Wednesday, May 24, 2017

BOOK BLITZ for "Aiding the Dragon (Stonefire Dragons, #9)" by Jessie Donovan

Aiding the Dragon
(Stonefire Dragons, #9)
by Jessie Donovan
Publication date: May 25th, 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Teagan O’Shea is a rare female dragon-shifter leader. While her Irish clan has a tradition of female leaders, they have always had to hide behind a male face publicly to prevent the other clans from viewing them as weaker and then attacking. When the truth leaks, Teagan is faced with a choice — hand over the leadership to a male or invite the challengers to a leadership trial and earn her place. Out to prove having a penis isn’t required to be a leader, she picks the latter. 
Aaron Caruso is sent to Ireland under the guise of repairing relations between two clans on the isle of Ireland. However, upon arrival he learns the truth. Determined to secure Teagan’s place so he can escape her alluring eyes and addicting personality, he busies himself with helping her any way he can. A female used him once and he’s not about to go through that again, no matter how much the Irish female tempts him. 
As the pair work together on preparations for the leadership trial, both Aaron and Teagan start to see each other in a new light. Both have their own self-imposed loneliness and yearn for something they can’t have. Can Aaron and Teagan not only change tradition but also open their hearts? Or will they each be doomed to live alone to fight their inner battles?
EXCERPT:


Twisting the knob, Teagan entered the small room. Aaron’s back was to her. While she appreciated his broad shoulders and his thick, dark hair, she smiled at how he was tapping his fingers. He always did that when it came to meeting with her, either in person or via a video conference. “Just make sure not to wear down my table with your nails.”
Aaron’s movements stopped. He turned and Teagan hid her surprise. The male had grown a close-cut beard since the last time she’d seen him. The dark whiskers made him look wiser.
And maybe a wee bit sexier. Not that she’d ever tell him that.
Then he frowned and she banished that thought. Grumpy wasn’t what she needed, among many other things.
Aaron growled, “I wouldn’t have to tap my fingers in the first place if you were on time.”
Killian took a step toward Aaron, but Teagan put up a hand. “I’ll deal with him. Eliza is waiting for you. Go with her and search Sadie’s things. Update me on any developments.”
Her brother nodded and exited the room. Like most males in her clan, he obeyed her orders without question.
Aaron, on the other hand, leaned back in his chair and propped his feet on the table. “Should I get comfortable whilst you use a power play to assert your dominance? Or are you actually going to tell me why I’m here?”
She walked up to his feet and pushed them off the table. “Keep your dirty bloody boots on the floor. Do that again, and I’ll make sure you always have a bucket and rag to clean up after yourself.”
His pupils flashed to slits and back, signaling he was talking to his dragon. “I’m not here to clean.”
She shrugged. “The way I understand it, you’re here to help me for the next few weeks. Bram didn’t say cleaning was off-limits.”
Aaron stood. His dark brown eyes met her green. They were exactly the same height, which was a nice change. Teagan was tall, even by female dragon-shifter standards.
She barely had time to note the flecks in his eyes when he spat out, “Cleaning is off-limits. As is babysitting or being assigned entry-level guard duty. I’m a trained Protector. If it’s not related to my job, then I’ll refuse to do it.”
She raised an eyebrow. “And what? Disappoint your clan leader and destroy his hard work at trying to strengthen our alliance?”
“Bram would see it my way. Besides, you need this alliance more than we do. We already have Lochguard at our back. Who do you have?”
His words stung and her dragon stood at attention.
He was correct that she needed the alliance, but she wasn’t about to put up with bullshit to achieve it. That was the wrong message to send to Stonefire.
She had dealt with many a male acting like Aaron Caruso. She knew what to do.
Fisting his shirt, she pulled him close. For a split second, her dragon reveled in his scent and the heat of his body so close to theirs, but Teagan quickly pushed her beast to the back of her mind. As Aaron’s eyes flashed, she swept his legs with her own. Aaron lost his balance and Teagan guided him to the floor, face down. With his hands behind him and her knee in his lower back, she leaned down to his ear and whispered, “Just because I’m female doesn’t mean you will treat me as any less of a clan leader, understood?”
He turned his head to meet her eyes. “I’m not doing it because you’re female. I’m doing it because you’re irritating.”
Resisting the urge to press a talon against his throat, she replied, “That just earned you guard duty. Maybe twenty-four hours without sleep will teach you a lesson in etiquette.”
She withdrew a key from her pocket and released Aaron. Before he could do more than rise to his hands and knees, she dashed out the sole door and locked it.
His voice was muffled through the door. “Let me out, bloody woman. This isn’t how you treat a guest.”
“Aye, you’re right. It’s how I treat a pest.”


"Sacrificed to the Dragon (Stonefire Dragons, #1)" 
is currently FREE on all major book platforms!
Author Bio:
Sign up for Jessie's newsletter and never miss a release or special: http://jessiedonovan.com/newsletter
Jessie Donovan wrote her first story at age five, and after discovering the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey in junior high, realized that people actually wanted to read stories like those floating around inside her head. From there on out, she was determined to tap into her over-active imagination and write a book someday. 
After living abroad for five years and earning degrees in Japanese, Anthropology, and Secondary Education, she buckled down and finally wrote her first full-length book. While that story will never see the light of day, it laid the world-building groundwork of what would become her debut paranormal romance, Blaze of Secrets. In late 2014, she became a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. 
Jessie loves to interact with readers. When not reading a book or traipsing around some foreign country on a shoestring, can often be found on Facebook. 
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

BOOK BLITZ for "Dawn Girl" by Leslie Wolfe

Dawn Girl
by Leslie Wolfe
Publication date: August 30th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Thriller

A GRIPPING SERIAL KILLER THRILLER  
Her blue eyes wide open, glossed over. A few specks of sand clung to her long, dark lashes. Her beautiful face, immobile, covered in sparkling flecks of sand. Her lips slightly parted as if to let a last breath escape. 
Who is the beautiful girl found at dawn, on a deserted stretch of golden sand beach? What is her secret? 
FBI Special Agent Tess Winnett searches for answers relentlessly. With each step, each new finding, she uncovers unsettling facts leading to a single possible conclusion: Dawn Girl is not the only victim. Her killer has killed before. 
Hiding a terrible secret of her own, Special Agent Tess Winnett faces her inmost fears, in a heart-stopping race to catch a killer who’s getting ready to end yet another life. Will she find the killer in time? Will she be able to stop him? At what cost? 
The rules of the game have changed.

So has the textbook definition of a serial killer.
 
Special Agent Tess Winnett is the bold, direct, and short-fused heroine of Dawn Girl. Putting her life on the line, she doesn’t pull any punches, searching only for the truth, and for the man who takes lives on her watch. Intelligent, resourceful, and uncompromising, Tess will take readers on a memorable, white-knuckled journey in this suspenseful, gripping serial killer thriller. 
Fans of David Baldacci and James Patterson will enjoy Leslie Wolfe.
Author Bio:
Bestselling author Leslie Wolfe is passionate about writing fiction, despite spending a significant number of years climbing the corporate ladder. Leaving the coveted world of boardrooms for the blissful peace of the Florida-based "Wolves’ den," Leslie answers one true calling: writing. 
Leslie’s novels break the mold of traditional thrillers. Fascinated by technology and psychology, Leslie brings extensive background and research in these fields that empower and add texture to a signature, multi-dimensional, engaging writing style. 
Leslie released the first novel, Executive, in October 2011. It was very well received, including inquiries from Hollywood. Since then, Leslie published numerous novels and enjoyed growing success and recognition in the marketplace. Among Leslie’s most notable works, The Watson Girl (2017) was recognized for offering a unique insight into the mind of a serial killer and a rarely seen first person account of his actions, in a dramatic and intense procedural thriller. 
A complete list of Leslie’s titles is available at http://wolfenovels.com/titles.
Leslie enjoys engaging with readers every day and would love to hear from you.
Become an insider: gain early access to previews of Leslie’s new novels.
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BOOK BLITZ for "Darkest Days (The Last Orphans, #4)" by N.W. Harris

Darkest Days
(The Last Orphans, #4)
by N.W. Harris
Publication date: May 22nd, 2017
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult
The ancient slave mongers who killed the adults and enslaved the children have angered a more advanced species of aliens. Composed of pure energy, this superior race has attacked the Anunnaki home world and is now setting a course for Earth. 
The energy-based aliens believe in a system of trial by battle. They seek to push Shane and his friends into the arena with the ones who killed their parents. The results will determine if humans deserve to live, or if they should be made extinct as well. It’s up to Shane to keep his friends — and an army of kids who look up to him — alive. They’ll be fighting not just for their own lives, but for the fate of the entire human race. Can the enemy of Shane’s enemy be his friend, or is this just another species determined to exploit and destroy them?
“It must be really hard on you—and my sister—
that I don’t remember,” Kelly said, 
poking at her food with a mournful look on her face.

“It’s a blessing you don’t remember all we’ve been through,” 
Shane replied with a forced chuckle. 
“But just so you know, you’re tougher than you can imagine.”

Author Bio:
Born at the end of the Vietnam war and raised on a horse farm near small town north Georgia, his imagination evolved under the swaying pines surrounding his family’s log home. On summer days that were too hot, winter days that were too cold, and every night into the wee morning hours, he read books. He lives in sunny southern California with his beautiful wife and two perfect children. 
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Monday, May 22, 2017

COVER REVEAL for "Seraphina's Vengeance (Seraphina, #3)" by Sheena Hutchinson

Seraphina’s Vengeance
(Seraphina, #3)
by Sheena Hutchinson
Publication date: July 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
One year ago, Seraphina’s entire world seemed to have dived into a mythical land over night. She’s somehow even gotten used to the madness of it all. But what happens when the craziness stops? Things become quiet… too quiet. 
She should have known better, Sera should have known that things weren’t as quiet as they seemed. After one of the best nights of her life, Sera is forced into this treacherous journey to save one of her loved ones. 
But following the path of evil begins to take its toll on Sera. As she struggles with her own internal dilemmas, Nate starts to take matters into his own hands. When this unseen world finally begins to affect Sera’s emotions and her relationship. Can she hold it together to save her loved ones? Will love conquer all? Or will it turn her evil… forever?
Previous books in the series:


Author Bio:
Sheena is a born and raised New Yorker, even her writing can't seem to hide her hard sarcasm. She claims destiny has lead her back to her true passion for writing.

She constantly strives to be a positive role model and writes stories that empower and inspire. Sheena always roots for the underdog, believes in love at first sight, and that everyone should have their happily ever after.

While God is currently still writing her love story, she continues to put all her effort into her writing as she is constantly getting new inspiration. 
For more info, updates, and fun facts visit her website at www.SheenaHutchinson.com. 
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Sunday, May 21, 2017

BOOK REVIEW for "Goblinwraith (Olive Kennedy, Fairy World M.D., #5)" by Tamara Grantham

*****(5) out of 5 stars!


SYNOPSIS:

Heidel, Wult warrior princess, is having a bad day.

First, a pack of wraiths chased her from a dragon's vault. Then, the thief she traveled with, Maveryck, who was supposed to be a professional, lost the staff they stole. Instead of reclaiming it, he created a portal that sucked them into a nightmarish world full of noxious fumes and mechanical beasts. Earth.

To make matters worse, Heidel is now stuck with the incompetent thief in Paris, France, and they have no way to get back home. As if that wasn't bad enough, Maveryck is keeping secrets from her — secrets about his past and his identity. Plus, he's far too attractive to be trusted. She's been on hellish quests before, but nothing has ever been more difficult than guarding her heart. And she's pretty sure she's going to fail. Miserably.

~
REVIEW:

I was not prepared to like this story as well as I did.  Of the seven books in the Olive Kennedy, Fair World M.D. series, this is the only one that is not told from the perspective of Olive herself.  (And, in fact, Olive isn't even in this story!)  I don't generally like books that shift POV (the ones that do so during an account drive me nuts!).  And Heidel wasn't especially one of my favorite characters prior to this either.  But Goblinwraith gave me a whole different viewpoint of her.


Maveryck and Heidel are both rather different characters, but the relationship that develops between them is darling.  There is a lot of information learned in this short story that fills in many gaps about both characters.  It also explains some feelings that the two seem to have for each other, for no particular reason, later in Silverwitch (book #4).  In fact, the events of this story occur right in the middle of that tale, when these two are separated from Olive and Kull for a period of time.  Since any Faythander dweller returning there after visiting Earth Kingdom loses their memories of time spent on Earth, it fits very well into the narrative.  The story also explains another scene near the very end of Silverwitch that just didn't ring true for me when I read it.  Hopefully, the revelations of this tale hold true and things are not quite as they seem there.  

Regardless, it was quite enjoyable to learn more about both of these unique individuals and see the way in which their doomed and short-lived relationship delveoped.  With any luck, we will learn more about both of them as the series continues.  



I received a free eBook copy of this title from the author and have willingly provided an honest review.  

AUTHOR EVENT - Spring Into Books 2017!


We attended the "Spring Into Books" event at the Viridian Center yesterday.

Here's my son Mikey with his name-buddy Mikey Brooks,
holding the set of the "Dream Keeper Chronicles" I had just purchased for him.


And here's my son Mikey with Jared Quan
and his newly purchases copy of "Changing Wax."


Here are all of the bookmarks and other book swag we got at the event!


This is an annual event sponsored by the League of Utah Writers - Oquirrh Chapter, 
Salt Lake County Library Services, and the West Jordan Arts Council.

The event included a huge book sale and signing by local authors and artists,
hands on workshops and presentations, book readings by local authors, 
door prizes, a children's activity area, and a book drive!

BOOK REVIEW for "The Castoffs, V.1: Mage Against the Machine" by MK Reed (Author), Brian Smith (Author & Illustrator), Molly Ostertag (Illustrator), & Wyeth Yates (Illustrator)

***(3) out of 5 stars

SYNOPSIS:

Twenty years ago, mages fought for their survival against the Surrogate, a hive-minded robot army that consumed everything in its path. Now, a trio of young apprentice mages must cross the ruined forests to deliver a magical cure to a nearby town. But the girls couldn't be more different. Charris, a hotheaded fighter with elemental powers, Trinh, a shy mage who can literally turn invisible, and Ursa, a healer with more power than she lets on. The three girls must learn to trust and rely on each other if they're going to save the village!
~
REVIEW:

The first several pages of this graphic novel are totally confusing and disorienting.  And I’m not only talking about the fact that when I read the galley proof the coloring had not yet been done, so it was just a hideous YELLOW and black.  Blech!  But the story begins in the midst of a great battle with a bunch of protagonists that we don’t know.  Maybe due to the coloring issues, they are almost indistinguishable from one another; and there are far too many of them to keep track of.  Also, I didn’t have a clue what was going on or who was doing what. 

After this initial blip, the story seemingly reverts to an earlier time, the coloring is complete for the remainder of the book, and you can actually tell who is who and what is going on.  The three main individuals of the tale - Charris, Trinh and Ursa – all have very different appearances, personalities and abilities.  All of which help make them distinguishable characters.  But none of them is exactly what they seem when the story begins.  They are definitely a mismatched group, assigned by their leader Leda to work together and journey to a distant town to deliver some supplies.  However, they end up falling into a lot more intrigue than just the simple task they are supposedly assigned.  Along the way, they slowly get to know each other, accept one another, and eventually work fairly well together. 

The ending is rather confusing, and is definitely a cliff-hanger.  However, I am sure that more will be revealed in later editions of the series, and I can’t wait to read them to see how the characters and their story unfold.  

I received an eGalley copy of this title from NetGalley and have willingly provided an honest review. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

BOOK BLITZ for "Rook (Bridge and Sword: Awakenings)" by JC Andrijeski

Rook
(Bridge & Sword: Awakenings, #1)
by J.C. Andrijeski
Publication date: April 22nd, 2017
Genres: Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction
From USA TODAY bestselling author, a psychic warfare alternative history set in a gritty version of Earth. Contains strong romantic elements – a book in the "Bridge & Sword" world. 
“You are the Bridge…” 
Allie Taylor lives in a world populated by seers, a second race discovered on Earth at the beginning of the 20th Century. Psychic, hyper-sexual and enslaved by governments, corporations and wealthy humans, seers are an exotic fascination to Allie, but one she knows she’ll likely never encounter, given how rich you have to be to get near one. 
Then a strange man shows up at her work –– then another –– and pretty soon Allie finds herself on the run from the law, labeled a terrorist and in the middle of a race war she didn’t even know existed. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious and uncommunicative Revik, Allie discovers her blood may not be as “human” as she always thought, and the world of seers might not be quite as distant as she always imagined. 
When Revik tells her she’s the Bridge, a mystical being meant to usher in the evolution of humanity––or possibly its extinction––Allie must choose between the race that raised her and the one where she might truly belong.

EXCERPT:

I CHOKE… CHOKED… am choking… caught inside a fisted clutch of light, an egg-shaped pocket that holds me unflinchingly in place.
Inside that heated glow, I birth.
Stars swim past me in a pale swath, sky broken by sharp eyes and lightning flashes, snaking charges of gold and orange and crimson, the late side of the setting sun.
I am with him again.
I have never left him.
Now we lie together on a bed, wrapped into and around one another, alone in a single room in a building full of seers. I know I am supposed to be like them. I know I’m supposed to be the same as those women I met when we came in off the street––yet he is the only one here who feels at all like me. His breath warms my skin, his fingers wrap around me, stroking my face and neck and hair, stroking my arms and fingers and lips.
The pain between us worsens, a spike that arcs, starting as a gentle pull before it keens steeply up, inexorable, becoming gradually more unbearable, until I am sure my insides will be ripped out, torn into so many pieces there is nothing left.
Beyond where I lay, a golden ocean beckons. It is familiar.
Even more familiar than the mountains we share, the grief over our pasts.
He is there, too.
I’m sorry, he says. I did this. I did this to you. I’m sorry––
Shhh. My voice is steady, somehow apart from the lights clashing, the ghosts winging over both of our heads. Revik, it’s all right.
Don’t leave me, Allie. Don’t leave me alone with this.
I feel confusion on him, confusion in his own words, what he means by them. The feeling intensifies though; his hands tighten on my skin.
The pain worsens, too, making it hard to see.
Still, my own words come easily, without thought or regret.
I won’t, I tell him. I never will.
There is a question in this. The question shocks his heart.
I am asking him for something. My light is, anyway. I can’t say it’s a conscious question, not fully, but the intensity behind it is real, and it feels entirely like me.
I am asking him for something.
I want a promise from him. A vow.
I want him to give himself to me.
It is nonsense, what I am asking of him, but I don’t withdraw the question, nor try to qualify it in any way with words. I only wait, seeing what he will say. Before I’ve fully understood either the question or the possible answers he might give, he’s agreed.
A surrender lives in that agreement.
I feel shame there, too, like he knows he should say no, but he cannot––will not. He clasps my fingers, and I see tears in his eyes. They bewilder me, touch me sharply through the pain and he pulls me closer until…
He kisses me. It is a brief kiss. Clumsy. Awkward. Yet it is tender, too. Meaning lives there, more meaning than I can comprehend. I feel him agree again, and it feels final that time. It is absolute. He is certain now.
The vow is set. It is more than a promise.
It feels like an ending and a beginning, all at once.
Even as I think it, the night sky disappears. Above us, light weaves into complicated patterns, in and out like a shuttlecock between silk threads. I have a fleeting impression of time removed. The weaving of the threads grows more and more complicated, more subtle, more beautiful and intimate and more connected to my heart.
I watch a painting form in that vastness of sky, a painting of fiery, diamond light, in a pattern too breathtaking for words. My struggle stops, even as the pain I felt before melts into warm breath, a feeling of ending, of beginning.
I know, somehow. This is familiar to me.
I feel it in him, too, that surge of familiar.
The feeling is so heart-wrenching, so intense, I cannot see anything else.
He belongs to me. He belonged to me before I asked the question.
We know one another here, and a timelessness lives in that knowing, something that lives so far from my conscious mind it feels almost alien. That deep sense of familiar is something I can’t explain to myself, something I understand without words, without really understanding it at all.
Something is… different.
I don’t know it yet, but it will never be the same again.




Author Bio:
JC Andrijeski is a USA TODAY bestselling author who writes paranormal mysteries and apocalyptic fiction, often with a sexy, romantic and metaphysical bent. JC has a background in journalism, history and politics, and loves martial arts, yoga, meditation, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, painting… and of course reading and writing. She grew up in the Bay Area of California, but travels extensively and has lived abroad in Europe, Australia and Asia, and from coast to coast in the continental United States. She currently lives and writes full-time in Bangkok, Thailand. 
To learn more about JC and her writing, please visit jcandrijeski.com.
If you want an email when JC’s next book is released, as well as special giveaways, offers to read books early and other prizes, join her newsletter, THE REBEL ARMY, at: http://hyperurl.co/JCA-Newsletter. JOIN NOW and you’ll get a FREE BOOK!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

COVER REVEAL for the "Snakes & Stones" anthology - Medusa-themed stories supporting loveisrespect.org!


ABOUT THE COLLECTION

Snakes & Stones is a collection of short stories inspired by the tale of Medusa;
the woman turned gorgon in Greek Mythology.
Medusa’s tale is one of abuse and oppression, however these tales take a
different twist on her story.
All parties involved with this anthology have volunteered their time and works in
order to make this collection happen. All proceeds from the sale of this book
will go to loveisrespect.org in order to assist in helping teens and young
adults in abusive and/or oppressive relationships.



A myth that has withstood the sands of time tells of a beautiful woman turned hideous beast.

Some say she was punished because of the lust of a man. 

Others believe it was her own beauty that brought on the curse.

However, there are some who believe her curse was actually a gift.

Hear the story of Medusa as told by six popular young adult authors:

When I Fell by Christina Benjamin
Medusa by Kaitlin Bevis
The Case of the Missing Soul by Susan Burdorf
Lies of the Beholder by Erin Hayes
Medusa’s Curse by Suzanna Lynn 

Favor of the Gods by Ali Winters

Brought to you in one anthology...
Snakes & Stones

All proceeds from the sale of this anthology will go to
loveisrespect.org.
  


 
  




 Currently only $0.99 on preorder! Price will rise to $2.99 after release day.



BOOK BLITZ for "The Future of Sex" by Aubrey Parker

The Future of Sex
(The Future of Sex, #1)
by Aubrey Parker
Publication date: May 16th, 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance,
Science Fiction

 The Future of Sex is a 12-part romance/sci-fi series exploring the line between today’s conception of love and the sensations that await us in the future.
Love doesn’t matter. Romance doesn’t exist. 
In the year 2060, sex is a game of extremes. No desire is unexplored and even the unimaginable is possible. 
Alexa Mathis, head of the monolithic O Corporation, has found a prodigy she believes will drive her sex empire to rapturous new limits: Chloe Shaw, a common girl with uncanny gifts that make her a powerful escort. 
Chloe doesn’t believe in love. She believes in ecstasy, and her employer’s newest tool to usher “the future of sex”: an intelligent network known as The Beam. 
And so it is until she meets Andrew … and the whole world changes. 

EXCERPT:

“Close your eyes.”
Andrew was startled. He’d been listening to music when Chloe entered, and hadn’t heard her approach. His door was unlatched, without a digital lock. He hadn’t been kidding about being poor. His connection was isolated to the terminal playing the music. He lived like a bohemian, and his apartment was little more than masonry and glass. She felt guilty about using her Beam connection to ferret out Andrew’s address, but once her hands were on his hips, her chest pressing into his back, Chloe no longer cared.
“You surprised me.”
She reached toward the terminal — a simple, no-frills model — and touched his screen to change the music, choosing something soft and lyrical to replace it. Something sappy and lovelorn that her mother would mock.
“Close your eyes,” she repeated.
He hesitated. She couldn’t see his eyes because she was behind him, but Andrew’s body language betrayed a man at attention. His moment of reluctance gave her pause until she realized his doubt was about himself rather than her.
“Chloe …”
“Just do it.”
She sensed his eyes closing. Then she rested her hands on his chest, palm flat. The movement was sensual, but not sexual. Her default would have been to go below the belt, so she kept her hands high.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“Feeling.”
“I wish I worked out more.”
“Not feeling you. I meant that I’m attempting to feel. To emote.”
“How is it going?”
“I don’t know.”
And she didn’t. Chloe was feeling just fine, but it was like an ingrained response to Andrew’s presence. If he were feeling doubtful or down, her chameleon nature would want her to adapt, to touch him in just the right ways and say just the right things. She wasn’t sure if her genuine reaction — if she’d ever felt such a thing — was the same.
“You don’t know?”
“What do you want me to say, Andrew?”
“I’m not sure what you mean.”
“What do you want from me? How would you have me feel?”
Andrew hesitated. “Is this a test?”
He sounded concerned, or even more doubtful than before — the opposite of his usual carefree, playful self. Something had been wrong at the park, and it had occupied Chloe’s mind, heavy like an anchor, ever since. That same thing was still wrong, but had matured into something else.
“No,” she said. “It’s not a test.”
“I don’t want you to feel anything. You feel what you feel.”
It was such a simple thing to say, yet Chloe didn’t know if her body and mind understood.
“How do you feel?” he asked.
“Nervous.” It was the truth, but she wasn’t sure if it was her base or something more meta. Was she nervous for her own reasons, or because she wasn’t sure how she truly felt?
“Me too,” he said.
With her flat palms, Chloe could feel his heart. “I can tell.”
“I don’t know what to make of you, Chloe.” His words were rushed as if he’d been dying to say them.
“Nobody seems to.”
“I don’t know if I like you for you, or if I like the person you’re becoming so that I will like you.”
Chloe turned Andrew around. She didn’t have to tell him to open his eyes. He did so automatically, those usually-playful orbs suddenly so serious.
“So,” she said, “you can tell.”
“I don’t know what I can tell.”
“You’re conflicted. There’s something wrong.”
“Conflicted,” he echoed. “But nothing’s wrong.” Then: “At least, I hope not.”
“But you don’t know.”
“Honestly? I don’t.”
“My whole life is about feeling, but it’s always as a response.” Chloe swallowed, hesitant to voice what was coming. “But I know how I feel about that — about your hesitation.”
“I think I love you, Chloe.”
“But you don’t know.”
He shook his head.
A tear tickled the corner of her eye.
“And I know how I feel about that, too.” He moved to kiss her.
“Don’t.”
“I want to.”
“Because I want you to?” Chloe asked. “And I want you to because you want to?”
Andrew tipped his head a little; he didn’t have to say that Chloe’s double-talk was confusing them both. He pressed his lips to hers, felt her lack of response, then pulled back. “Does it matter?”



Author Bio:
I love to write stories with characters that feel real enough to friend on Facebook, or slap across the face. I write to make you feel, think, and burn with the thrill that can only come from getting lost in the pages. I love to write unforgettable characters who wrestle with life's largest problems. My books may always end with a Happily Ever After, but there will always be drama on the way there. 
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