolf and The Vampire
Angela Snyder – Vampire Next Door
Candice Stauffer – Exquisite Breath of Darkness
Melissa Stevens – Change
Izzy Szyn – Bite Thy Neighbor
C.A. Tibbitts – Shifter In Training


╔════════════════╗
………..Amazon Links………..
╚════════════════╝
Amazon US ~ http://www.amazon.com/Wicked-After-Dark-Paranormal-Werewolves-ebook/dp/B011576CZS
Amazon UK ~ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wicked-After-Dark-Paranormal-Werewolves-ebook/dp/B011576CZS
Worldwide Amazon Link ~ http://myBook.to/WickedAfterDark
╔════════════════╗
..B&N, iTunes & Kobo Links..
╚════════════════╝
Barnes and Noble ~ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wicked-after-dark-mina-carter/1122266450?ean=2940152232028
iTunes ~ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1017397869
Kobo ~ https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/wicked-after-dark


Wicked After Dark Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WickedAfterDarkProject

Mobile Facebook Page Link: https://m.facebook.com/WickedAfterDarkProject


Here are the authors you’ll find in this anthology:

 Click on the author’s name below to visit their Facebook page and find out more about their books and upcoming releases.  Follow them on Twitter and find out news about the Wicked After Dark anthology using the hashtag #GetWickedAfterDark

Mina Carter@MinaCarter
Julia Mills@juliamills623
Stephanie Rowe@StephanieRowe2
PM Briede@PMBriede
Jami Brumfield@JamiMBrumfield
Claudy Conn@Claudyconn
Eden Elsworth – @denwor

Nicole Garcia @AuthorNGarcia
Lane Hart@WritingfromHart
Tracey Jane Jackson@trixiejaxn
Melanie James @AutMelanieJames
Gena D. Lutz @GenaDLutz
Michelle Mankin @MichelleMankin
Marie Mason @mariemasonwrite
A.K. Michaels @AvaKMichaels
Angela Snyder @AuthorAngelaS
Candice Stauffer @crstffr999
Melissa Stevens @MelissaTStevens
Izzy Szyn @izzyszyn
C.A. Tibbitts – @catibbitts

WAD_Promo2

If you liked this blog post, please like and share it.  Thank you! ❤

Writing

Saving Avery (Update)

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**Coming early 2015 to Amazon**

~Romantic Suspense Fiction with Erotic and Thriller elements~ *Official blurb subject to change*

Avery Mason had it all: the nice house, the fancy clothes, the expensive cars and the perfect husband. On the outside looking in, her life appears to be perfect. But inside, Avery knows her life is far from perfection as her husband’s carefully constructed façade slowly starts to crumble.

Forced to fake a happy marriage while enduring physical and mental abuse from the man who had once been her whole world is taking its toll. And ever so slowly, Avery finds herself slipping into an existence where she is gradually becoming a shell of her former self.

When Dr. Max Harrison transfers from Chicago to North Carolina, his world is flipped upside down the moment he sees Avery. With one glimpse into her blue-gray eyes, he can see the pain she is so desperately hiding from the rest of the world. As Avery attempts to push him away, he becomes convinced that there is more to her than meets the eye. And when he finally uncovers her darkest secret, the pieces of the puzzle slowly start to click into place.

Max and Avery want to be together, but nothing in life is ever that simple. It’s not going to be easy to get her away from the powerful Mason family, but Max will risk everything to protect her. His only concern is Saving Avery.

***This book is intended for a MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY, and NOT intended for people with any triggers.***


    I wanted to update everyone on my next novel, Saving Avery.  The book is coming along very well — better than expected actually.  I am planning on a March or April release as of right now.  I will be asking for beta readers and then sending out ARCs to readers and blogs very soon, so keep an eye out if you are interested.

    Saving Avery is now on Goodreads!  Please add it to your ‘want to read’ shelf and show your support:

    Also, Author Lane Hart has Saving Avery on her “Five Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2015” list.  Quote from the post: “From the author of Vampire Next Door, one of my favorite vampire romances, comes this erotic thriller in early 2015. I’m even more excited about this one because it take place in my home state of North Carolina!”

    You can find out more about Author Lane Hart on Twitter: @WritingfromHart and on her website.

Cover Reveal

Saving Avery (Cover Reveal)

SAVING AVERY

Cover Reveal

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Well, Christa over at Paper and Sage has outdone herself again!  I am so in love with this cover.  I would love to hear your opinions below, so please leave a comment! 🙂

Saving Avery blurb (subject to change)

Avery Mason had it all: the nice house, the fancy clothes, the expensive cars and the perfect husband.  On the outside looking in, her life appears to be perfect.  But inside, Avery knows her life is far from perfection as her husband’s carefully constructed façade slowly starts to crumble.

Forced to fake a happy marriage while enduring physical and mental abuse from the man who had once been her whole world is taking its toll.  And ever so slowly, Avery finds herself slipping into an existence where she is gradually becoming a shell of her former self.

 

When Dr. Max Harrison transfers from Chicago to North Carolina, his world is flipped upside down the moment he sees Avery.  With one glimpse into her blue-gray eyes, he can see the pain she is so desperately hiding from the rest of the world.  As Avery attempts to push him away, he becomes convinced that there is more to her than meets the eye.  And when he finally uncovers her darkest secret, the pieces of the puzzle slowly start to click into place.

Max and Avery want to be together, but nothing in life is ever that simple.  It’s not going to be easy to get her away from the powerful Mason family, but Max will risk everything to protect her. His only concern is Saving Avery.


Note from the author:  Saving Avery is an erotic thriller that takes place on the North Carolina coast.  It has really been an emotional roller coaster for me while I’ve been writing this book.  Avery suffers physical and mental abuse at the hands of her husband, a man she was once completely in love with.  It’s never easy to write a character’s struggles when you have to pour so much of yourself into them.  I felt her pain.  I felt her struggles.  Like I said…emotional roller coaster.

    When the idea for this book first came to mind, I pushed it aside.  No way, I thought.  Besides the general subconscious thought I always have when I start a new book (Hey, you have a million other books to write and finish!  What are you doing?!), Avery’s story kept resurfacing.  I’m sure any writer out there can relate when your characters become relentless…and sometimes downright annoying.  They want their story told, and they want it told now.  So I endeavored into yet another book that I just couldn’t break away from.  It was a struggle from the beginning because of the sensitive subject matter, but I pressed on.  Avery needed her story told, and who was I to deny her?

    I hope that Avery’s story comes across as genuine and that her struggles and triumphs affect all of my readers just as they have affected me while I was writing about them.

~Angela

Saving Avery will be released soon in early 2015.  Read below for info about ARCs.


I will be requesting a handful of readers/reviewers for ARCs (advanced reader copies) very soon, so keep an eye out for that!  I will post the requests on my Facebook page.

If anyone would like to spread the word about Saving Avery, here are two teasers that you can share on social media.  I’ll add more to my blog whenever they become available, so check back often.

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider pressing the LIKE and SHARE buttons and leaving a comment.  Thanks! 🙂

Writing

Vampire Next Door Excerpt

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Enjoy this excerpt of Vampire Next Door…


Vampire Next Door

 by

Angela Snyder

Copyright © 2013 Angela Snyder

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 1492149640

ISBN-13: 978-1492149644

**Do not copy or distribute**


VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR

 

CHAPTER 1

 

Bedford Valley, Pennsylvania

 

GEORGE EDWARDS TREKKED through the snow-covered woods. It was the morning of the first day of deer season — one of his favorite times of the year. The sun was starting to rise over the mountain he was climbing, cascading sporadic rays through the leaves of the tall trees. At seventy-three years old, he felt as fit as a fiddle and looked forward to the hike ahead of him.

The thin layer of snow over fallen branches and leaves on the forest floor crunched under his feet as he walked. The air was cold and made evident by the small puffs of white air billowing from his lips. His old, trusty Remington was slung over his right shoulder, and a small backpack, which contained the lunch his wife had packed that morning, was slung over his left.

Halfway up the mountain he paused by a group of trees to take a rest. Placing his weathered hand against the bark, he caught his breath and grumbled. He hated getting old.

Reaching into the backpack, he produced a thermos of coffee and took a few sips. The hot liquid warmed his throat as he drank. After one last swig, he replaced the thermos and continued on his journey. The tree stand, which he and his father had built when he was a boy, stood only a few yards away. He stared at the old structure, and it brought back memories instantly. His childhood seemed like just yesterday, but he had not been a young boy for quite a while.

As he took another step forward, his foot hooked on something on the ground, and he tripped. The gun and backpack went flying as he landed on the soft, snow-covered ground. He cursed, and it echoed through the quiet woods.

Slowly, he stood and glanced back at what he had stumbled over. There was a large lump on the ground. He gave his eyes a moment to adjust, as they weren’t as reliable as they used to be. He squinted in the breaking daylight and cautiously moved towards the object to get a better look.

At first, he thought maybe it was a fallen deer. He kneeled down and nudged the object that he had tripped on. It rolled over, revealing the face of a woman.

“Jesus H. Christ!” George yelled, stumbling back. He quickly fished his cell phone out of his pocket and walked around the area until he could get a good signal. His hands shook as he dialed 9-1-1.

While the phone rang, George stared down at the girl. She was badly beaten and covered in blood. Her clothes were soiled and dirty, and she had blended in perfectly with the surroundings of the forest floor. She wasn’t covered from last night’s snowfall, so he knew she couldn’t have been there for more than a few hours.

“Hello? Hello? Is anybody there?” the operator called.

George put the phone to his ear so he could hear the man more clearly. “Yes. My name is George Edwards. I’m up here on Blue Crest Mountain, about two miles from Route 220. I found a girl in the woods. She’s in bad shape. She’s covered in blood.” He swallowed hard at the lump forming in his throat.

“Can you tell if she’s breathing, sir?”

George looked down at the girl. She looked dead, but perhaps she had some life in her. His worn knees creaked as he knelt down beside the woman. Leaning in close to her, he stared at her mouth. A weak puff of white air escaped her lips. “She’s breathing! She’s alive!” George cried, relieved.

“Sir, I need you to cover her and try to keep her warm. Do not move her. The ambulance is on its way.”

George stood and stripped off his outer jacket. He was thankful that his wife had nagged him that morning until he had put on the extra layer. He carefully draped the coat over her. “Hang on, honey,” he whispered to her, reassuringly. “You’re going to be all right.”

 

CHAPTER 2

 

JACK WALKER STROLLED through the hospital. It was late at night, and he had finished all of his rounds except one. He stopped at the nurses’ station and leaned over the counter. A young nurse with blonde hair looked up at him through her long lashes. “Dr. Walker, how are you this evening?”

“Good. How is our Jane Doe doing?”

“No change,” she said, handing him the manila folder that contained Jane’s chart.

“No visitors?”

The nurse checked her notes and then shook her head.

Jack frowned. “All right.” He walked down to the end of the hall and into the last room on the left. Jane Doe was resting peacefully in her bed like she had been day in and day out for the past few weeks.

Jack sat down in a leather recliner in the corner of the room. The rhythmic beeping of the monitoring machines was hypnotic, and he crushed the heels of his hands into his tired eyes. He was exhausted. The day had been busy and long with surgery after surgery in the operating room.

Yawning, he flipped through the folder and glanced over the nurses’ notes. “Well, Ms. Doe, no changes today,” he commented. He glanced up at the girl lying serenely in the bed. She had been in the hospital for almost a month, and every night Jack found himself coming to her room before heading home. It seemed that in some way she gave him peace at the end of a long and tiring day.

He stood and walked to the side of the bed. The girl had been found in the woods and beaten within an inch of her life. When she arrived at the hospital, she was broken and barely alive. Jack had put her back together and saved her life. It was touch and go in the operating room, but no matter how many times her body tried to quit, Jack wouldn’t let her give up.

He noted the fresh bandage around her head. He closed his eyes and shuddered at the memory of her cracked skull the morning she had been rushed into the hospital. Someone had wanted her dead, and yet she was alive and still fighting a good fight.

“You were in a medically-induced coma for three weeks,” he said as he retrieved a penlight out of his coat pocket. He shone the light into her eyes, one at a time. Her irises were a hauntingly beautiful light green. The pupils sluggishly dilated from the light. Frowning, he said, “Now you are off the meds, and we need you to wake up so we can find out who you are and who tried to hurt you.”

Jack found himself tremendously curious to find out who she was, and he wasn’t the only one. The police detectives investigating the case wanted information, and they kept in regular contact with the hospital. They wanted to talk to Jane Doe and get a lead on who had left her for dead.

“Your face has been all over the news.” Even with the bandages and bruises, Jane Doe was beautiful. She was young and thin with long brown hair, porcelain skin and full lips. He had no doubt someone would recognize her even from the composite sketches. “I don’t know why anyone hasn’t come for you yet,” he said quietly. He reached out and squeezed her hand gently, something he always did before leaving her room for the night. “I know you are a fighter, Jane, so fight.”

There was no response from Jane Doe, as there never was. Sighing, he stepped away and moved his head around in a circle. His neck cracked several times from the manipulation. He groaned, hating the sound. “Well, I’m heading home. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Jack left the room and returned the chart at the nurses’ desk, smiling at the blonde as she took the folder back. “Goodnight, Dr. Walker,” she said.

“Goodnight,” he said as he walked down the hall.

He stood in front of the double elevators and pushed the down button. A few seconds later, he heard a ping, and the doors on the right opened up. As he rode the elevator down, his thoughts strayed to Jane Doe. Eventually someone would come for her. Perhaps her mother or father — or perhaps a boyfriend or husband. He scowled. The thought of her being married upset him even though he knew deep down he shouldn’t feel like that. Jane was his patient and would never be anything more than that. Even though he would be extremely disappointed if she were married, he would also be glad to see her happy and provided for.

Jack shook his head, clearing his thoughts as the elevator doors opened on the lobby level. He exited the hospital and walked to his car, which was near the back of the parking lot.

The drive home was short. He had chosen a house in the center of town because of its location being so close to the hospital. He lived for his work, and sometimes he begrudgingly thought he would be married to it for the rest of his life.

The house was empty as he entered. He often thought of getting a dog that would greet him when he came home, but the thought of the responsibility scared him. In reality, he worked too many hours to take care of a houseplant let alone an animal, and he had at least two dead plants in the house to prove that theory.

Jack threw his coat on the back of a chair in the kitchen and walked into the living room. Plopping down on the couch, he flicked on the TV with the remote. The ten o’clock news appeared on the screen.

After a few random stories of crimes, the newswoman began a story about authorities searching for the person or persons wanted for the attempted murder of the woman in the woods. “Jane Doe,” he whispered. She was commonly referred to as the woman in the woods.

A composite sketch appeared in the top right corner of the screen. Her haunting green eyes stared back at him. The composite artist had gotten the color exactly right. Jack leaned up, putting his elbows on his knees and resting his chin against his hands. He found himself glued to the TV. “There has to be somebody out there that loves you, Jane,” he whispered. “And I hope they find you.”

 

* * *

 

Sebastian Alexander sat on the bed in the hotel room. The big screen television provided some background noise as he stared down at the map sprawled out in front of him. He took a red marker and began to X out the towns he had already searched the week prior. There seemed to be hundreds of Xs on the map.

For weeks he had been searching for her. He had stayed in countless hotel rooms, spanning out twenty miles at a time trying to find some sliver of evidence that she was alive. She had disappeared out of the blue from his life a month ago, and he couldn’t believe he hadn’t found her yet. Someone had taken her from him. That is what his intuition told him, and his intuition was never wrong. There wasn’t a second of the day that went by when he didn’t think of her, when he didn’t look for her. Moreover, he vowed he would never stop looking for her even if it took an eternity. Time was something he had a lot of, but she didn’t. The clock was ticking, and he didn’t know when the clock would stop running.

He stared at one large black circle that intersected multiple other black circles. His finger lingered over the town he was presently in — Bedford Valley. It had been a century or more since he had passed through the town. Coincidentally, he was staying in the same hotel as he had on his visit those many years ago. Something had drawn him there once again, and he always trusted his instincts.

Sebastian stood and walked out of the French doors onto the balcony. A cold wind swept around him as he stared out over the resort grounds. “Where are you?” he asked the night air, his voice pleading for an answer.

“Authorities are searching for the person or persons wanted for the attempted murder of the woman in the woods.”

Sebastian quickly walked back into the room, his eyes resting upon the TV as the newswoman spoke. A drawing of a woman’s face appeared on the screen. He knew it was her instantly. His fingertips skimmed over her face on the television. Her green eyes stared back at him. “You’re here,” he breathed. His entire body trembled. He had finally found her.

CHAPTER 3

 

THE HOSPITAL FLOOR was quiet at ten p.m. The incessant hissing of breathing machines and beeping of monitors filled the air as he made his way through the halls. The smell of her blood was leading him right to her.

The nurses’ station on the right was occupied by one nurse, an older woman with salt and pepper hair. She looked up as he approached. “Sir, visiting hours were over at eight o’clock.”

Sebastian sighed. He only liked to compel humans when absolutely necessary, but he knew she would alert security if he ignored her. Calmly, he leaned over the desk and stared into her brown eyes. “I need the chart on the woman everyone is calling Jane Doe.”

The nurse nodded slowly as her pupils dilated rapidly. She reached into a file cabinet and produced a folder.

Sebastian flipped through the folder, and his eyes scanned the pages of her chart. “Multiple surgeries. Coma,” he whispered, his throat tightening around the lump that was forming. He looked down at the nurse. “She hasn’t been awake since she arrived?”

The woman shook her head.

He returned the folder to her. “You are going to go back to your work and not even remember seeing me or talking to me,” he commanded. “Do you understand?”

“Yes,” she said as she sat down and continued with her task.

Sebastian walked from the desk and to the end of the hall. At the doorway, the smell of her blood overwhelmed him. The taste of it still lingered in his mind. He closed his eyes and attempted to suppress his hunger. However, his hunger was quickly extinguished as he entered the room and his emotions took over at the sight of her — battered and bruised, covered in bandages. She slept soundly, unmoving, breathing evenly. Sleeping Beauty came to his mind.

A gasp escaped his lips as he stood over her. “What happened to you?” he asked aloud. He had expected to find her hurt, but not in this condition. He would have never dreamt of her being in so much pain. A single tear escaped his eye and cascaded down his cheek. Carefully, he grasped her hand and raised it to touch his lips. He tenderly kissed her fingertips. “I thought I had lost you forever,” he whispered, anguished.

Someone had taken her away from him and had tried to kill her. And if he ever found the person who hurt her, his or her fate would be a lot worse than lying in a hospital bed. Sebastian closed his eyes and took deep breaths to prevent his anger from overflowing out of every pore in his body. “I will find and kill whoever did this to you,” he promised, looking down at her.

He stood unmoving for a few minutes listening to her lungs expanding and contracting as she breathed, the blood moving through her veins and her heart beating. She was alive, and that was all that mattered at that moment. He would take care of everything else later.

Realizing she may never regain consciousness again without his help, he bit into his index finger with a sharp fang and placed the wound over her parted lips. “Just a few drops,” he whispered. “It will heal you, but not too quickly so that it will look suspicious.” He watched as a few drops of his precious blood dropped underneath her tongue.

Then Sebastian withdrew his finger and watched the bite mark heal instantaneously. He leaned over the bed and kissed her sweet lips. “I will come for you when I know it’s safe.” He stood back, not wanting to leave, but knowing that staying could bring her even more harm. “I love you. Now and forever,” he said before turning from her and leaving the room.

 

* * *

 

After finishing his rounds for the night, Jack went to the nurses’ station. “Anything new with Jane Doe?” he asked, expectantly.

The nurse frowned. “No, I’m afraid not, Dr. Walker.” She gave him Jane’s chart.

His face matched her expression as he flipped through the folder. “Figured as much,” he muttered, disappointment lacing his voice. He caught a glimpse of a man walking past him. The man was tall with jet-black hair that fell into his intense blue eyes that glanced at Jack for a brief second as he passed by. He was dressed all in black and clearly not a hospital employee. “Who is that?” he asked the nurse.

The nurse glanced up at the man. “I have no idea. Visiting hours were over at eight.”

“You didn’t see him come in?”

Her brow creased, and she said, “No.”

Jack watched the man standing in front of the elevators. As the door opened, the stranger glanced back at them. An eerie feeling came over Jack. He had a gut feeling that the man had something to do with Jane Doe.

Swiftly, he ran down the hall to her room. As he reached the doorway, a feeling of relief swept over him as he saw she was safe. He glanced around the room seeing if anything was moved, but everything looked the same as it had the night before. Perhaps the man had been lost or visiting a different patient.

His day had been long and strenuous, and so he planned to cut his visit with Jane shorter than usual. He was anxious to get home and climb into bed. He had an early morning once again, and his body was demanding sleep.

Jack opened the folder and glanced over her chart. No changes once again. He sighed and walked to her bedside. Gently, he grasped her hand and squeezed it. “You need to wake up, so we can find your family,” he whispered.

Just as he started to pull his hand away, he felt her fingers move. He blinked and stared down at her. Could it have been his imagination? He was exhausted, and his mind had been known to play tricks on him after a long day.

He waited for another reaction with bated breath. Nothing happened. Then he said, “Squeeze my hand if you can hear me.”

Her fingers twitched. Then they moved, attempting to squeeze his hand. He gasped. That was the first reaction he had gotten out of her in a month. He knew deep down in his heart that she was trying to wake up.

Quickly, he set the chart down and grabbed the penlight out of his pocket. He raised her right eyelid and shone the light into her eye. The pupil dilated normally.

Jack pushed the call nurse button on the bedrail. Within a few seconds, the nurse’s voice came over the speaker. “Can I help you?”

“This is Dr. Walker. Our Jane Doe is coming back to us,” he said with a big smile on his face.

 


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