All Carrie Roberts wants is to be a little bit smaller.
To fit into the perfect dress for the Valentine’s Day Dance. To look beautiful for her boyfriend, the school’s star basketball player. To keep his jealous ex-girlfriend, a rival cheerleader, away from him. And to be noticed by her classmates.
Exercising and dieting don’t work, but an advertisement for weight loss pills promises a quicker solution to her problem. As time runs out, she takes more than the recommended dose until she’s just a few inches slimmer. Heads turn when she arrives at the dance, and the wonderful night with her boyfriend is beyond what she dreamed it would be.
Days later, Carrie discovers that her body is changing in ways that should be impossible. While her doctor searches for a cure, she desperately turns to her friends and family for support. Everyone is noticing her now whether she likes it or not, and even the media is intrigued by her incredible story. Getting everything she once wanted has created new problems—problems that are growing more terrifying every day.
Because Carrie Roberts is shrinking.
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After Trish posted photos of me and Todd on her various social media pages, there were comments about how wonderful I looked. My glorious night had gone viral, and everyone knew that Todd and I were a couple. There was a part of me—an admittedly catty part of me—that wanted to rub it in Janelle’s face, so I couldn’t wait for that Monday’s basketball game.
However, I had difficulty finding clothes that fit properly. Almost every skirt and pair of pants I owned was loose. Only my tightest skinny jeans fit comfortably around my waist, but not as tightly as they should have. I didn’t need a new wardrobe or anything like that, but it was clear that I was a little bit slimmer than I was before the dance.
I rushed to the bathroom scale and was startled to see I had lost eight more pounds in only two days. I checked to make sure the scale was working right, and I walked away and came back to it, but it still gave the same weight. Even though I had stopped taking the pills, my system mustn’t have fully purged the effects of the heavy dosage I had taken.
Looking at myself in the mirror, I noticed that my body seemed to be in the same proportions as always. I didn’t look particularly thinner, so I wasn’t sure where I had lost the weight. More so, if losing that much weight wasn’t making me look emaciated, how could it possibly be bad? Everyone was saying that I looked great that night, so what was the point in complaining?
That afternoon in the locker room, Lauren brought up the dance after she had changed. “Everyone’s saying you looked so good you had Janelle speechless.”
“She’s still speechless,” said Trish, chomping on a chocolate bar as she joined us. “You shoulda been there, Lauren. You’d be so proud of our little Carrie.”
Not accustomed to being the subject of gossip, I simply smirked and shrugged while I took my cheering uniform out of my bag.
“I guess those pills worked,” said Lauren, a slight tone of condescension in her voice.
“Yep.” I unfastened my belt, and without removing it from the belt loops, I found myself sliding easily out of my jeans.
“Diet pills?” Trish quickly turned to me. “My mom has tried that kinda stuff before. Worked for a bit but then she was chunky once again. If they worked for you Carrie, then that’s cool.”
“Now that the dance has passed, you stopped using them, right?” asked Lauren.
“Well, yeah.” I shrugged as I took off my shirt. One of my bra straps slipped off my shoulder, so I fixed it.
Lauren crossed her arms. “What do you mean well, yeah? What’s going on?”
The other bra strap slid down my other arm. Had I accidentally bought a larger bra and not noticed until then? Had I clasped it too loosely that morning? Pulling at the cups until I could feel the clasp dig slightly into my back, I looked down into my cleavage. Just like my pants, the bra was definitely loose; my breasts didn’t seem to fill it like they usually did.
“Carrie, you haven’t answered me.” Lauren was glowering at me.
“I don’t think their effects have worn off yet.” I put on my cheerleading skirt, but its elastic waist band didn’t cling to me as tightly as it usually did. “I’m still losing weight.”
Trish took a step back to get a full look at me. “You don’t look any thinner. You have the same great shape you had at the dance.”
“I noticed that too.” I sat down to tie my sneakers and noticed myself tying them tighter than usual. “Strange, right?”
As I reached for my cheerleading sweater, one of my bra straps slid off again.
“Then where are you losing it from?”
“No idea.” I put the sweater on, and it not only seemed baggy on me but longer too. “Can sweaters stretch in the wash?”
“Shrink in the wash?” asked Trish. “Totally. I had this really cute pink one that’s now more of a crop top—”
“She said stretch, not shrink.” Lauren rolled her eyes at Trish and then stepped over to me. “I don’t think so. Why do you ask?”
“Look at my sleeves.” I stood and held out my arms. Only days before, the sleeves ended at my wrists instead of reaching to the bottoms of my thumbs—a difference of about an inch. “They’re longer.”
“Maybe, I guess.”
The locker room had emptied except for the three of us. Trish said, “Come on shorties, game’s gonna start.”
Lauren looked me straight in the eye. “Aren’t you forgetting to put your sneakers on?”
“They are on.” Puzzled, I looked at her and then down at the sneakers on my feet. When I looked back at her and found her looking straight back at me, I understood why she had asked. We were at the same eye level.
I slowly turned to Trish, who normally stood at a height about halfway between me and Lauren, but it was clear that she was slightly taller than me.
We stared at one another in awkward silence. I wasn’t sure what to say, and I could tell they weren’t sure either. We all knew for a fact that I was supposed to be taller than both of them, and I doubted that both of them sprouted up a few inches over the weekend. But if they hadn’t grown, then the only other explanation was that I must have gotten shorter. Before I could dwell on that unlikely possibility, Janelle appeared in the doorway and hollered at us to get out to the gym.
I tried keeping my mind on the game instead of worrying, but every time I bounced, a bra strap would slide off, constantly reminding me that something strange had happened to my body.
It was worse during our half-time routine. Toward the end, the squad split up into groups, each holding someone up in the air and letting her fall back into our arms. I was part of a group of five girls helping to lift Trish. My job was to cup my hands underneath Trish’s right foot while she was raised into the air. Two of the other girls held her calves in place, a third spotted from behind, and Janelle had her left foot since she and I were supposed to be the same height. I found myself having to stretch my legs and arms more than I should have needed to keep Trish’s feet even.
When Todd found me after the game, I clung to him, and he innocently said, “Stand up straight so I can rest my chin on your head.”
“I am standing up straight,” I mumbled.
Then came an awkward moment where we both looked at my legs and feet to verify my claim. I was definitely shorter than I had been the week before. Todd simply stared at me, not knowing what to say.
Lauren witnessed the incident, and we gave the details to Trish in my car, after I adjusted the driver’s seat forward one click. Keeping one hand on the steering wheel while the other wiped away tears collecting in my eyes, I asked, “What’s happening to me?”
From the back seat, Lauren put her hand on my shoulder. “Don’t panic. There’s got to be a logical reason why you’ve gotten shorter.”
“People don’t get shorter!”
“It might be some weird side effect of those pills. You did take a lot of them.”
Her voice had a told-you-so tone to it, but she was right. How could I have been so stupid, so careless, so desperate? “What should I do?”
Sitting in the passenger seat, Trish turned to me and flailed her arms as she spoke. “If you stopped taking them, the effect will reverse itself. That’s how it works with my mom. She always puts the weight back on no matter what diet she tries.”
In my rearview mirror, I could see Lauren roll her eyes before asking, “You still have the pills, right? First thing you’ve got to do is tell your mother—”
The car swerved as I exclaimed, “No way! I can’t tell her! She’ll freak out when she finds out what I did.”
“She’s going to figure it out. She knows how tall you’re supposed to be. Look how quickly Todd noticed.”
“There are ways to make you look taller,” said Trish. “All it takes is the right pair of shoes until this wears off.”
There was an uncomfortable silence. I was pretty sure Lauren and Trish were wondering the same thing I was wondering: what if it didn’t wear off?
Hannah McCauley doesn’t look at herself in the mirror anymore.
After a rebellious past, she now attends a strict private school in a new town, where her recently divorced mother has put her on social lockdown. No driving. No bad grades. No skipping classes. No unapproved friends. No makeup. No boys. And the subject of her best friend from her old school is definitely forbidden.
Hannah is being punished for something that happened a year earlier, something that she would like to put behind her. But strange occurrences frighten her, and she’s accused of breaking rules and doing other terrible things without any recollection of them. No one believes her, so she starts distrusting everything, even her own reflection.
Is she being haunted by her past? Stalked by someone with a grudge? Or is it all in her head? If she doesn’t figure out what’s happening fast, her existence could end up irreparably shattered.
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> Chapter One <
I don’t like the way the reflection in my bedroom mirror judges me. I try not to look at her too closely, but I know I have to now and then or I won’t be able to brush the tangles out of the mousy brown hair hanging past my shoulders. To avoid direct eye contact, I give her only a sideways glance. The eyes are the windows to the soul, they say, and it’s not that I refuse to look at hers, but I don’t want her looking into mine. She knows me too well, and I know that when she glares right back at me, she’s at her most judgmental.
So when I finish with my hair—it’s the straightest it’s going to get, but I know there are strands out of alignment anyway—I stay frozen for a moment and simply breathe in and out. My palms are planted flatly on the dresser, and I keep my focus away from the glass and on the mahogany surface instead. It’s a family heirloom that belonged to my grandmother and her mother before it. The nicks and scratches show its age, and when we moved to the townhouse, my mother insisted it be placed in my room. Either she wants its history to persuade me I come from a caring family, or she wants the large mirror, with finely carved leaves around the frame, to taunt me.
“Hannah,” my mother calls from outside my door before she knocks twice. “I can’t be late this morning.”
I imagine her standing there, sighing in contempt and checking her sparkling silver wristwatch. It’s all about keeping up proper appearances with her, although I really shouldn’t complain. The townhouse is in much better shape than our old house, which had been in disrepair from years of my father’s neglect before he left us. I’m still surprised at how my mother managed to sell it, and I credit that to her impressive skills as a real estate agent. Our new neighborhood is somewhat secluded—as closed off as several rows of adjoining townhouses can be. And I guess I’m in a better school now.
Glancing at the mirror to avoid any glimpse of my face, I see the trade-off for the supposedly improved education. A uniform: a black pleated skirt with its hem just above my knees, a stark white button-down blouse, and a silly black and gold plaid girly short necktie thing. Fashion choice has also been taken away from me, but I can impose some individuality with shoes and tights or socks. I’m opting for black combat boots and leggings today, only because there’s still a chill in the late-April morning air.
“I’m serious, Hannah.” She knocks again, three times, each one louder than the one before. I can hear her tapping her black patent-leather pumps on the hardwood floor in the hallway. “I’ve got an early closing.”
I groan and reach to the right to grab my phone. Even though it’s a couple of years old and the screen is cracked, it’s the one luxury I’ve been allowed to keep. But my hand comes up empty, and my knuckles rap the dark wood. Shaking the sting away, I stare at the spot where I’ve left my phone every single night since moving here, but it’s not there.
Ready to storm out and confront my mother about confiscating my phone, I turn toward the door, but I see it face down on the left corner of my dresser. Snatching it up, I enter the passcode to check for any messages. Nothing since Grace rescued me from my late-night AP U.S. History homework meltdown. Maybe in my exhaustion, I dropped it in the wrong place. I’m not as well put together as my mother, and I probably never will be, no matter how she thinks she’s trying to fix me.
I sling my school bag over my shoulder, its weight pulling me down a little, and I trudge through the door. My mother stands in the center of the hallway, focused on the oval wall mirror above the small table where a vase of fresh flowers sits. She preens herself, doing one final check that her hair bun is secure. Her dark brown hair has a slight auburn sheen to it, and as some of my hair drifts in front of my eyes, I’m convinced her hair looks younger and healthier than mine. All for appearances.
“You were up late last night,” she says, never looking away from her reflection.
“Senior year,” I mumble. “Tough courses.”
“No excuses. It’ll all be for the best.” She finally turns to me and cups my chin and cheeks in her palms.
I fake a smile because that’s what she wants to see, and I tell her she’s right because that’s what she wants to hear. We’re about the same height, but I can’t look her in the eyes. They’re the same green as mine.
She turns to the mirror to finish putting on a pair of pearl earrings to match the string around her neck that plunges into her meticulously calculated amount of cleavage. In her blue business suit and skirt, she’s the model of professionalism, a woman who threw herself head first into her career and left me to fend for myself for the first three years of high school. Our ultimate upgrade to the townhouse included moving almost halfway across the state and transferring me to a private school for senior year. Does she think that giving me a different life and different friends will create a different me?
In one fluid motion, she starts down the stairs and opens her purse to remove her keys. She holds the front door open for me while I slouch past her and out to the car. It’s a white two-door coupe with a sunroof, and if the tall townhouses weren’t in the way, the reflected sunlight off the car would blind people. I swear she gets it washed at least once a week.
I slump into the passenger seat—the closest she’ll let me get to driving—and buckle myself up. The car’s almost a year old, but it still has that nauseating new smell as if she uses an air freshener with that scent. I plug in my earphones and am about to put them on, when my mother enters the car, spots me, and slightly shakes her head. “You know the rules, Hannah.”
Dropping the earphones into my lap, I stifle an audible groan by taking a deep breath. Mom and her car rules. She has no problem with an occasional informational text sent, like if I have to ask Grace for a ride home from school because she can’t pick me up, but otherwise, devices are off-limits while she’s driving. She especially forbids me to tune her out with music, explaining that we should use the drive time for mother-daughter bonding rather than spend it in two different worlds.
I release the breath and turn toward my window. I’d rest my head against it, but she doesn’t want me dozing off on the way to school either. She backs the car out of the driveway carefully and then drives slowly to the entrance of the townhouse community with only the occasional speed bump to provide any variety.
“What homework was keeping you up last night?” she asks once she turns right onto the main road.
“History.” I squirm at the small talk. “I don’t get why we even have to learn it.”
“History’s where we’ve been, Hannah. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
I roll my eyes. My history teacher has said the same thing several times in class, but when my mother says it, there’s a lilt of condescension in her voice. I can’t shake the feeling that she’s talking about me—about my own history that I might be doomed to repeat. Whether I’ve learned my lesson or not, she’s doing everything to make sure it couldn’t possibly happen again.
She stops at a traffic light, and there’s a large yellow house at the corner of the street. A white picket fence runs the perimeter of the property. Hanging from a post in the front yard is a For Sale sign with my mother’s photo on it. She’s in a red framed area in the corner, her arms folded across her chest and her smiling face tilted ever so slightly to the side. With the agency name and telephone number, the sign’s like an oversized business card combined with the glamor shot of an actress. She’s attractive and successful—I can’t deny that, nor am I bothered by it—but my heart sinks when I’m reminded of the name she goes by. Kathryn Reed, not Kathryn McCauley. She reverted to her maiden name, under the guise of it sounding more professional. I know it was to distance herself from my father, but it also distanced herself from me.
“But you are passing the class, correct?” she asks when the light turns green.
“With Grace’s help, barely.”
“I like Grace. It’s a good thing that the two of you met and became friends.” She pauses while she turns the car right, and I know exactly what she’s thinking. She wants to remind me that Grace has been a positive influence on me, but she surprises me with her actual words. “I know how difficult moving before your senior year has been, but it really is all for the best. For both of us.”
Her statement is more declarative than sympathetic. This isn’t the first time she’s acknowledged it’s been hard, but it’s been months since the last time. I wonder if she really understands what I’ve been going through. I don’t really miss that much from my previous school; I actually have better teachers now, and I care even less about some of the immature popularity games of school, but I miss Nikki more than I let on.
“You know she’s doing fine, right?” asks my mother, as if she’s reading my mind. She sure knows me too well.
“Yeah.” I shrug.
“The two of you were headed down different paths. Anyway, you’d go off to college, where you’d be exposed to new ideas and people, and you’d eventually outgrow her. It happened a year earlier. Look at it that way.”
Gritting my teeth, I hold back a swear-filled outburst. Nikki was my best friend, and she doesn’t deserve to be marginalized by my mother or anyone else. People get to choose their own friends, right? Although my mother never approved of Nikki, she doesn’t understand how badly I needed someone of my own to help me deal with the split. My father was gone, and my mother was coping by working more, but at least I had a friend who could relate. Unlike here and now, where I wouldn’t be surprised if somehow behind the scenes, my mother had handpicked my friends.
I shouldn’t complain about Grace because she’s a genuinely kind person, and she’s done nothing but support me. I don’t know if I would have made it this far through the year without her, even if she seems more tailor-made for my mother’s personality instead of my own. But she doesn’t know my real personality any more than I think I do.
My mother pulls up in front of the school, and we exchange saccharine goodbyes as I climb out of the car. I blend into the sea of black and white clothes and drift toward the entrance under the gilded letters that spell out Eastfield Academy. Without looking back, I know my mother is still parked at the curb and watching me, making sure that I pass through the front door. I haven’t skipped school since I came to Eastfield, and with just over a month left, I’m not going to start; the punishment for it is much more strict than at my old school, and I won’t do anything to ruin either of our reputations.
That was the promise I made her.
Seventeen-year-old Alexa Cross is desperate to get to Broadway, but when she receives a failing math grade, hopes of a scholarship disappear. Now she’ll need her father’s help to achieve her dream. The only problem is he doesn’t consider her choice of careers to be sensible and after the pain her family has suffered, Alexa can’t go against his wishes. Trapped between a family she loves and her love of the stage, Alexa will have to find another way to achieve her dream or settle for what her father wants.
West Howell does his best to keep his head down and go unnoticed. It’s easier to be cut off than to try to explain to people why he’s so screwed up. After all, he can’t afford to get into any more trouble. When he’s recruited to tutor the hot, prissy girl from math, he never expects to fall in love with her. Or that she might be the one person who can relate to him.
Together, they may find a way to heal each other and get what they both desperately need, as long as Alexa’s father doesn’t decide that the one thing worse than his daughter’s love of the stage is her love for West.
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Mr. Guin gave her a moment to adjust to the news and then continued. “Now, I know you’re capable of doing the work. You’re a smart girl, but you’re going to have to buckle down and put in some serious hours or you won’t have enough time to pull your overall grade up before the end of the semester.” He stood and crossed his arms over his chest. “I’m afraid you need more help than I have time to give, and that’s why I’ve spoken with the person in the class with the highest average. He’s going to be tutoring you at my request.”
He. Please don’t let it be West Howell. Please don’t let it be West Howell. Of course, it wouldn’t be. He wasn’t smart. Or was he? The truth was she had no idea. She didn’t know anything about him.
A shadow filled the doorway, and she didn’t have to look up to know her worst nightmare had come true. She could sense his presence like a deer in the woods can sense a predator.
“Ah, here he is now. Miss Cross, I believe you know Mr. Howell?”
She swallowed the lump in her throat and sat up straighter. “Yes, sir.”
“West, I’ll leave it up to the two of you to work out your own schedule.”
West nodded, but remained quiet. Alexa was working hard not to stand up and pull her hair out like some sort of animated character in a cartoon while laughing hysterically. This could not be happening.
Mr. Guin continued on, unaware she was one step away from hysterics. “I’ll expect the two of you to work together four days a week.”
Alexa’s mouth dropped open, but no sound came out.
“I’ll evaluate your progress by the extra assignments you’ll be required to turn in at the end of each week. Also, if Mr. Howell feels you aren’t doing your absolute best to succeed or if he feels you aren’t taking this second chance seriously, he’s been told to report to me immediately. You will not fail this class because you weren’t given every opportunity to succeed. The only way to fail is to give up.” Mr. Guin leaned down toward her. “And we both know you’re not a quitter.”
While she appreciated the chance and his opinion of her work ethic, she was having a hard time concentrating on anything other than having to spend time outside of class with West four days a week. And now, he also knew she was an idiot. Perfect.
Jade Thompson and Bryce Jordan are best friends.
As Jade is recovering from a breakup and a major loss, Bryce is preparing for his final college basketball season.
All Bryce wants is to get drafted into the NBA and get out of Jade's friend zone. And Jade, who is also months out from graduation, is on a mission to figure out what's next, now that her life-long soccer career has ended.
For Jade, it’s easy to ignore the feelings she has for her best friend. After all, she’s been doing it for two years. For Bryce, it’s not so easy.
Will their friendship survive?
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"Are you about to drink tea on purpose?" I jumped out of my skin at the sound of Bryce's voice. I was so deep in my thoughts, I forgot I wasn't alone. I called Bryce over almost immediately after waking up this morning. When he got here, I told him what happened, and he argued with me about why I hadn't told him sooner. After he calmed down, we started our Saturday routine of streaming TV and lounging around. Gabi wasn't the person to go to when you're feeling emotional, I learned that the hard way, but Bryce always knew exactly what I needed and when I needed it to feel better.
"Yes, Bryce." I sighed, releasing stress in my chest I hadn't noticed lingering. "I'm drinking tea so I'll feel good enough to play well tomorrow." The aroma of the tea felt so pure and intense, I could feel my throat healing already.
"And it's not sweet tea? And why is it that color?"
"It's green tea. And hush, I don't know why it's not actually green," He looked at my cup with uncertainty, causing me to laugh suddenly, which brought me into a mini coughing fit. I love Bryce, but it annoyed me when he constantly questioned my food choices. I reached up and pulled at his fro that he seemed to be growing out. I'm a little under a foot shorter than his 6'6, but I still made it work. "I need to play on Sunday, and I need to be able to breathe, swallow and sometimes yell while I'm running."
"So you done crying?" He's not as blunt as Gabi, but sometimes he could be just as bad.
"That's actually rude, and I'm not even trying to talk to you anymore," I turned away from him to add sugar and honey to my tea.
All of this is so fresh. I didn't want to cry. It just... happened. I barely knew how I felt, much less how to control those feelings or the tears.
"I know, I'm sorry," I put down the spoon as he continued speaking. "I just don't like to see you sad. I was hoping that part was over." Bryce wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into a hug from behind. He moved my braids that were blocking his access to my cheek behind my back and planted a loud kiss on my face. I scrunched up my nose and made an attempt to leave his grasp. It turned into an unsuccessful squirm.
"I don't know when it'll be over," I turned my body in the hug so I could look up into his gentle eyes. It was always soothing to be in Bryce's presence, but the most comfort I've ever gotten came from looking into his eyes. They were soft, just a few shades darker than his skin, but they looked at you like you were the most important person in the world. Like you were smart, beautiful, and just... wonderful. Gabi said she didn't see it - but she isn't as sentimental as I am. "But let's focus on my game tomorrow."
"Okay, after you win tomorrow," He hugged me a little tighter, "What game is next?" I love the way he thinks. A smile broke out before I responded.
"Three more games until the playoffs start."
"And then national champs, baby," He returned my smile.
"Yes..." I took a step back, and he let me go. I was nervous about his answer to my next question. He looked down at me, waiting for me to speak. "So, the national championship. It's on December 10th, on the coast," I knew we'd make it to the finals, but I didn't know if I needed or wanted him there. It was probably a little bit of both. "You coming? Can you come?"
He dug for his phone in his pocket to pull up his calendar. "We have a game that week," He grimaced. "It's away, too," He tried to make up for his words with the speed of his delivery. "But I promise I'ma watch it." I heard the sincerity in his voice, but it didn't get rid of the sadness about the conflict in our schedules. "I promise I'ma watch it. I got you, Jade."
I believed him. And I also didn't want to let his schedule ruin the time we currently had together. "Okay... Let's go watch some more TV before you have to leave."
"Deal." He grabbed me by the waist and lifted me over his shoulder in less than a second, which left me upside down. I spotted my mug – still untouched - on the counter.
"Wait my tea!" I coughed again, which made him jerk to try to avoid my "germs." "I'm still trying to heal, Bryce."
He laughed and turned back to grab my tea before he carried me back to the sofa where I agonized over Mike all morning. He sat me down on my love seat before he claimed the couch across from me. After he got comfortable, his long body taking up the entire sofa, he looked up at me. "Ready to start season two now?"
I smiled at Bryce, enjoying the peace I felt for the first time since I opened my eyes all those hours ago. "Yes, I'm ready."
The Trainee Undercover is a mystery, action, and thriller novel written by Brenda Shaw.
Paul Collier, a high level executive, in a pharma company gets threatened into silence by an unknown force. In despair, he decides to send his family away to protect them.
Alex, a happy-go-lucky teenager, is all set to enjoy his summer vacation with his friends.
But fate has other plans in store! They get entangled with a murder case.
Alex and his friends are now committed to pursue criminals.
They desperately want to help Paul! But, will they fall prey into the hands of the criminals?
It’s a gripping adventure where they have to race against time and winning is everything!
The teenagers’ amateurish skills will have to compete with professional criminals.
Will they be a victim or victorious? Read the novel to find out...
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Life just keeps slapping Mary in the face.
She had it rough growing up, and when it finally looks like she’s getting her life firmly back on track, breaking up with her boyfriend starts a string of events that threatens to bring Mary to her knees.
Fortunately, there are good people in her life who will do everything in their powers to help her when she needs it. Mary’s girlfriends, Jinx and Wilder are there for her, and after she’s rescued from being kidnapped, Carson and Bo take her into their home, becoming the family she always wanted but never seemed to get to keep.
As the group around Hawker Johns hunt the men who wanted to trade Mary for the valuable crystal from the mountains, she slowly recovers. Then life throws her another few curveballs, and it looks like she’ll lose everything yet again.
Mary is resilient and used to restarting her life from nothing, but when it looks like she’ll also lose the man she loves, maybe the happy girl has just had enough?
Picture this is the third book in the Birds of a Feather series, a young adult/coming of age series with paranormal elements, full of laughter, mystery, and romance.
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Poor Billy Green! When he was just turning four, his father tried to throw him in the trash. He was a smart kid but that just seemed to create enemies. His mom did everything to protect him. But this was Detroit, armpit of the wasteland! Catholic school didn’t help much, except the time he got his first kiss from an atheist nun. Home life was dismal. Was his father capable of anything but drinking beer and farting? And what was with that neighbor who made puppets and tried to molest Billy? Golly! Detroit was sucking the life out of him. At such a young age. Then adolescence swirled around him. Like water in a toilet bowl. High school was a B movie. Only without a plot. So finally he did something about it. Billy ran away … to college. Cornell University. That was a good move for sure! He studied hard, lost his virginity, met the love of his life. Things were definitely looking up! What could possibly go wrong?
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This novel came to her in a dream.
Set in the Amazonian jungles of South America, M.Black weaves an action-packed tale in this original YA Amazonian Eco-Fic Dystopia set forty-two years after a nuclear war. Jin—a prisoner of King Borran—and Adan—another Graphed—have to fight for their survival in a utopia gone wrong. In a world where animal cells and neural tissue have been grafted into humans, and humans are connected by brain waves to chosen animals from the Amazon, will Jin and Adan survive? Will they ever find their Animal Graph counterparts? Can the Earth find harmony with humanity and the animals or will those wanting to destroy it all win?
Socially relevant, dark and sexy, with themes that hang on environmental concerns and animal welfare…ENTER TOMORROW with ANIMAL GRAPH. A novel along the lines of Hunger Games meets X-Men. If you’re a fan of The Treemakers, The Sowing, Simulation, Age of Order, A Brave New World or A Canticle for Leibowitz, you may also enjoy this novel.
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If you enjoyed Wicked Lovely, Twilight, Hush Hush, Unearthly, you will enjoy this.
*A Night Owl Review Top Pick! 4.5/5 stars!*
What I found was a beautiful novel that, although it is quite dark in many spots, tells the story of a young girl who is torn between the powers of good and evil and trying to protect her heart and those she cares about. I am quite eager to read Falling Angels.
Ali Maney is a typical high school teenager. Nothing special ever happens to her. As a student at Millennium High in Manhattan, sure, a few weird things have happened, a few suicides over the years, but nothing really bizarre. Until one day, in English class, when a hugely popular football player, Tyler, suddenly pitches himself off the roof to his death. Ali and her two best friends, Molly and Jen, are positive that Tyler’s death was not intentional. As they investigate, the bad boy in town starts to notice Ali. Daemon is gorgeous! Ali is shocked, but amazed. What could he want with her? As she ponders this, three new students arrive. Kian, Krysta, and Nathaniel all seem to have something…..different about them. Ali is floored when Kian appears more than interested in her too. What is she to do with two gorgeous guys after her? But not everything is as it seems. As Ali gets closer to each Daemon and Kian, the forces of the supernatural will come closer as well. One has been sent to protect, one has been sent to kill. Can Ali be saved? Or is she in way over her pretty little head? Enjoy this first book in the YA Manhattan Urban Angel Suspense.
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I sensed there to be so much more to his feelings in that moment. Feelings about his past, his future...me? We only had a few minutes before the next bell, but as we walked to my P.E. class, I couldn’t stop thinking about how difficult his life must have been. Orphaned. On the New York streets alone, and not able to intimately touch anyone. I began to realize how much the Angelfire sacrificed just to keep the streets safe from demons, and I squeezed Kian’s hand tightly. It was the one small act I could do without causing him harm.
“Afraid?” he asked, knowing he would have to leave me alone for fifty minutes.
“No.” I shook my head, and something like pride for him washed over me, “just glad I found you.”
“Me too.” He hooked his fingers into my back pant pocket with only the fabric of my pants keeping his skin from mine, keeping his passion from washing over into me. But I felt fortunate. I might never be able to kiss him, or hold him so close that I couldn’t breathe, but we shared something in that hallway, something I never felt before...something that made me tingle
THIRTY is a novelette prequel to EXOTIQA and will appeal to a vast array of audiences. This is 1.5 in the Exotiqa World, prequel to the first release.Following the actions of Thirty—the love interest of Maci from Exotiqa—the reader will catch a glimpse of what life was like inside of ImaTech for Flexbots and how he fell in love with Maci.
Fans of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runner, Divergent and iRobot, and robot cyberpunk dystopia will love this world with two young but strong female heroines who must save the fragile system crumbling around them. This story will even satisfy those looking for something with more philosophical themes and is a perfect fit for the sci-fi, artificial intelligence, and robotics interested readers.
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"LIKE EXOTIQA THERE IS A MIXTURE OF EMOTIONS THAT GO THROUGHOUT THIS WHOLE STORY AND GETS YOU THINKING THAT QUITE POSSIBLY IT MAY ACTUALLY HAPPEN IN THE REAL WORLD" -AMAZON REVIEWER
"THESE BOOKS ARE GREAT. AS WITH THE OTHERS, I COULDN'T PUT THIS DOWN. NEW FAVE AUTHOR" -AMAZON REVIEWER
"ANOTHER GREAT READ!" -AMAZON REVIEWER
ENTER TOMORROW with this YA Robot Cyberpunk Dystopian novel
With machine advancements embedded within human bodies, the questions of social inequality and prejudice come to light in this robot cyberpunk.
A year after the events of Exotiqa, Fione and Maci, are now facing ImaTech’s latest threat, the Humanbot program. Under the careful eye of Russell Wagner, this won't be easy.
With Sector Spheres keeping watch on Fione and her best friend Spear joining the rebellious Vigilante group, Fione has to trust Pix more than ever. But is his allegiance to the human race the same as hers?
Meanwhile, Maci is happy to have Thirty back in her arms, but she has struggles of her own trying to keep off the radar of the Flexbot Recycling Centers that want to destroy any conscious Flex, and while she relies on Thirty for survival she has doubts of her own about his loyalty.
In this original series, we watch humans lose their humanity as they become more robotic, and robots become more humanlike with a sense of love and compassion.
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