Tag Archives: New Adult

FALLEN STAR SERIES – BLITZ

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New Adult
Date Published: February 7,  2017
Working for a cranky, old hermit in an isolated house sounds like Ruby’s idea of heaven – but her boss isn’t quite what she expects.
Tex is a fugitive from the rock and roll world – a tragedy abruptly halted his career. No one knows why he quit, no one knows where he is.
The two of them live in the same house, avoiding each other, until Tex screws up, endangering their lives and forcing them to move into close quarters. Suddenly, the idea of human contact seems more appealing, if only with each other. The sanctuary they have built is enough for Ruby — the man she grows to love is Tex the hermit, not Tex the rock star — but the outside world encroaches.
She thinks their fledgling love can’t shine brighter than the rock dream but can Ruby bear to let Tex go?
EXCERPT
I sat beside him on the ramshackle porch, my feet dangling into the weeds, and ripped the top off my beer. I didn’t drink a lot but it seemed the companionable thing to do, joining him in a drink.
“I wish the pizza would get here. What’s taking them so long?” he said.
“I just got off the phone to them, they’d not have even started cooking it yet — hey, you’re trying to be funny, right? Give me some warning next time.”
Tex didn’t reply he just leaned over and bumped me, shoulder to shoulder.
Because the studio was set back lower on the block, we didn’t get the full view of the bay like we had in the house, but you could catch glimpses of it through the trees from the porch. I couldn’t see another house at all and it felt as though Tex and I were the only people alive. We sat like that for an age, just sipping our beers and watching the changing colours of the sunset. Strangely enough, being with him like that felt comfortable, even though spending time with anyone at all normally made me a bit edgy. I knew Tex didn’t expect me to chatter away or rush to fill the silence.
I almost wished he’d put his arm around me and draw me closer to him. I shook myself to get rid of those thoughts and shuffled away from him.
“Look, Ruby, the stars are coming out,” he said. “Do you wish on the first star?”
“Sometimes,” I said. I laughed. I always did when I thought of it.
“What do you wish for?”
“To be left alone, most of the time. Peace and quiet. That’s awesome.”
He gave me a searching look.
“Well, what do you wish for?”
“It won’t come true if I tell you.”
“Hey, you made me and I was stupid enough to tell you. Hell, now I’ll never get left alone again. That’s going to suck all the balls.” I punched him on the arm.
“Okay, I’ll tell you.”
I waited for some amazing insight into the mind of Tex, something about his deepest desires. Somehow, the distance between us had closed again and we touched, shoulder to shoulder.
“I wished that the pizza would get here.”
“Cheater!”
“That’s not cheating — and hey, is that the pizza guy? Yes, my wishes always come true.”
About the Author
Candy J. Starr used to be a band manager until she realised that the band she managed was so lacking in charisma that they actually sucked the charisma out of any room they played. “Screw you,” she said, leaving them to wallow in obscurity – totally forgetting that they owed her big bucks for video equipment hire.
Candy has filmed and interviewed some big names in the rock business, and a lot of small ones. She’s seen the dirty little secrets that go on in the back rooms of band venues. She’s seen the ugly side of rock and the very pretty one.
But, of course, everything she writes is fiction.
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Twitter: @candyjstarr
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Welcome to Beantown – Blitz

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Welcome to Beantown

by Elle Vanzandt
A Boston Belles Novel
Publication Date: January 30, 2017
Genres: New Adult, College, Coming of Age

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They say the college years are what really shape a person for adulthood, and although rare, unbreakable bonds of friendship can be made.

Gianna Moretti, Alexis Cole and Shelby Lansing are about to discover just how true that is.

When the three of them are thrust together in a new city and on their own for the first time at Boston College, none of them expected to click so suddenly despite their many differences.

They also didn’t anticipate how much their lives would be changed.

Forgotten dreams, family secrets and heartbreaking fears are revealed as they grow, learn and laugh together. What started as a bond of circumstance quickly becomes something they never realized they’d all been missing –true friendship.

However, when devastation strikes, will their friendship survive?

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About Elle Vanzandt

Elle Vanzandt grew up a Navy brat who has had the privilege of living in many places but she will always call Illinois her home. A stay-at-home mom to two amazing children, a blogger, and a writer, she wears many hats. With determination and strength taught to her by her mother, she has made it through many obstacles, always sticking with the family motto ‘pull up your bootstraps and get it done’. Writing is an adventure she could have never predicted but is enjoying the ride all the same. In her free time you can find Elle with a book in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. Background noise is a must, usually in the form of her kids, but Netflix and country music on Spotify come in a close second and third.

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About P. Marie

P. Marie lives in a small town outside of Boston where she was born and raised. She resides in the house she grew up in with her husband of 33 years and her two fur babies, Tek and Tessie. She is the proud mother of two adult children as well. While she is a corporate girl during the day, she has become both a writer and blogger by night. P. Marie says she owes her success to her mother who taught her that if you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything.

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SHADOW HEART -PROMO BLITZ

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Broken Bottle Series, Book 1
Coming of Age, Family Saga, New Adult
Date Published:  February 2014
Publisher: Open Heart Books
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What if you were afraid to even turn the doorknob to your front door when coming home because of what might wait inside? What would it take to make you step out of your shadows, to once and for all break free from the twisted security of familiarity, and take a chance, a little risk, that could change everything?
Nicky Young is a woman who has come of age and is beginning to realize the first layer of her fears carried through her childhood from growing up in a family battling alcoholism. They have impacted her severely when forming relationships.
Abandonment, devaluing, fear of everything good ending—all are why she has been happy to stand back in the shadows. Watching. Observing. Stepping out only when safe. Until Ryan Tilton, a professional baseball player who also has abandonment issues of his own, promises her a relationship that could be like no other.
Now, in order to transition into a life she’d always imagined, she needs to take the first steps of risk to embrace the rise and fall, the love and heartache, and joys of life. Through small steps she struggles to trust, most importantly herself, but also others, enough to let them a little closer. The rage of her father’s addiction pushes and pulls her back, but with all her heart she wants to break free and start a life that is brilliant and unafraid of failure. But can she?
Other Books in the Broken Bottle Series:
Broken Bottle Series, Book 2
My heart is on fire. For the first time in my life I am awake and the desires I’ve pushed down are smoldering. The shadows of my youth are daring me to step away from them, and new visions are circling through my head that include having intimacy in a way I never dreamed of.
My name is Nicky Young. This is my coming of age story and family saga. I have begun to understand if I want to live differently than my parents—an alcoholic father and co-dependent mother—I need to love, forgive, trust and live with an open heart. As I look in the mirror, I am seeing a new woman emerging—one I’m not sure of and trying hard to discover.
Through family dysfunction and by the lack of affection in my household I learned not to get too close. Rage and violence lurked when we became vulnerable and the way I learned to protect myself was to build high and thick walls of defense around my heart. I dream about having a full, open, and intimate relationship. I want a real adult romance with every beat of my heart. But I can’t trust anyone enough—especially myself.
That was until I met Ryan Tilton, a very sexy professional baseball player who lost his father at only fourteen. In many ways we seem to be ancient spirits. He promises to hold me in his arms like I’ve never been held, and is offering me a chance to step out of fear and experience what is like to ask for what I want without being afraid. I feel my heart opening. I feel . . . joy.
This is my battle: A fight to break generational chains of dysfunction and addiction, to understand the choices of my parents, to love and trust myself, so that I can love and trust another. This story is about transitioning into joy. I invite you to follow me on my journey and the struggle I’m desperate to overcome.
Broken Bottles Series, Book 3
Swept into a romance with professional baseball player, Ryan Tilton, we’ve just had an evening of dreams—until I wouldn’t have sex with him. I couldn’t risk it. To me, sex means marriage. It means love and forever. I tried to explain. I didn’t hide it. But to him, it means love, acceptance, and that he wouldn’t be abandoned the same way he was when a boy of fourteen and his father was killed in the Middle East. He’s pleaded with me to tell him my feelings and openly tells me he loves me. I can’t repeat the words. Once I do, he’ll abandon me just like my parents—discounting my feelings because they can’t deal with their own. I couldn’t risk it. I knew he’d leave.
Dad battles his alcoholism. Mom embraces her co-dependency. They’ve gambled with their daughters’ mental and physical safety multiple times over the years.
I’m at a crossroads trying to understand this threshold of being an adult, yet emerging from childhood. It’s as if a tornado has taken me into it’s roar spun and tossed me around, breaking me away as I cling to the twisted security of my family—even the word “secure” sends a shiver through me. I’ve never been.
Being raised in an dysfunctional family battling alcoholism whispers, stay hidden in the shadows, be safe, don’t be noticed or share too much.
I know this is it.
I need to take a risk.
I need to let go of old fears, forgive my parents, embrace intimacy and move forward. I need to trust—especially myself—so that I can transition into joy.
Broken Bottles Series, Book 4
It’s Amazing, but for the first time in my life I have let go of the control. I’ve battled so hard to hold onto the twisted security of my family’s battle with alcoholism—it’s what I’ve known—never risking too much, holding back, so the hurt didn’t cut too deep. Now?
I feel a new life
An unknown.
Vulnerable.
It’s magnificent.
It’s . . . intimacy, being held, letting someone see into my dark places so the light, hidden since a little girl, can finally become brilliant.
It’s amazing. I’m about to shout my love for a man who seems to understand me like no one ever has. After I do, will everything fall apart? In my heart of shadows, the fear of being abandoned beats inside my head with regular rhythms.
“Please take me in your arms,” I say silently. “Accept my dark places. Help me understand you won’t leave me.” Maybe I’m dreaming when he says, “Whatever path we choose, whatever arises, we’ll overcome our fears.”
Have a finally been set free from generational mistakes that are passed forward in our family? Dare I ask for what I want and trust myself enough to share my thoughts, wishes, dreams . . . dare I actually hope in another person? Will he break his promises like my parents did to me? Can I really, really, be alive, be vulnerable, open and reach for deep, sensual intimacy? Can I take a risk and transition into joy?
Excerpt
I always prayed the same way at night: “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Please bless my mother, father, sister, everyone in the world, and me. And please make my father quit drinking.”
As a child growing up in a family battling alcoholism, this is what I know:
Something bad is coming; it always does.
                         I can’t ask for help; I’m too ashamed.
                             I can’t talk about our secrets; no one understands.
                                         I can’t trust anyone; they always leave.
The evening begins when I am eight and my sister, eleven. We were trying to finish dinner before he’d unraveled. Within minutes, I’m hiding under the dining room table, cowering; praying that he won’t see my hiding place.
I hear my sister face the wrath of our father’s anger.
My small body curls into a ball.
It’s as if the desert storms from our mother’s childhood have come to us, their thunder and lightning crashing. I pray, “Please, God, protect me from the monster in my house.”
Tonight, we try to avoid our dad’s drunkenness and count down the minutes until Mom comes home from her night shift at the Juvenile Hall in San Francisco.
These evenings occur frequently in our house. Jenise and I are caught in a spider’s web, wrapped in our father’s terrible addiction.
We prepare for the coming terror.
My sister has refused to eat a scoop of creamed corn, given to us for dinner without a second thought of how we hated it.
Once he’s done with Jenise, I know he’ll turn to find me.
I clench my teeth in fear. I’m shaking under the dining room table.
About the Author

 

My passion is writing books that tell a love story and family saga of leaving old fears behind as the characters embrace intimacy and transition to joy. My first series, Broken Bottles, details those fears of growing up in a family battling alcoholism. Along with the struggle and pain of a parent’s rage, there is intelligence, strength, and survival. How to love intimately in all relationships is the challenge. For children of trauma, it can take years to let another person come close. When they do? It’s like rainbows cover their heart.
Slowly, you’ll read how my characters become vulnerable, reach for deep, sensual intimacy, and try desperately to let go of their fears. They struggle and risk everything to trust others—and themselves. My stories are about daring to take the baby steps that let them really come alive and in every way, experience and give love.
MAKING MONEY TO CREATE: The small, vacation rental/ property management company I run with my husband and son in Sonoma County, California allows me to have the money for my creative life. I love that I was born and raised in San Francisco. My father introduced me to baseball when I was six. I’ve rung a cable car bell, and went to concerts in Golden Gate Park with my sister where Jimmy Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and Santana once played.
WHAT I’VE DONE/AM DOING – IT’S A JOURNEY OF DREAMS: Broken Bottles is a four part series. Two books, Shadow Heart and Fire Heart, are ready. Soon to follow are Jagged Heart and Amazing Heart. I’m honored to have 3 poems in an anthology called The Beats Go On, and a story in Sisters Born, Sisters Found. I have released the first book in a series for Introverts called The Introverts Guide to the Galaxy: Attending Conferences.

My Dream? To create beautifully decorated and custom journals with gorgeous paper that accompany each book series: The Introvert’s Journal, A Family Saga Journal, My Body’s Journal, and Trauma: You Can’t Stop Me Journal. Journaling was a lifesaver for me. I was in shock. You may be in shock. Don’t let that keep your heart frozen!

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IN THE MOMENT by ALISON G. BAILEY – COVER REVEAL

In the Moment

by Alison G. Bailey
Publication Date: February 14, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Cover Design: by Murphy Rae Hopkins, Indie Solutions

Life is made up of moments. If you’re not in one, then you’re not living.

Cadence Fletcher wants to start a new chapter in her life. The problem is, the nightmare she’s been living for the past two years has stripped away her identity, leaving behind only a shell of who she used to be. Until one night. One random meeting. And one moment, brought her heart, soul, and body back to life.

From the very first moment he saw her, Luken Schaffer couldn’t get Cadence out of his mind. He wanted her. He needed her. And wasn’t going to back down until he got her.

But when Luken reveals a family secret, Cadence is torn between living the life she always dreamed of, and sacrificing it all, so that Luken has a chance at the future he deserves.

About Alison G. Bailey

Alison G. Bailey is an award winning, Amazon and International bestselling author living in Charleston, South Carolina. At an early age she fell in love with writing, reworking scenes from her favorite TV shows and movies with new dialogue. Alison wrote and produced several stage plays before turning her sights on the book world.

Under the influence of a copious amount of Diet Pepsi and nonstop listening to her Spotify playlists, Alison writes unique emotional stories full of love, laughter, and romance.

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BURIED SECRETS – REVEAL

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Buried Secrets

by J.C. Valentine
Publication Date: November 29, 2016
Genres: Adult, New Adult, Mystery, Thriller, YA, Suspense

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Synopsis: How do you live with yourself when you don’t even know who you are?

On a chill October night, a girl goes missing setting the small town of Oakridge on edge. James has spent the last five years running from a past that still haunts him to this day. Now he finds himself thrust back into a life he thought he left behind. Finding out his new home may be haunted and reconnecting with an old friend while being thrust into a murder mystery, James finds himself trying to figure out which end is up while questioning his own sanity.

AUTHOR’S NOTE Buried Secrets is a New Adult, mystery thriller with very little romance but heavy on the suspense.

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EXCERPT – PROLOGUE

Fall crept in like a burglar while the town slept. It brought with it a chill that felt refreshing after one of the hottest summers on Oakridge record. A slight, sticky fog hung in the air and evidence of Halloween was on nearly every doorstep in the form of carved jack-o-lanterns. Skeletons hung on doors, and festive orange lights draped roofs. Leaves coated the ground, wet and matted to the sidewalks and streets.

James breathed in the cool air that stung his nose just a bit. He loved when school let out at the end of the day. He never could wait to get out of the confines of the small, overcrowded classrooms. Even now he couldn’t fully escape it. Classmates of his walked and ran the same mile stretch he was, laughing and talking about anything and everything. Right now, he knew the junior high girl and her friend from his science class walking a few feet behind him were debating the hotness of Tommy Henderson, the varsity basketball player for Oakridge High. Everyone knew him, and everyone loved him. He was going to take the team to the championships. Probably would graduate and take some college to their championship, too. Something the whole town could be proud of.

They met a few years ago when James was playing in the woods. AJ found him digging for worms—he’d been on a mission, wanting to teach himself how to fish, to live off the land like the people from ancient times—and he’d offered to help. AJ had run off, leaving James to sit and wonder where he had come from—he hadn’t heard him approach in the first place. He returned cupping a handful of water in his palms. He’d dumped the liquid in the hole James had dug, and moments later, worms began squirming to the surface.

They became fast friends. James kept their friendship a secret. He wasn’t sure why exactly, except that AJ was his only friend, and he wanted to keep him all for himself. If he told someone, they might want to meet him, then the magic might go away. So they spent all that summer collecting worms and pretending to be hunters in the deep woods behind Oakridge Park. When summer break was over and school was back in session, James was disappointed to find that AJ wasn’t in any of his classes. In fact, he wasn’t in any classes in the school. No one heard of him.

He finally broke and told his mom and dad about him one evening over dinner, because he was worried about AJ and needed to share him with someone, so he could feel close to him again. Like if he kept him a secret, and didn’t see him, then he wouldn’t be real anymore. It was an odd way to look at it, he knew, but he hadn’t ever had a friend quite like AJ. He was fun and daring and super inventive, and he liked James, flaws and all.

So when he told his parents about AJ, they were happy for him. His mom said he probably just missed him in the halls. The schools weren’t huge, but they were big enough to lose someone in. His dad said that AJ probably just went to a different school. Maybe in the next town over, since no one knew him here. That settled it for a bit, and the next time James saw AJ, which was at the park just after sunset one evening when James was on his way home from skipping rocks in the small stream in the woods, he asked him about it. AJ had told him that both theories were wrong. He lived a few miles west through the woods and his mom homeschooled him. He said his dad did some sort of factory work in the next town, which was just enough to pay the bills and put food on the table, according to him. It was only then that James realized AJ didn’t wear the best of clothes, and he wasn’t as kempt as James was. But that didn’t make any difference to him. In fact, he felt closer to AJ than ever before. Finally, he had found someone who would never judge him. Someone who could truly understand him.

So when Mercy Worthington fell into step with him, James’s heart beat a rapid tempo and his stomach turned to knots.

“Hi,” she said in a very delicate, but cheerful voice.

James stared at the ground and muttered a hello, but he couldn’t get up the nerve to really look at her.

“I’m Mercy. You’re James, right? James Clearwater. I think my dad works with yours at old man Jenson’s. He does the proofs, doesn’t he?”

James nodded. His dad worked at Jenson Design Studio where he developed photographs in one of the two darkrooms. His dad had big dreams of one day owning his own studio and becoming a famous photographer. Mercy’s dad was a set designer. James knew everything there was to know about Mercy and her family, and not just because the whole town knew who her family was, but because he paid attention and took notes. James was in love with Mercy Worthington, and had been since the third grade when she’d taken a job behind the lunch counter for a day and handed him a carton of 2% with that big, white smile of hers trained squarely on him. She was a senior at the high school, which made her five years older than James, who was thirteen now and in the seventh grade.

Today, like every day, she was radiant. Her dull blond hair waved gently behind her as the breeze caught it and when he found the nerve to look up at her, he found her green eyes smiling on him.

He was going to marry her one day.

“I thought so,” she said, grinning. She took in their surroundings. “Do you take this route every day?” He nodded. “I’ve never seen you, and I walk this way every day. How come I’ve never seen you?”

He shrugged. “I dunno.” He felt awkward and short on words. He stuffed his hands in his pockets.

“You don’t talk much, do you?”

He glanced at her and caught her teasing smile. He smiled back, feeling a little of the tension leave his shoulders. Why was she being so nice to him? A part of him felt like this must be a trick, but when he looked around, he only saw other kids from school walking silently or in small groups or pairs, chatting quietly. Could she really be interested in him? The only kids besides AJ that talked to him were the ones who poked fun of his clothes or his haircut, his slight lisp or the way he tripped over his own feet. She probably just felt sorry for him. He had heard of that before, girls who felt sorry for the underdog and took pity on them. Normally, he would get mad at being a charity case, but right now he couldn’t care less. Someone other than his family knew he existed. Mercy Worthington knew he existed. Suddenly, he didn’t feel like a shadow slinking around in the world unnoticed anymore.

“So how long have you lived in Oakridge, James?” Mercy asked, as they crossed the street.

“My whole life,” he replied.

She nodded. “Do you have any friends? I never see you with anyone.”

He shrugged. “Some.” He didn’t want to look like too much of a loser.

“What about a girlfriend, do you have one of those?”

He felt himself blush. “No.”

“I know what your dad does for a living. So what does your mom do?”

“She likes to garden, but no one pays her for it,” he said. His dad was old-fashioned and believed that the wife should be home with the kids while the husband went out and provided for the family.

“That’s cool,” she said. “My mom is a painter. Sometimes she sells her art to the museum or to some person with lots of money. She’s pretty successful. I was thinking of painting when I get out of college. What about you? Do you know what you want to do after college?”

Honestly, James wasn’t sure he even wanted to go to college. His dad never pushed the notion, insisting that he wouldn’t amount to much more than a gas-station attendant anyway. He wanted to be an astronaut when he was little, like most boys that age did, then he switched to a fireman after a class field trip to the fire station in fifth grade. Now, he just wasn’t sure what he wanted.

“I’m not sure,” he said honestly. “Maybe I’ll just travel across the world for a while and live off the land until I figure it out.” That had been a dream of his and AJ’s, to hitch rides all over the country with nothing but a backpack and a few dollars in their wallet.

Her face lit up with excitement. “That is so cool that you said that. I always dreamed of seeing the world, but my dad said that education comes first. I will have all the time in the world to do what I want after I get my ducks in a row.”

James wasn’t sure he believed that, but he kept his mouth shut.

Heavy footsteps approached from behind and moments later a big, strong arm wrapped around Mercy’s shoulder. Tommy Henderson had arrived.

“Hey, babe.” Tightening his grip on her neck, he pulled her in for a sloppy kiss.

“Hey,” she said when she came up for air. “Tommy, this is James. His dad works with my dad. He’s going to travel across the world one day.” She said this with a grin that made James’ stomach flutter a little.

Tommy sized James up, and James knew he was trying to figure out where he knew him from. James knew him from the many times he “accidentally” knocked his books from his hands, and “inadvertently” tore up his homework. James was afraid if he recognized him, he might have to endure another embarrassing moment involving colorful adjectives and descriptive threats, and he just didn’t want to be made a fool of in front of a girl like Mercy Worthington.

He hung his head, allowing a few scraggly scraps of hair to shield his eyes.

“Travel the world, huh? Like a hobo or something?” He laughed, his deep, belly rolling chortle that made all the girls weak in the knees. James thought it made him look and sound stupid. “What are you hanging out with this joker for? He’s like two feet tall. I could smash him with my pinkie.”

James felt his finger press down on the crown of his head in demonstration.

“Hey,” Tommy said, putting himself between James and Mercy. “You trying to steal my girlfriend?”

“Stop picking on him, Tommy,” Mercy snapped.

Tommy sneered at James, then his features smoothed, and he turned on a smile for Mercy. “Whatever you say, babe. Just making sure the boy understands there’s no competition. You’re my girl, aren’t you, babe?”

Mercy rolled her eyes. “Of course, Tommy.”

They had come to a fork in the road where James’ house was to the left and Mercy’s to the right. “I’ll see you around, James,” Mercy told him, smiling apologetically.

“Yeah, see ya,” Tommy said, then ruffled James’ hair like he was some little kid.

James watched after them as they turned and walked off. After a few feet, Tommy turned to face James. “And, James.” James raised a questioning brow. “Stay away from my girl.”

Mercy punched Tommy in the side playfully, and he laughed, tugging her closer as they resumed walking. James felt his body begin to shake. He was angry. At that moment, he wanted to beat Tommy Henderson until his arms were too weak to continue. For the first time in his miserable existence, James thought he felt angry enough to kill.

As the sun set, the day turned bitter cold, and the rain had moved in. It was sheeting down now, and Mercy’s shoes were soaking wet as her feet beat through every puddle. She was running, the rain pouring down her face in rivers, filling her eyes and blinding her to her path. Someone was chasing her.

She’d decided to walk home after an evening at her boyfriend, Tommy’s, house, and almost as soon as she rounded the first street corner, she felt someone following her. The shadowy figure kept pace for a couple of blocks, then steadily picked up pace, until Mercy broke out running…and so did they.

She was crossing the park playground now, and she could just make out the hill ahead. Her house was just over that hill, and if she could make it, she could get help. As her feet slipped, trying to find purchase on the soft, mud covered ground, Mercy could feel her muscles begin to cramp and burn with exhaustion. Against her will, she was slowing. When her feet hit the loose bark covering the playground, Mercy did slip. She caught herself with her hands and scrambled to her feet, pushing herself harder until she finally reached the bottom of the hill. There she used her hands, her fingers digging into the grass, and pulled herself up until she could look over and beyond to her house. The lights inside were a warm beacon, and she felt a sudden urgency come over her.

As she came to her feet, Mercy heard a muffled thud, and glanced over her shoulder. It was a mistake that she wouldn’t live to regret.

The shadow stood before her, and to her surprise, she recognized the dark figure.

“What do you want from me!”

A visual sweep revealed something big and heavy looking in their hand, and with quick precision, the shadow raised its arm high in the air and brought it down hard. A slow trickle of blood broke through her hairline and ran down her forehead, then her face and dripped off her chin. A second blow caused it to grow thicker and run faster and Mercy fell to her knees, then finally her face, where her eyes focused and glazed over and her breaths faded away to nothing. And still the shadow hit her, until all the fury, all the anger subsided.

Her last vision was that of the warm yellow glow coming from the living room window where her mother and father, sister and brother sat watching the evening news and waiting for her to come walking in the door any moment.

Stooping down, the figure wrapped its cold, wet fingers around Mercy’s ankles and pulled, slipping frequently under the girl’s slight weight as it dragged her lifeless body into the copse of oak trees beyond the playground. Come morning, when the sun broke through the clouds, children would run and play, never knowing the horrors of what happened just a short distance away.

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ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

JC Valentine

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

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