Title: Meet Me in the Strange
Author: Leander Watts
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
2019 IPPY SILVER MEDALIST – YOUNG ADULT
Meet Me in the Strange is an intoxicating adventure set in a glittery, retro-futuristic world of glam rock, spectral aliens, and gender-bendy teens. Davi is mesmerized by a girl at a concert, who appears to lose herself in the power of the otherworldy music of Django Conn. Later, through a chance meeting, Davi becomes friends with the girl, Anna Z. She is like no one Davi has ever met: she loves to talk, talk, talk and has grandiose theories of the next evolution of humans and a strange phenomenon she calls the “Alien Drift.” But danger lurks around every corner, because Anna Z is on the run, and her cruel and controlling older brother is determined to find her, at any cost. Davi faces a daunting decision, go on living a safe existence at the magical Angelus Hotel, which has been in the family for generations, or help Anna Z escape her troubled past. When the two take off to follow the concert tour of their glam-rock idol, Django Conn, Davi and Anna Z will face the biggest threat of their young lives.
Excerpt from Meet Me in the Strange
© 2019 Leander Watts
“My name’s Davi.”
She waited just a couple of seconds, then said, “I’m Anna Z.”
That was the shortest thing I ever heard her say. Soon enough, so many words were coming out of her that I felt like I was drowning. Wild stories, charming lies, true facts and fairy tales, rambling rants, song lyrics, rhymes and riddles and beautiful secrets. But for those couple of minutes, she still didn’t know if she could trust me. So she didn’t say much at first.
I asked about her favorite album. Of course, like me, it was Man in the Moon in the Man. We agreed that it was amazing and that we could listen to it a thousand times and never use it up. Only ten songs and there was a whole world hidden there in the grooves.
“Radiation Nation,” I said.
“Signs and Wonders,” she said back. “With the wild gamba solo, right?”
“Love and Gravity, Royal Shining Things,” I said the song names like I was using secret passwords. “Forty Months and a Day. The first time I heard that one, I thought my brain was going to catch on fire.”
She didn’t walk away saying I was a freak or an imbecilo turd-toy. I’d been through that enough times before, people telling me to go away, that I was too fanatical, too wound-up, too much. But right there in front of the theater, I went up to her and started talking about Django Conn, and that’s all it took to bring us together.
“I’ve got some bootleg LPs and some really rare 45s,” I told her, not bragging, but saying it just to see how she’d respond. “I saw a ticket stub from his first show with the Reptiles. A guy had it for sale. It was supposedly autographed, but how could you prove that Django really signed it?”
I kept thinking how amazing it was that she didn’t walk away. Once she’d gotten used to me, and that didn’t take long, she stood there like she was really listening. And I did too. Of course, that was probably easier for me because she was Anna Z, and there was nobody like her on the whole planet, maybe in the whole universe. Her hair wasn’t quite so wild as at the Maxima, but there were still black snakes tangled in it. No liquid blurs of color moved on her glasses. All the same, it was hard to see her eyes. Swept up into Django’s sound, she was lost and found. Standing on the street with me, she wasn’t so free, so spontaneous. But I remembered how she’d been, and I knew she’d be that way again.
I told her about the Angelus, that my family owned it and that I had always lived there. I mentioned Sabina and Carlos and the others. And that was all it took to make the final link between us, because she told me she’d been there just a few hours before. It really was her I’d heard through the wall, talking about blood, fire, moonlight, music, and mutation. It was no phantasm I’d seen walking down the hallway to the elevator.“
About Leander Watts
An avid musician, Leander Watts has played and sung for decades in a wide variety of bands. His interests range from garage rock to skronky jazz, from baroque organ to Appalachian gospel. The first rock concert he attended was David Bowie on the Diamond Dogs tour in 1974. He teaches writing and literature at the State University of New York at Geneseo (his alma mater). Leander Watts is the author of STONECUTTER, WILD RIDE TO HEAVEN, TEN THOUSAND CHARMS, and BEAUTIFUL CITY OF THE DEAD.
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Title: Immortal Lust Anthology
Authors: A.C. Williams & J. Williams, Parker Stevens, Timber Philips, Liz Knox & J.H. Wolfe, Claire Marta, Harper Ray, Kay Maree, Nikki Landis, Nicky Fox, Coourtney Lynn Rose, Nicole Kelley
Genre: Paranormal Romance
As vampires, the entire world is at our disposal. We’re blessed with the one thing that others crave - immortality.
While life may be eternal, love doesn’t come so easy.
In this anthology you’ll go on various journeys with characters who are on their own paths to find their mate, something they crave more than anything else in this world.
***Immortal Lust features a collection of short stories from various authors who have written in time frames from the eighteenth century to modern times. Steam levels vary depending on author and story line.
About the Authors
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Title: Mystic Desire
Author: Breanna Hayse, Alice Renaud, Zia Westfield, Dee S. Knight, Carol Schoenig, Callie Carmen, Anne Krist, Suzanne Smith, Patricia Elliott, R.M. Olivia, Richard Savage, Lora Logan, Jan Selbourne
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Mystic Desire is a collection of short paranormal romance stories. This is a chance to read and discover the work of a diverse group of very talented authors.
The themes in this book are varied, as are the collection of characters and artifacts, including Native American dream catchers, mystical jewelry, and characters such as lustful vampires, hot warlocks, a grumpy leprechaun, a ghostly terrier, a zombie apocalypse and things that go bump in the night.
From soft and tender love to hot passionate, kinky sex, there is something for everyone in this anthology.
Unconditional Lust – Breanna Hayse
The massive, hideous merrow leader, Muruch, craves the taste of human flesh. Confined to the ocean, he feeds his horde with sailors from ships pulled into the maw of the Bermuda Triangle. When US Army Captain, Nurys Shaye, puts her life on the line to save him after being captured, his hunger for human flesh is shadowed by the desire for her body and her love. Will she be able to see past his appearance and trust him to break down her walls and teach her to feel?
The Sweetest Magic of All – Alice Renaud
When a sexy apprentice witch and a hot warlock go back in time to locate a magical amulet, they find more than they bargained for. It's May Eve, the most magical night of the year, and normal rules don't apply...
Bewitching the Wolf – Zia Westfield
The Witch, Alice Humphreys has poured her heart and soul into creating a magical B&B where guests experience the fantasy vacation of their dreams! Brodie MacEwan has been sent to investigate the mysterious death of his uncle. He never expected to discover his soul mate in his dreams. But is the illusion real? Alice knows that there is something all too predatory about the Scotsman and he makes her body tingle in places it shouldn’t!
An Awareness of Evil – Dee S. Knight
Only two things stand between evil and a small girl: the visions of Amanda McMasters and Detective Brendan Gilchrist. Neither can afford to be wrong.
Love that Binds – Carol Schoenig
On the outskirts of a small town where nothing grows, a young girl, Ianthee, is being bullied and accused of being a witch. Young Caleb, inexplicably drawn to Ianthee, comes to her rescue. Before they can explore their feelings, Caleb and his family disappear. What happened to him, and what part does a long-ago legend play in their lives?
Dream Catcher – Callie Carmen
Long ago, a medicine man had made a matched set of dream catchers as a wedding gift to protect the Chief’s daughter and her warrior husband. He had called upon the benevolent spirits to keep the two soul mates safe and in a loving, healthy marriage. It was foretold that if the two dream catchers were ever divided the new owners would be drawn together as soul mates. Was that possible?
Life Saving – Anne Krist
Saving lives isn't just for adults. Sometimes the innocent magic of a child can do the job better.
The Mortal Vampire – Suzanne Smith
Remy enjoys life as a vampire, never giving a thought to sucking every last drop of tasty blood out of his unfortunate victims and leaving them doornail dead. But his cold and carefree existence changes the day he crosses paths with the beautiful and mysterious mortal Angela.
Love from the Mist – Patricia Elliott
When Jace Warden learns that his brother plans to announce his engagement at a family get together, he flees to the other side of the world to escape the joyous celebration.
Or at least attempts to… His plane never makes it, and he winds up trapped on an island. Little does he realize, he’s not alone; there’s a mischievous little entity milling about, and she wants to play.
Love’s Ghost – R.M. Olivia
“Sorry, babe. I know it hurts to hear.” John frowned. I’ll make this brief. I spoke to the man in charge, and he is giving me one last chance.”
“I’m allowed to make love to my wife one last time before I have to cross over. So, are you ready for your husband? Are you ready for me, Ingrid?” He lifted my chin up and ran his thumb along my lips. I felt a chill go down my spine. How could this be real? How could this be happening?
Love Knows No Apocalypse – Patricia Elliott
Getting stranded in the middle of a storm was not Samantha Wheeler’s idea of an ideal situation, especially in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. But fighting zombies was the easy part; her heart, though, was a whole other matter. Thanks to a man named Steve Jones.
When they find themselves in danger, she has to decide what’s more important - dying for someone you love or surviving.
Calling All Angels – Lora Logan
Elijah Baker, an immortal tasked with fighting against demons that exist on earth, finds peace when he meets his new neighbor, Celeste. But when he realizes that their love comes with a cost, he is faced with choosing between his calling and a chance at true love.
The Anniversary – Richard Savage
A cruel twist of fate wrenched Evelyn and Peter apart on their wedding anniversary. Evelyn’s life descends into darkness. James enters her life giving her a chance of happiness. Evelyn discovers a piece of jewelry, that has the power to grant her time with Peter on their anniversary. She adores James, but needs Peter. Can she ever really let Peter go, while there’s still a chance they can be together?
Through the Veil – Jan Selbourne
A beautiful March day in 1875 ends in tragedy when the wagon carrying Helen and Marcus plunges down the mountainside. Generations pass before Rachel Finlay finds an old sepia photo of a man and woman. She knows them but she’s never met them and now, for the peace of mind she desperately craves, she goes back to where it began. In time, through the veil, knowing she may never return.
About the Authors
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Title: Tempting Heart (Tempt Me #1)
Author: Sara Whitney
Genre: Contemporary Romance
It’s cold outside, but it’s getting hot inside…
An unforgiving blizzard
Tom Castle ended up in the wrong apartment on the wrong day. Now a ferocious snowstorm has him trapped with his onetime crush and longtime regret, which is pretty much in line with his lifelong bad luck.
An unwelcome houseguest
Finn Carey has no choice. Although it’s tempting to let Tom take his chances on the streets of Chicago, she doesn’t want anyone to die in a snowbank– not even the man who hurt her so badly years ago.
An unexpected second chance
At first, Tom and Finn do their best to ignore each other in the close quarters. Then the power goes out, and things between them heat up as the secrets start to flow. Which will thaw first: the storm raging outside or the ice protecting their hearts?
Tempting Heat is the first book in Tempt Me, Sara Whitney’s sassy, steamy new contemporary romance series. It’s a standalone novella with no cliffhangers, so slip on your fuzzy socks and get reading!
Excerpt from Tempting Heat
© 2019 Sara Whitney
On day three of being snowed in with her old friend-turned-nemesis-turned… whatever Tom was at this point, Finn came to the breakfast table armed with plans.
“So I figure we’ve got two options,” Tom announced after his first sip of coffee.
“You do?” She choked back a laugh that roll-with-the-punches-Tom had beaten her to it.
“Yep,” he said. “One, I still have a mountain of editing, so like we’ve been doing, we can work until it’s time for bed. Or two: We declare today a lazy day and lounge.”
His spoon clinked against his mug as he waited for her response.
“Funny,” she said. “I came up with three options as I was falling asleep last night.” He didn’t need to know she’d written them down and numbered them in order of preference in the Bullet Journal she kept on her nightstand.
“Excellent. Hit me.”
“Well, there’s plan A: we keep plugging away on our projects. Plan B: we fire up Netflix. Or plan C: we spend all day in bed, reading and napping.”
He quirked a brow at her. “In bed? Sounds heavenly.”
The words scorched the air around her. She hadn’t meant to say it like that, but it slipped out and now the image throbbed in her brain. Tom, sprawled across her bed, curly head propped on his hand while the other held a book. Setting it aside when he noticed her eyes drifting shut and then wrapping them both in a blanket. Napping together and waking to find his hand sliding under her clothes, seeking--
Her cheeks heated, and she reached for her coffee to halt her wayward thoughts. That wasn’t part of the plan.
“Different beds and different bedrooms of course,” she clarified, inwardly wincing at her prissy tone.
His hot gaze burned into hers for a beat longer than was strictly necessary before his mask slipped back into place and Friend Tom was seated in front of her once more. But was that relief she felt, or disappointment?
About Sara Whitney
Sara Whitney writes sassy, sexy contemporary romance novels packed with wit, charm, and crackling dialogue. A 2019 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® award finalist, Sara worked as a newspaper reporter and film critic before she earned her Ph.D. and landed in academia. She's a great baker, a so-so karaoke singer, and an expert TV opinion-haver.
Sara and her divorce-attorney husband (yep, she sees the irony of their dueling professions) live in Illinois in a house full of books, cats, and pinball machines. Keep up with Sara by subscribing to her mailing list at http://www.sarawhitney.com/subscribe
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Title: The Man in the Dragon Mask
Author: Amanda Roberts
Genre: Historical Fiction
And A Secret That Could Destroy An Empire
At the dawn of the Ming Dynasty, the emperor will do anything to ensure the future of his empire. Building the Forbidden City in fulfillment of his father's dreams is only the beginning.
But few people share the emperor's vision.
When a consort's betrayal has devastating consequences that rock the imperial court, the emperor discovers that the fight for the dragon throne has only begun.
About Amanda Roberts
Amanda Roberts is a USA Today bestselling author who has been living in China since 2010. She has an MA in English from the University of Central Missouri and has been published in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies around the world. Amanda can be found all over the Internet, but her home is AmandaRobertsWrites.com.
About Derek Shupert
Derek Shupert is an emerging Science Fiction Author known for his captivating dystopian storylines and post-apocalyptic-laden plots. With various books and anthologies underway, he is also the author of the Afflicted series and Sentry Squad.
Outside of the fantastical world of sci-fi, Derek serves as the Vice President at Woodforest National Bank. During his free time, he enjoys reading, exercising, and watching apocalyptic movies and TV shows like Mad Max and The Walking Dead. Above all, he is a family man who cherishes nothing more than quality time spent with his loved ones.
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©2019 Alana Delacroix
Who designed your book covers?
Natasha Snow at http://natashasnow.com/. It was as if she read my mind because that was almost exactly as I pictured Iliana. I like having covers that feature my female characters.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Cal Olin is an older Gavin Leatherwood, who played Nicholas Scratch in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. And Iliana is Constance Wu, who is an incredible actor.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I love hearing what you think! Like it, love it, have questions? I want to know so email me at email@example.com.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Imagination for Cal. I don’t know any resurrected Eagle Knights. Iliana is mostly imagination but her job as a forensic anthropologist was inspired by a woman I worked with about 20 years ago. She was the coolest, so smart and competent.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I’m a pantser, which means I go in with minimal plotting, so sometimes it seems as if everything hijacks the story. Although I know the ending (it’s romance, so they always get together!), I only know a few stops on the way. If I plot too much I get bored writing. I wear a bracelet that’s a quote from JRR Tolkein: Not all who wander are lost. Although the line refers to Aragorn’s time in the Wild, I like to use it as a reminder to let the story unravel itself.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
What did you edit out of this book?
Oh gosh. So much. I have a document called “bits” that contains lines and sections I deleted. It’s 5,000 words. Some of those sections are the journal entries from Iliana’s mother, describing her side of the story. I liked them but took it out because it pulled attention from Cal and Iliana.
About Alana Delacroix
Alana Delacroix is a paranormal romance writer based in Toronto, Canada. Her Masked Arcana trilogy is available through Kensington's Lyrical Press, and her Immortal Protector series launches Fall 2019. She is an introvert's introvert who loves true crime, war, and horror podcasts and is very paranoid. Alana is also addicted to advice columns.
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Title: A Whole New Duke
Author: Samantha Holt
Genre: Historical Romance
The Dark Duke they call him.
And he certainly matches up to his name. From his looks to his constantly furrowed brow, Miss Beatrice Edgerton is under no illusions as to the status of their arranged marriage.
It will be very much one of convenience. With him conveniently providing the title her family so desperately wants and her family bringing in plenty of money for his dilapidated home. She is simply grateful he is younger than her first husband.
Lord Morton, Duke of Hartwich, is only a little perturbed by the vibrant Beatrice. After all, he sets her straight from the very first day of their marriage—this is one of mutual benefit. In one way only. She can expect no affection or romance from him.
Because, frankly, he is incapable of such things. Being a one-legged duke with a slightly dark past brings enough challenges without him having to worry about a wife too. His days of concern for anyone are long gone.
Unfortunately, It is not only the duke’s dark demeanor she has to deal with. Someone is trying to cause trouble for them but they cannot fathom who or why.
Grace is determined to make the best of the situation, even whilst spending Christmas with the duke alone in the eerie Hartwich Hall. Why, perhaps she might even be able to change the duke’s mind about their relationship.
Especially after they share a fiery kiss…or three…
Excerpt from A Whole New Duke
© 2019 Samantha Holt
“I’m very tired,” she said through a yawn.
“You need to stay awake, Bea. You may have a concussion.”
“Concussion?” Her words sounded slurred to her but she was not certain they actually were.
“When one is struck on the head, it can make one feel a little strange. I have suffered it myself falling from horses.”
“Oh.” She put an arm over her face to block out the unwelcome light but Adam pulled her arm away from her face and she scowled at him.
“You need to stay awake, Bea. Just until we can be certain you are feeling better.”
“I would rather sleep,” she muttered.
“Mrs. Howard, will you get some ice and tea, please?”
Bea didn’t see the housekeeper leave but she heard her footsteps scurrying off. Adam cupped her cheek and she sank gratefully into the comforting warmth of his touch. “You are quite handsome,” she said softly.
“And you are still charming somehow.”
“I like it when you touch me.”
A smile grazed his lips. “I like touching you.”
“See? That was not so hard to admit was it?”
“Especially because you will likely not remember a thing of what you said tonight.”
“I know exactly what I am saying,” she declared, although the words did seem strange and still incoherent. She yawned and closed her eyes.
“Tell me of this intruder.”
Opening her eyes, she frowned. “It was dark but he was tall.”
“Taller than me.”
“Yes. No...Perhaps.” She let her eyelids flutter shut and found the darkness behind them quite pleasant.
“Anything else you can recall?” she heard him say but it was too hard to respond. Her jaw felt heavy and her tongue thick. “Bea?” A hand tapped her cheek and she ripped her eyes open.
“Stop,” she protested.
“You need to tell me all, Bea.”
“He seemed skinny but strong. He pushed me hard.” She forced her attention to his concerned features. “Adam, will you let me sleep with you tonight? I do not want to be alone.”
His lips tilted. “You will not be alone. I promise.”
About Samantha Holt
SA Today Bestselling author Samantha Holt lives in a small village in England with her twin girls and a dachshund called Duke. If you’re not sure where to start why not try…
▶ Amelia and the Viscount (Bluestocking Brides #1) for a fun, slightly hot shorter length read. Meet the Chadwick sisters and follow their adventures in each of their standalone stories.
▶ You’re the Rogue That I Want (Rogues of Redmere #1) is a longer read with heat, witty dialogue, a feisty heroine and adventure. All books in the series are standalone.
▶ Sinful Confessions is the first in the Cynfell Brothers Series. These are all novella length and standalone–ideal for a quick dip into the world of the sexy Cynfell brothers.
▶ Wake Me With a Kiss is a sweet, fairytale romance. Twists on Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are also available if you love a clean, fun read.
▶ To Steal a Highlander’s Heart is a full length dive into the world of sexy highlanders. For those who love braw Scots, some steamy scenes, and medieval romance, this series is a perfect escape.
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What's Your Story
by Cherie Claire
I once took a screenwriting class and I would come up with what I thought were fantastic ideas for films. When called on in class I would happily explain that there was this thing going on and that thing happening and this fun scene and then my characters would do this...
My professor would hold up his hand and ask, “But what is your story?”
If I couldn’t answer his question in under five minutes, he would dismiss me with a wave of his hand and tell me to get back to work.
Granted, Hollywood thinks in terms of simplicity but the point remains, your story should be something explained quickly. It’s the heart of the matter. It’s the point of everything. Your story is a road map to where your characters are going to travel.
To Kill a Mockingbird: You can’t understand another human being unless you walk in their shoes.
Moby Dick: Man vs. a beast of a whale
Harry Potter: Orphan finds out he’s a wizard and heads to Wizard School. Later, he realizes how his parents died, how he’s the chosen one and must fight the evil coming to harm the magical world.
My Viola Valentine paranormal mysteries: Hurricane Katrina gives Viola Valentine of New Orleans a chance to start a new life, but now the travel writer sees ghosts who have died by water — and mysteries to solve — everywhere she goes.
What’s your story?
About Cherie Claire
Cherie Claire grew up in south Louisiana, with mud between her toes and a rabid love of Mardi Gras parades. Born in New Orleans and now living in Cajun Country, she couldn't help but write about her unique, colorful state.
Cherie is the award-winning author of several Cajun historical romances and The Cajun Embassy series of contemporary romances. She's a Holt Award finalist, a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award finalist and received the Louisiana Press Women Book of the Year. Her latest is a paranormal mystery series featuring ghost sleuth Viola Valentine of New Orleans.
Check out her non-fiction titles athttps://www.amazon.com/author/cherecoen
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Title: Panic (Mass Hysteria #1)
Author: Dawn Brazil
Genre: Young Adult, SciFi Romance
Mass Hysteria is a trilogy of young adult romantic/science-fiction serial novels that tell a continuous story. The books must be read in order, to fully understand the unfolding story.
High school can be hard, especially when your favorite horror movie becomes your reality…
High-School senior, Elizabeth calculates the likelihood of finding love to the probability of starring in a slasher film with her best friend, until she meets Brian Thompson. Love isn’t the only thing that eludes Elizabeth, however. Several threatening notes that promise her demise make a long life also questionable.
When Elizabeth’s best friend shares an article about the death of a girl in Italy, she dismisses it. As more girls are murdered, and cryptic messages are tucked in her locker, she realizes something sinister might be at play. Why? Each of the slain girls look like her.
Excerpt from Panic
© 2019 Dawn Brazil
The single slip of manila paper says only two words: “your next.”
Right away, a few things are apparent: this person’s command of the English language is severely lacking; the scrawl is most likely that of a teenage boy or a toddler of any gender; and thirdly, this note is different from the others. I glance around the brick pillar at the front of our house. The street is silent; not one person is outside from where I stand.
I ball the paper up and toss it in my purse.
I slide into the car beside Stacey and we head to the restaurant—in absolute silence. Silence has many forms. The form we exhibit is awkward—at least for best friends.
We both know why we’re going today. Stacey doesn’t agree with my sentiment for the day, though. I’ve read that if you toss a being outside their natural habitat, one of two things will happen—they will rise to the occasion, or die.
I’m a fighter. I should be able to master the social landscape of female teenagerdom, but it seems I can’t. I flounder—a lot. I cannot explain my high intellect and my innate ability to elicit cringes or gasps of shock when I speak.
Today, that changes.
Once we’re at the restaurant, Stacey says only four words: “This is ridiculous, hon.”
I disagree and we head inside to meet the other girls.
We arrive mid-joke. So, I time my laugh to spill from my lips at the perfect moment.
Except, the sensation rises from my abdomen like gravel tumbling through my mouth. Stacey turns, her lips pursed tight. The other girls stop giggling. Their purrs of laughter are in deep contrast to my piercing cackle.
They frown in unison—everyone but Stacey. She has an ‘I’m sorry I got you into this mess, hon’ look on her face. Though lacking in most social skills, I’m able to read their expressions: ‘What the hell was Stacey thinking, bringing the schizoid?’
I’m painfully aware something is off with me. On a scale of weirdness, I’m not Pinhead. I’m more Carrie, without the powers. I’d change this perception of oddness I convey, but I don’t know where to begin to work on myself. That’s why I’m here today.
Glancing around the table, I attempt a quick recovery. Dogs. Girls like dogs. “I have a dog. He’s the cutest little Pomeranian.”
My words are met with oohs and awws, but Stacey shakes her head once, slightly. I don’t know why she does it. I’ve hit a chord with these girls. I block her shaking head and the bombardment of senseless information streaming through my mind, and continue talking. “He’s a handsome little fur ball.”
“I love dogs,” one of Stacey’s friends says. “My Jax is too freaking cute.”
“My FeFe is too adorbs. What’s your dog’s name, Elizabeth?” Melissa, the closest girl to me asks.
“Norman Bates. He’s a—”
“You named your dog Norman Bates?” Melissa asks.
“Like, isn’t that the crazy dude from that movie? The one who cross-dressed like his mom and like killed everyone?” someone else asks.
“It’s kinda weird… well, a lot weird that you named your dog after a homicidal maniac,” Melissa says. No one speaks after her comment. They all stare in opposite directions.
I almost laugh at their reaction, but stop myself. A rush of thoughts hurry through my head: Melissa’s eyes are the color of her heart—black. She’s a modern Cruella DeVille. She’ll trample over her own mother to get what she wants, which is always materialistic and selfish. She’s also beautiful, and she hates me but loves my best friend Stacey.
I shake my head discreetly. They act like I told them I’m naming my firstborn Freddie Krueger. Which I would do, if I could have kids.
I strum my fingers over my jean shorts and count in my head. Counting reminds me not to speak and further add to the awkwardness of the moment.
“Norman Bates is the best dog name, ever,” Stacey says. She gives me a wink. “More importantly, has anyone seen that new movie? You know… the new romance?” Stacey snaps her fingers like she can’t remember. “Oh, I forget the name. But I heard it’s hot—full of steamy love scenes…” Everyone starts talking, each girl stumbling over the other to get a word in. Like if they don’t articulate what they have to say straightaway, their lives might be in peril.
I don’t understand girls, even though I’ve been part of the gender my entire life.
About Dawn Brazil
Dawn wants to live in a world fully inhabited by fictional characters. She thinks fictional characters are cooler than real people. Except herself, of course. But since the world is not comprised of dreamy book boyfriends, she creates them for everyone to fawn over. Her debut novel, Finding Me, book 1 in the Finding Me series, released on March 3rd 2016.
When she is not writing, she can be found with her nose in a book - swooning over another book boyfriend, drying up tears from a recent heartbreak, or shouldering a wound she received in battle. She also loves to create magic in the kitchen with an array of inspiring dishes she pulls from Pinterest. Dawn lives in South Texas with her sports obsessed husband, three technology infatuated teenagers, and her great, big, colossal imagination.
She is a master juggler and is working on two other Young Adult standalone novels - a high fantasy tearjerker and a science fiction story with a romance that will make your heart ache.
And she is passionate about superheroes - especially Wonder Woman!
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