Who She Was
Publication date: May 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Trevor Adler loathes the music he used to love, but it’s the key to his full-ride scholarship and the ticket away from his dysfunctional parents. To kick off their freshman year, Trevor’s roommate drags him to a frat party, where he ends up face-to-face with his childhood best friend and finds himself entrenched in memories he’d rather forget.
Unable to let Charlie go again without understanding the truth of why she disappeared from his life and chose to become the type of person they always hated, Trevor is relentless in his pursuit of the girl he once knew.
Charlotte (Charlie) Logan is broken. Under her perfectly-crafted exterior are the shards of a shattered heart. A handful of angry words changed her life completely and Charlie’s never been able to forgive herself for the truth she’s hidden from everyone.
While Trevor pushes Charlie to remember the music that lit her soul and the laughter they shared, they find themselves reverting to a banter-filled rhythm that feels all too familiar, yet different now. When Trevor’s own secrets come to light, it becomes clear he and Charlie both must face their tragic pasts if they have any hope at a future together.
“Are you guys ready for this?”
The overly-excited frat boy in charge yelled into the microphone and the backyard of the Sigma Alpha house hit deafening levels. Inside their dingy kitchen, I shared a wary look with a few of the Kappa pledges.
“As much fun as we’re already having tonight, it’s about to get real! The fifth annual dating auction is about to start. That means the only thing standing between you and a hot little sorority pledge is your parents’ money!”
A petite redhead who barely looked fifteen, let alone eighteen, drew back the curtain of the kitchen window to peek out as he continued and then giggled.
“I can’t believe rush week is finally here and tonight is the auction!” She actually clapped her hands together and I forced my eyes not to disappear into the back of my head. “I hope Austin bids on me,” she gushed. “He’s so hot.”
“And you will be yet another notch on his freshman bedpost,” I muttered before I could stop myself. The girl behind me in line stifled a chuckle, and I smiled knowing there was someone else who understood how absurd this was.
“Your mom was a Kappa, too?” She asked.
I nodded. The line of sorority pledges filed forward through the kitchen to the back door as the emcee announced the next piece of meat up for bid. I kept my eyes forward and not on the half-filled keg cups and ripped open chip bags.
“Can you believe we have to go through with this just to pledge?” The girl twisted a piece of her hair and I didn’t miss the fear that flashed in her eyes. “The worst part was when I told my mom, she was actually excited.”
We took another step forward as I shook my head in disbelief. I hadn’t bothered to even tell my mother since it wouldn’t have mattered. Getting in was all she was worried about and Katie was the only one who ever mattered to her.
Then, I was next. I swallowed down my own anxiety and pressed my sweating palms down my skirt. It was tight and high-waisted, and my heels were higher than I was comfortable with.
Katie would have loved me in it.
I missed my Chucks.
My name came over the crackling sound system and I felt warm fingers encircle my own.
“You’ll do great, Charlotte,” she encouraged. I hadn’t even bothered to ask her name and she’d been astute enough to pluck mine from the bio being read to the crowd. I gave her a tight-lipped smile and returned the gesture even though I wanted to yank my hand from hers and wipe it off again.
I pushed through the torn screen door and pulled the humid August air into my lungs as I straightened my posture and put one foot in front of the other. My smile was so automatic it didn’t matter that I didn’t feel it anywhere but the shift in my cheeks—not too much teeth to seem fake, just enough for no one to ever think anything was wrong.
The emcee’s voice was lost in the cat calls. I heard bids of anywhere from five dollars to twenty as they commented on my rack or how my long hair would come in handy. My fingers tapped out a familiar rhythm onto my hip, one that I refused to acknowledge, but it was the only way I could keep circling the rickety stage.
I had to get into this sorority. It was what she wanted. It wasn’t optional.
“Two hundred and fifty dollars.” His voice silenced the crowd.
My smile didn’t waver as I let out a longer exhale and thanked whoever he was while also praying he wasn’t a psycho.
A sweaty, drunk guy helped me off the stage, and I was thankful when my heels sunk slightly into the ground because it was over and all the attention shifted to the next piece of cattle. I followed the turning heads in the direction of my bidder, who was still lost in the crowd.
The crowd shifted as their attention focused back on the next pledge up for bid. The light from the porch found him and he stood facing me, clearly waiting. For a split second, time stopped.
He smirked, catching my pause. The baby-face Trevor had the last time I saw him was gone. Instead, angular features and questioning eyes stared back at me.
I wanted to spin on my heel and run the other direction. Trevor was the slip knot of my life. The carefully intertwined ropes I’d wrapped around the person I used to be — the one he alone had understood and yet still abandoned — could be unraveled with one tug. He could destroy me and everything I’d done to atone for my mistake.
No one knew what I’d done. How it was all my fault. I’d never told anyone so he couldn’t know. It was a secret I desperately wanted to share so I no longer had to bear it alone, but knew I couldn’t.
“Fancy meeting you here, Charlie,” Trevor said as he pushed his thick-rimmed glass up his nose, failing to convince me he was any more comfortable with our impromptu reunion than I was.
I didn’t need him anymore. He was the who’d disappeared and left me all alone. It didn’t matter that he was the one who knew the rhythm I tapped out to get through the worst of times. Or that in an instant I remembered what real laughter felt like and the feel of ivory under my fingertips. It couldn’t matter. Not anymore.
I charged forward, auto-smiled and played the part I’d cast for myself.
“Charlotte,” I stated. “My name is Charlotte.”
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Stormy Smith calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her.
When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband, twin sons or girlfriends.
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Publication date: April 11th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Mara Goodwin is a professional keeper of secrets, or that is what she intends to be. As a counseling psychology student at Northwestern, Mara’s ambition is unrivaled. She has the grades, the compassion, and the dedication, everything she needs to gain entry into the clinical psychology program.
However, after a traumatic experience leaves Mara in a state of mental distress, she finds herself keeping more secrets than she intended, most of them her own. Finding herself in trouble with the law, her dreams of being a therapist are jeopardized and as a consequence, Mara is ultimately forced into group therapy. While in therapy, Mara holds on to her secrets with a death grip, but when life comes full circle, her past is revealed and with it the potential to destroy her future career, her friendships, and ultimately herself.
Mara is a fighter, even if she doesn’t know it yet, but with each attempt to salvage what she can of her broken life, she is met with a consistent punch to the gut. After being pushed to the edge by meddling roommates, a persistent ex-boyfriend, and a potential new boyfriend, Mara comes to the precipice of her destruction. Yet with her destruction also comes her rebirth, and revelations of love, pain, and growth.
I lay in the closet naked, buried in a heap of dirty T-shirts and sweatpants that smelled like a combination of sour milk and sweat. If they could only talk, I thought. But if they could, I knew that my ears would be filled with expletive-filled rants for not having washed them a week ago.
I rolled over and my back smacked the floor, shooting pain up the back of my neck and into my head. My skin was hot but the coolness of the wooden floor surged through my body like an electrical current. I stretched my legs out, reveling in how good it felt to straighten them. I let them rest outside of the closet door, one tingling from being coiled like a scrunchie and the other freezing, attacked by the cold air gusting from the ceiling vent. Rosalina was home. Her inconsiderate tendencies had me beyond pissed and the day hadn’t even started. Always setting the thermostat to frigid, not caring if the rest of us suffered from hypothermia.
Sleep fogged my eyes and the smell of morning breath funk on my upper lip made my nose curl. What the hell was I doing in the closet? A thought I should have had earlier. I sat up fast, head spinning as the fringes of a dress swayed before me. I remembered that dress. It took me forever to get into but Frankie had needed no time to get it off. I didn’t know why, but the thought made me cringe and feel weak in the knees at the same time. It was on the left side of the closet, the untouched side. The side where my cute clothes went to die and collect dust after my sweat suits conquered the rest of the space.
It had happened again, and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. Before, I was only losing moments. Seconds of time. Small pieces of conversation here and there, but now I was missing the last several hours. I assumed that I had lost most to sleep but there were at least three or four that weren’t accounted for. I feared standing, certain that it would make my headache worse, so I crawled, skin brushing against the clothes that lay in my path. I felt like a worm dying in the sun as I crept out into the light and into the heart of my room. I got to my feet and a couple pairs of dirty underwear fell from my back to the floor. I looked around my room, rubbing my eyes in disbelief.
Sweat pants, shirts, bras, and all other manner of dirty clothing were scattered across the room. My bed was covered in research articles and books, as was my desk, which sat in the corner near the window. Several pairs of Chuck Taylors were askew against the wall, and the sun shining in made the dust particles dancing about more evident. I was not a slob by nature, but my room was now a disaster, a landfill. Everything that once had a place had none. This was not how I left my room yesterday.
The house was quiet, but I knew that my peace wouldn’t last long. I jumped at the sound of my phone ringing, chiming from an undisclosed location in my mess of a room. I kicked up clothes and moved books and papers from bed to floor with one smooth brush of an arm, but the damn thing stopped before I could find it. I still wasn’t completely awake, and the thought of having to search everything made my head hurt even more. I stormed around the room, tossing everything to an area of less clutter, until I caught a glimpse of myself in the floor mirror next to my desk and realized that I was still naked.
Why am I naked?
I reached down to the floor and rummaged through a pile of clothes, looking for a long T-shirt to put on. Maybe Frankie had been there, or maybe it was someone else. My heart stopped. Could it have been someone else? I crouched down to the floor.
“Hello…” I called out, still hearing the sleep in my voice. I pulled a dirty clothes pile up to my naked body. There was no response, so in relief I let the bundle fall back to the floor, keeping only a semi-clean tee, and resumed my search.
I held the T-shirt in my hand and viewed my naked form in the mirror, still not seeing the beauty that people tended to babble on about. I never thought that I was beautiful, but I didn’t think I was ugly either. The sunlight blessed my body, and I admired the brownness of my skin and the slenderness of my face, but I still found myself wishing I looked like my mother. The Jamaican goddess whose curves could rival any racetrack. Unfortunately I took after my scrawny father, whose leanness left me small-chested and ass-less.
After I had scrutinized myself enough, I finally put on the shirt and kept searching for my phone. Moments later I found it blinking in the trash can. I dusted it off and examined it, hoping that none of the gunk from the trash had attached itself. I had three missed calls from Frankie, two from my mother, and an array of text messages I had no intention of responding to. But Frankie I couldn’t ignore, so I called him.
“Where the hell are you?”
I could hear the fright in his voice but it was overpowered by condescension. “I’ve been trying to reach you all morning. Why didn’t you call when you got home?”
My heart raced. “Jesus, Frankie, you don’t have to interrogate me. What is it? What’s wrong?” I reached down to collect the pile of books I had swept from bed to floor. My hand sweat lingered on the book covers as I tried to organize them on the shelf. I was shaking, waiting for him to tell me something horrible. To tell me I had hurt someone, or even worse, to tell me that we had sex.
“What’s wrong with you?” he asked.
“I don’t know!” I took a book in my hand and threw it across the room. “That’s why I’m calling you!”
“Well, you don’t have to be a—”
“Be what, Frankie? A bitch? I don’t remember coming home last night.”
“Yea, shit.” I sat on the edge of my bed, feeling research papers crumpling under the weight of my body. The sound was excruciating to my ears but so was the sound of Frankie’s paternal voice so early in the morning.
“The last thing I remember is your apartment. I called you hoping you could shed some light, but you’re obviously no help.”
He took a deep breath. “Yea, Mara. That’s me. Mr. No Fucking Help.”
His sarcasm wasn’t helping.
“Don’t be a smartass, Frankie,” I said. “Now do you have anything important to tell me? Otherwise you’re wasting my time.”
“You said you had to go home and work on your thesis so you could get to bed early to get to that meet—”
“Son of a bitch.” I took my thumb and index finger, rubbed my eyes, then squeezed the bridge of my nose to relieve the pressure that had been building up in my head. “I almost forgot about the meeting. What time is it?”
“You did forget, and it’s 8:15.”
I hated him for calling me out.
“I got to go… and don’t call me back. I’ll call you if I want to be bothered, so find someone else to harass today.”
He laughed. “Whatever, Mara. Besides, probation officers don’t like to be kept waiting. I shouldn’t even be associating with people like you anyway.”
“What do you mean people like me?” I asked.
“You know… delinquents. Menaces to society.”
“That’s not funny. Not even a little bit,” I said. I wanted to cry, but I wouldn’t do it. I wasn’t going to open that can of worms. Not today.
“Come on. I’m only messing with you. Good luck, and let me know how it goes,” he said.
“Yea, whatever.” I hung up the phone.
I darted to my closet to find something suitable to wear. I had sweat pants hanging there, but I knew those weren’t going to work, not for a meeting so important, but I couldn’t be without them, so I pulled some out. I fingered through the clothes on the forbidden side and pulled out the longest, plainest skirt and blouse I could find along with a pair of dress flats and threw them on top of my bed. I grabbed a tote bag from the closet shelf and threw in a gray sweat suit, a shirt, and some Chucks and dashed to the bathroom. I tried to let myself in but the door was locked. I didn’t have time for this. I balled up my fist and banged on the door so hard it made my hand sting.
“Who’s in there?” I asked. I listened for movement. “I have to be on campus in thirty minutes!”
There was no response.
I banged again.
“I need in!”
The lock jiggled, and the door cracked open. Kate stood there wrapped in a towel, her face engulfed by her wet blonde hair. She was pretty, if having keen facial features was the current beauty standard, but her personality was just as sharp as her face.
“You can have the bathroom when I am done,” she said, her face stoic as she peered at me from behind the door.
I stared at her and wondered what it would feel like to plunge my fist into her face. She was trying to be a smartass. She closed the door and locked it, as if I planned on barging in on her. I could see her in there now, wasting time, sitting on the toilet wrapped in her towel reading a Cosmo, Glamour, or whatever magazines women like her had an affinity for. It was May, I’d moved into the house in February, and I could count on one hand the number times we’ve spoken to each other. I walked away and was only a few steps gone when I heard her yell through the door.
“Next time get up earlier!”
I dug my nails into the palm of my hand so hard I thought I would draw blood. I stared at the door waiting for her to say something else, wanting her to say something else. It wouldn’t take much for me take it down and do it, punch her square in the nose, but I opted against it. I didn’t need to create another problem for myself. I’d hired her father as my attorney out of an act of desperation and I needed him on my side, so punching and drowning his daughter in the toilet didn’t seem like the right decision to make at the moment.
When my eyes stopped seeing red, Rosalina stood in the kitchen, staring at me with her disapproving little beady brown eyes. Rosalina wasn’t fat, but she was thicker than the rest of us, and every time I ran into her she was in the kitchen drinking something, cooking something, or eating something. I don’t think I ever saw her in street clothes, either. She was always in scrubs with her hair pulled tight away from her face, sterile and unwelcoming. I stopped worrying about Kate and walked through the living room.
Our house was aesthetically pleasing, but it was not a house full of warmth and love. It had an open floor plan with rich-colored hardwood floors, soft blue paint on the walls, and a cream-colored sectional that sat in the middle of the living room with an assortment of throws and pillows. It appeared that everyone but me brought something to make it homey. Rosalina had her Wizard of Oz trinkets on display, Kate liked flowers, and Melanie had hung up wall pieces with happy home quotes. Melanie was the only one that I didn’t hate, but she was always at her boyfriend’s so I didn’t understand why she still claimed to live here.
I walked toward the kitchen but stopped by the thermostat to turn the air up just to piss Rosalina off, the whole time feeling those beady eyes searing through me.
“Can you not mess with that, please?” she asked, clearly irritated that I had the audacity to even touch it in her presence.
“It’s at sixty-five and it’s freezing in here. It’s not even eighty degrees outside,” I said.
I didn’t know the real temp, but I knew it wasn’t hot enough to have it blaring. It was May in Evanston, and even in August there would be no temp that could justify it being that cold.
“Well, maybe you should put some clothes on,” she said, looking me up and down, analyzing my bare legs and my frozen nipples on full display through my shirt.
“Maybe you should get a fan.”
That was it. I didn’t have a better comeback than that.
She gave me such a look I thought that the butter knife in her hand was going to fly across the room and plunge into my heart, but she waved me off and continued chewing on her toast. I didn’t let my eyes leave hers until my foot got caught. I looked down and saw my ankle was tangled up in Kate’s purse straps. I shook my foot in hopes of freeing myself from that hideous thing, taking note of how ugly it was. It was one of those name brand purses that had the company logo printed all across it that screamed, “Look, I have money!” And to make it worse, a tacky, glittery, yellow toad keychain dangled from the zipper. The girl had no taste. Rosalina watched me as I struggled. Her face was expressionless, but I knew she was amused. Once freed, I walked past her to the fridge to grab the orange juice, listening to her crunch on her food with every step I took, never out of her line of sight.
“You left that out on the counter yesterday. Put it back when you’re done, please,” she said.
Was she my mother now?
“Yeah.” I rolled my eyes.
I opened the cabinet next to the stove where we kept the glasses, but it was empty.
“Where are the clean glasses?”
She spread butter on another piece of toast.
“Sorry, they’re dirty,” she said as she picked up her glass of water. “I took the last one.”
I shut the cabinet and crossed over to the other side of the kitchen and looked in the dishwasher. It was full of bowls with soggy fruit loops stuck to them, plates with last week’s spaghetti, and glasses with an assortment of lipstick colors and lip glosses painted on the rims. I grabbed a dirty glass out of the top rack, put the detergent in, and slammed the door. Four people lived in this house and nothing ever got done. The trash would never get taken out unless I took it. The dishes would never get washed unless I started a load. This was adulting at its worst. I washed out the glass and poured some juice, then leaned against the dishwasher sipping, waiting for Kate to get out of the bathroom.
I thought about my meeting and read one of Melanie’s homey house sayings that hung next to the TV.
A house is made of bricks and beams; a home is made of love and dreams.
What bullshit. I turned my attention elsewhere, but caught Rosalina still staring at me, so I stared back. I assumed that she had just finished her shift at the hospital when I found her in her sanctuary. She had a career job, a nurse on the psych ward at some hospital, and on occasion it was nice to have someone to chat with about psychology, but she worked the night shift so we only saw each other in passing, which was fine with me. After a moment of staring I felt the tension subside a bit, so I caved and decided to initiate conversation.
“Long work night?” I asked.
“It wasn’t too bad,” she said as she slowly turned her body to face mine. “What about you? Looks like you had a rough one. Again.” I could hear the cheekiness in her tone.
I cut my eye at her.
“No, it wasn’t a rough one. I just spent some time reorganizing.”
“How’s that coming?” she took a sip of her water.
“Good.” I put glass in the sink, ready to return to my room and wait it out there before I continued this conversation.
“Can you please put your glass on the other side of the sink? I can’t use the sink if both sides are full,” Rosalina said.
I looked at her, then looked back at the sink in disgust. I hadn’t noticed it earlier, but one side overflowed with dirty dishes, none of which were mine. I rested my hands on the edge of the sink and squeezed. I could see the pink leave my fingertips as I pressed in. “I would put it on the other side of the sink but someone else has filled the other side to capacity, so what would you like me to do about it? Better yet—”
“I’m done,” Kate said as she stormed out to of the bathroom into the living room. She grabbed her books and her ugly purse before walking over towards Rosalina.
“Jesus take the wheel.” I rushed out of the kitchen toward the bathroom. When I looked back before shutting the door, Kate whispered something to Rosalina, and I could read my name on her lips. I wasn’t sure what they thought of me, but I didn’t care. When the lease was up, they could kick rocks.
“Mara,” Kate said.
The bathroom door was shut so I pretended not to hear.
“Mara.” She was right outside the door.
I cracked it open to see what she wanted, and her icy blue eyes were so close it made me jump.
“Don’t forget about the lunch today,” she said.
“What lunch?” I threw my arms up. She was wasting my time.
She stepped back away from the door.
“The lunch,” she said as she continued to move farther back into the living room.
“You better not be trying to get out of it!” Rosalina yelled from the kitchen.
“Yeah, we suffer, you suffer,” Kate said, walking towards the entryway.
I let out a sigh. “Yeah, I’ll be there.”
I closed the door to the bathroom and took a deep breath. The meeting. That’s where my focus needed to be. I kept telling myself to stay positive, but I knew I was toast. Everything over before it even started. I had this one opportunity to try and make it right.
I just hoped I didn’t blow it.
I have loved writing ever since I was a young child in school and after years of procrastination I finally decided to go for it and write my first novel. When I’m not writing or reading I love spending time with my puppy, listening to music, and binge watching shows on Netflix.
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Title: Misguided Control
Series: The Control Series, Book 3
Author: Anna Edwards
Cover Artist: Charity Hendry
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Romance Genre(s): Contemporary, Suspense
About the Book
Control isn’t always what it seems.
What do you see Marie Easton as? The jealous secretary whose desire for her boss turns her into a lustful bimbo. Appearances can be deceiving though as new finance director Callum Ashworth is about to find out. Can he help her see the true person behind the mask she wears and how beautiful she is? Or will his attentions lead her down a path she never thought she would go?
And what about Callum? Is he the boring accountant that you expect him to be? Or does he hide a secret that nobody ever expected, least of all Marie. With a trip to Rome, and a journey to the dark side of London. Misguided Control will take you on a love affair born out of the fiery pains of hell.
Novel contains dark storylines, hot sex with elements of BDSM and a dramatic
conclusion. You have been warned.
Loving Control (A Bonus Story)
Amy and James found their happy ever after in Divided Control so what could possibly go wrong?
Amy gives birth, that is what. Can the loving couple find an equilibrium with their new status as parents or will it be their destruction? Throw in another blast from the past and their world looks set to be rocked.
Are you ready to step into the world of control?
She took her clothes off. Slowly. He threw them into the shower. She wouldn’t wear them again. He could throw them away.
She stood in her bra and panties before him. “You should leave.”
“I’m not leaving you alone.”
“I’m not leaving.” His eyes had turned dark.
If she was honest with herself, though, she didn’t want him to go. She undid the clasp of her bra and dropped it to the floor. He averted his eyes, but she knew he could sense every movement she made by the way he gripped the sink. She reached for the waistband of her pants and pulled them down.
“Can you get in the shower alright?”
“Yes, I can.”
He turned the water on when she got in. Warmth washed away the filth of what could have killed her. She scrubbed her skin while tears fell. She slathered herself in the soap that he handed her. She’d nearly died. She’d really, really come close to dying.
Oh God. Her mum. Owen. Guilt washed over her as she cried and cried. The entire time Callum stood outside the shower. He no longer averted his eyes. He watched as she sobbed and sobbed. She didn’t want him to look away. She wanted him to watch. He needed to be close. She wished he could be in the shower with her; inside her. He could take away the pain of her life but she couldn’t. She had to be strong.
When she finally got out of the shower, he wrapped a towel around her and rubbed her until she was dry.
“I don’t have a change of clothes for you. But.” He took off his jacket, tie, waistcoat and shirt. “Take my shirt, it will cover you. My coat will keep you warm.” He put the waistcoat back on.
“You don’t have a girdle.” She wasn’t sure where those words had come from. All she knew was that she had looked at his muscular torso and that was what had popped into her mind. She let out a little giggle.
He took a step closer to her and wrapped the shirt around her. She dropped the towel to the floor, and he did the buttons up. He stopped after a few and rested his forehead against hers. “I’m so sorry. I’ve never hated having to do anything as much as I hated putting you in that position. It was the only thing we could think of. Signore Corvi had hidden things too well.”
“It’s ok. Everything worked out.”
“Mr North will be very pleased with you.” Callum hesitated on the words.
“And with you.”
He brought his lips down, so they hovered just above hers. “Marie, may I kiss you?”
She swallowed. “Yes. Yes, please. Kiss me.”
About Anna Edwards
Anna Edwards is a British Author who has a love of travelling and developing plot lines for stories. She has spent the last two years learning the skills of writing after being an accountant since the age of 21. As well as roleplaying on Twitter, she can also be found writing poetry.
Her debut novel, Surrendered Control was released in November 2016 and has received fantastic feedback on the drama of story. Divided Control followed in December and again received acclaim.
In her writing, Anna combines her love of romantic and erotic fiction with her passion for travel to give an international feel to her novels. She likes her hero’s hot and hunky with a dirty mouth, her heroines demure but spunky, and her books in a kick arse series
Connect with Anna
Enter via the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win one of the following:
- First Prize: set of signed paperbacks of all three books in The Control Series plus swag pack
- Second Prize: E-Copies of all three books in The Control Series plus swag pack
- Third Prize: Swag pack
The contest closes at midnight EST on April 22, 2017, and is open to entrants worldwide.
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One S’more Summer
(The Campfire Series, #1)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Since that first bus ride to Camp Chinooka twenty long years ago, Gigi Goldstein has been pining for her best friend’s guy. She knows her crush is wrong and has to stop, but her heart won’t listen to reason. To escape the agony of their impending wedding, Gigi accepts a summer job at the only place she’s ever been happy.
But working at Chinooka isn’t all campfire songs and toasting marshmallows. Gigi’s girls are determined to make her look bad in front of the boys’ Head Counselor—the sexy but infuriating Perry—and every inch of the campground is laced with memories.
When Gigi realizes she can’t fix the present by hiding in the past, she’s forced to reexamine her choices. Maybe everything she thought she wanted wasn’t what she actually needed… But if she can get her act together, Gigi might have one last shot at the summer love of her dreams.
Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.
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Published by: Pen Name Publishing
Publication date: July 11th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.
Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.
The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present.
Leslie Hauser is a YA writer and middle school teacher. She has a B.A. in English from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with her dog Mr. Darcy.
When Leslie is not living in fictional worlds inside her head, she runs all sorts of distances, tortures her body at CrossFit, and DVRs entirely too many television shows. She dreams of one day returning to the Midwest to live on a farm. Or perhaps owning a cookie delivery service.
Her debut novel Chasing Eveline releases 2017 from Pen Name Publishing
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Incense and Peppermints
Publication date: March 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Peace demonstrations, sit-ins, and burning the U.S. flag following the escalation of the Vietnam War are leading to a catalyst known to the world as the Sixties, and a musical revolution, flower power, hippies, marijuana, and drugs are carrying the generations—young and old—into a new decade. All the while sixteen-year-old Mary Monroe is caught between being an innocent good girl and an autumn of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.
When her brother offers a solution to her dilemma in the form of a little pill, Mary ignores the rumba in her brain and takes a walk on the wild side. Plunged into popularity and a life she’s only imagined, she meets Michael Covington, the hot newcomer, and she’s instantly drawn in by his less than flawless exterior and bad boy sex appeal. Caught up in the danger and excitement as they drift from party to party, into underground fight clubs, and through a series of drug and alcohol fueled adventures, Mary follows her new crush into a world where young girls are never truly safe from the predators lurking in the shadows and young men are hiding from the harsh reality of war.
Feeling buzzed and as if her life is spinning out of control, Mary is assaulted by an unknown man at a party, and she’s left questioning if the enigmatic Michael is truly her hero or if he is the face behind the terrible attack. With every piece of information Mary learns about Michael, her doubts grow deeper, but with every minute she spends in his presence, so does her love.
With the war and her fear threatening to separate Mary and Michael forever, only the death of a friend, a crushing confession, and her own sensibilities can carry her over the threshold between adolescence and adulthood.
“My name is Mary.”
Perceptive eyes smiled at me beneath a layer of lashes.
“Not Bambi.” My disloyal vocal chords warbled.
A breeze ruffled his ebony hair, making him appear like a model posing for Seventeen Magazine. His aristocratic nose led to full lips and a squared, bristly chin. He more than adequately filled out a sleeveless T-shirt detailed with the Steppenwolf band logo “Born to be Wild.” Michael lifted his arms, propping them behind his head. In doing so, he exposed a hint of a flat stomach over his beltline. I tried not to stare. No luck. The guy was visibly out of my league.
“Mary…” he said, his voice buttery sweet. “You look young, like a fawn in headlights with those big eyes and freckles.”
“I’ll be sixteen next week.” Is he being rude?
“Well, then.” His mouth stretched into a charming smirk. “I guess you’re ready for just about anything. Right, Bambi?”
I wanted to slap the smirk off his gorgeous face.
Cathrina Constantine is the Best Selling author of Don’t Forget To Breathe. Her book won Readers’ Favorite International Book Award for 2015 and The Literary Classics Seal of Approval and Literary Classics Gold Award. Her Paranormal Fantasy, Wickedly They Come has been awarded the 5 Star Seal from Reader’s Favorite. Tallas from her dystopian series received Literary Classics Silver Award and Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
Cathrina resides in Western New York with her husband, five children, two Labrador Retrievers and her cat, Bones. Author @chbbpublishing. Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly. When not attached to her computer, she likes to take long walks in the woods with her dogs, drink way too much coffee, and is an avid movie watcher. She loves music and doesn’t need a dance floor to shake a leg.