Monday, August 20, 2018

Cover Reveal: The Forgotten Child by Melissa Erin Jackson


The Forgotten Child
Melissa Erin Jackson
Publication date: October 10th 2018
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Paranormal
Ever since Riley Thomas, reluctant medium extraordinaire, accidentally released a malevolent spirit from a Ouija board when she was thirteen, she’s taken a hard pass on scary movies, haunted houses, and cemeteries. So when her best friend pressures her into spending a paranormal investigation weekend at the infamous Jordanville Ranch—former home of deceased serial killer Orin Jacobs—Riley is one-hundred-percent not ready.
Shortly after their arrival at the ranch, the spirit of a little boy contacts Riley; a child who went missing—and was never found—in 1973.
In order to put the young boy’s spirit to rest, she has to come to grips with her ability. But how can she solve a mystery that happened a decade before she was born? Especially when someone who knows Orin’s secrets wants to keep the truth buried—no matter the cost.


Author Bio:
Melissa has had a love of stories for as long as she can remember, but only started penning her own during her freshman year of college. She majored in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at UCDavis. Yet, while she was neck-deep in organic chemistry and physics, she kept finding herself writing stories in the back of the classroom about fairies and trolls and magic. She finished her degree, but it never captured her heart the way writing did.
Now she owns her own dog walking business (that’s sort of wildlife related, right?) by day…and afternoon and night…and writes whenever she gets a spare moment. The Microsoft Word app is a gift from the gods!
She alternates mostly between fantasy and mystery (often with a paranormal twist). All her books have some element of “other” to them…witches, ghosts, UFOs. There’s no better way to escape the real world than getting lost in a fictional one.
She lives in Northern California with her very patient boyfriend and way too many pets.
The Forgotten Child is her debut, the first in a paranormal mystery series.

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: Broken Arrow by Azaria M.J. Durant


Broken Arrow
Azaria M.J. Durant
(Darkened Destiny Saga #1)
Publication date: July 29th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
An ancient power long kept dormant stirs in the shadows once more as one boy embarks on a quest to earn his freedom and the freedom of his world!
Magic has turned to myth, the Vaelhyreans of old to legend, and the power wielded by the ancients has long been forgotten. However, with Ealdred, a mere half-breed slave boy, myth becomes real, the forgotten remembered, and the power of legend is reborn within him.
Ealdred is merged into a world of mystery, brimming with deceit, where the remaining Vaelhyreans are in a desperate fight for their very survival. When Ealdred is kidnapped by the power-mongering dark lord Zeldek himself, he must make a choice; to commit his newfound magic to Zeldek’s service or die. But when he meets Bellator, clever yet treacherous servant of Zeldek, an alternative is presented to him: to escape from Zeldek’s stronghold and embark on a quest to find a cursed arrow and free the Vaelhyreans from the spell that keeps their powers at bay.
Yet how can he survive in a world where magic is illegal, half-breeds are hated, and the four countries are on the brink of war?
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EXCERPT:
“That time is already upon us,” the Master stated, rising to his feet. “Many nights now, my gaze has been turned to the stars. The constellations Heroi and Retsu are aligning for the first time in two and a half millennia. Prophecies connote these coming years as the last of mankind. This is the opportunity I have been waiting for. I must not fail!”
His eyes glowed with the passion his words expressed, and murmurs of agreement echoed through the room.
“Our toils have been rewarding and our preparation has been long,” the Master went on. “Yet we must not deceive ourselves into thinking that our position is secure.”
The murmurs fell to silence. The Master had never spoken so freely of such things before. The most this council had ever discussed were the brief updates concerning the progress of each respective country and its assets. There was the occasional new order from The Master, but such a thing was rare, and was always followed by a long, tedious discussion concerning the politics of the task, and thus was never interesting.
“It has been predicted that there is one who has the potential to stand in my way; one who may have the power to end my supreme rule before it has begun.”
“My lord, who could possess the power to rival you?” Valamette asked, bewildered.
The Master lifted his gaze to glare at Valamette from beneath the shadow of his hood. “You of all people should know.”
Understanding dawned on Valamette. He nodded slowly. Bellator glimpsed the other figures, looking to find a shred of understanding among them. But they too turned to look at Valamette, hoping to glean what they could from his bearing.
“The boy, my lord?” he asked.
“Yes,” the Master replied. “The boy.”
Bellator was intrigued. When had a boy ever entered their conversation?
“But my lord, how could he be a problem? Didn’t we do away with him as an infant? How is it possible that he still draws breath?”
“Does it matter how?” the Master snapped. “What matters is that he lives and that he will pose a threat if we aren’t careful to hone his abilities to our favour.”
“I can do it.” Valamette took a breath. “I can kill him, if you wish it. I will not fail you.”
“No!” The Master’s fist slammed on the altar. “If I wanted him dead, I would have let him die! I wouldn’t have kept him safe all this time.”


Author Bio:
Azaria M. J. Durant is a young, passionate writer of fantasy with plans to branch out into sci-fi and dystopian. She enjoys writing stories with action, adventure, unexpected plot twists, and fleshed out characters that challenge gender roles and expectations.
Azaria lives in Atlantic Canada with her family, cats, and dogs, and her big dreams to travel the world. In the moments when she isn’t writing, she is sketching concept art for her stories, participating in community theatre, or curled up with a good book and a bag of mint chocolates.

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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: Unscrewed by Ren Alexander


Unscrewed
Ren Alexander
Publication date: August 14th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Greg Rodwell.
The myth, the man, the legend.
Yeah. I’m none of that crap.
Okay. I’m a man. There’s that much.
Almost everyone calls me Rod, whether I like it or not. I’m the guy others look to for a laugh, a dirty joke, a distraction—the office clown. Even my best friend, Hadley, laughs.
It’s just that, I’m not always laughing. Not even on the inside. Nobody knows the real Greg or the agony I hide with humor. My recently dead sister had a clue, but she’s in no position to blab. I screwed up big time—then and now—but it’s all my undoing. Through everything, Hadley’s been my cure and my curse. And I fell in love with my married best friend. But she wasn’t always married, and I wasn’t always broken.
I had a millisecond of a chance, but I blew it, siding with morality. What guy does that? And sailing that sinking ship all the way down, I sacrificed my wants for her needs. Doing that, I fathered a kid with the office trouser troll. Stupid? Hell to the yes. Because now, regardless of the grand total, I want something I can’t have. Integrity and my sanity be damned.
But nobody, especially Hadley, can know the real Greg Rodwell, my tortured soul, my unashamed love, or my darkest truth, because it wouldn’t just blow her mind.
It would rock our damn world.
EXCERPT:
Do Jewish vampires avoid the Star of David?
Does killing time damage eternity?
Do you need a silencer if you shoot a mime?
Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?
If a person dies and then rises from the dead, do they get a refund for the coffin?
“Did you fall in?”
Widening my eyes at the piss-colored wall tile, I restlessly sigh, dramatizing my annoyance. Can I not get a moment of fucking peace around here? It’s the only place I’m able to ponder life.
“Just taking a piss break, Amos.”
“Could you at least give a courtesy flush?” The fucker laughs, and it echoes midstream while I throw him a middle finger from behind the door. Without seeing him, I know he’s checking out his bald reflection in the mirror, blinding the room.
“I’ll get right on top of that,” I reply like a dial tone as I near the finish line, imagining I’m pissing on his face. He’d probably like that shit, though.
“You know, there are urinals in here.” His pompous voice reverbs, giving me a double dose of his assholery.
“Oh. I thought they were snooty sinks.” I yawn as my actions also echo within the stall. Jackwad.
“Don’t be playing around in there. I need a face-to-face after lunch, so make sure I don’t see more than your face and zip your pants.” He just wants to think of me holding my dick. Perv.
On the third shake, I qualify for playing with myself as I check my watch at the same time. I don’t want to see him when I leave this stall. I guess it’s time for the big guns, so to speak.
Rolling my eyes, I moan—not my greatest moment—and noisily suck air between my teeth, praying to God nobody else walks in right now. With a loud, stuttered sigh, I give the fourth shake, grinning to myself. I hear his jaw, and his disbelief hit the sink. Don’t fuck with me, comrade. You’re no match for me.
Amos mutters, “Okay. Okay. Just stop. I was only kidding. I’m leaving. My office in 30.”
“Yes, Obi-None.”
Because Amos Vaughn is so transparent, I know he’s squinting his eyes at me from the other side of the door, unsure of how to respond. Lacking comeback skills, he heaves his brawny body into the door, at the mercy of my patience. “It’s 29 minutes now, Rod.”
Rod. Yeah. That’s me. I used to be just Greg Rodwell. A nickname given to me by a former coworker troll has transcended even her tenure here. Now, most of my coworkers and my godforsaken boss call me it. Though, that’s the tamest version of names the bitchtress used to call me, giving that my middle name is Richard. Draw your own conclusions. Sometimes I’m still Greg at work, but not often and only by a select few. I’ll never escape Rod while working here. I’ve accepted it. I just hate the source.
I’ve also accepted that I’m the office clown, making everyone laugh. In reality, I should be a goddamn marvel for the services I provide since most of my coworkers are garbage humans. I’ve crafted my distance, deflecting with my carefully sculpted wit, aged to perfection in oak barrels for nearly 29 years—an undiluted, rye wit, you could say. That’s my superpower. Fuck me. I need a job at a distillery.
Tucking myself and my shirt back into my pants, I kick at the handle. Emerging from the stall as I buckle my belt, the sound of the flushing toilet swirls the Amos-free room just as Crick Scanlon enters. I instantly grin. With his Caesar haircut, circa George Clooney 1996, this particular coworker is a favorite of mine. Maybe it’s because he’s the Arctic opposite and doesn’t outwit, allowing me to polish my skills. To those who don’t know him, he has a wallpaper-paste personality. That’s their loss. Because of his eerie quietness and formalness, his rare laughter is a goldmine. He takes anything I lob at him. Crick is the coloring book to my bucket of crayons. I aim to shock the hell out of him, making him laugh or gape in horror, which, coincidentally, is how my mother often looks at me on any given day. “Hey, Crock. Get fucked last night?”
His face reddens faster than a novice ass at a BDSM club. He looks at the wall with an expression like I just kicked him in the liver. “Uh, no. Um…you?”
My grin doesn’t falter even as I go for a depressing lie. “You know it. All night. Every night.” He’s a decent-looking guy. He could probably find a date if he tried. I’m pretty sure he’s gay like Amos, not that they’re dating each other. That would be fucking disturbing. Crick deserves way better. Not Amos Vaughn. He’s a sick fuck.
Crick makes an effort to not look at me. I dig his awkwardness, so I grab a bigger shovel. “If you’re like me, I bet you’re a beast in the sack.” When he looks at my hands working my buckle, I tease, “I’m not doing no replay of last night for you.” He swallows loud, gaping at me. Bingo. “Just yanking your chain, Crack. Calm down.” I laugh when he looks at the ceiling, still quiet. “Maybe I can help you find a date. What’s your type?”
“I’m not really into dating right now.”
Finished with my belt, I go for the sink. While washing my hands, I watch Crick scratching his arm through an unnecessary sweater for the early October weather. “Come on now. I know a sex fiend is hiding beneath that submissive exterior.” Images of him being collared at one of those clubs make me flinch at my own reflection.
He shrugs as I catch a surprising quirk of his lip in the mirror. “I’m boring, Greg. I don’t have much luck as you do, especially with a certain coworker.” Goddamn it. Don’t say her name.
The sudsy water swirling in the sink temporarily enthralls me, so I don’t have to see either of our expressions. “Uh… She’s… We’re—”
“Shasta?”
Looking up at the mirror, I glare at both of us. Shit. Joke’s on me.
Shasta. Enough said.
Actually, no. I have plenty I want to say about that meat sock. I wish I could blame Shasta for what we did, but I was the one who went to her. It was a last-ditch effort to forget my life for the night. And shit did I do things with Shasta I’m not proud of, not that I wouldn’t do them again. Just not with her. And thanks to a busted condom, I’m glued to her. Enjoy that mental image.
Grabbing a paper towel, my smile shrinks faster than my dick earlier, feigning jerking off for Amos. “Never.”
“Well, Greg, I mean, you do have a daughter with her.”
Shooting my wad—not that kind—into the trash, I try to laugh, but I’m still caught off guard by his unusual commentary. “No. Yeah. I meant, never again, not even if hell froze over, melted, caught fire, and then froze again. Damn, Crick. You know how to destroy a guy’s day.”
He clears his throat as he inches toward a urinal. “I didn’t intend to. I’m sorry. I thought since you were joking around, I needed to engage.”
“Jesus Christ. What a day for you to grow a vagina.”
I return to the mirror, adjusting the Windsor knot of my Storm Trooper tie while he says, “Um, right. Well…” Through the mirror I see him staring at the urinal, and I’m half expecting him to start singing In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel. I never said he wasn’t peculiar.
I snort. “You need a bathroom pass or an engraved invitation?”
He slightly smiles. I’ll take that as a win. “No. I was just…”
“I’m just busting your balls.” Crick looks away from me, and I feel super awkward now for saying that. “Uh, right. Anyway, enjoy. Not too much. There’re some sick bastards working here.” Why can’t I just shut the fuck up? As I leave, I hear his quiet laugh. There’s that, at least.
When I reach the hallway, I’m ticked for now thinking of Shasta. I guess talking to Crick does have its drawbacks.
Taking a left, I steer clear of my office since it’s attached to Amos’. I’m not ready for that follicle-challenged psycho again yet.
Approaching the open door, I hear a familiar voice. Stopping in the doorway and leaning against the frame, I straighten my tie and cross my arms.
She looks my way with a bright smile as she talks. I don’t know how she does it, but I grin back at her. It’s a requirement.
Hadley.
My favorite person.
Well, I guess next to my infant daughter and my older sister, Eden, but to be fair, my daughter is new in town, and my sister is dead.
I watch Hadley move as she talks. I’m always watching her.
Hadley and I have been BFFs since I started working as a paralegal at the law offices of Rhodes, Dryden, Charleton & Associates over three years ago. Only that long? It feels like I’ve been rotting here for a century and a half.
Hadley turns her attention back to her computer screen as she nods. Her honey-brown ponytail dances along while I stare, and I can’t help but do that, even though I have no right. When she laughs, my gaze drops to her bouncing tits, larger than they used to be only months ago. Her left hand goes to her chest, and her sapphire and diamond rings catch the overhead light, blinding me while reminding me. I didn’t give her those rings, but I may as well have with the lengths I went to get them on her finger.


Author Bio:
Ren Alexander was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. She graduated from West Liberty University, where she received a B.S. in criminal justice. Although interested in that field, her true passion was reading and writing. She currently lives in Detroit, Michigan with her husband, two daughters, and two cats.
Ren's novel, "The Keys to Jericho," was chosen as an "Official Selection" in the Romance category of Apple Literary's 2017 Annual Book Awards.





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Friday, August 17, 2018

Guest Post & Giveaway: Torn by Mia Kerick


Torn
Mia Kerick
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Genres: LGBTQ+, Romance, Young Adult
Vinny Bucci and Tommy Stecker are almost cousins—their mothers call themselves “sisters of the heart,” so that sort of makes them cousins, doesn’t it? Since childhood, they’ve shared holidays and Sunday services and their passion for soccer. But now they’re eighteen, high school seniors, and what has always been devoted friendship—the next best thing to family—has started to feel like something else. Something more….
Unfortunately, the Steckers can’t accept their son’s same-sex romance, and upon recognizing the teens’ mutual attraction, they push Tommy into dating a girl from church, then compel him to attend a Christian College far away from Vinny’s school. The Buccis and the Steckers—once a family of choice—clash over what’s right and go their separate ways.
Forced into separation, Vinny and Tommy are both devastated, but while Vinny hardens his heart to love, halfway across the country Tommy becomes emotionally and physically ill. Their passion for each other hasn’t diminished, let alone died, but they lose contact, and for the first time in their lives learn what it is to live with a broken heart.
Will Tommy and Vinny find their way back to each other, or will they accept the rules dictated by family and try to live severed lives, their love forever unfulfilled?
A Mature Young Adult Romance
GUEST POST by MIA KERICK:
Hello. I’m Mia Kerick, and I’m here with my first in a series of YA/NA “story ballads.” This one is called TORN.
According to Wikipedia…
New adult (NA) fiction, also rendered as new-adult fiction, is a developing genre of fiction with protagonists in the 18–30 age bracket.[1] St. Martin’s Press first coined the term in 2009, when they held a special call for “…fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an ‘older YA’ or ‘new adult'”.[2] New adult fiction tends to focus on issues such as leaving home, developing sexuality, and negotiating education and career choices…
In its short life, NA fiction has had its ups and downs. Some writers/publishers don’t see it as a valid genre. Others find it to be a much-needed category. Lauren Sarner, in her article The Problem with New Adult books, states “New Adult is a label that is condescending to readers and authors alike. It implies that the books act as training wheels between Young Adult and Adult. For the New Adult books that are particularly childish, the label implies that they are a step above Young Adult—which is insulting to the Young Adult books that are far superior. For the New Adult books that are particularly sophisticated, the label implies that they are not worthy of being considered ‘adult.’ It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone.”

I think NA is an important developing, and hopefully not disappearing, genre, as there are topics, which when dealt with in full detail, are not entirely appropriate for a YA audience. There is also a difference in attitude. Teens who have are sharing their first kiss, experiencing a parental divorce, or experimenting with alcohol for the first time, have a different voice than those who are going off to live on their own to discover who they are when high school ends. In particular, there is a lot more sex in NA books, and the details are more descriptive. But this is where the genre seems to have hit a wall, in my opinion. According to my study of the Amazon Hot New Releases and Best Sellers lists, New Adult has largely turned into a genre that is centered around stories of sexual escapades. (Check out the lists and you’ll see what I mean.)

So when I wrote a novel that truly deals with more mature YA subjects and the transition from high school to college—living as “adults” for the first time—deciding upon a category is challenging. If I go with YA, I run the risk of offering more descriptive fact and detail than 13-18-year-olds need. If I choose New Adult, reader expectations have largely shifted away from “older YA” as it was originally intended, to be stories of a primarily sexual nature.
I’ve put a great deal of consideration into the choice between YA and NA, when it comes to my novella, Torn. As the story begins, Vinny and Tommy are high school seniors. The plot takes them through their final year of high school and into college. And certainly, in the novel they confirm their sexualities and experience passionate moments with each other, but that is not the only thrust of the book. The primary theme is of separating from family—not just physically, but emotionally. The young men go out into the world and develop their adult identities. They deal with being truly alone for the first time, religious conflict, and parental expectations. They make choices that adults make—ones that cause huge disruption and long-term change in their lives.
In the end, I chose to categorize the book as a Mature YA Romance. I placed this in the blurb so those who are selecting a book will realize that it isn’t about a first kiss or fitting in at their high school. The topics are a somewhat more mature, though not out of the scope of YA lit. But my main reason for choosing YA is because of the voice. The two main characters, who are the narrators, possess a YA voice for a great portion of the book.
I hope you check out my Mature YA Story Ballad, Torn, meet Vinny and Tommy, and explore the challenges they face as they journey toward love.


Author Bio:
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another a professional dancer, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son off to Syracuse. (Yes, there is Atlantic Coast Conference rivalry within the family.) She publishes LGBTQ romances when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. Now she publishes her work—it’s an alternate place to stash her stories.
Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, a First Place Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, a First Place Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly Award for YA Fiction, among others.
Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology. Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com or visit at www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: How to Breathe Underwater by Vicky Skinner


How to Breathe Underwater
Vicky Skinner
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 14th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Kate’s father has been pressuring her to be perfect for her whole life, pushing her to be the best swimmer she can be. But when Kate finds her dad cheating on her mom, Kate’s perfect world comes crashing down, and Kate is forced to leave home and the swim team she’s been a part of her whole life.
Now in a new home, new school, and faced with the prospect of starting over, Kate isn’t so sure that swimming is what she wants anymore. But when she decides to quit, her whole world seems to fall apart. But when Kate gets to know Michael, the cute boy that lives across the hall, she starts to think that starting over might not be so bad. There’s only one problem: Michael has a girlfriend.
As the pressures of love, family, and success press down on her, can Kate keep her head above water?



EXCERPT:
In Salem, every Sunday morning had been the same: a hard swim at sunup with Dad, Mooney’s Café for a recovery meal of pancakes and eggs, and a walk along the river in the late-morning sun.
This was our first Sunday in a long time without Dad, and it showed in the bags under my mother’s eyes.
“I’m off to locate the trash chute,” she said, picking up a bag of garbage.
“Why don’t I take it?” I asked, leaving my breakfast behind to take the bag from her.
She gave a little sigh. “Are you sure?”
“Yeah, no problem.”
I was still in my pajamas, a T-shirt and Superman boxers, but I grabbed the bag anyway. I’d just made it to the front door when I saw the planner lying open on the entry table. I recognized it immediately. Every season, my father put my meets, practices, and workouts in a planner so I wouldn’t get behind. Pages and pages of swim-related activities. My mother must have found it in a box somewhere. I glanced over my shoulder at her. She was digging through a box in the kitchen, pulling out towels and pot holders. I reached out and snatched the planner off the table before opening the door.
I was standing hopelessly in the hallway with no clue where the trash chute was when the door directly across from me opened and someone joined me in the narrow hallway.
It took me a second to place the boy in front of me as the same boy I’d seen in the parking garage the day before, the one leaning over the woman with the bad lungs. Dark, messy hair that might have been styled to look that way or might have been subject to nervous fingers; dark eyes, the color of which I couldn’t decipher with the length of the hall between us; the sleeves of his shirt bunched up around his elbows.
I wanted to ask him if his mom was okay, or maybe ask him his name, but I saw his eyes go first to my boxers and then to my garbage bag.
“Can you tell me where the trash chute is?”
He pointed to the end of the hall. “Take a left and then a right. Last door on the left.”
“Thanks.”
I hauled the garbage bag up but paused when he said, “Nice boxers.”
Like an idiot, I said nothing. I just turned in the direction he’d indicated. At the end of the hall, before I rounded the corner, I couldn’t stop myself from glancing over my shoulder for one last glimpse. He stood by the elevator, the button illuminated, and then he glanced over his shoulder, too, his eyes meeting mine across the hallway.
I looked away quickly, turning the corner. I almost forgot I had the planner in my hand when I pulled the door open to toss the trash in. The bag fell from my hand, and I looked down at the planner. It contained my entire life. Everything I was expected to do, everywhere I was expected to be. But now it was just as much trash as the expired food I’d thrown down. A new place meant a new swim schedule.
I pulled open the chute again and tossed the planner in.


Author Bio:
Born and raised in Texas, I don’t act like much of a Texan. I like cold weather and hate country music. I have a gorgeous husband, two dogs, and a Literature degree from the University of Texas at Dallas. If I’m not at home reading a book or doing laundry, I’m probably at the bookstore, nannying three rambunctious boys, or stuck on the side of the road with car trouble. I’m a reader, a writer, and a bit of a crazy person.


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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop (US)

Welcome to the Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds!
Here's what you can win:

One winner will receive my copy of Just Listen by Sarah Dessen.
Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything" — at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.
This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.
Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.
RULES
Ends August 30th, 2018 (EST)
Only one winner.
No Cheating.
All entries WILL BE VERIFIED.
US Only
I am not responsible for items lost or damaged in the mail.

GOOD LUCK!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Rainy Days Book Club

GUYS!
I started a book club.
Anyone can join!

Yeah, I'm lookin' at you introvert.
It's online.
You can join too! ;)


Excerpt & Giveaway: Surviving Adam Meade by Shannon Klare


Surviving Adam Meade
Shannon Klare
(Surviving Adam Meade, #1)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 14th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Seventeen-year-old Claire Collins has a plan: get into college and leave North Carolina behind. What she doesn’t have is an idea for how to get rid of the local football star and womanizer extraordinaire—Adam Meade, who she can’t even avoid (despite many efforts), because Claire’s dad is the high school football coach.
Seventeen-year-old Adam Meade never fails. He always gets what he wants… until he meets Claire, the new girl who leaves him unnerved, pissed off, and confused. But there’s something about her that he just can’t resist…
With the bite of lemon meringue pie and the sugar of sweet tea, Surviving Adam Meade is a sexy and compelling young adult novel about two strong-willed people who think they know what they want but have no idea what they need.


EXCERPT:
“I’m telling you she likes me more than you,” I said, noshing on a cookie. “You can deny it all you want, but I’m cooler. These cookies prove it.”
“Those were my cookies, and you stole them.” Adam pulled his truck down Tate’s road, nothing but darkness and stars visible from the windows. “Besides,” he said, “it was a test recipe for some guy she met at the VFW dance. She gave you the crappy batch and left the good ones on the stove.”
“Someone sounds bitter,” I said. I bit into another chocolate chip and sighed. “So, Wanda has a boyfriend?”
“Wanda has someone calling her up,” Adam answered. “Wouldn’t say they’re serious. They’ve bonded over Scrabble Club, but I think he’s faking. The guy probably hates Scrabble. He seems like a domino lover.”
“Old people scandals. The horror.”
He gave me a look, one somewhere between amusement and annoyance. “Don’t make me pull this truck over, Claire Collins. I’m likely to throw you into the Macks’ pond. You’ll be the town’s newest ice statue.”
“And I’ll die of hypothermia and come back to haunt you.”
“Or you’ll have to strip and cuddle with me for body warmth,” he replied. “It’ll be a life or death thing. I’ll totally help you out.”
“Do you ever think with your upper head?”
“Yes, but it’s rare.” I shoved him and he pointed a finger at me. “That’s called distracting the driver, sweetheart.”
“Call me sweetheart one more time and I’ll—” “Kiss me senseless, then blame me for your unprovoked actions?” “You’d like that too much.”
“I definitely wouldn’t complain.” I rolled my eyes, and he laughed. “Just saying, there’s still a good mile between us and Tate’s house. We’ve got time, and I know the back roads. If my truck accidentally gets stuck . . .”
I shook my head. That would be like Adam to know the back roads. He probably used them for all the wrong reasons and would get stuck on purpose.
“You’re considering it, aren’t you?” he asked.
“Nope,” I answered. “I already told Riley we’d be there soon, and I’m not the kind of girl who ditches her friends for a guy. You want my time, you’ll have to take a number.”
Adam’s jaw dropped as he pulled the truck to a stop. “Take a number?” he replied.
“You could be number two?”
“Number two?” he said, taking the keys out of the ignition. “I’m sorry. Number two won’t do.”



Author Bio:
Shannon Klare is a southern housewife, born and raised in Texas. When she isn’t writing or daydreaming new plots, Shannon is a reality TV fanatic and movie connoisseur. Surviving Adam Meade is her debut novel.






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Monday, August 13, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: When Time Stands Still by Sara Furlong Burr


When Time Stands Still
Sara Furlong Burr
Publication date: June 15th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
It’s been nearly a decade since Elle Sloan last saw Luke Hutchins. Close to ten years since she broke up with him over a single phone call, providing him with little explanation. Since the end of their relationship, Elle has done everything she could do to move on, marrying, proceeding forward with her life, almost allowing herself to completely forget about Luke.
Almost.
Out of nowhere, Elle receives a phone call from Luke’s mother. Luke has been in a horrific car accident and, a month later, has just awoken from a coma. However, instead of celebrating, his family is stunned to learn that Luke is suffering from amnesia and only remembers his life as it was before his breakup with Elle. Not wanting to tell Luke that he and Elle aren’t together anymore for fear it may compromise his recovery, Elle is asked by Luke’s family to come to the hospital to see him. Their hope is that she will slowly be able to jog his memory and cushion the blow.
Guilt-ridden over how their relationship ended, Elle readily agrees, finding herself transported back in time with Luke to the life they once shared and the future they could have had together.


EXCERPT:
I heard voices even before I stepped inside of the room. They were soft, but one by one, I was able to discern who was speaking. The first voice struck me like a freight train, catapulting me further back in time with each word he spoke. The second one made my heart skip a beat.

As I walked farther into the room, I saw another vision of my past sitting next to the hospital bed. His attention, at first, was entirely focused on the occupant in the bed, until movement from me diverted his attention to me. He locked eyes with me, surprise on his face quickly turning to an odd combination of contradiction. Anger, excitement, and suspicion all appeared to be waging war and were enough to give me whiplash just looking at him. Peter Monroe—or just Monroe, as he preferred to be called—had been Luke’s best friend since pretty much the dawn of each other’s existence. He’d aged. His boyish good looks had hardened into a man who would have been difficult to recognize to me, save for the same square chin, overly large nose, and mischievous eyes I had remembered so fondly.

Another step inside the room revealed a sight I had fought valiantly to keep from infiltrating my dreams for the last several years. Like Monroe, he didn’t notice my arrival at first, and I was grateful for that because the shock I was feeling at that moment would have undoubtedly transferred onto him. His head was turned, his eyes, from what I could see of them, were closed. Most of his features were facing Monroe, but from what little I could make out of them, he looked exactly how I remembered him. The rest of his body, however, was a different story.

His hair had begun to grow back after having obviously been recently shaved to prep him for surgery. On the side of his head that was visible to me, a bandage was secured to his scalp just above his ear and was wrapped around his head. Both of his legs had been broken and were secured with immobilizers, resembling large boots. He’d been through hell and back physically, and I feared he’d soon go through the same emotionally, all because of me.

Tears fell down my face before I even had the chance to realize they had formed. Not wanting Luke to see me upset, I dabbed my eyes with my sleeve and did my best to maintain my composure before he realized I was there. With a lump in my throat, I took a step closer to the bed, approaching it on the opposite side of Monroe. There another chair sat, which I was grateful for in the event my legs felt like they were going to give out on me. Monroe sat watching me expectantly, silently screaming at me to announce my presence and put an end to the torment Luke must have been going through since regaining consciousness.

Closing my eyes, I took a breath and spoke. “Luke.”


Author Bio:
Sara “Furlong” Burr was born and raised in Michigan and currently still lives there with her husband, two daughters, a high-strung Lab, and three judgmental cats. When she’s not writing, Sara enjoys reading, camping, spending time with her family, and attempting to paint while consuming more amaretto sours than she cares to admit.

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: In Too Deep by Dani Collins


In Too Deep
Dani Collins
(Blue Spruce Lodge #3)
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
The family he didn’t know he needed…
At her wit’s end with her twelve-year-old niece, Wren Snow takes the manager’s job at Blue Spruce Lodge so Sky can get to know her father, Trigg Johanssen—a tycoon snowboarder with a playboy reputation.
Gold-medalist Trigg Johanssen is furious she kept Sky a secret, but quits competition to focus on his newly discovered daughter only to have his chemistry with Wren complicate their attempts to co-parent.
When outside forces threaten the ski resort he’s rebuilding, a marriage of convenience seems like the answer. It would give his daughter the life she deserves, but is it too much for a heartbroken woman still nursing past hurts?
EXCERPT:
SETUP: Wren has just arrived at Blue Spruce Lodge with her niece, Skylar. Sky wanted to meet her father, Trigg—a man who had NO IDEA he was a father until Wren showed up a month ago and revealed her sister had kept his baby.
~ * ~
Wren drew a deep breath of the clean mountain air, closing her eyes and letting the sunshine bathe her face. Construction noises sounded in the distance. Birdsong overlaid it with the pulse of rap music and a sudden, sharp whistle.
She opened her eyes and Oh. She started to flush with self-conscious heat even before she fully registered that Trigg Johansson was coming out of the lane and walking toward her. Her brain said, Hot man alert, then she recognized him and a fresher, more startling rush of sexual awareness went through her.
Déjà vu all over again. Damn it.
When she had arrived here in May, he had been sitting in a small, open-topped ATV kind of vehicle right here where she was standing. He’d been talking to another man who’d given her a friendly nod.
She might have said, “Hi.” She honestly couldn’t remember because her brain had been exploding.
Trigg had given her a wolfish look that she had felt in the pit of her belly. She had recognized him, having stalked him online, but even as she had met his gaze with hysterical disbelief, her girl-parts had scanned the mouth-watering selection and ordered the full buffet.
That’s why she had chickened out on speaking to him directly. She had gone inside, ears ringing with her pounding heart. He’d been gone when she walked outside again.
By then, she had secured a tentative job offer and the knowledge that her life would never be the same.
She had dreaded seeing him after that. Not just because she’d seen firsthand that he was a player. Of course he was a player. He had knocked up her sister when he was seventeen. He probably had a whole flock of Skylars out there.
But who could blame Mandy or any of the women he’d conquered? He was built like a god and moved like a cat, as though he knew how to use each of his muscles exactly as intended. He wore jeans and a T-shirt today and had light stubble the same color as his dark brows. His hair had been in a man-bun the last time she saw him. Today it was shaved into business on the sides, rumpled bedhead on top. His eyes were a sharp, mountain-lake blue, his smile flat and tense. Forced.
That vaguely hostile, hard expression made her heart slip and judder while her limbs felt loose and lubricated.
The way he had smiled at her the first time had been very inviting and approving.
The second time, when they’d all met in a lawyer’s office for twenty minutes, he’d worn a suit and hadn’t smiled at all.
She wasn’t able to find a smile right now. She was standing here like a virgin on her wedding night, throat dry, waiting for him to come to her.
Something nudged her in the crotch, scaring the shit out of her.
“Oh my God!” She jerked back and clipped her hip on the driver’s side mirror. Pain streaked through her hip bone while she scrabbled for balance by grasping at the warm roof of the car.
“Murphy. Sit.” Trigg stopped behind her taillight and snapped his fingers by his thigh.
The dog let his haunches drop, but stayed in front of her, tail swirling like an electric beater, sweeping through bits of gravel on the concrete. His pink tongue lolled out of his black-lipped mouth and he cocked his head at her. His ears and face were black, but he had a white stripe that came down between his eyes. The stripe ended in speckles above his black nose. There were more speckles on his white chest and legs. Border collie and heeler maybe, with Labrador eyes that offered instant and eternal love.
“Quite the welcoming committee.” She smoothed her hand down the short, silky fur on his hard head.
“We usually charge extra for that, but since you’re a VIP…” Trigg shoved his hands into the front pockets of his jeans. She could tell they were curled into fists. The mask of tension across his face bore an eerie resemblance to the one stonewalling in the passenger seat of her car.


Author Bio:
USA Today Bestselling author, winner of 2013 Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times Book Reviews
Before making my first sale to Harlequin Mills & Boon in 2012, I spent two decades writing and submitting to every publisher with a transom while holding down a day job and raising a family with my high school sweet heart. Since then, I’ve gone to contract on over thirty books.
While Harlequin Presents remains my first love, I also write romantic comedy, medieval fantasy romance, erotic romance, and small town contemporary romance for Tule Publishing’s Montana Born. In fact, I write just about anything, so long as it’s romance. P.S. I’m also Canadian.

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Review: Looking For Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska
Cover Source: GoodReads
Title: Looking For Alaska
Author: John Green
Version Reviewed: Finished Paperback.
Website: www.johngreenbooks.com
I purchased this book myself.

GoodReads Synopsis:
Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .
After. Nothing is ever the same.

Review:
This is only my second John Green book but I fell in love with his work as I was reading The Fault In Our Stars. I knew that this author would be one that would become and insta-buy for me and I couldn't wait to dig into his other works.

When I first learned about Looking For Alaska, I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew, like with Green's other works, that this would be a story that would touch me but I didn't know it what way. As I began reading, I found myself immediately sucked into the world of Culver Creek and it's various personalities and events.

The characters are what draw you in. There were so many different personalities and they were so realistic that I could literally match them up with people that I knew in school. The Colonel was the perfect doppleganger of a boy that I knew in college and I pictured that boy throughout the entire book as that character. It was amazing how easy the characters were to imagine and fall in love with, even in their flaws. Actually, their flaws are what make them human and so easy to connect with.

As for the events of the book, I figured out pretty quickly what Before and After meant but I was still in shock when the transition came. I felt so hard for Pudge and The Colonel that it truly made me sad for their characters. I empathized with them on such a level that I found myself wanting to reach into the book and try to make things better for them.

I am so happy that I read Looking For Alaska and it all but solidified the idea that John Green is an amazing writer. I absolutely cannot wait to dig into more of his stories.

Rating: 5 Stars

Excerpt & Giveaway: Educating Sophia by Alexis James


Educating Sophia
Alexis James
(The Moran Family #5)
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I’m not a stalker.
I’m not. I promise.
College has given Sophia Moran the independence she craves. She has her own apartment, makes her own choices, and generally lives by her own set of rules.
She also has a very, very big secret.
Caleb Bonham is attracted to his young assistant, though he’s well-aware he shouldn’t be. He certainly doesn’t need to get involved in a forbidden affair with a student. He certainly shouldn’t get involved with her.
Sophia sees a kindred spirit in Caleb, but convincing him to give them a chance is more difficult than she realizes. Beneath his gruff exterior, is a warm, passionate man who sees only the best in her; a man she could easily love. A man, she believes, could be her forever.
This is the final book in the 5-part Moran Family series.
EXCERPT:
Prologue
February
I’m not a stalker.
I’m not. I promise.
Peering around buildings, hiding behind trees, hoping I’ll catch a glimpse of him as he walks to his car or to the faculty building … it’s so out of character for me, but that certainly hasn’t stopped me from watching him—daily, I might add—for the entire school year.
I drop my backpack onto the grass and plop down next to it, putting in my earbuds. Music is a good distraction from the voices in my head reminding me that I need to be studying for a midterm. Those same voices also call me a stalker and tell me how out of control I’ve become.
It was not my intention to fall headlong into Stalkersville. Truth be told, there was nothing intentional at all. It was as if some unknown entity, an act of Mother Nature perhaps, steered me in his direction—something like lightning, thunder, possibly even an earthquake that swept me off my feet.
I saw him.
And I fell.
I fell hard. Painfully, all-in, no turning back.
Grimacing at my incredible idiocy, I dig around in my backpack for my notebook and a pen, watching out of the corner of my eye just in case he should decide to leave early today. How sick am I that I know his schedule, his patterns, his movements? I should. I’ve followed him long enough to know a whole lot of things: I know he carries a worn, leather briefcase—the same dark brown as the shoes he wears more often than the black ones; I know he prefers his herringbone jacket over the solid one he wears once in a while.
I know he rarely smiles. And when he does, it looks pained … and forced.
I know he drives a fancy, expensive car in a slate gray color that matches some of the streaks running through his wavy hair. I know he prefers to nod instead of speak and that he moves swiftly, eyes straight forward as if he can part the sea of students with his only his gaze.
I know he’s beautiful. Hauntingly beautiful.
I know that his eyes are sometimes green, sometimes blue, and sometimes gray, depending on what he’s wearing—and his mood. I know I could get lost in them, if given the chance.
I know he’s untouchable.
I know he used live in California and that he moved here the beginning of the school year. I know that you can find out a lot of personal information on the internet. I know I prefer him with a bit of scruff on his regal chin, but the beard he’s been growing for a few weeks looks sexy as hell too. I know I’ve never liked men with beards. Until he came along.
The air around me crackles with awareness and right on cue, the building door is shoved open. He walks out onto the stone steps, squinting at the bright afternoon sunshine, briefcase in his right hand and his phone in the left, pressed to his ear. His harsh scowl tells its own story; he’s pissed, irritated and impatient with the person on the other end of the line.
I know he’s like that most of the time.
With one more curt word that I cannot hear, he shoves the phone into his jacket pocket and begins to move with purpose, striding right past me without any acknowledgement. Not that I expect it. He never sees me, not like I want him to. He doesn’t even know I exist. I’m simply one of many nameless faces at this school where I’m a student and he’s a teacher.
What a cliché, I muse as my eyes follow him until he disappears from sight. It’s not like I haven’t tried to stop, I have. Many, many, many times. But then he passes me in the hall, and he might nod or just lock eyes with me for a brief second or two, and when that happens I’m convinced there’s something more going on between us. Sure, maybe I’m the only one who feels it, but it’s there nonetheless.
Or at least that’s what I tell myself.





Author Bio:
Alexis James lives on the beautiful Central California coast. When she’s not spending time with her hubby of almost 30 years or her amazing kids, you can find her tapping away on the computer. She loves reading, spending time with family, reading, camping, reading….and writing too! She enjoys a good date night, an inexpensive glass of wine, and any story that can make her smile and/or cry.
Alexis’s first novel, “Losing Faith”, was released in September 2014. Her second novel, “Loving Emma”, is a standalone, though it does feature some characters from “Losing Faith”.
She invites you to visit her author pages on Facebook and Goodreads, and her website: alexisjamesauthor.com. You can also follow her on Twitter (@alexisjames27) or you can email her at: alexisjamesauthor@gmail.com.

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: Someone I Used To Know byPatty Blount


It’s been two years since the night that changed Ashley's life and two years of hell for Derek. When it all comes to a head at Thanksgiving, will these siblings be able to salvage their relationship? From the award-winning author of Some Boys comes an unflinching examination of rape culture that delves into a family torn apart by sexual assault.


Title: Someone I Used To Know
Author: Patty Blount
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Digital eBook / Print
Digital ISBN: B07C933LP6
Print ISBN: 9781492632818


Synopsis:

It’s been two years since the night that changed Ashley’s life. Two years since she was raped by her brother's teammate. And a year since
she sat in a court and watched as he was given a slap on the wrist sentence. But the years have done nothing to stop the pain.

It’s been two years of hell for Derek. His family is totally messed up and he and his sister are barely speaking. He knows he handled it all wrong. Now at college, he has to come to terms with what happened, and the rape culture that he was inadvertently a part of that destroyed his sister's life.

When it all comes to a head at Thanksgiving, Derek and Ashley have to decide if their relationship is able to be saved. And if their family can ever be whole again.

Add to your TBR list: Goodreads

Excerpt:
Copyright© 2018 Someone I Used To Know
Patty Blount

This novel is a companion story to my award-winning SOME BOYS. In this scene, Ian Russell, one of the main characters in Some Boys, meets Derek Lawrence in SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW.
~*~


Derek

A knot forms in my gut, a thick and oily clot of guilt. I sink on to the first bench I spot, clutching my middle and trying like hell not to puke. Damn it, I wish to hell I’d beaten the snot out of Victor Patton.
Came close to it.
“Hey, man.”
I twitch and find some guy sitting beside me. No idea where he came from. He’s older than I am, but not by much. Mid-twenties, maybe? Dark hair, dark eyes, some serious muscle.
I nod and shift away, willing my stomach to settle down.
“I’m gonna say something to you,” the guy says. “And you can tell me to buzz off, or you can listen. I see you sitting here, green around the gills, gripping one of those rally flyers, and see a look on your face I know well.”
I shift back to study him. He meets my gaze without flinching, and there’s something in his tone that tells me he’s not kidding.
“Somebody you love got assaulted,” he says, and before I can say anything—before I can even think of something to say—he adds, “Me too.”
I stare at him in disbelief. Are we supposed to do some kind of male bonding over rape...some sort of weird bro hug and then share our feelings? That kink in my gut unclenches, and my breakfast comes up and out. I manage to turn away before I ruin this guy’s day and spew
into the bushes behind the bench. It takes a few minutes. When I’m finally empty and want to crawl into the gutter to die, the guy shoves a bottle of water into my field of vision.
“Take it. Keep it.”
Grateful, I crack the seal, chug, and rinse out my mouth. Then I take a nice gulp, sit back on the bench, and wipe my mouth. “Thanks,” I offer a few minutes later, when I’m sure I’m not dying.
“Yeah, no big.”
There’s a long pause. “Girlfriend?” he asks after a minute. And it takes me another minute to figure out he’s asking who I know that got raped. I shake my head.
“Sister.”
“Oh, man. I’m sorry.”
I only nod. What else is there to say? In silence, we watch the perky girl with the clipboard chase down two guys on Rollerblades to sign up for the rally.
He snorts out a laugh. “That girl has some serious fun attitude.”
I laugh, too. “That’s an oxymoron, no?”
Shrugging, he says, “Maybe. Never could keep those lit terms straight.”
That makes me wonder about him. “You’re not a student?”
“No,” he admits. “I graduated a few years ago. Degree in engineering. I work in the city now.”
“So what are you doing here?”
He sighs and looks back to the quad where Perky Girl’s got another pair of guys on the hook for rally duty. “Over there. Under the Rock Stock tent. Black boots.”
I scan the area, find the tent, and see a bunch of people under it. But the black boots do it for me. The girl is hot, like off-the- charts hot. Long wild hair, dark sunglasses, jeans, and a black shirt that’s held together with a series of metal rings. She looks like the lead singer from some hard rock band.
“Oh! I’m sorry. Was she—”
“Yeah. Back in high school. By my friend. At a party she only went to because she hoped I’d be there.”
“I'm sorry.” I sigh.
“I came over here to talk to you because you looked like— well, like a guy about to puke.”
My face gets hot. I swallow another gulp of water and look away. But I can’t deny I’m curious. “How do you...” Deal with it? Avoid killing the guy who did it? I wave my hand, trying to fill in that blank but coming up empty.
He angles his head, studying me. “Get over my guilt?”
Okay. That works, too.
He takes another look at the girl in the black boots and shrugs.
“Still working on it. Being here is part of it. She’s doing the keynote speech at the rally. Took me a while, but I finally figured out that therapy’s not so bad, either.”
My parents wanted us all to go to therapy, but I said no way. Maybe that was a mistake. “Can I ask you something?”
The guy nods.
I swallow more water. “You ever say something you can’t take back? Something that made her hate you.”
He grins and rolls his eyes. “God, yes. I can’t watch a Star Wars movie without wanting to kick my own ass.”
“Huh?”
He waves a hand. “Long story. I was a real dick to her, embarrassing her in front of my friends so they wouldn’t turn on me. She forgave me. Somewhere along the line, I figured out how to forgive myself so I could be the man she deserves.”
Forgive myself. That’s exactly what Brittany said. I consider that for a couple of minutes and then shake my head. “I gotta go.” I stand up. “Thanks for the water and for—” I wave a hand. “You know.”
“Yeah. No problem. Hope we see you at the rally. Trust me, she’s something.” He jerks a thumb toward the girl in the black boots, and I don’t doubt him for a second.
“Yeah. Maybe.”
He extends a hand. “Ian.”
I shake it. “Derek,” I say. “Thanks again.”
“Here.” He fishes through his pockets and comes out with a business card. “My cell number. I can help. If you want.”
I take off, tucking the card into my pocket along with the blue-and-white flyer. I don’t even know why I’m keeping them. It’s not like there’s any way Ashley’s gonna forgive me. I’m not even sure I can forgive myself. I’ll never be the hero again in her eyes.


Patty Blount grew up quiet and somewhat invisible in Queens, NY, but found her voice writing smart and strong characters willing to fight for what’s right. Today, she’s the award-winning author of edgy, realistic, gut-wrenching contemporary and young adult romance. Still a bit introverted, she gets lost often, eats way too much chocolate, and tends to develop mad, passionate crushes on fictional characters…and actors like Gilles Marini….and Sam Heughan. Okay, so Patty’s not nearly as cool as her characters, but she is a solid supporter of women’s rights and loves delivering school presentations.

Patty is best known for her internet issues novels, including SOME BOYS, a 2015 CLMP Firecracker winner and RWA Rita Finalist, and SEND, a 2012 Junior Library Guild Fall Pick. Her upcoming release, SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW, has already been selected as a 2018 Junior Library Guild Fall Pick. Visit her website at pattyblount.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter. She blogs at YA Outside the Lines and is also active on Twitter and Facebook. When she’s not writing, Patty loves to watch bad sci-fi movies, live tweeting the hilarity, and scour Pinterest for ideas on awesome bookcases. Patty lives on Long Island with her family in a house that, sadly, lacks bookcases. She loves hearing from readers, especially when they tell her she’s cool (even though she knows it’s not true), and is easily bribed with chocolate. Never underestimate the power of chocolate.

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