Tag Archive | YA

Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 5:
Accidentally in Love by Shannon Guymon

summer 17

 

A funny and bittersweet look at grief, love and families who maybe love each other too much.

 
Accidentally in Love - eBook smallLetting go of the past and facing the present and future is harder said than done for Kam Matafeo. Getting over his wife’s death isn’t something on Kam’s list of things to do.  But when Grace Jackson, his new Sous Chef walks in, life is turned upside down. And not just for him either.  Anne, his mother-in-law, is not open to the idea of anyone new in Kam’s life and will do anything to stop his romance from blooming. But when the ‘Love Witches’ step in to protect him, the battle lines are drawn. Fircrest is in for some fireworks when the fight for Kam’s heart not only affects his family, but his friends’ lives too.

Things get so crazy that Grace has to make the decision to stay and fight for herself and Kam or to give up and let Kam slip back into the darkness.”

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Excerpt:

      Barry gestured to the guests.  “This is Pule Matafeo and his wife, Posey. And this couple is Asher and Meredith Murphy.”
      Grace frowned and stared at Pule Matafeo.  Was the whole town nothing but Matafeos?
      “Uh, any relation to those guys?” she said gesturing over her shoulder to Tate and Tai. She looked back at the table and all four heads looked down as if they had been staring in her direction.
      Pule smiled serenely and nodded. “Those two men are my cousins and Kam is my big brother.”
      Grace smiled and reached out her hand to shake.  “It’s a privilege to meet you.  I have to say, I love working for your brother.  He is so kind and thoughtful.  I can’t even imagine what it would be like to grow up with Kam as an older brother,” she said.
      Pule snorted and was about to say something when the woman sitting next to him elbowed him in the side.  Pule smiled and nodded.  “Kam was wonderful.”
      “He is wonderful,” his wife said.  “Hi, I’m Posey, Wren Downing’s younger sister.  She’s told me about your gnocchi.”
      Grace grinned. “I love Wren! She’s my favorite.  Are you a chef too?”
      Posey shook her head.  “Oh, no. I can barely microwave food.  I write children’s books.”
      Grace shook her head. “That is so cool.  Good for you.”
      “And I’m Kam’s ex-girlfriend.”
      Grace swiveled her head to see an attractive blond with a razor sharp angled bob looking her up and down.
      “Um, okaay. That’s nice for you.”
      The man sitting next to her rolled his eyes and sighed loudly. “I’m Asher Murphy.  And since you’re new in town, we run the Match and Mingle web site for singles in the Fircrest and Tacoma area.  The first month is free.”
      Grace frowned and looked down at her hands.  “I probably should look into something like that but I have the worst luck with men.  The last guy I dated, emptied out my savings account. I think I’ll stick to what I’m good at. Cooking.”
      “Gotcha. You’re a cat lady,” Meredith said with a small, self-satisfied smile.
      Grace turned and smiled directly at the woman, not breaking eye contact. She made it a rule to never back down from a bully and she wasn’t going to start now, even if it was an ex of Kam’s.
      Meredith looked away first and blushed.  “Sorry, that was rude,” she finally said.
      Grace didn’t bother acknowledging the obvious and looked back to Pule and Posey.  “So how was dinner tonight?” she asked, changing the subject.
      Posey pointed to her almost empty plate.  “I’m about to order another meal just so I can take home some leftovers.  It was amazing, Grace.  Truly, delicious.”
      Pule stopped glaring at Meredith to smile at her.  “Let’s just say we’ll be coming back every week for dinner and twice for lunch if I have anything to say about it.”
      Asher put his fingers to his lips and make a kissing motion.  “Perfection.  Thank you for moving to Fircrest, Grace.  We’re all very happy you’re here. Right, Meredith?”
      Grace watched curiously as Meredith winced.  If she wasn’t mistaken, someone was getting kicked under the table.
      “She might be a halfway decent cook but that doesn’t mean that she’s good enough for K…” she gasped suddenly and didn’t finish her sentence. She glared across the table at Pule. “That hurt!”
      Pule ignored Meredith and smiled up at her.  “I think you are good enough for Calzones.  I’ve been after Rob forever to add them to the lunch menu.”
      Grace smiled in confusion.  “Good enough for calzones? Uh, sure.  I’ll see what I can do.  You all have a wonderful evening.  I have one more table to say hi to.”
      She walked away, motioning to Barry to show her the last table.  That was the weirdest encounter she’d had since moving to Fircrest.  She was going to stay clear of Meredith. That woman was psycho.

 
 

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I live in Rocky Mountains with my husband and children and love my home when it’s not snowing. I’m the author of 36 books so far. I also write YA Paranormal Romance under my pen name, Katie Lee O’Guinn.  I enjoy the outdoors, reading and being with my family. I’m a huge believer in happy endings. Scarlett really should have been happy with Rhett and it’s a darn shame Leo and Kate didn’t float safely into New York on the Titanic. Don’t even get me started on Romeo and Juliet.

I’m also a supporter of Operation Underground Railroad. Check out their website at ourrescue.org to learn more.

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Guarding Eden by Cameo Renae

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Title: Guarding Eden (A Midway Novel)
Author: Cameo Renae
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: CHBB
Cover Designer: Stefanie Saw
Edited by: Victoria Schmitz – Crimson Tide Editorial
Expected Release Date: July 21, 2017

 

***The Midway Novels are spin-offs of the Hidden Wings Series,
but each book can be read as a standalone.***

 
Tucked away at an upscale, private boarding school in Brindle Hollow, Washington, seventeen-year-old Eden East comes face to face with a hideous creature on her walk back to her dorm. Shaken to her core, she’s left questioning the world around her, and soon finds herself entering a friendship with a hot, new student named Alexander.

Little does she know, Alex is a Guardian Angel, sent from Midway to protect her from those dangerous creatures—known as Darkling—lurking in the forest outside Brindle Hall. It isn’t long before Alex learns this is no ordinary assignment. Eden’s existence holds a secret; something hidden from even herself.

Eden is thrust into a world where Fallen angels and creatures of the Underworld will stop at nothing to catch her. With Alex at her side and a little help from some of his old friends, they form a formidable front against the enemy.

Hopefully, it’s not too little, too late.

 Guarding Eden Front

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Author Bio:
Cameo Renae2016 Young Adult Author of the Year – Penned Con
2013 Break Out Author by Young Adult & Teen Readers
2013 Book of the Year (Hidden Wings)

Cameo Renae was born in San Francisco, raised in Maui, Hawaii, and recently moved with her husband and children to Alaska.
She’s a daydreamer and a caffeine and peppermint addict who loves to laugh, loves to read, and loves to escape reality. One of her greatest joys is creating fantasy worlds filled with adventure and romance and sharing it with others.
One day she hopes to find her own magic wardrobe and ride away on her magical unicorn. Until then…she’ll keep writing!

HAPPY READING!

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The Battle for the Four Realms: Dragon Bone

by Aldrea Johnson

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Genre: YA fantasy

18143155_10211279477436035_1197073711_n.jpgSiblings Aliedori and Maldar, heirs to the throne of the Southern Realm are attacked by an unseen assailant while camping in The Sacred Forest. Aliedori’s brother Maldar and his golden dragon, Keidrop, are trapped by a powerful binding spell; a spell that leaves Aliedori strangely unaffected. In an attempt to track down their unseen attacker Aliedori uses her natural gifts and casts a “Seeker” charm enabling her to pursue a chase to a shadowy figure through the dark woods until he mysteriously disappears without a trace…and the adventure begins!

As the trio sets off in the direction the mysterious figure disappeared they encounter mysterious creatures formed from dark magic, a mage powerful enough to incapacitate dragons and other threats only ever spoken of by the Chronicler.
As they journey East more of the Chronicler’s prediction come true, Aliedori’s destiny lay ahead along with … the battle for the four realms!

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Excerpt:

Traders had secured their wares for the night to begin trading again in the morning. There was so much to do before his coming of age… the young man’s thought process was interrupted as his attention was caught by an approaching figure. Aliedori was sure that the thought about coming of age was to hide the original thought process. He tried to hide it, but the pleasure that the germ of a thought had started remained with the young man. The thought filled him with a secret sense of well being as he watched the figure. Aliedori smiled as she recognised so well the approaching man. Her grin spread as she recalled the times when she and Maldar were small and their mother had often told them stories about this figure. One such story that her mother often told was of sneaking out at night to do the rounds with one of the local dousers. The douser approached the young man, his job momentarily forgotten. He inclined his head, palms together as a sign of greeting. The young man brought his palms together and inclined his head also, a deeper bow as a sign of respect to his elder. The douser had been doing the job for a very long time; he knew the young man and his family of drac breeders.


“The hour is late Sorin, even you should be weary of being found out after lights are extinguished.” The young man smiled up at the douser and leant back resting his elbows on the stone steps behind, throwing his head back to look at the night sky. He appeared relaxed, but his casual stance hit an expectant tension.


He brought his head forward and caught the eyes of the douser. The hood of the grey cape the douser wore was hiding his face so the only things visible were lines and shadows. But Sorin fancied that he had caught the douser’s eyes and smiled in a lazy manner.


“I fancy a moonlight walk and who better to do that with but my good friend the douser,” Sorin mused.


The douser said nothing for a while, as if he was thinking over the offer, and when he spoke, his voice was full of unexpected merriment.


“Walk with me, then we shall tackle the hunter’s moon together and we will hunt after dark.”


Sorin sighed and treated himself to the glorious view of the silver moon as he stood up reluctantly. He didn’t really want company but once the lights were extinguished only fools and thieves chose to walk the streets alone.


“If you have another of those, our moonlight stroll will merely be seen as work and no one will know differently.”


He winked at the douser and chuckled at his own small joke, accepting the douser he was offered by the master of illumination. The lights of the six lamps in the square were quickly put out rendering almost total darkness. Sorin waits for his eyes to adjust to the darkness the lights at the other end of the market place suddenly seemed very far away.


There were many bandits in the settlements and they had been known to cut a man’s throat the instant the lights were extinguished. Sorin swallowed because, despite his bravado, he was a little afraid.


Aliedori felt Sorin’s fear, palpable, unknown, faceless and nameless but nevertheless very real fear. Sorin was experiencing a mixture of joy and fear, deep bright colours and dull grey hues tumbled through his emotions in equal measure, Aliedori had no trouble recognising these emotions; it felt as if Sorin had discovered something new and tantalizing. The discovery brought joy and fear in equal measure, both emotions vying to be the dominant one. Suddenly Sorin stopped. He had been looking at the moon and smiling to himself, thinking that it appeared to be so close. He could almost reach out and touch it and he was about to stretch out his hand when he froze. Sorin didn’t move until douser grabbed him and pulled him forward, almost off his feet. The douser had removed his hood, and Sorin was looking into the calm face of an olive-skinned man. Soft brown eyes showed slight concern for the young man. Sorin moved quickly, he was a fool to have stayed out so late, but he had become lost in his own thoughts of the upcoming ceremony, and he had not noticed the dark creeping in. What kind of man would he make if he were frightened of the dark?


He had been born close to the settlement by the wall and had spent almost his entire life there. Everything he knew about the Realms he had learnt whilst there, and yet… and yet. Aliedori wanted to find out more, but the young man’s thoughts were now unclear, jumbled and full of imagined and unimaginable fears. Aliedori caught small glimpses of features but somehow she felt that this was more about what Sorin had imagined rather than what he had seen. Aliedori wondered if she should probe Sorin’s mind to find out more, but she knew that she had no right to any of his thoughts. They were his thoughts and fears, and she had no right to any of them, not without his permission anyway. She could not find a justifiable reason to search his mind, so she concentrated on what she was there for. She had simply wanted to use his eyes to gather information on the city outside the wall.


When she had cast her mind out she hadn’t expected to find settlers, nor did she expect to enter his mind so easily and freely; it was strange, but she would have to think about that one later as well. The douser and Sorin had reached the last lamps on the Square and before he put them out douser drew out a torch, held it against a lamp, and lit it. With the lamps out, the entire square was plunged into total darkness. The market was for day traders and there were no residents about. Once trading for the day was over there was no need for illumination and the small market was plunged into darkness.


Sorin was out with an old man whose only experience of the world was to bring illumination to others. The younger man turned and looked behind him, he was sure he had heard something out there in the darkness, something large and unfathomable. He felt something touch him and almost cried out until he realised that it was douser’s hand on his arm.


“I find it is always best to look forward, sire, head up, shoulders back… best way, sire,” he said. “We will walk to your dwelling.”


“And you?” Sorin enquired.


“Don’t you worry about me young sire, I have been walking these paths before you were born. Besides I am not a wealthy man, I have nothing of worth. Bandits want gold coins, and I have none, I am simply not worth the effort.”


The douser was lost in thought for a moment, perhaps thinking of his coinless life, or perhaps the welcoming sign of a tavern. Sorin handed the dousing implement back so that he could draw his sword. He did not believe that his sword would be of any use, or that he would get the chance to use it if something was there in the darkness. He was a good a swordsman and liked to think he was getting better, but he was always a disappointment to his trainer, the master swordsman. It was a comfort to feel the weight of the sword in his hand, though, and what a triumph it would be to single-handedly take down some of the settlement’s bandits. Sorin and the douser moved forward together as one, and Sorin noticed that the douser also had a large club in his hand. Perhaps not single-handedly then… the thought began.


Then there was nothing, Aliedori could no longer sense him, Sorin was gone. He had disappeared into the darkness, the connection was severed so suddenly that when Aliedori found herself staring at the distant moon she did not realise for some time that it was through the window of the hut. She pulled herself up from her comfortable position and tried again to re-establish a link. But nothing. Sorin was gone. Aliedori continued to search for Sorin but was unable to find him again. Now she knew where to
look she would continue with her search.

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Author Bio:

I was brought up on stories, tales of adventures of far off places, of princesses in peril and their princes rescuing them, they filled my head and sparked my imagination from an early age. I have very fond memories of “Lloyd Brown or “Lloydy” as he was known to us children, telling the most wonderful stories. The only time he didn’t stutter was when he was telling stories, I would travel with him to those far off places from the Grimm fairy tales and just around the corner of the “Anansi” stories of Jamaican fables, these were amongst my favourites. By the time I had to swap the Jamaican sun shine for the winter “watery” sun of England at the age of almost eleven years old. My head was already crammed full of stories to accompany me on my very own adventure to far off England.

I may have spent my formative years in the Jamaican country side the wild green woods and perfectly clear rivers but I grew up in London. Long winter days and darkened evenings would find me with my head in a book, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Arabian Nights and closer to home Enid Blyton’s Famous Five were later replaced but not forgotten by Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, Sterling E Lanier’s Hiero’s Journey.

I was a shy introverted child but while at school I was regarded as one of the “cool” kids I was a real Jamaican with the accent to prove it. Libraries became my playground, they helped to fuel my imagination where adventure after adventure played out again and again in my head. I could be anywhere, any place, anytime from my little corner of the local library, I lived in my head my stories gave me a sense of belonging, they sustained me and now somehow one of my adventures found its way onto the page and is about the be shared with others..

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Destined by Regan Ure

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Title: Destined
Series: Forever #3
By: Regan Ure
Publication Date: May 25, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy Paranormal
Cover Designer: Mayhem Cover Creations

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00025]Crystal Adams had a teenage crush on Kyle Jensen. It turned to love the day she realized he was her mate. But before she could tell him, she discovered something that would change everything.

She is hiding a secret that will endanger him. To protect him, she made the hard decision to leave his pack. But destiny doesn’t give up that easily and events force her to face him again.

This time, leaving is harder. This time, he knows she is his mate.

He’ll move heaven and earth to find her. And destiny is on his side.

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Also Available in the Forever Series

Fated

Book #2

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Alpha

Book  #1

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The Author:

Pic copyRegan is a South African who is married to an IT specialist. She is also mom to a daughter and son. She discovered the joy of writing at the tender age of twelve. Her first two novels were teen fiction romance. She then got sidetracked into the world of computer programming and travelled extensively visiting twenty-seven countries.

A few years ago after her son’s birth she stayed home and took another trip into the world of writing. After writing nine stories on a free writing website, winning an award and becoming a featured writer the next step was to publish her stories.

If she isn’t writing her next novel you will find her reading soppy romance novels, shopping like an adrenaline junkie or watching too much television.

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The Guardians of Ivalice By Laura Catherine

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Title: The Guardians of Ivalice
Author: Laura Catherine
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: June 24, 2017

On Ivalice, Prince Morgan has been living in the shadow of his twin brother and older sister. She will be queen one day and inherit the power of Spirit to protect their world and guard the other elements from harm. Morgan wants this power for himself and nothing will stop him from getting it, not even his family. With her dying breath, Queen Tamsin sends the elements to another world where Morgan cannot have them.

On Earth, Nix, Grace, Kendra and Phoebe are four ordinary teenage girls living normal lives where homework and boys are their biggest problems. That is until they absorb some strange glowing balls of light into their bodies and start controlling the elements.

Everything is about to change for these girls when the weight of an entire world is put on their shoulders.

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Excerpt:

The bus was old and probably in need of replacing with ripped seats and graffiti on everything including the roof. It also smelled like those tree air fresheners.

She made her way down the aisle to her favourite spot. It was about halfway down the bus, not so close to the front that you had to sit near a teacher but not so far back that you stayed away from the school bullies in the back row.


Nix slid into her favourite seat, the one graffittied in lyrics from her favourite band Chaos Destiny.


“Hello.”


Nix looked up to see the new girl staring down at her.


“Hi,” Nix replied. “You’re the new girl.”


“Phoebe Jenkins,” she said with an awkward smile.


Poor girl, Nix thought, doesn’t know anyone.


“Ah, I’m saving the seat next to me for my friend, but you should sit in front of us.”


Phoebe looked surprised at the offer and Nix wondered if other people had been less nice to her. Hopefully she hadn’t been subject to the antics of the school bully, Jasper.


“Go on, sit,” Nix encouraged with a smile.


“Thank you,” Phoebe replied and perched herself on the seat ahead of Nix.


“I shotgunned the window side,” Grace said as she pushed her way through the aisle of students still taking their seats.


Nix moved out of the way so Grace could claim her prize. Grace was always last to be called for things because her last name was West.


“What did I miss?” Grace said leaning on the back of Phoebe’s seat.


“Grace this is Phoebe,” Nix introduced.


“Ah, new girl,” Grace said with a cheesy grin. “Excellent. How are you liking Verndale?”


Phoebe sat up straight, pushing a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “It is a very beautiful town,” she replied. Her voice was soft like a gentle touch of fingers on guitar strings.


“Great. Just stick with us and you can’t go wrong.” Grace winked and leaned back in her seat.


Mr. Haynes appeared at the front of the bus, ushering people to take their seats so he could do a head count.


“Now today’s excursion—”


Mr. Haynes was cut short as a dark skinned girl with a shining curtain of black hair raced up the bus steps.


“Kendra,” Mr. Haynes said a little startled. “Where have you been? I called your name a while ago.”


“I’ve been objecting,” she said giving him a dazzling white smile.


“Objecting.” Mr Haynes nodded then did a double take. “Objecting to what?”


“I’m objecting to this excursion. I shouldn’t have to be forced into a swamp against my will.”


“I am sorry, Miss Tate, but there are other places out there besides the mall,” said Mr. Cole, the sports teacher who was accompanying Mr. Haynes on the trip.


The students giggled. Kendra pouted and looked like she was going to argue the point, but Mr. Haynes asked her to take a seat.

Giveaway

Meet The Author

Laura Catherine was born in Melbourne, Australia and spent most of her childhood creating fantasy worlds and talking to her invisible pet cheetah who ran along powerlines.

Her imagination has carried her through childhood where her mother read stories about fantasy worlds at bedtime. Never one to face reality, Laura spent a lot of time turning boxes into ships and castles.

Laura self-published her first novel, Djinn (2013), a Paranormal Romance, and the second in the series, Blooders (2015). Laura is currently working on the next instalment in the Djinn series, Bloodjinn, as well as a few other novels including the first in a new YA series, The Guardians of Ivalice.

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Rising by Sonya Weiss

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 Title: Rising
Author: Sonya Weiss
Genre: Young Adult, SciFi Supernatural Romance
Pub Date: May 9, 2017

 

When sparks fly between a human and a Supernatural, the entire planet could be at stake.

9781516100279_400x600It’s been ten years since the Great Extinction, when Supernaturals threatened to destroy humanity. Now, in the sleepy town of Wayside, Nevada, seventeen-year-old Cassie Grant’s life couldn’t be more ordinary. Determined to get into an Ivy League college, her focus is squarely on her studies. But suddenly everything changes when she witnesses Jason Taylor, a cute and quiet loner, mysteriously save a young boy from falling to his death.

Although the Supernaturals ultimately retreated to their planet, three families were left behind—including Jason’s. So far, they’ve been successfully hiding in plain sight. But Jason knows that if Cassie exposes him, all their lives will be in peril—especially since Cassie’s father is the head of the Alien Eradication and Defense Department. At first, befriending Cassie is Jason’s survival tactic. But as they spend more time together, they begin to fall in love. With the authorities closing in and a hidden threat that could tear the very Earth apart, can Cassie and Jason keep each other safe—or will their star-crossed romance start another war?…

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Excerpt:

CASSIE
      I wiped off the mess I’d made of my makeup for the second time, and stared at the pallor of my skin in the mirror. The scar high on my cheekbone wasn’t as bad as the ones on my back, but it was a visible reminder of the attack that gave me nightmares. Each time I’d jerk myself out of sleep, I’d fallen right back into the disturbing images again. No high IQ needed to guess why. At dinner Dad had talked in detail about the destructive nature of aliens. As if I needed to be told.
      His stories and warnings alone weren’t the reason I didn’t like aliens. I knew firsthand that they killed, that they left humans scarred. I didn’t blame my father for my injuries, but my mother did. I pushed away the memory of what happened during that awful camping trip in New Mexico. That night had forever changed all of us and made me look at aliens differently.
      Aliens were mysterious, powerful beings who were hunted by the government but more often than not, we humans were the prey. While there were a lot of pro-alien groups around that spouted on websites and to anyone who’d listen that we had nothing to fear from these “visiting creatures,” the scars on my body were living proof that was a lie.
      A strange premonition swept over me and I shivered, then tried again to reapply my makeup fast so I wouldn’t be late for school. One more year, and then I was through.
      I couldn’t wait to get out of Wayside, Nevada, far away from my father, and his job as lead agent at the Alien Eradication and Defense Department. I didn’t want to live with the reminder of aliens at every conversation. I needed a clean slate, a place where I could build good memories. I wished we could go back to our lives before the Great Extinction.
      That war between the humans and aliens sucked the laughter out of our family like a tornado had spun through. Aliens had killed my uncle during one of the battles. My father hadn’t been the same since his brother’s death but he’d tried hard to keep himself together. But then after me nearly dying during that camping trip because of an alien attack, my father had unraveled in ways that baffled and sometimes even scared me.
      I finished applying my makeup, checked my arms and back in the mirror to make sure my scars were hidden, and gave my face one final glance. Good enough. Grabbing my backpack, I made my way down the stairs to the living room where Mom lay curled on the sofa beneath a blanket. She had the same shoulder-length black hair and brown eyes I did, but where she was cover-model confident, not even photoshopping could erase my self-consciousness. I was a little on the nerdy side so I’d never been that confident, but after I was scarred, it had only gotten worse. I didn’t wear sleeveless shirts anymore and I wouldn’t dream of ever wearing a bikini again.
      With a frustrated sigh, Mom sat up and muted the television, silencing the anchor mid-report on the frequent earthquakes striking our area. I stood behind the sofa and lip-read the closed captioning for a few seconds.
      “Anything new, or are they rehashing yesterday’s news?”
      “Not much new other than the United States Geological Survey is monitoring the area. Nevada is the twenty-first state hit with a wave of them.”
      “That’s a lot of earthquakes.”
      “There’s nothing to worry about, Cassie. If there were, the USGS would inform the right people who would then inform the public.”
      I didn’t believe that. Because of Dad’s job, I had insight into how the government hid things. The rash of unexplained earthquakes made me edgy. “Where’s Dad?”
      To my surprise her lips tightened, and I wondered if there was trouble again in Alienville. “He slept at the office last night.”
      “Chasing little green men wore him out?” I pushed my hands through my out of control hair to corral it into a ponytail.
      She tried to hide it, but a ghost of a smile flitted across her lips, and for a second we were unified in the knowledge Dad was acting weirder than usual. “You know your father.”
      My stomach dropped. They’d been fighting more lately and the fights were getting uglier. “Did he sleep at the office because of his work or…”
      “You should eat. I’ll make you something.” She got up and went into the kitchen. Mom was a great cook, but she never took the time anymore because she always had to leave the house before I did. I didn’t know what she was still doing home.
      After taking the milk out of the refrigerator, she poured a glass, and then reached for the box of pancake mix. When she pulled the eggs out and set them on the counter, I said, “Mom? What’s going on?” Different what-ifs flitted through my mind while I waited for her to answer. Dad was having an affair. Mom was sick. Or Dad’s grouchy, could-never-be pleased mother was coming to visit. That last one made me feel sick. “Is Grandma coming for a visit?”
      She glanced over her shoulder, shook her head, and laughed as we shared a look of mutual thank-God relief. “Speaking of aliens,” she muttered.
      I laughed again. “Seriously, Mom. What is it?” I covered her hand with mine to get her to stop trying to make breakfast.
      She hesitated, as if trying to decide how to answer. “Your dad thinks there’s a connection between aliens and these earthquakes.”
      I rolled my eyes. Their power wasn’t something to be underestimated, but I wasn’t stupid enough to think they could control the Earth. “He thinks there’s a connection between global warming and aliens, power
outages and aliens, rising taxes and aliens. When doesn’t he think things are related to aliens?”
      She shook her head as if trying to shake off the sudden heaviness blanketing both of us. “You don’t want breakfast?”
      I moved to the pantry and scored the last chocolate chip granola bar from the box. “I don’t have time. The class hike is today. I have to rush, or I’ll be late.”
      “You’re wearing that?”
      I glanced down at my jeans with the myriad of artful cuts. “These are retro. Everyone’s wearing them.”
      “I meant the T-shirt.”
      I put a hand over the image of ET. I’d unearthed the shirt at the secondhand store. “It’s a joke.”
      “Make sure you change before your father sees it. No use throwing gas on the fire.”
      Dad was exactly the reason I’d bought the shirt, and I didn’t care if he saw it. Yes, I was afraid of aliens, but I was tired of my fear holding me hostage and I was trying to find my way back to the me I’d once been. There were so many things I didn’t do anymore since that camping trip because I was too afraid.
      “Cassie?” Mom said.
      “Fine, I’ll change before he sees it.”
      “Are you riding in with Mark?” She sounded hopeful, not yet knowing my status as the alien hunter’s daughter wiped out my dating life once again.
      “Um…no. Gotta run.”

 

 

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Author Bio:

Weiss, SonyaSonya Weiss is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and author, including the Stealing the Heart series with Entangled Publishing. She’s addicted to great books, good movies, and Italian chocolates. She’s passionate about causes that support abused animals and children. Her parents always supported her bringing stray animals home, although the Great Dane rescue was a surprise.

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7 Days With You by Hugo Driscoll

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Genre: YA Romance
Date Published: 11/04/2017
Publisher: Leap of Faith Publishing

7 Days With You by Hugo Driscoll 3 w starSean Johnson’s life as a small-town farmhand has been nothing but predictable, but when he meets Sophia Hillingdon at the local animal sanctuary, she gets him out of an eighteen-year rut, away from the mundane existence on the farm, and a grieving, drunken father.

Sophia is the first person who understands him and makes him believe that he might get out of their small town, who tells him, he has the potential to be whoever he wants to be and do whatever he wants to do.

But as their relationship unfolds, it is the most devastating of news that will change both of them forever.

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Excerpt:

Her face was nearer than it had ever been. Her skin felt smooth and warm. All I could do was lean further into her, losing myself in the moment. And then there were her piercing blue eyes-even more extraordinary up close. Before I knew it, I’d brought my hands to her chest as our parting lips collided. We kissed for hours, inhabiting each other with such force as our bodies rolled across the cooled grass. She was the change I had been searching for. It was the first time I realized; I could be anywhere in the world, but nowhere without her.

 

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The Author:

hugo 2Hugo Driscoll is a 25-year-old British author and content writer for an online publication in London.

When he’s not working, you can usually find him writing in the basements of cafes or looking serious in black and white photos.

You can also find Hugo on Twitter, Facebook, and his personal blog, which he updates regularly.

Seven Days with You is his first novel.

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