Tag Archives: Young Adult

Seven Little Secrets Blitz

 

Seven Little Secrets cover

 

Young Adult

 

Publisher: Reedale Karma Press

Seven popular high school cheerleaders. Seven distinctive lives. Seven little secrets. And the truth that haunts them all.

The Janes have everything: beauty, brains, a secure future. So why did co-captain Natalie Greene trade her perfect life for eternal sleep? Her teammates hold pieces of the puzzle, but putting the parts together means revealing defects and vulnerabilities.

And when you’re a Jane, you’re flawless.

An afternoon of mourning turns into a day of disclosures. A day that challenges the teammates to discover the true meaning of friendship.

WINNER OF THE YOUNG ADULT NOVEL CATEGORY IN THE 2018 NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARDS

Seven Little Secrets tablet

 

Excerpt

 

I suck in a breath. “Hello?”

Gigi, it’s me.”

It’s not Daddy calling to make things square after all. Instead, Danni McCarthy’s voice is an arrow slicing through my heart.

My throat’s got an invisible python squeezing it. I swallow hard. No one’s ever heard me cry over weeds in my garden before, and I’m keeping it that way.

It’s still morning. Some people sleep in, you know.” I cradle the phone under my chin. My hands are scaly as lizard knees, so I reach for the jar of hand cream sitting on my nightstand.

Did you hear what happened?” she asks all high-pitched and nasally, like she’s gonna sob.

What?”

About Natalie?” Her voice cracks.

I drop the jar into my lap. Grab the receiver with both hands, heart flopping like a fish on dry land. “No. What?”

Oh my God, Gigi. She’s dead.” Danni sniffles. “Some hunters found her in the woods early this morning.”

I squeeze my eyes shut. Feel them grow coal hot beneath the lids. Keeping my voice steady, I ask, “How’d she do it?”

Do it? What do you mean?”

How’d she kill herself?”

There’s a pause, and then Danni blurts, “How do you know she killed herself?”

I’m like a burglar caught in a cop car’s headlights. No way I can explain myself without casting a guilty shadow. Every Jane on the cheerleading squad thinks she knows the others right down to their blood type. We should. For one thing, we spend most days swapping sweat and sharing the same stale gymnasium air. For another, Stony Grove is a small town. 4,500 people, including a bunch buried in the cemetery. You’d think we’d know each other well enough to read minds. But that’s not how the Janes work. Every one of them has a secret they don’t wanna let out of its cage. Even me.

About the Author

K.L. Gore


K.L. Gore lives in a small New York State town with her two amazing children and two semi-annoying cats. When she’s not writing books, she’s baking cookies. So once a year she eats homemade cookies. Although K.L. wrote her first unpublished novel at thirteen, she only began considering writing as a profession when her play, Something Blue, was performed on the college stage to an enthusiastic audience. Since then, she has spent years studying the craft of writing while penning several more novels. Her short stories have appeared in Beginnings and Cicada. She has taught creative writing through Greece Community Education and facilitates a monthly writer’s workshop at her local Barnes and Noble bookstore. You can find her on Twitter: @K_L_Gore and on her K.L. Gore Facebook page or read her posts and sign up for her newsletter on her website: www.klgore.com.

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The Walls of Orion Tour

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The Walls of Orion cover

 

Young Adult, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy

 

Date Published: April 13, 2021

Publisher: Acorn Publishing

Orion City has been on lockdown for ten years. Courtney Spencer, a disillusioned barista doomed to live a “normal” life in a quarantined fishbowl, is certain she’ll never see over the Wall again. Until one rainy evening, Courtney unintentionally befriends W, an eccentric customer who leaves a switchblade in the tip jar. The unexpected acquaintance soon opens the door to a frightening string of questions that flips everything she knows upside down. Stumbling into a world of secrets, lies, and disturbing truths, Courtney grapples with a burning temptation to look again at the Wall. Surrounded by citizens trained to ignore its looming shadow, Courtney no longer can. Intrigued and terrified to expand her world, Courtney finds herself toeing a knife’s edge between the law and justice, learning quickly that the two are not always compatible. She wants to cling to her morals. She also wants to stay alive. But most of all, she wants to see a certain customer again, despite everything in her whispering W is dangerous. In a gritty urban clash of hope and fear, passion and survival, The Walls of Orion explores the edges of light, dark, and the gray in between.

 

The Walls of Orion tablet

EXCERPT

“Hey,” she called again. “We’re closed. I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

He didn’t make any sign that he’d heard. Courtney took another step forward. A deck of cards lay scattered over the table, white faces sharp and crisp in the shadow. At first she thought he was playing solitaire, but she noticed half the cards appeared to be cut in half. Diagonal slashes from corner to corner, oblong triangles and half grinning faces of Jacks and Queens. 

“You’re bored.”

Courtney blinked at the soft voice. “Sorry?”

W didn’t look up, just took a handful of half-cards in his hands and shuffled. She was impressed he could do so with such deft precision, given the weird shapes. 

Bor-ed. You know, weary, restless, your little world holds nothing of interest. The repetition, the grind, marching toward that same paycheck every week. You’re over it.”

She stared at the mangled cards. “What are you—”

“Wake up. Eat cereal. Work your tail off for eight dollars in tips. Come home to an empty hole in the wall. Pass out and repeat. Sound familiar?”

Something prickled at the back of her neck. He flipped a card onto the table. A three of hearts, with two of the hearts cut out. 

“I really have to close up,” she tried again.

W looked up then. Leaning forward, he laced his fingers under his chin and peered up at her. “Got somewhere to be?”

She opened her mouth, but a picture of her silent apartment filled her mind. Shadows slinking through the tiny space, the stars in the window blacked out behind the Wall. The breath slid out of her lungs without a sound.

W motioned to the bench across from him. Without really deciding, Courtney found herself moving. She sank into the booth. Just for a minute. Her knees ached from standing all day. All week.

“Two minutes.” She nodded at the cards. “What are you playing?”

“It’s called Life.” He glanced up at her. “Wanna learn?”

“Does it work with all those broken cards?”

W laughed. “Darlin’, it only works with broken cards.”

He started dealing. As she watched, a little voice in the back of her mind asked what the hell she was doing. He explained the rules of the game, and she found herself distracted by the way his face changed as he spoke. He was a very expressive person. But nothing quite seemed to touch his eyes. Frowns, smiles, laughs. Those pale eyes stayed the same. At first she’d thought they were gray, but now she could see a faint swirl of color inside them. She couldn’t decide if it was icy blue or green. 

In this light, he looked younger than she’d initially figured. The sharp skin-on-bones angles stole some of the youth from his face, but she noticed a boyishness in the crooked grin that startled her. He probably wasn’t more than a handful of years her senior, mid to late twenties maybe. The contrast of dark hair and pale eyes made the edged features more striking, not quite handsome, but something close.  

He went silent, and she realized with flushed cheeks that she’d been staring. 

“My, my, kiddo, you really are bored.” 

Defensive felt better than embarrassed. “Who’re you calling kiddo?” She leaned back. “And you keep saying I’m bored. You don’t know me.”

“I know your eyes. They’re the reason I became a regular in the first place.”

“What do you mean?”

He peered at her over the cards. “Your eyes. They’re restless. Not something you see every day in this city. You want more.”

“More of what?”

He leaned back, a small smile playing about his lips. “You tell me.”

Clearing her throat, Courtney sat back in her seat and picked her own intrusive question. “Why W?”

“It’s the most inconvenient letter to say.” 

“No, I mean—why just the initial? You never give your real name.”

“Who’s to say it’s not real?” He glanced down. “C suits you better than your nametag. An initial has infinite potential. You could be anything. Not ordinary, not a repeat label your parents picked out of a baby book. The possibilities are limitless.” 

Again, he’d steered the conversation off an uncomfortable edge. Courtney nodded to the deck of cards. “You were teaching me how to play.”

W chuckled, and Courtney couldn’t decide if the sound was pleasant or unsettling. She paid close attention to the way he laid out the cards, whole and broken pieces alike. Some looked like the other halves of cards cut in two. Others seemed to have no corresponding piece. She wondered if they were all from the same deck.

He dealt, and she did her best to play along. A steady current of doubt hummed beneath her thoughts. She glanced up at the clock above W’s head, at the minute hand ticking past closing time. Why couldn’t she bring herself to get up and leave? 

Courtney figured out pretty quickly that the rules of this game made no sense to her. Every time she thought she’d gotten it down, something changed. Maybe W was messing with her. Was Life even a real game? Matt was right, he was kind of a loon, as he proved more and more throughout the course of their interaction. 

“Y’know, C.” He shuffled the cards again, dealing out a different number than last time. Which was a different number than the time before that. Courtney really didn’t get this game. She was starting to think there was nothing to get at all. “I mean absolutely no offense. But I can’t help but notice you’re a little crazy.”

Courtney looked up, choking on a laugh. “Me?”

“Mm-hm.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re still here.”

“You’re the one who invited me to play cards,” she started.

“Nah, not here with me. I mean here.”

She waited. “I think I’m following this conversation as much as the game.”

“Surrounded by crazy people. Working a crazy job, in a crazy city, waiting for the next crazy thing to happen and hoping it doesn’t happen to you.”

A prickle ran up her spine. “You’re talking about the news this morning.”

“Something happened this morning?” The cards shuffled through his long fingers with a magician’s flair. “Don’t watch the news much.”

She frowned at him. “I suppose that’s one way to survive in this town.”

“Who wants to survive? I quit surviving ages ago. You should quit, too. What a boring habit.” 

Courtney stared. “More of a basic instinct, I think.”

“No. Our instinct is to live.” The cards fluttered with a rippling swoosh. “These big four Walls can make a body forget that, though.”

About the Author

T.D. Fox

A world-romper from the Pacific Northwest who quite enjoys the label “crazy,” T.D. Fox supplements a hyperactive imagination with real life shenanigans to add pizzazz to her storytelling endeavors.

Armed with a bachelor’s degree in Intercultural Studies, her favorite stories to write usually involve a clash of worldviews, an unflinching reevaluation of one’s own internal compass, and an embrace of the compelling unease that arises when vastly different worlds collide.

When not recklessly exploring inner-city alleyways during midnight thunderstorms in the States, she can be found exploring rainforests without enough bug spray somewhere along the equator.

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Facebook: T.D. Fox

Twitter: @TDFoxAuthor

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The Walls of Orion Release Blitz

 

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The Walls of Orion cover

 

Young Adult, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy

 

Date Published: April 13, 2021

Publisher: Acorn Publishing

Orion City has been on lockdown for ten years. Courtney Spencer, a disillusioned barista doomed to live a “normal” life in a quarantined fishbowl, is certain she’ll never see over the Wall again. Until one rainy evening, Courtney unintentionally befriends W, an eccentric customer who leaves a switchblade in the tip jar. The unexpected acquaintance soon opens the door to a frightening string of questions that flips everything she knows upside down. Stumbling into a world of secrets, lies, and disturbing truths, Courtney grapples with a burning temptation to look again at the Wall. Surrounded by citizens trained to ignore its looming shadow, Courtney no longer can. Intrigued and terrified to expand her world, Courtney finds herself toeing a knife’s edge between the law and justice, learning quickly that the two are not always compatible. She wants to cling to her morals. She also wants to stay alive. But most of all, she wants to see a certain customer again, despite everything in her whispering W is dangerous. In a gritty urban clash of hope and fear, passion and survival, The Walls of Orion explores the edges of light, dark, and the gray in between.

About the Author


A world-romper from the Pacific Northwest who quite enjoys the label “crazy,” T.D. Fox supplements a hyperactive imagination with real life shenanigans to add pizzazz to her storytelling endeavors.

Armed with a bachelor’s degree in Intercultural Studies, her favorite stories to write usually involve a clash of worldviews, an unflinching reevaluation of one’s own internal compass, and an embrace of the compelling unease that arises when vastly different worlds collide.

When not recklessly exploring inner-city alleyways during midnight thunderstorms in the States, she can be found exploring rainforests without enough bug spray somewhere along the equator.

Contact Links

Facebook: T.D. Fox

Twitter: @TDFoxAuthor

Goodreads

Instagram: @TDFoxAuthor

 

 

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Chokecherry Girl Tour

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Chokecherry Girl cover

 

Young Adult, Coming of Age, Multi-Cultural Fiction

 

Date Published: 2/16/21

Publisher Acorn Publishing

It’s 1958. Racial tension and class disparities have everyone on edge in a small Montana town. Despite their differences, three women of the community become the unlikeliest of friends.

BOBBI VERNON is a quirky teen, who will do whatever it takes to drive her teacher’s new Chevy convertible. Adding to the already volatile mix, she meets Pretty Weasel, an Indian basketball player, who calls her Chokecherry Girl. She dreams of dating him and wearing his class ring.

PATSY OLSON, after two failed marriages, is desperate to get her life back. After opening a beauty shop with a shaky bank loan, she watches Coach Vernon, Bobbi’s father, arriving for school each day. Attracted yet wary, she needs the business of the town ladies, including the Coach’s wife, Lois.

MARY AGNES LONE HILL, an alcoholic Crow Indian who was sent far away to a brutal Indian school as a child, now cleans houses for the town ladies and longs to end her estrangement with her son, Pretty Weasel.

These three women are drawn together through an illicit love affair, a stolen car, and a shooting that changes their lives forever.

Chokecherry Girl

Barbara Link

Excerpt

Chapter One – 1958

The worst thing about babysitting for the O’Malley’s was the dead baby. When the bell rang at their mortuary next door, Bobbi would leave the kids and unlock the door so family and friends could view the deceased. 

There she was, the silent baby tucked into a satin lined box like a doll under the Christmas tree. Her tiny hands remained fixed in place, pointing to nothing or maybe to heaven. 

For other baby-sitting dangers, Bobbi devised a strategy. After all, in 1958 she was a freshman in high school and knew a few things. So when the dads drove her home, she scooted to the far side of the front seat. If they grabbed her, she’d pull Grandma’s darning needle from her sleeve and jam it into their arm.

You’d be surprised how many husbands tried to feel her up. The men left home in ironed white shirts with clean-shaven cheeks smelling of Old Spice and talking in company voices. But during the evening, they grew stubble, breathed whiskey fumes and pawed at a flat-chested fourteen-year-old girl. 

  1. The year in which Bobbi tangled with the adults—Patsy, the beautician, Mary Agnes, the Crow Indian, and Miss Bauer, the new teacher. Bobbi knew she should have obeyed the law and her parents. She never thought it crucial until she stood before the judge.

 “Donna,” she’d said to her best friend, “honestly, I wanted to kneel with prayer hands like the picture of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, maybe with the Platters playing My Prayer in the background. Not because it was religious, but because it sounded sad and romantic. Dad said no! No kneeling and no music in Judge Henderson’s chambers.”

 “I love The Platters! That would have been so cool,” Donna said.

“No shit,” Bobbi replied. 

The trouble started the first week of March when she discovered the car parked behind the high school. A ‘58 black Chevy convertible with red leather seats, slick red steering wheel, acres of polished chrome, and white wall tires like frosted donuts.  A black and red shining jewel. 

Bobbi rode to school that day with her dad. From behind the school, they had a clear view of a new business—a beauty shop in an old house trailer. The blonde beautician stood in her doorway, smoking and staring at them like they were something to see. 

Dad glanced at the blonde, and then entered the school through the back door. Bobbi paused by the Black Beauty, smoothed her hand over the hood, inhaled the fragrance of the high gloss wax and felt the sun-soaked shiny metal.  

     A young woman stepped out of the school’s back door and lit a cig. Her eyes were deep set behind heavy-framed black glasses. Her brownish, unwashed hair curled like bacon over her forehead. She wore a rumpled tweed skirt, white Oxford shirt, and penny loafers. Altogether, she gave off a quality of raw, lean power.

Bobbi knew all of the instructors, so she assumed this must be the new English teacher. 

“My new rag top. Like it?” the woman asked. 

Bobbi sucked in a lungful of air. She’d never ridden in a convertible! “Very cool,” she stammered, hoping she wouldn’t pee her pants. 

The teacher displayed a faint expression of her lips, something stealthy, a smile that was not a smile. She tossed her cigarette and went back inside the school. 

About The Author

Barbara Meyer Link

Award-winning California author and poet, Barbara Meyer Link, has had three stories aired on KVPR, a National Public Radio Affiliate. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in numerous literary magazines and small presses. She also received the Sacramento State University Bazzanella Prize for fiction. Her memoir, Blue Shy, was published in 2010 and awarded first prize in the Sacramento Friends of the Library First Chapter contest. She co-authored Coffee and Ink, a handbook for writing groups and was a past editor of Sacramento’s Poetry Now. In addition, she was a poet/teacher for California Poets in the Schools for over fourteen years. Most recently, she was awarded second prize for poetry at the Mendocino Coast Writer’s contest.

Partial list of publications. American River Review, Poetry Now, Mindprint Review, Anima, Missouri Review, Women’s Compendium, Hardpan, Earth’s Daughter’s, (2014-2016) Whitefish Review, Dead Snakes, Noyo Review, Piker Press (on Dec 5, Dec 12)

Blue Moon Literary & Art Review (2019, 2020)

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Chokecherry Girl Blitz

 

Chokecherry Girl cover

 

Young Adult, Coming of Age, Multi-Cultural Fiction

 

Date Published: 2/16/21

Publisher Acorn Publishing

It’s 1958. Racial tension and class disparities have everyone on edge in a small Montana town. Despite their differences, three women of the community become the unlikeliest of friends.

BOBBI VERNON is a quirky teen, who will do whatever it takes to drive her teacher’s new Chevy convertible. Adding to the already volatile mix, she meets Pretty Weasel, an Indian basketball player, who calls her Chokecherry Girl. She dreams of dating him and wearing his class ring.

PATSY OLSON, after two failed marriages, is desperate to get her life back. After opening a beauty shop with a shaky bank loan, she watches Coach Vernon, Bobbi’s father, arriving for school each day. Attracted yet wary, she needs the business of the town ladies, including the Coach’s wife, Lois.

MARY AGNES LONE HILL, an alcoholic Crow Indian who was sent far away to a brutal Indian school as a child, now cleans houses for the town ladies and longs to end her estrangement with her son, Pretty Weasel.

These three women are drawn together through an illicit love affair, a stolen car, and a shooting that changes their lives forever.

About The Author

Barbara Meyer Link

Award-winning California author and poet, Barbara Meyer Link, has had three stories aired on KVPR, a National Public Radio Affiliate. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in numerous literary magazines and small presses. She also received the Sacramento State University Bazzanella Prize for fiction. Her memoir, Blue Shy, was published in 2010 and awarded first prize in the Sacramento Friends of the Library First Chapter contest. She co-authored Coffee and Ink, a handbook for writing groups and was a past editor of Sacramento’s Poetry Now. In addition, she was a poet/teacher for California Poets in the Schools for over fourteen years. Most recently, she was awarded second prize for poetry at the Mendocino Coast Writer’s contest.

Partial list of publications. American River Review, Poetry Now, Mindprint Review, Anima, Missouri Review, Women’s Compendium, Hardpan, Earth’s Daughter’s, (2014-2016) Whitefish Review, Dead Snakes, Noyo Review, Piker Press (on Dec 5, Dec 12)

Blue Moon Literary & Art Review (2019, 2020)

Contact Links

Facebook

Instagram: @Saclynk

Purchase Link

Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

RABT Book Tours & PR

Comments Off on Chokecherry Girl Blitz

Filed under BOOKS