Sunday, 21 December 2014



The Circus Spektakulär is proud to present Jack McCabe: Fire-breather, knife-thrower, risk-taker.
My uncle lied. I never died.

I breathe fire, eat the poison that almost killed me.

Crowds come to see me night after night. Men for the spectacle, women for the thrill. I’m an oddity to be stared at and desired. With each flame I spit, I risk my life.

I wear scars on my body that will never go away, but the scars inside my head are far more difficult to overlook.

My brother doesn’t know the truth, and if I have it my way, he never will.

Life was going exactly the way I’d planned until Lille came along. She wanted to run away with the circus, have an adventure, but this world was never meant for her.

I try to keep her safe, because she doesn’t know the dangers that are out here on the road. She doesn’t know the monsters that lurk behind the bright lights of the ring. In truth, I could be considered one of them.

We were fashioned from different cloths, never intended to mix. So I watch her. I try not to touch, even when her eyes invite me.

Join us in the Spiegeltent and let us give you a show. Allow my Lille to draw a picture for you in paint and sweat and skin.

The truest love is always the hardest to let in.

This is a standalone romance that tells the story of Jack McCabe, Jay Fields’ long lost, presumed dead brother. It is not necessary to have read Six of Hearts in order to enjoy Hearts of Fire.



L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

Monday, 15 December 2014



"Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
They’re in each other all along."

They say that life is full of choices. When you’re young and idealistic, you believe that the path you choose is the road that will lead you to your destiny. 

But what if, along the way, fate decides to step in, and no amount of logic or rationality or even prayers can save you from your fortune? When the sacrifices you make, the love that you find, and the bright promise of the future are all snatched away from you, you’re left alone to pick up the pieces of your life.

This is a story about love, found in a faraway place by two very unlikely people. It is also a story about friendship and loyalty and fighting for what you have despite the illogical mystery of fate. It is a story of faith and acceptance, and learning that even the best-laid plans are powerless against the alignment of the universe.

From the beaches of Thailand to the streets of New York, three friends, Anna, Dante, and Jude will learn the hard way that once providence steps in, there is nothing in the world that can change what is truly meant to be.


I lifted my head up in time to catch the questioning look in his eyes. "I have to call my mother." I said. 

"Sure, let's get back to the hut and you can use my phone," he replied, continuing to hold me close while smoothing his hands over my hair. 


"Hmm?" he answered dreamily. 

"I'm a little freaked out. There's something rubbing against my leg." 

He lifted me up gently, turned the flashlight back on, and handed it over to me. I settled my feet lightly on the sand, afraid to step on something I couldn't see. He guided my hand and held the light a few inches above the water. 

"Look closely," he said excitedly. "They're seahorses." He reached his hands downwards just below the surface, enclosing them in the palms of his hands. 

"Cool! Why are they tangled up in each other like that?" 

"It's their defense mechanism. Do you see how the male with the pouch is hanging on to her tail? He's protecting her." 

I brought my face closer to the water. "Won't they bite you?" 

He laughed and shook his head. "No, they won't. They're harmless." We continued to observe them in the water. "Hey, do you know what they say about seahorses?" Judeasked. 

"No, but I know you're about to tell me," I teased, never tiring of engaging him in banter. 

"That they mate for life. One mate. One partner. For life." Jude enunciated his words, making sure to get his point across. 

"That's just a myth. Nothing, no one, mates for life." 


Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Insipid, her third book, is due to be released in June of 2014.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.

Sunday, 7 December 2014





I lost her.
I thought she was the love of my life.
She was everything I needed. Everything I wanted.
She made me forget about my past. My family.
She made me feel real.
Can I find someone else?
It’s time to pick up the pieces and move on.
But can I?
I’m Seth Tyson and this is my story.
I deserve a happily ever after, don’t I?


Kelsey Oliver
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
My heart beats wildly in my throat as we walk through the doors of the maternity ward at Temple University Hospital. My husband, Kevin, squeezes my hand as tight as he can.
“I’m a mess, Kevin.” I blurt out. “Is this even real?”
“Yes, babe. This is very real. We’re about to meet our baby,” he says, his own voice shaking.
Our plane touched down in Philadelphia less than twelve hours after we received a call from our adoption counselor, Jessica from Forever Home Adoption Agency. We’d been on their waiting list for almost two years and had just about given up hope that we would ever be selected to adopt a baby when she called us late last night.
“Kelsey! Hi, it’s Jessica. I’m so sorry to be calling you so late, but I have the most incredible news.”
I immediately reach to my right, shaking Kevin’s shoulder to wake him up from a sound sleep. We were both exhausted after the last trick-or-treater left our front porch  around ten o’clock tonight and were asleep before our heads hit our pillows. I look at the clock. It’s only eleven-thirty. It feels like we’ve been asleep for hours.
“Hmm?” he moans and flips over to see me sitting straight up in bed. “Is everything okay?” he asks hesitantly as his eyes widen and then squint. “What time is it?”
I know exactly what Jessica is about to tell us and tears pool in my eyes as Kevin focuses on my face. God, I love this man and we’re about to get the news we’ve been waiting for.
I grab his hand, place the phone on speaker and say, “Jessica, we’re both awake. What’s going on?” Kevin’s eyes glisten as a warm smile spreads across his handsome face.
“A baby was born earlier today and the birth mother, Lily has committed to an adoption plan. She was presented several profiles to choose from and she immediately chose the both of you. How soon can you be in Philadelphia?”
That phone call was twelve hours ago and I’m still in shock and disbelief. Our dream of starting our family is right in front of us and I never thought this moment would arrive. I clutch Kevin’s hand harder as we walk to the nurses’ station.
“Excuse me,” I say quietly. The nurse behind the desk looks up and nods. “We’re here to meet with Jessica Hyde. She’s a social worker.” I hesitate, unsure of what is going to happen next.
“Oh, you must be the Olivers. Yes, she’s in the nursery right now.” She gets up and comes out from behind the desk. “Follow me.”
We follow her down the hall and I realize that she’s either walking very fast or we are walking very slowly because there is a huge distance between us. Kevin speeds up his pace and I follow suit.
We catch up to her and turn the corner together. In front of us is a large glass window with at least ten infants inside. All are asleep in their bassinets except one. That baby is being rocked in the arms of an older woman. She looks up and smiles and I recognize her face from the adoption agency’s website. It’s Jessica.
The nurse swipes her key card and unlocks the doors to the nursery.
I’m suddenly frozen in place. I wasn’t expecting to meet the baby so soon.
Our baby.
I don’t know what I was thinking, but this wasn’t it. Maybe I expected some more time going over paperwork and preparing to meet our child. This is too fast. We just found out!
Am I ready for this?
Are we ready for this?
I remain frozen in place as I try to picture that little baby in the empty nursery we’ve had ready for what seems like forever. Yellow walls and neutral safari bedding suddenly don’t seem right. Insecurity builds as thoughts of our future swirl in my head.
Will she be happy in our home?
Will she be happy with us?
Kevin eagerly pulls me into the nursery and Jessica’s warm voice fills the room.
“Kelsey. Kevin. Say hello to Juliet.”
She raises the baby’s head so we can see her small face, her pink cheeks so perfect and round. My breath is immediately taken away and my heart melts along with some of the uncertainties that I felt just moments ago. She’s sound asleep and softly sucking on a green rubber pacifier that seems to take up half of her face. Jessica motions to the empty rocking chair next to her and Kevin leads me over to it so I can sit.
Before I know it, she’s placed into my arms. My hold on her is awkward at first, because well, I’ve never done this before. My arms are stiff and Kevin places his hand on the crown of Juliet’s head, engulfing it in his palm.
He’s mesmerized by her. In love with her already.
Yes, this feels right.
“Relax, Kelsey. She’ll know if you’re nervous and you’ll wake her up.” Jessica softly chuckles and nods again.
I begin to relax my arms and settle more comfortably back into the rocking chair, Juliet softly molding into my chest.
“Isn’t she beautiful?” Jessica asks. I look down at the little bundle and she twitches slightly in my arms, relaxing back into a deep sleep. Her baby scent hits my nose and I begin to feel more at ease.
“Yes. She is beautiful. Perfect,” I say as Kevin’s thumb sweeps across her tiny forehead. His eyes lock onto mine and he nods slowly, a smile spreading across his face.
“She looks perfect in your arms, Kels,” he whispers.
We sit there for what seems like hours, but only minutes have passed. Kevin asks the question that’s been on my mind for the better part of the last twelve hours.
“Where is her birth mother?”
Jessica takes a deep breath and seems hesitant to tell us.
“Lily doesn’t want to meet you. Or see Juliet,” she responds with sadness in her voice.
“Oh?” I reply, surprised.
“She’s very young. Only fifteen. She just wants to sign the papers and go home. Well, go home as soon as the hospital will discharge her. She’s already been moved to another floor.” She pauses for a moment as if she wishes for another outcome. “We have to respect her wishes.”
This is surprising to me, and Kevin and I exchange worried glances. What could this mean? My chest tightens and I realize that I’m holding Juliet closer, more protective.
“Fifteen? Can she even give this baby up? Can her family intervene?” I’m suddenly terrified that the beautiful little girl in my arms can be taken away from us.
“No. She can legally sign the adoption paperwork. It’s her choice. Her family cannot intervene nor do they need to be present during her revocation of rights. They are actually completely unaware of the birth and of Juliet since Lily has been living with a friend for some time.” Jessica states matter-of-fact. I have to trust that our social worker is speaking the truth, but her words don’t comfort me at all. “I’m sorry, but I’m unable to discuss anything more with you about Lily.”
“But she’s only fifteen,” I push, suddenly feeling very sad for the child who just gave birth to this beautiful little girl. “And her family doesn’t know?”
How can this be?
“She’s fifteen and scared. She absolutely does not want her family to know. But, believe me, she is very clear minded when it comes to the decision to give up this child,” Jessica assures us.
Kevin’s free hand swipes through the back of my hair and rests on my shoulder. While this all seems like a whirlwind, his gesture comforts me immensely.
“Okay, what’s next?” Kevin and I ask at the same time.
Jessica smiles warmly and says, “It’s time to become her family.”
The next few days were a blur. We spent every single moment we could with our daughter, experiencing all of the wonders and joys of a newborn. The hospital gave us a room in the maternity ward where we could spend our first precious moments together as a family.
First bottle.
First diaper.
First bath.
The nurses practically had to pry her from our arms both nights we were there so they could take her back to the nursery.
Every single moment felt so right.
So perfect.
It breaks my heart that we were never able to meet Lily. I want to thank her. Tell her that Juliet is going to have a wonderful life. That her decision to give this little girl up was so selfless and strong, especially for a young girl. My heart tugs whenever I think of Lily and how scared she must be. I ache to comfort her. To hold her and tell her everything is going to be okay.
“It’s time to go home,” Kevin whispers in my ear as his lips brush against my hair. This simple gesture distracts me from my sadness, if only slightly. I tighten the car seat straps and tuck the pink fleece blanket around our daughter.
“Yes, it’s time.” My cheeks warm as tears prick my eyes.
Jessica enters the room and her expression is stoic. My breath hitches and I’m suddenly nervous.
“Before you go home, I wanted to give you this.” She hands me an envelope with Juliet’s name scrawled across the front.
“Lily asked that you give this to Juliet when she’s old enough to understand all about her adoption. She wanted to explain why she did what she did.” Jessica purses her lips and bows her head. “You have to know how incredibly difficult this is for her.”
“Of course. I can’t imagine,” I say softly.
I’m overwhelmed thinking about how to even explain all of this to a child, much less promise to give her a letter from her fifteen-year-old birth mother.
I touch my lips softly to Juliet’s nose and wrap the blanket tightly around her baby carrier. It’s only been a few days since we met our daughter, but my protective instinct is already in high gear. Kevin reaches down to take the carrier, kisses my cheek, and says to Jessica, “We’ll make sure that our daughter knows her story and how Lily loved her enough to make this heart-wrenching decision. She’s given us a gift and we’ll repay her by raising Juliet with more love than she can absorb.”
His words should be comforting to me, but my heart is pulling me in another direction.
I’m terrified what this note could possibly contain.
My chest clenches and fearful thoughts swirl through my mind.
I try to compose myself but the envelope feels like it’s about to ignite in my hand.
I tuck it into my purse and promise myself to hide it away forever.
Lily’s words have the potential to destroy our daughter’s happiness.
Our happiness.
I vow to myself that Juliet will never see this letter.

Trudy Stiles' The Forever Family Series is ON SALE for a limited time to celebrate the One Year Book Birthday of Dear Emily!

Book #1 - Dear Emily - ONLY $.99 for a limited time!

Two women. Carly & Tabitha. Both have suffered life-altering events that have left them both traumatically damaged.
Carly Sloan’s life was perfect until the night her security and innocence was torn from her. The vast repercussions from that horrific night threaten to destroy her stability and her chances for a happily ever after. Kyle Finnegan comes into Carly’s life at the height of her turmoil. Can he help her find what she desires most?
Tabitha Fletcher, on the other hand, has suffered from a very young age. She has been hiding from her past, which was full of abuse, loss and turmoil. She has been so brutally damaged that she has very little hope of redemption. The revolving door of men only leads her deeper into misery.
What circumstance brings these two women together unexpectedly and can they help each other heal? And will they each find what they need?

This book is not suitable for young readers. It is intended for mature adults only (18+). It contains strong language, adult/sexual situations, non-consensual sex and some violence.

Book #2 - Dear Tabitha - ONLY $1.99 for a limited time!

You know me. You know who I am. What I am.
Damaged. Confused. Alone.
You feel sorry for me. You pity me.
You know what I’ve done. What I’ve given up. Who I’ve given up.
You try to understand what I’ve been through and how I can possibly go on with my life.
But you can’t possibly understand.
I’ve lost too much. Sacrificed too much. Given up everything so that I can find myself.
Well I’m done.
I’m done walking away from everything that matters.
It’s time for me to heal.
It’s MY TURN to earn…


Trudy Stiles is a New Adult author, mom to two beautiful children, and married to the love of her life. She is the author of the Forever Family series including “Dear Emily” and “Dear Tabitha”. There will be many more stories from this series and you never know who may have a standalone or novella written for them. Stay tuned!
Trudy is a music junkie and you’ll know that she’s writing when you see her plugged into her laptop with her earbuds in. Her playlist is unique and is a must for her writing sprints.
When she’s not writing, she’s carting her children to their various activities while avoiding any kind of laundry or housework. She also loves to run along the boardwalk of the beautiful New Jersey shore.
She’s always been an avid reader and frequently escapes into the fictional worlds of the many characters that she has come to love. Well, now there are some fictional characters in her head dying to get out!
This first story is called “Dear Emily” and was released in December 2013. “Dear Tabitha” was released in March 2014. The Forever Family series will continue with several companion/stand alone novels.

Twitter: @trudystiles