This is the blog of Samie Sands, author of Lockdown. There will be many great books and projects reviewed here. For more, check out thelockdown.co.uk.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Lottie Loves by Samie Sands

Lottie Loves OUT NOW

Lottie Loves

The first cut is always the deepest...

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“Will you marry me?”
Four words I’ve waited my whole life to hear. Four words which I was sure would change my life forever, and it did. Just not in the way I thought it would.
Finding out that my extremely gorgeous rock star boyfriend was about to propose, had the complete opposite effect I thought it would. Rather than catapult me into a future I’ve always wanted, it plunged me all the way back to a past I tried to forget.
Now I can’t get him out of my head. I can’t help but wonder what could have been, how our lives would have ended up if he didn’t leave me behind a shattered mess.
All these memories of the past are dangerous. It’s bringing my past back to ruin my future. And worst of all, it’s taking me right back to him, my childhood sweetheart, my first love…my biggest regret.

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"Will you marry me?"
It was the words that I'd wanted to hear my entire life. Didn't every girl fantasise over the perfect man going to buy the perfect ring and getting down on one knee in the most romantic way possible, before telling them that they loved them so much, they wanted to spend the rest of their life with them?
I knew that I certainly had.
Me and my best friend Cici used to talk about it all the time. We used to plan our dresses, the music, the flowers—every part of the ceremony down to the very last detail. Of course, the man didn't really matter. We were young enough and naive enough to believe that we would magically meet the perfect man without even trying.
And I really thought that I had. I really, truly believed that my dream had come true.
Me and Danny had begun our love story in a very typical fashion—our eyes had met across a bar, where we'd had long, lingering eye contact, sparking all kinds of emotions within me. The only difference between my story, and that of every other rom-com ever, was that Danny was a genuine up-and-coming rock star, playing on a fairly big stage, and I was a fan who already felt a lot of love for this man. I'd been admiring him from afar ever since I first heard their album a year or so before.
I certainly hadn't expected it to ever go any further than that moment, so when he came and joined me at the bar later on for a drink, despite being mobbed by other members of the audience, I felt like my entire life had been leading me up to that moment. I felt like everything that I'd experienced was all drawing me closer to Danny, the love of my life. Here was a gorgeous man who was destined to be famous, and who could have any girl in the world hanging off of his arm, talking to me, asking me questions, and actually showing me interest.
It seemed like a dream—one that I was terrified to wake up from.
As he flicked his messy auburn hair from his warm, chocolaty eyes and he gave me that smile that had already melted the hearts of the nation, I thought for a dreaded, wonderful second that he was going to kiss me in front of all of those people. But after a few beats of pure terror, he didn't. Instead he handed me his phone number, and he asked if I would like to go on a date with him.
Me—boring old Charlotte (Lottie) Jones—on a date with Danny Boreom, bassist of the (now very) famous band Jax. It didn't seem real.
Yet, it was real, and it did happen.
It was the start of my real life.
After a night out on the town where he well and truly wined and dined me, he walked me home to my tiny flat which must have looked ridiculous compared to the mansion that I now know he lived in with the rest of the band at the time, and he finally kissed me. As his lips met mine, I felt myself flying on top of the world—he was an amazing kisser, and there seemed to be an endless chemistry between us. One that I never wanted to end.
Breathless and turned on by the power of his mouth, I invited him inside. Although he coolly and calmly turned me down, it was still the best night of my entire life, made even better by a phone call the next day to say that he only didn't come inside with me because he wanted to be something real. He didn't want our love to end at a one-night stand, he actually wanted us to develop and for him to become my boyfriend.
Fast forward three and a half years and we were blissfully living together, grazing by every day happily and easily. Although he was away for a lot of the year touring, it didn't seem to bother us. We were so strong and so solid with what we had, that nothing would get in our way.
It was perfect, still a dream come true and that intense chemistry hadn't burned down one bit.
Which made it even weirder that my reaction to Cici telling me that Baz—another member of the band—had just told her that he'd been engagement ring shopping with Danny, wasn't one of pure joy.
"What...what do you mean?" I asked, my heart racing frantically in my chest. I could tell that my voice was breathless and kind of terrified, but my mind was spinning too fast for me to be able to do anything about it.
"Aren't you happy?" She giggled, "I thought that you'd be over the moon to finally be Mrs. Boreom."
"No, no, I am," I half lied. The idea had always been at the edge of my thoughts. I knew that Danny was the one for me, and despite all the car crash relationships around us, we'd even managed to survive the fallout of him becoming mega famous. It helped that I had no interest in the spotlight and that I did everything I could to avoid it, but even despite all of that, I felt like it proved that we could go the distance, and be together forever. So why wasn't I excited for us to take the next step? "It's just a bit of a shock, that's all."
But that was normal, right? Everyone freaked out at first when they learned that they were going to become someone's wife...didn't they?
Of course, I already knew that wasn't true. I'd already been proposed to once in my life before, and that time, I didn't hesitate one bit. Panic didn't even come into the equation, I was happy, over the moon at the thought of becoming his wife. This was nothing like that had been. I felt completely different.
For the first time in a very long time, I allowed myself to think about Joe again, and almost the second that I allowed that vault to open in my mind, I felt myself fall into a tailspin. As his face filled my brain once more, it was almost as if the last five years hadn't happened at all, and that I was still his proud girlfriend, waiting to be his wife.
As the wound reopened, I could barely hear what Cici was saying to me. I felt like I was gaping, exposed, and extremely vulnerable all over again, and I did what I'd always done when I was younger, when things got too difficult for me. I started to talk to Joe in my mind.
Where are you now?
What became of you?
What happened to your life?
It was so strange to have gone from the closest people in the world, to absolutely nothing, and I struggled to imagine that he'd changed one bit. Of course I had, my life was completely different, but I couldn't think of Joe without viewing him as the other half of me. The boy that I'd adored, and the one that I never thought would leave my side.
"I...I've got to go," I finally announced to my friend. "I'll speak to you later, okay?" And then I hung up the phone, without even waiting for her to answer. I knew that I was being rude, acting more than a little strange, but I needed some time. I needed to be alone with my thoughts to try and process all of this.
So quite how I found myself sitting at my computer with my fingers running along the keys, I wasn't quite sure.
Don't press anything, I willed myself. As soon as you do, everything will change.
Since we had gone our separate ways, I hadn't contacted Joe once, and with the uprising of social media I hadn't looked him up either. I just couldn't face it. He was like an imaginary fantasy in my mind now, and I wasn't sure that I wanted to ruin that with reality. What if he was married now? Or into drugs or something? His life could have gone in any direction, and I wasn't sure that I really wanted to find out which one.
Plus, my life really was amazing now. Why would I want to even consider risking that? I had a gorgeous, passionate man who actually wanted to be with me forever, even though he was about ten leagues above me, I had a teaching job that I loved, and friends that would do anything for me. That was a hell of a lot more than most people had!
In the end I forced myself to stand up and to move away from the computer screen before it lured me in. I couldn't do it; I just wasn't willing to take that step into the unknown. It terrified me far too much. But as I wandered aimlessly from room to room, I realised that I couldn't just do nothing either. I needed to calm this beast within me, which meant delving into my past whether I liked it or not.
I stood at the bottom of the attic ladder, wondering what awaited me up there. When me and Danny decided to buy a place together—well, he put the most money in of course, but we still classed it as 'ours'—I shoved everything related to my old life away, not wanting to even consider it. But it was always a comfort, knowing that it was there, knowing that I could access it at any moment if I really wanted to.
And I could feel myself finally taking that step.
I creaked up the ladder, feeling my heart thump and my palms sweat with nerves. This was a mistake, I knew it was, but at the same time I couldn't stop.
There would be no way for me to get married without taking this step anyway. Right now, things were comfortable, but if I was ever going to have a future with Danny, I needed to consult my past first. At least, that was my excuse and I was sticking to it.
Danny knew about Joe anyway. Well, he'd been told some of it, the very basics, so I supposed that I was probably going to have to confess all before we finally took the plunge. With that thought in mind, I tore open the first box I stumbled across, and I ended up looking at the few photographs that I had of me and Joe when we were very young, when we very first met...

For more check the book out here!

Friday, 13 October 2017

Undead Worlds: A Reanimated Writers Anthology

22 Authors. 22 Undead worlds. 1 Great Book. Do you dare? Featuring stories by David A. Simpson, Justin Robinson, Christopher Mahood, Arthur Mongelli, Michael Whitehead, Sylvester Barzey, Jeremy Dyson, Derek Ailes, Grivante, Michael Pierce, Christopher Artinian, E.E. Isherwood, Mark Cusco Ailes, R. L. Blalock, T. D. Ricketts, Brea Behn, Jessica Gomez, Julien Saindon, Samie Sands, Valerie Lioudis, Charles Ingersoll, and Adrienne Lecter.
Damaged Goods
by Samie Sands (Sample, featured in Undead Worlds)
How the hell did this happen?  
I still, even now, can’t work out how I allowed myself to be so stupid. I’m a smart girl, aren’t I? At least that’s what I’ve always been told. The teachers at my school have always said to me: ‘Ava Jones, you are a smart girl. One of the cleverest in the class. You’ll go far in life’. Maybe if they could see me now, none of them would be half as quick to say that.  
I mean, what sort of girl allows themselves to get bit, in the middle of the damn zombie apocalypse? I’m sure as hell not going far in life now!  
I tentatively glance my eyes downwards to look at the injury on my trembling arm, but it’s hard to stand the sight of it. As soon as I spot the slightly brown, coagulating blood that’s forming on my wrist, my eyes squeeze shut and my lips clamp together so tightly it’s as if they fear vomit might fall out if I dare to part them.  
The pain is much worse than the sight though, so it's not like I can ignore it. It’s hot and radiating all over me as if it wants to swallow me whole. In all honesty, I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before. 
I’m not an idiot, I know what the bite means, I’ve been out there enough to know what it’ll turn me into, I just don’t know what to do about it. I know my skin will grey, my irises will pale, my body will slow as my brain shuts off. I’ll become one of the monsters that are outside my door right now, waiting for some human flesh to consume. Hoping someone will be dumb enough to stumble into their path. I’ll become the one thing that everyone wants to avoid these days, the nightmare that no one can stand to even discuss. 
The worst part is I could've avoided that fate too if only I listened.

#Halloween #Giveaway

Monday, 9 October 2017

13 Night Terrors

13 Night Terrors: An Anthology Of Horror And Dark Fiction (Thirteen Series) by [Roach, D.A., Roderick, Elizabeth, Lee, Erin, Sonnenberg, Jackie, Loring, Jennifer, Macmillan, Joshua, Jacques, Kristin, Farrar, Marissa, Mills, Nykki, Sands, Samie, Schoen, Sara, Henderson, Taylor, Flowers, Thomas S., Limitless Publishing]
They’re watching you. They see the way you clutch your blanket. They smell the sweat trickling down your back. They hear the fear pulsing through your veins…and they love it.

This is a collection of stories about what really hides beneath your bed, watching, waiting, listening to every breath you take. It’s about the creatures that come out to play on the full moon, and the things that wake at the devil’s hour.

Are you ready to find out what really goes bump in the night? The true reason behind your midnight tremors?

You’d better be.

13 is back—and it’s brought Night Terrors.

The Day That...
By Samie Sands (Sample, featured in 13 Night Terrors)
 Miss Penley has given us this challenge for school. An essay titled ‘The Day That…’. The rest of that sentence is up to us, as is the style of the work. Basically, we can do what we want with this project as long as we’re busy doing something. Keeping out of the way, I suppose, that’s the main job of kids these days.  
Of course, it didn’t surprise me that everyone leapt up with excitement at the idea and declared what they would write about: ‘The Day That The World Ended’. It’s all anyone can talk about anymore. The end of the world, the day people stopped dying and started becoming something else.  
Some say zombies, some say monsters, some call them ‘infected’. I don’t call them anything because I haven’t ever seen one. Or if I did see any in the beginning, before we came to this camp, then I don’t remember. My brain has successfully blanked it out completely. I can recall our weird neighbor, ol’ man Hank, insisting that we needed to go to a refugee camp, and my mom agreeing with him. As a child, I had no choice in the matter even though I didn’t want to leave my home. I argued and pleaded, only to be ignored. Then again, that hasn’t changed with the end of the world. It’s always been that way.  
Apparently, it’s ‘much better’ that we’re here. That’s what Mom always says to me: ‘Gaby, it’s much better we’re here’ like it’s some form of mantra. Sometimes I think she’s saying it to convince herself as much as me. I’m not saying it’s terrible in this camp, I’m sure it could be worse—I’ve heard all kinds of rumors about what happens ‘out there’—but it’s never going to be home and no dressing it up will change that.  
Maybe I should write what the end of the world looks like to me in this place. That might be a slightly different essay idea. I might not remember the horrible bits from the beginning of the apocalypse, but I do know what’s going on around me right now. I know Miss Penley and the other children know what life’s like in this camp, so it’s a bit pointless. Still, I have to write something. Apparently, grades still matter, and I’ve never liked to fail. 

Saturday, 7 October 2017

My Soldier #LimitlessPublishing

My Soldier: A Military Romance Collection (Mine Collection Book 1) by [Mello, Alison, Slough, Cristina, Lynn, Delisa, Bellus, HJ, Drake, J.L., Nacole, Kris, Marshall, Penelope, Publishing, Limitless]
Special Forces...
Navy Seals...
US Marines...
We got it all…

7 Full length novels by International and USA today best selling authors. Hot, steamy, sexy, military romances with an edge! Romance, suspense, drama…you will love our My Soldier collection!

Authored by:
J.L. Drake
Alison Mello
Delisa Lynn
Cristina Slough
Penelope Marshall
H.J. Bellus
Kris Nacole

Night Mares compiled by Samie Sands

Night Mares by [Sands, Samie, Shepherd, Rob, Jaarsveld, Katie, Lockwood, Andy, Winck, Alex, Louidis, Valerie, Hall, Kevin, White, Jason, Rickman, Greg]"I
t was just a dream, nothing more. Just a nightmare."

Do you dare delve into the unconscious
mind to find out just whay your dreams
are trying to tell you?

Watch out...something is coming!

Featuring...

Rob Shepherd
Andy Lockwood
Katie Jaarsveld
Alex Winck
Valerie Louidis
Kevin Hall
Samie Sands
Jason White
Greg Rickman