Thursday, April 30, 2015

RELEASE DAY LAUNCH: Fall For You by JC Emery

Melanie Kincaid is a trust-fund baby with a knack for sassy comebacks and unnecessarily complicating her privileged life. So, of course she would have to fall in love with a man she can't have.

Jameson Hayes is a NYC firefighter for Manhattan’s oldest ladder company with big shoes to fill and a city to protect. He’s strong, sexy, and not looking for the complications Melanie brings. But he can't stay away from her either. The attraction between them is immediate and the pull between them is crazy powerful. But she's only home for the summer and long-distance relationships never work.

Unfortunately, Melanie’s beauty and smart mouth are a lethal combination and Jameson isn't the only Hayes who's interested. As if his brother isn't enough to compete with, now the city's most famous arsonist wants to claim her as his next prize. Jameson can't stand to watch Melanie get hurt and she can't seem to keep herself out of trouble.

Fall for Me is the first Ladder Company novel, a stand-alone companion series about New York's most elite firefighting family with hot alpha heroes, snarky heroines, and an arsonist hell-bent on destruction.

“Mom!” I move through the foyer and into the open great room— a large, open living/kitchen combo— where I leave my suitcase and kick off my flats before I hit the carpet. What the hell is she doing with gas? That stuff is toxic.

“Well?” Mom says, appearing at the edge of the hall on the other side of the kitchen. She has a hand towel around her neck and one of her many yoga-specific exercise outfits on. This one is a light blue and she’s barefoot. Monica Kincaid is dedicated to many things in life— her husband Christian, her daughters (the youngest, especially), and her charity projects— but yoga is the one out of all of it that I don’t understand. It puts her at peace, she says.

“Well?” I ask and drape the dress bag over the island counter top in the kitchen and move around to prop myself up on one of the bar stools. God, that gasoline smell is driving me mad.

“Are we planning a spring wedding yet or what?” Mom says with a grin. Her nose wrinkles, catching the scent of the gasoline, I’m sure. “Janet and I have been taking bets.”

“God, Mom,” I say and place my head in my hands.

“No really,” she says, “Tell me.”

“Nothing happened,” I say. Verbalizing it is even more disappointing than it probably should be. Apparently, Mom and Dad were also in on Jameson and Royal’s surprise trip. It took all of an hour after they landed for Janet Hayes to text me telling me she wishes she could have been there. It was sweet, but then she suggested she needed to leave me alone so I could spend as much time as possible with Jameson. And that we shouldn’t be disturbed. While the level of investment our mothers have in our has-yet-to-happen relationship is borderline creepy, the support is pretty awesome. It’s a rarity to find a woman as kind and loving as Janet Hayes is. Even if she doesn’t really know appropriate boundaries and likes to talk about when her sons were starting puberty… in all the gory details. I know more about Jameson’s solo activities when he was a kid more than I care to.

“You must be joking,” she says and heads to the fridge where she pulls out a single-serve cup of yogurt. “That man flew down to that god-awful place—,”

As a child, JC was fascinated by things that went bump in the night. As they say, some things never change. Now, as an adult, she divides her time between the sexy law men, mythical creatures, and kick-ass heroines that live inside her head and pursuing her bachelor's degree in English. JC is a San Francisco Bay Area native, but has also called both Texas and Louisiana home. These days she rocks her flip flops year round in Northern California and can't imagine a climate more beautiful.

JC writes adult, new adult, and young adult fiction. She dabbles in many different genres including science fiction, horror, chick lit, and murder mysteries, yet she is most enthralled by supernatural stories-- and everything has at least a splash of romance.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

COVER REVEAL: Twisted Bond by Emma Hart

I’m an Italian-Texan woman in a family full of cops. I’m passionate and shoot before I think. You only f*ck with me if you’re stupid.

Photograph cheating spouses. Hand over the evidence. Cash my check.
That was my plan when I returned home to Holly Woods, Texas, and became a private investigator.
Finding the dead body in my dumpster? Yeah… Given the choice, I think I would have opted out of that little discovery, especially since all three of my brothers are cops. And my Italian grandmother is sure the reason I’m single is because of my job.
Of course, my connection to the victim is entirely coincidental. Until I’m hired by her husband to investigate her murder and shoved bang-smack into the path of Detective Drake Nash.
My nemesis, a persistent pain in my ass, and one hell of a sexy son of a bitch.
Shame he still holds a grudge from that time I shot him in the foot twelve years ago, or we could have something. In another life.
So now all I have to do is avoid my nonna’s blind dates, try not to blackmail my brothers into giving me confidential police files, and absolutely do not point my gun at Drake Nash. Or kiss him. Or jump his bones.

All while I hunt down the killer.
Sounds totally simple—until a second body proves that sometimes things that start as coincidences don’t always end up that way…

(Twisted Bond is book one of the Holly Woods Files series and while it does not end in a cliffhanger, it is not a standalone.)

“Get out!” I yell, my voice hoarse.

“I’m sorry?” Drake recoils.

“Get out. Of my building,” I add, moving toward him as he walks backward. “If you don’t have a warrant in your ass pocket, get the fuck out. Now.”

He grabs my wrist and pulls me into him. “Listen to me, cupcake. Someone got real lucky last night, and that someone was you. You weren’t here when your killer wanted you to be. Yeah, I said yours. They know you’re waitin’ for ‘em. Most nights you’d be here, right? But last night, because I pissed your ass off, you weren’t. Know what that tells me?”

“I’m sure you’re gonna tell me,” I manage through gritted teeth.

“It tells me this killer is watching you. You ain’t safe. They’re waiting to strike, and it’s gonna be the second you’re alone. We’re close. I can feel it. You’re their target now. And this killer? They want to kill you.”

“No shit,” I whisper, looking away from him. “I won’t back down. I don’t care what you say. They can try and kill me. I’ve dealt with worse.”

“Stop being a pain in my ass.” He grabs my chin and forces me to look into his eyes and all their devastatingly icy glory. “Someone. Wants. To. Kill. You.”

“I know.”

“Yet you don’t care.”

“I care,” I whisper, holding his gaze. “But did you ever think that I’m your best bet at catching this person? If they’re watching me, if they want to kill me, they’re there. Waitin’, like you said. And that means they’re gonna come to me. Not you. Not anyone else. Me.”

“Yeah, I thought it. But I don’t like it.”

“Ain’t your job to like it, Detective. It’s your job to deal with it.”

“You’re right. It ain’t my job to like it, but I ain’t exactly dealing with it either.”

“What the hell does that mean?”

“It means,” he leans in, his touch relaxing just a smidge, “It means that I don’t like it. I’m not dealin’ with it. And the thought of you bein’ in the kinda danger you are scares the ever-lovin’ fuckin’ shit out of me.”

By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies - usually wine - and writes books.

Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.

BLOG TOUR: Piece by Piece by Teodora Kostova

Sometimes to reach the surface you have to fall to the bottom first...

For the past ten years, Riley Davis’ life has been overshadowed by the tragic death of his partner. Fluctuating between alcohol induced daze, clinical depression and throwing all his time and effort into his business, Riley doesn’t believe, or even hope, that his life will ever be worth living again.

Until Sonnie Frye drops by his haberdashery shop, changing his life forever.

Sonnie is a man who likes getting what he wants, when he wants it. He’s worked hard to establish himself as Queen Victoria theatre’s chief costume designer, collecting multiple awards – and high-profile clients – along the way. Sonnie is used to putting his needs, goals and desires first, unwilling to compromise his own happiness for anybody else.
Until he meets a handsome shop owner whose eyes are so sad that they immediately tug at Sonnie's heartstrings.

Seeing something he wants, Sonnie is determined to get under Riley's skin and, preferably, into his bed. But he soon discovers the task is not that easy. For the first time in his life, Sonnie may need to put someone else’s needs before his own, and re-evaluate what really matters in life.

Will the two men stand side by side to overcome their differences, and everything else life throws at them? Or will it all become too much to bear, shaking them to their very core, destroying everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve?

***Sexual content, 18+ only***
***Piece by Piece is a standalone novel. It's the full story of Sonnie and Riley***

 Where to buy

Welcome everyone...Boy am I excited to be able to bring this interview to you...We know this man is very busy and I am very grateful that he took time to answer a few of my questions...
So, meet the one and only Sonnie...Welcome to TSK TSK What to Read Sonnie!!
Sonnie: Thank you!

So, tell us, what made you get in to design?
Sonnie:  It was just something I've always liked to do. My family moved around a lot and I'd lived in several countries by the time I was a teenager, all of them with totally different cultures. Ever since I can remember, I've always noticed the way people dress around me, whether it's in Australia or Japan or Dubai. It fascinates me how a simple outfit can express so much, not only about a person's personality but about the way they experience life.
I started sketching designs in my free time and it turned out I wasn't half bad. My other big obsession was the theatre so it was a natural progression for me to apply for a costume design job in a theatre.

What is the worse thing about working for the theater?
Sonnie:  The drama. I never realised it before I took a step back and distanced myself from that environment, but the temper tantrums people throw all around you can be draining. What's worse, before you know it, you start acting like that as well.

What is your favorite song at the moment?
Sonnie:  Ghost Town by Adam Lambert.

Who is your favorite designer? And why?
Sonnie:  I love Alexander McQueen. He was a pure, tortured genius. His designs are timeless - that's what I love most about him. He was an innovator in his generation and inspired so many to be bolder and take chances with their own designs. He's also very versatile - he can just as successfully create a simple, elegant dress as a stunning, over-the-top, thought-provoking costume.

Where is one place you want to travel to in the world and why?
Sonnie:  I've been to so many places already and I've loved every single one of them. There's something new to see, experience and learn anywhere in the world. Right now, I'm most looking forward to our holiday in Malaysia.

What do you like most about Riley?
Sonnie:  His strength.

What is the most infuriating thing about Riley?
Sonnie:  He still doesn't see how amazing he is and it annoys the hell out of me.

What do you do in your spare time?
Sonnie: I was so used to not having any spare time that when my life calmed down a bit, I didn't know what to do with myself. I try to do yoga with Riley every day, it really helps relax my over-active mind and helps with my back pain. I love going to the cinema or browsing the vintage markets with Riley. And I love the fact that even if I can't be bothered to move from the sofa, I have Netflix and Riley to snuggle beside and I don't really need anything else.

What is the best advice you were ever given?
Sonnie: If you really want something, never give up trying to get it.
My dad told me that once and it just stuck with me. It's been a driving force in my life ever since.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Sonnie: Ideally, on a private beach, drinking margaritas all day and forbidding Riley to ever wear a shirt.
All jokes aside, I feel my life has reached a turning point where I'm happy with what I have and what I do and I really don't want to make any drastic changes. But if in ten years I decide I do want a drastic change, I feel blessed that this time I won't have to do it alone.

Those are some fabulous answers and guys...if you want to know more about Sonnie and get to know Riley as well...make sure you read PIECE BY PIECE...

Piece by Piece is the third installment in the West End series and I have to say I think it is my favorite so far.  And seriously, getting to know Sonnie and Riley was just too fun.  Now, don't get me wrong...It wasn't all giggles and romance.  There were some true hard times for these two.  Riley's past truly disrupted his present as well as his future.  My heart ached for him and all I wanted was to see him happy.  
And guess what...only one person could really do that...SONNIE!!
Sonnie is such an amazing character.  Full of life and a totally in your face personality, you are drawn to him.  He is definitely that bright spot in the room that everyone gravitates toward.  
So when he and Riley meet, it was explosive and you just knew that these two were going to change each other's lives.
Their relationship was so real.  Such struggles that every couple go through...
Man...just a wonderfully written story with complex and intriguing characters.  Once you dive in, you won't come out until you are finished...

Hi, my name is Teodora and I live in London with my husband and my son. I've been writing ever since I can remember, but it became my full time job in 2010 when I decided that everything else I've tried bores me to death and I have to do what I've always wanted to do, but never had to guts to fully embrace. I've been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among other things, but as soon as the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. Being twitchy, impatient, loud and hasty are not qualities that help a writer, because I have to sit alone, preferably still, and write for most of the day, but I absolutely love it. It's the only time that I'm truly at peace and the only thing I can do for more than ten minutes at a time - my son has a bigger attention span than me.
When I'm procrastinating, I like to go to the gym, cook Italian meals (and eat them), read, listen to rock music, watch indie movies and True Blood re-runs. Or, in the worst case scenario, get beaten at every Nintendo Wii game by a very inventive kid.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

RELEASE DAY BLAST: Omega City by Diana Peterfreund


Diana’s first book for readers eight and up is a thrilling adventure story, perfect for people who like their books with a side of rocketships and hidden treasure. Find out what secrets are hidden beneath the Maryland countryside in...

Gillian Seagret doesn’t listen to people who say her father’s a crackpot. His conspiracy theories about the lost technology of Cold War-era rocket scientist Dr. Aloysius Underberg may have cost him his job and forced the family to move to a cottage in the sticks, but Gillian knows he’s right, and plans to prove it.
When she discovers a missing page from Dr. Unerberg’s diary in her father’s mess of an office, she thinks she’s found a big piece of the puzzle–a space-themed riddle promising to lead to Dr. Underberg’s greatest invention. Enlisting the help of her skeptical younger brother, Eric, her best friend, Savannah, and Howard, their NASA-obsessed schoolmate, Gillian sets off into the ruins of a vast doomsday bunker, deep within the earth.
But they aren’t alone inside its dark and flooded halls. Now Gillian and her friends must race to explore OMEGA CITY and find the answers they need. For while Gillian wants to save her dad’s reputation by bringing Dr. Underberg’s secrets to light, there are others who will stop at nothing to make sure they stay buried...forever.

GoodReads | IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks


“With seamless writing, a thrilling plot, lots of engaging science puzzles, and remarkable characterization, Peterfreund's exciting tale keeps the adventure solidly in the foreground. Young readers looking for a page turning quest should get into this planned series on the ground floor." — Booklist *Starred* Review 

"Peterfreund's focus on character development is complemented by the equal attention she gives to the vast underground city itself. Gillian’s instincts to protect her friends and clear her historian father’s tarnished name are admirable, but Peterfreund gives every character the opportunity to grow, revealing themselves for who they really are."Publishers Weekly 

“With nonstop action, sly humor, and nothing short of the end of the world at stake, Omega City is the alpha book in a new series that mashes up mystery, scifi, and action/adventure into a thrilling novel you’ll want to devour in one sitting. I did, and I can’t wait to read what comes next!”Peter Lerangis, New York Times Bestselling author of the Seven Wonders series 

“Peterfreund’s boundless imagination takes on a new and exciting adventure!”Jessica Day George, New York Times Bestselling author of Tuesdays at the Castle” 

“Diana Peterfreund takes us to an underground city that’s utterly mind-blowing, yet disturbingly possible. A knockout of a story that will have readers cheering straight through to the final, shocking, twist.” — #1 New York Times bestselling author Gordon Korman

DPeterfreund-smallpic Diana Peterfreund has published ten novels for adults, teens, and kids, including the four-book Secret Society Girl series (Bantam Dell), the “killer unicorn novels” Rampantand Ascendant (Harper Teen), For Darkness Shows the Stars (a post-apocalyptic retelling of Jane Austen’sPersuasion), and Across a Star-Swept Sea (inspired by the classic series The Scarlet Pimpernel). Her newest novel, OMEGA CITY, is a contemporary adventure novel for younger readers set in a secret bunker city somewhere under modern Maryland. Her works have been named to the New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age list, the Capitol Choices (metro DC-area) reading list, and the Texas Lonestar List, as well as having been named to Amazon’s Best Books of the Year. In addition, she’s written several critically acclaimed short stories and a variety of non-fiction essays about popular children’s literature. Diana lives outside Washington D.C., with her family.


Monday, April 27, 2015

RELEASE DAY BLAST: Sweet by Tammara Webber

Join us in celebrating the release of SWEET by Tammara Webber! Check out the excerpt and teasers below!

SWEET (Contours of the Heart #3) by Tammara Webber
NA Contemporary Romance

He’s the love of her life, but he doesn’t know it.
She’s his one moment of sacrifice in a lifetime of survival.

He was damaged and wild, but resilient.
She’s always been obedient. Now she’s restless.

Home for the summer between college and med school, Pearl Torres Frank knows two things: Boyce Wynn is the embodiment of everything she should run from, and everything she wants to run to. Rebellious and loud. Unconcerned with society’s opinion of him. Passionate. Strong. Dangerous.

And one more trait he hides from everyone but her:


Boyce watched me, a lit cigarette in one hand and a koozied beer in the other. We hadn’t spoken since that kiss, other than his usual juvenile quips during biology—the ones that drove Mel and Mr. Quinn insane and made Landon smirk and shake his head and had me biting the inside of my cheek to suppress my smile.

At first, I’d been confused, then disappointed, and then angry. I’d worked my way to acceptance, like when I’d known I was drowning and there was nothing I could do. He’d merely gone back to being Boyce Wynn, who did what he wanted and who he wanted. And I’d gone back to being Pearl Frank—star student, social royalty, good girl.

But I couldn’t forget that kiss. The fixed glint of his eyes across the fire said that neither could he.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of EASY and BREAKABLE (Contours of the Heart series - NA), as well BETWEEN THE LINES, WHERE YOU ARE, GOOD FOR YOU and HERE WITHOUT YOU (Between the Lines series - YA/NA).

I'm a hopeful romantic who adores novels with happy endings, because there are enough sad endings in real life. Before writing full-time, I was an undergraduate academic advisor, economics tutor, planetarium office manager, radiology call center rep, and the palest person to ever work at a tanning salon. I married my high school sweetheart, and I'm Mom to three adult kids and four very immature cats.

Friday, April 24, 2015

COVER REVEAL: Fury by Fisher Amelie

FURY, the much anticipated third standalone of The Seven Deadly Series by Fisher Amelie, releases May 4th, 2015! As we count down the days, Fisher is teasing us yet again! Here is the highly awaited cover!!

And now, without further ado...


Revenge is an euphoric thing. Trust me on this. Nothing compares to the release you get when you ruin someone’s life. When they’ve stolen important things. Things that didn’t belong to them. Things I revel in making them pay for. 

What? Have I offended you? I’m not here to appeal to your delicate senses. I have no intention of placating your wishes or living within your personal belief system nor do I care if you hate me. And you will hate me. Because I’m a brutal, savage, cold-blooded murderer and I’m here for my revenge. 

I’m Ethan Moonsong...And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most sacrificing man to the most feared and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.


EXCERPT from FURY, Coming May 4, 2015:

We start where we left off from Fisher’s last excerpt. If you’d like to read it, you can go here!

FURY, Excerpt Two

“Ethan?” she asked. “Is that you?”

“Hello, Finley,” I answered.

“How are you?” she asked, somehow devoid of the pity I’d often heard in so many greetings since Cricket. I was grateful to her for this.

“I’m fine,” I slurred, lifting my head a bit to meet her eyes.

A grin met her lips. “You were always a terrible liar.” Her smile fell a little. “What are you doing here?”

“I’m drinking.”

She narrowed her eyes. “You hate drinking.”

“I learned to love it,” I said, downing the remaining contents of my glass, letting it burn.

She looked me up and down, making me feel self-conscious. “But apparently it doesn’t love you.”

“Thanks,” I snorted, acting like I didn’t care. But I did.

“You look terrible,” she said, ignoring me. “Are you even eating?”

“I’m consuming the daily recommended calorie intake,” I hedged.

“Ah,” she answered, examining my empty glass.

I shook my head and signaled to Vi for another.

Finley narrowed her eyes once more. “Can I get a basket of chicken tenders too, Vi?” she added.

“Sure thing,” she said, ringing up Finley’s food before grabbing the bottle of Jack and filling me to the top.

Finley examined my glass but didn’t say a word.

“What?” I asked, feeling defensive.

“Nothing,” she answered, looking at her hands.

“Judging me?”

“Not at all,” she said sincerely and looked me dead in the eye.

This look froze me, and the glass slipped from my fingers and back onto the bar top, spilling a little from the rim.

“I’ve done that very thing,” she said, gesturing toward my glass.

“Drink ’til you’re numb?”

“No,” she said, “succumb to a vice in order to forget.”

I leaned forward, stunned by this admission, and my eyes found hers. “What, Finley?”

She hesitated, started to open her mouth, but someone called her name and she turned around. It was an ex-classmate of ours, couldn’t remember her name, the one she’d been dancing with, and I found myself feeling anxious all of a sudden. I hadn’t felt anxious in a long time. Hadn’t felt anything, really, other than severe pain and shame, in a very long time. Huh.

“Finley, Chris is gonna give me a ride back home. You cool?” the girl asked, eyeing me. She knew. The whole town knew about my tumble down the rabbit hole.

“Yeah, Holly Raye. I’ll see you tomorrow,” she answered, her brows scrunched in confusion.

Finley was surprised by Holly Raye’s apparent worry which I found odd.

“Okay,” Holly Raye said, kissing Finley’s cheek.

Chris was waiting by the door for her, and we both watched them leave, afraid to speak, our earlier moment gone.

Vi walked up with Finley’s chicken tenders and set them in front of her. Her fingers found one but lifted up quickly with a tiny gasp.

“Hot,” she whispered, resting her fingers against the side of her water glass.

She let them cool for a few moments and we sat in awkward silence. I wasn’t sure what she was still doing there. I didn’t have any clue why she had even started to talk to me either. I mean, I knew in high school she’d had a crush on me, but I figured it was long gone. She used to stare at me a little doe eyed, and I had always done my best to be kind to her but not too kind. I’d considered her a friend but nothing more, even if I did take solace in my conversations with her. I’d never admitted that out loud to anyone then, though, not that I was ashamed or anything. It’s just, I was in love with Cricket.


The ache in my chest burned deep, a restless reminder of all I’d lost. And suddenly I felt guilty for finding Finley attractive even when I thought she was a stranger. Even after Cricket left me for Spencer.

“You should probably leave,” I told her.

She looked at me like I was crazy. “I’ll do whatever I want,” she said, sitting taller, pitching me that confident Finley attitude I remembered from high school.

“Whatever,” I said, then called out to Vi for another round, which she served up quickly.

Finley tore apart a few tenders then handed me half of one.

“Uh, no,” I said, downing my glass.

“Uh, yes,” she mocked, shoving the piece in my face.

“Stop,” I said, swiping it away.

“Eat, damn it,” she said.

I looked at her and the expression on her face told me she wouldn’t quit, so I roughly took it from her and took a large bite. She bit into her own piece, a smug look on her face. She practically hand fed me every piece in the damn basket, but I didn’t care. I knew what she was doing, but it wouldn’t work because the liquor resting in my belly was too substantial to be worked against.

“What have you done with your summer?” she asked me.

“This,” I said, gesturing to my glass.

“What the hell, Ethan?”

“What, are you my mother?” I asked, immediately regretting those choice of words. I closed my eyes.

Mom. My heart dropped into my throat. Must remedy that.

“Vi,” I said loudly to her at the other end of the bar. “One more.”

Vi walked the length of the bar and filled my glass again, much to Finley’s obvious horror.

“Vi, can I get some mozzarella sticks?” she asked.

“Of course, darlin’.”

Finley smiled at me.

“I’m not eating those,” I told her.

“Oh, you’ll eat them.”

“I won’t.”

“You will.”

“I sure as hell will not, Finley Dyer.”

She leaned closer and my head began to swim. Her signature scent of apples and wild daisies swarmed around me, making my heart race. It’d never bothered me before. It’s the liquor, I told myself.

“You will or I’m taking your ass home right now.”

“You can just kiss that ass, Fin.”

“That’s the Jack talking.”

“No, that’s me. I don’t want to play anymore. I want to be left alone now.”

“You see,” she said, settling her elbows on the bar top, “I think- No, I know you’re lying. Like I said before, you’re a terrible liar. I think you’ve lied so often about wanting to be left alone, though, that you’ve convinced your head it’s the truth, but you can’t convince the heart, Ethan. You know why? Because the heart can’t ever be lied to, and yours beats the loneliest I’ve ever heard.”

I didn’t answer her. Couldn’t answer her.

“What have you done this summer?” I asked, ignoring her spot-on observation.

She played along. “I’ve had a temp job here in Kalispell answering phones for Smith Travel, trying to earn cash for my trip.”

My brows furrowed. “What trip?”

“I’m heading over to Vietnam for a year.”

This shocked me. “What in the world would you go to Vietnam for?”

“Charity work,” she answered, making me laugh.

“Why?” I asked.

“Don’t be an asshole,” she replied.

“No, really, why?”

“I’ve wanted to do this for close to five years now.”

“How come I don’t ever remember you talking about this at school?”

“Ethan,” she said softly, “let’s not pretend we ever really talked in high school deeper than filler conversation.”

This wounded me a little, though I’m not sure why. “What the hell, Finley? You and I were friends.”

Now it was her turn to laugh. “We were most definitely not friends. I may know everything about you and you may know everything about me because we grew up together, but we were not friends. You had a constant bodyguard in Cricket.”

I sat up at the mention of her name. “Don’t ever say her name again,” I gritted.

She raised her hands in concession. “Fine.”

There was a pregnant pause as she let me calm myself down.

“I talked to you a lot in the classes we had,” I offered.

“We talked a lot about the upcoming football games or class assignments. Once or twice, we took the seventy-year-old route and discussed the weather.”

I fought my grin. “Okay, so it was always surface observation, but we were kids.”

“No, Ethan, that’s not what it was.”

“Well, you were in love with me,” I bravely spit. “I couldn’t take it further than just below the shoal.” Thank you, Mr. Daniels.

“Full of yourself, are we?” she asked. “Listen,” she continued, “I had a crush on you in high school. So what? Lots of girls did. But I was, am, a human being. You didn’t have to treat me like some leper. Trust me, Ethan, we all know who you belonged to,” she said.

She stood to leave, but I grabbed her arm. The heated warmth of her skin shot straight to my heart. We looked at one another, wide eyed, our chests panting. I shook my head to recompose myself. “I’m sorry,” I told her, encouraging her to sit back down. “I’m- I know you deserved better.”

She hesitated but sat back in her seat. I stared at her, a little too intently thanks to the Jack. She nodded once and we sat in a comfortable silence as I had five more shots.

The whiskey made my body heavy as hell, the weight of its honeyed venom deadened the ache inside me pleasantly.

I sighed and smiled to myself.

“What’s so funny?” she asked.

I looked up at her though it felt unusually burdensome and leaned toward her. “I’m going to get them back,” I admitted to her.

She narrowed her eyes. “Who, Ethan?”

“Them,” I said, bringing a tired finger to my lips. “Don’t tell anyone.”

I fell back into my chair. I brought my fingers to my empty glass and tilted it, balancing it on one finger. She was quiet for a moment.

“Ethan,” she began, whispering, “that’s not like you.”

I smiled. “I’m not who I used to be, Finley.”

“That’s a shame,” she said, “because you used to be wonderful.”

I narrowed my eyes at her. “Do you know what they did to me?”

“She left you for him,” she said matter-of-factly.

I let the glass tip over onto its side at her bluntness. “Exactly. After all I did for her. After all I was to her. She left me for him.”

“She wasn’t meant for you, Ethan.”

My skin burned with hatred at that statement. “No one is meant for anyone, Finley. You choose someone and then you make a commitment.”

She shook her head at me. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.“

“She chose me, convinced me that she was all in, and I was willing to die for her because of it. She convinced me she actually loved me. I thought she loved me.”

“She did love you. I believe she, you both really, would have been somewhat happy if Spencer had never shown up.”


“You’re not hearing me. You both would have been somewhat happy. Neither of you would have been utterly happy.”

This infuriated me. “I could have made her happy!” I yelled, earning a few glances from around the bar.

“Yes, you could have made her happy, but not as happy as Spencer does.”

My blood simmered in my veins. “You are cruel,” I bit.

She leaned forward. “I’m being honest with you. Someone has to since you’re not being honest with yourself. I saw them together, Ethan, and she never looked at you like that.”

“Stop,” I said, gritting my teeth. “Stop.”

“Ethan,” she said, resting her hand on mine. I yanked it from her. “Don’t you want the same thing for yourself? Don’t you want forever with someone who burns for you the way you burn for her? You deserve that just as much as she does.”

“Shut up,” I said, bringing my hands to my hair and fisting it at my ears. I didn’t want to hear it.

“Fine,” she said, sitting up. She looked around her and asked Vi for two cups of coffee.

I couldn’t breathe. Finley voiced everything I’d worked so hard to drown out, I’d attempted to numb. I hated her for ruining the struggle to suppress it. I just wanted to pretend. I wanted my hate, wanted it to live close to me. It was the only thing I felt could keep me alive. I couldn’t let her go. I didn’t want her to be loved by anyone but me. I didn’t want to be reminded that someone else really did love her better than I did, that someone else made her happier. Because I had watched them too. I saw what Finley saw, and my God did I hate Spencer Blackwell for it.

I wanted bitter.

I wanted sadness.

I wanted revenge.

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Author Photo2Fisher Amelie resides in the South with her kick ace husband slash soul mate. She earned her first ‘mama’ patch in 2009. She also lives with her Weim, Jonah, and her Beta, Whale. All these living creatures keep the belly of her life full, sometimes to the point of gluttony, but she doesn’t mind all that much because life isn’t worth living if it isn’t entertaining, right? Fisher is the author of The Seven Deadly Series, The Sleepless Series, and The Leaving Series, and was a semi-finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award.    

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