Breanne Sullivan never expected to find love again. Allowing herself to move on wasn’t easy, and now it may be too late. Determined to give herself a second chance, she will go to any lengths to prove her love to Drew. If only she could find him.
Desperate to numb his heartache in the wake of Breanne’s rejection, with something other than women and booze, Drew Scott packs his bags for the West Coast. Distance and a fresh start are just what he needs to heal the wounds caused by the only woman to ever captivate his heart.
But when the past and present collide in an unexpected way, Breanne and Drew quickly learn that things aren’t always what they seem. Caught between solving the mysteries that haunt them and getting the happily ever after they deserve, the two once again find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that could destroy them both.
Answers come at a dangerous price. Sacrifices must be made in order to protect the ones they love. Can Breanne prove her love to Drew before its too late? Or will opposing forces interfere and destroy any chance of them having a future together?
Meet the Author
Teresa Michaels lives in the New England area with her husband and children. Curveball is her debut novel.
Sugared violets, buttercream…but he craves
her kiss most of all…
Orphaned as a boy, Ewan Hales is proud to make his living as secretary to the
manager at Redcake’s Tea Shop. But the startling news that he’s heir to the
Earl of Fitzwalter changes everything. While tendering his resignation to
lovely Matilda Redcake, however, Ewan is struck by her spirit, the luscious bow
of her lips—and a realization. Matilda might not marry a working man—but will
she wed a future nobleman?
Ewan’s unruly hair and roguish kisses are
tempting, but Matilda has far too many problems to consider romance. With
sabotage at a cake factory threatening the family empire, she must focus her
considerable willpower on keeping Redcake’s from ruin—until she learns that her
young son has been kidnapped. Together, she and Ewan must uncover the truth
before they can savor the sweet freedom of love…
“One Taste of Scandal is a delicious, multi-layered Victorian
treat.” –Gina Robinson, author of The Last Honest Seamstress and
the Agent Ex series
Heather Hiestand was born in Illinois, but her
family migrated west before she started school. Since then she has claimed
Washington State as home, except for a few years in California. She wrote her
first story at age seven and went on to major in creative writing at the
University of Washington. Her first published fiction was a mystery short
story, but since then it has been all about the many flavors of romance.
Heather’s first published romance short story was set in the Victorian period
and she continues to return, fascinated by the rapid changes of the nineteenth
century. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she is a
bestseller at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. With her husband and son, she
makes her home in a small town and supposedly works out of her tiny office,
though she mostly writes in her easy chair in the living room. She also writes
as Anh Leod.
Shamrocks left us with Patrick posing an intriguing question. What exactly happened during those twenty five years? We know that they got their happily ever after, but how did Patrick and Christi get there? Could love have a shelf life?
Meet the Author
Cayce Poponea currently resides in Southern Georgia, with her three dogs and wonderful husband. A true romantic at heart, she writes the type of fiction that she loves to read. When she isn't setting behind her computer screen, creating yet another heart stopping, page turning novel. You can find her enjoying down time with her family.
Title: Two Family Home Author: Sarah Title Publisher: Lyrical Press
Lindsey Alford moved to Willow Springs, Kentucky, to prove to all doubters (mostly her parents) that she’s all grown up. Something her neighbor Walker Smith never questioned—those short shorts of hers!
Put a cute single girl with an overactive imagination next door to a reclusive hot guy, add in a decadent blue velvet sofa, a locked garage and a nursing home full of busybodies, and trouble is bound to pop up. Literally, in the form of an adorably naughty stray pup with a longing for two people to lick and a home all his own.
By day, Sarah Title is a (sort of) mild-mannered librarian in West Virginia, and by night, she writes funny, steamy, comfort reads. Sarah holds a B.A. in English from Vassar College and an M.L.S. from Indiana University. Her first book, Kentucky Home, was released by eKensington in April 2013. The follow-up novella, “Kentucky Christmas,” came out, surprisingly, the following December. She also contributed to the anthology, Delicious, with Lori Foster and Lucy Monroe.
Her newest book, Home Sweet Home, was released by eKensington in April 2014.
Sarah is represented by Louise Fury with the Bent Agency.
Praise for Sarah Title’s work:
“Quite a sexy book.” —USAToday.com on Kentucky Home
“The funny, down-to-earth characters who fill the pages are wonderfully sympathetic and their chemistry is delightful, but it is the added dose of magic featured in each story that lends this book its unique charm. With subtle flair, Foster, Monroe and Title walk the narrow border between genres to great success.” —RT Book Reviews on Delicious (4 stars)
“I hope there are many more from this author.” —My mom, in her Amazon review of Kentucky Home
Desi Cleopatra a murit timpuriu, la 39 de ani, cu o generatie inainte de Hristos, regina Egiptului a restabilit contururile lumii antice. Era incomparabil mai bogata decat orice alta persoana din Mediterana si poseda remarcabile abilitati politice. A fost asociata cu doua dintre cele mai proeminente personaje ale lumii romane - Iulius Cezar si Marc Antoniu. Incestul si asasinatul erau la ordinea zilei in familia reginei. Considerata zeita in copilarie, domnind la 18 ani, de secole intregi a constituit subiectul speculatiilor, al veneratiei, al barfei si legendei. De-a lungul timpului, complexa si flexibila ei personalitate s-a pierdut.
Printr-o magistrala intoarcere la sursele clasice,Stacy Schiff separa cu indrazneala faptele de fictiune, reconstituind intr-un mod profund original o existenta fabuloasa.
In 1942, intr-o manastire din America Latina sunt scoase la lumina ramasitele lumesti ale unei adolescente, Sierva Maria de Todos Los Angeles. Splendida ei podoaba capilara masoara douazeci si doi de metri lungime... Sa fie oare aceasta descoperire fructul imaginatiei inflacarate a autorului? Reala sau fictiva, ea reprezinta punctul de plecare al unei inedite povesti de dragoste, desfasurate pe fundalul pitoresc si decadent al Cartagenei, la mijlocul secolului al XVIII-lea. Sierva Maria este muscata la varsta de douazeci de ani de un caine. Banuind-o de turbare sau ca ar fi posedata de diavol, Inchizitia o trimite la o manastire, unde, alaturi de exorcistul ei, Don Cayetano Delaura, traieste o pasiune nebuna, distructiva si, prin urmare, blestemata... Prin aceasta capodopera situata la cumpana dintre istorie si legenda, misticism si erotism, Gabriel Garcia Marquez depaseste granitele realismului magic. Poezia si maiestria stilului sau transforma aici scena magicianului aventurier intr-un min
“A fresh, heartwarming voice.”
—Jodi Thomas, New York Times bestselling author
For champion professional knitter Dymphna Pearl,
inheriting part of a sun-blasted ghost town in the Texas hill country isn’t
just unexpected, it’s a little daunting. To earn a cash bequest that could
change her life, she’ll have to leave California to live in tiny, run-down Fat
Chance for six months—with seven strangers. Impossible! Or is it?
Trading her sandals for cowboy boots, Dymphna
dives into her new life with equal parts anxiety and excitement. After all,
she’s never felt quite at home in Santa Monica anyway. Maybe Fat Chance will be
her second chance. But making it habitable is going take more than a lasso and
Wild West spirit. With an opinionated buzzard overlooking the proceedings and
mismatched strangers learning to become friends, Dymphna wonders if unlocking
the secrets of her own heart is the way to strike real gold.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Welcome to Fat Chance, Texas is available
About the author:
Currently a Field Producer on HGTV’s House
Hunters, Celia Bonaduce’s TV credits cover a lot of ground – everything
from field-producing ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to
writing for many of Nickelodeon’s animated series, including Hey,
Arnold and Chalkzone.
An avid reader, entering the world of books has
always been a lifelong ambition. The Merchant of Venice Beach, A
Venice Beach Romance, was published August 1st, 2013 by eKensington. The
dream continues with a brand new series called Fat Chance, Texas, which
will be available May 2015.
Romanul "Sticletele" va apărea la sfârşitul lunii aprilie, la Editura Litera, în traducerea Justinei Bandol. "Sticletele" a intrat în clasamentul celor mai bine vândute cărţi al publicaţiei New York Times direct pe poziţia a doua, a ajuns imediat numărul 1 şi a rămas în top 10 timp de peste 40 de săptămâni. Drepturile de publicare a romanului au fost vândute în 32 de ţări. Donna Tartt a fost inclusă în Top 100 Cei mai influenţi oameni al publicaţiei Time. Theo Decker, un adolescent de treisprezece ani din New York, supravieţuieşte ca prin minune unei explozii care îi omoară mama într-un muzeu de artă şi, abandonat de tatăl său, este adoptat de familia bogată a unui bun prieten. Impresionat de noul său cămin de pe Park Avenue, negăsindu-şi locul printre colegii de şcoală şi, mai ales, chinuit de dorul mamei, Theo se agaţă de ceea ce-i aminteşte cel mai tare de ea: un mic tablou fascinant, preferatul mamei sale, pe care el l-a luat cu sine din muzeu, după explozie, la îndemnul misterios al unui bătrân pe moarte. Ani de zile mai târziu, după o copilărie aventuroasă, Theo, deja adult, lucrează într-un magazin de antichităţi alături de bătrânul său mentor şi binefăcător Hobie şi are legături cu colecţionarii cei mai bogaţi din oraş. Este însă îndrăgostit fără speranţă, lipsit de prieteni şi alienat de societate, iar tabloul ascuns cu grijă ani de zile devine pe neaşteptate poarta de acces către lumea subterană a traficului cu opere de artă. Sticletele este o carte superbă, seducătoare, care te ţine cu sufletul la gură fără să-şi piardă nici o clipă energia narativă. Cu un extraordinar simţ al caracterizării prin limbaj, Donna Tartt ne înfăţişează personaje memorabile, mustind de viaţă, într-o poveste plină de suspans, meşteşugită meticulos, asemenea unui tablou flamand. Un roman despre iubire şi artă, despre pierdere şi obsesie, despre supravieţuire şi modelarea propriului destin, toate supuse întorsăturilor imprevizibile şi nemiloase ale sorţii. „Sticletele este o carte rară, un roman elegant, rafinat, menit să încânte şi mintea, dar şi sufletul. Astfel de cărţi se numără probabil pe degetele de la o mână într-un deceniu... Donna Tartt ne oferă o operă de ficţiune excepţională.“Stephen King, The New York Times Book Review FRAGMENT „...Taxiul coti subit şi brutal pe Eighty-Sixth Street. Mama căzu peste mine şi mă apucă de braţ; am simţit-o jilavă şi palidă ca un peşte de baltă. - Ţi-e rău? am întrebat-o, uitând pentru o clipă de propriile mele necazuri. Avea o expresie fixă, plină de suferinţă, pe care o ştiam prea bine: buzele i se subţiaseră, fruntea îi lucea, iar ochii priveau enormi şi sticloşi. Dădu să spună ceva, dar apoi îşi duse mâna la gură tocmai când maşina oprea brusc la semafor, smucindu-ne în faţă şi trântindu-ne apoi îndărăt de speteaza banchetei. - Mai rabdă puţin! i-am spus şi apoi m-am aplecat şi am ciocănit în ecranul de plexiglas mânjit. Şoferul (un sikh cu turban) tresări surprins. - Auziţi? i-am spus prin plasă . E bine, lăsaţi-ne aici! Indianul – reflecţia lui din oglinda împopoţonată – mă privi lung. - Vreţi să oprim aici. - Da, vă rog frumos. - Dar aţi dat altă adresă. - Ştiu, dar aici e bine, am spus, aruncând o privire spre mama. Părea cu totul ofilită. Rimelul i se întinsese, şi bâjbâia prin geantă după portofel. - Doamna simte bine? întrebă şoferul cu glas neîncrezător. - Da, da, e bine. Trebuie doar să coborâm, mulţumim. Cu mâini tremurătoare, mama scoase un ghemotoc de bancnote umede de un dolar şi le întinse prin deschizătura din sârmă. Indianul îşi strecură şi el mâna şi le primi în palmă (resemnat, întorcând privirea). Am coborât, ţinând uşa pentru mama. Ea se împletici puţin când păşi pe bordură. Am prins-o de braţ. - Eşti bine? am întrebat-o timid în timp ce taxiul o lua din loc. Eram în jumătatea de nord a lui Fifth Avenue, pe lângă vilele care dau spre parc. Ea trase adânc aer în piept, apoi se şterse pe frunte şi mă strânse de braţ. - Pfii! spuse, făcându-şi vânt cu palma. Fruntea îi strălucea, şi ochii îi păreau încă uşor buimăciţi; avea înfăţişarea uşor şifonată a unei păsări marine abătute din drum de curenţi. - Scuză-mă, m-a apucat tremuriciul. Slavă Domnului că am ieşit din taxiul ăla! Mi-e bine, am doar nevoie să respir puţin aer. Şuvoiul de oameni se scurgea necontenit la colţul acesta vântos de stradă: eleve în uniforme, râzând şi ocolindu-ne din fugă; bone care împingeau landouri sofisticate, cu câte doi sau trei copii. Un tată agasat, cu o faţă avocăţească, trecu pe lângă noi în grabă, trăgându-şi fiul de încheietură. - Nu, Braden, l-am auzit spunându-i băieţelului care tropăia ca să ţină pasul, să nu crezi asta, e mai important să ai o meserie care să-ţi placă... Ne-am tras într-o parte ca să evităm apa înspumată pe care un om de serviciu o vărsa dintr-o găleată pe trotuar, în faţa clădirii. - Ia spune-mi, zise mama, frecându-şi tâmpla cu degetele, mi s-a părut mie sau taximetrul ăla a fost înfiorător de... - ... scârbos? Amestec de loţiune solară şi căcuţă, nu? - Serios – îşi flutură mâna pe post de evantai –, ar fi fost rezonabil dacă nu oprea şi nu pornea atât de brusc. N-am avut nimic la început, dar pe urmă m-a pocnit dintr-odată. - De ce Dumnezeu nu-i rogi niciodată să te aşezi în faţă? - Vorbeşti exact ca taică-tău. Mi-am ferit privirea, încurcat, căci auzisem şi eu acea vagă asemănare cu tonul lui atoateştiutor. - Hai să mergem până pe Madison şi să găsim un loc unde poţi să stai jos! am spus. Mi-era îngrozitor de foame şi ştiam acolo un restaurant care-mi plăcea. Dar, străbătută aproape de un fior, un val vizibil de greaţă, mama clătină din cap. - Vreau aer. Îşi şterse urmele de rimel de sub ochi. Mi-e bine la aer. - Sigur, am spus, puţin prea repede, grăbindu-mă să-i fac pe plac. Cum vrei. Îmi dădeam toată silinţa să fiu de părerea ei, dar mama, răvăşită de spasmele de greaţă, îmi simţise tonul vocii. Mă privi îndeaproape, încercând să-şi dea seama ce gândeam. (Ăsta era un alt obicei prost pe care ni-l formaserăm în anii de convieţuire cu tata: încercarea de a ne citi gândurile unul altuia.) - Ce-i? zise ea. Vrei să mergem undeva anume? - Ăă, nu, nu neapărat, am spus, făcând un pas înapoi şi privind panicat în jur; deşi mi-era foame, simţeam că nu am dreptul să insist asupra a ceea ce-mi doream. - Îmi revin imediat. Într-un minut. - Poate... Am clipit alarmat din ochi: ce voia, ce i-ar fi făcut plăcere? Ce-ar fi să mergem să stăm puţin în parc? Spre uşurarea mea, mama aprobă din cap. - În regulă, spuse, cu vocea aceea pe care eu o numeam de Mary Poppins, dar numai până îmi vin în fire. Am pornit către zebra de la intersecţia cu Seventy-Ninth Street, pe lângă arbuşti ornamentali toaletaţi, sădiţi în ghivece baroce, pe lângă uşi masive cu dantelării de fier forjat. Lumina pălise până la un cenuşiu industrial, iar vântul era umed şi greu, ca aburul dintr-un ceainic. Peste drum de parc, artiştii plastici îşi instalau standurile, îşi desfăceau pânzele, îşi prindeau în piuneze acuarelele cu catedrala Sfântul Patrick şi podul Brooklyn . Mergeam alături în tăcere. Gândurile mi se învârteau obsesiv în jurul problemelor de la şcoală (Oare părinţii lui Tom primiseră şi ei un telefon? De ce nu mă gândisem să-l întreb?) şi a ceea ce aveam să comand la micul dejun când reuşeam s-o duc pe mama la restaurant (omletă cu şuncă şi ardei, cu garnitură de cartofi prăjiţi şi bacon; ea avea să-şi ia, ca întotdeauna, ouă ochiuri cu pâine de secară prăjită şi o cană de cafea neagră), şi abia dacă vedeam încotro mergem, când mi-am dat seama că mama tocmai spusese ceva. Nu se uita la mine, ci undeva departe, pe deasupra parcului; iar expresia ei îmi aminti de un celebru film francez căruia nu-i ştiam numele, unde nişte oameni distraţi umblau pe străzi bătute de vânt şi vorbeau mult, dar nu păreau de fapt să se adreseze unul altuia. - Ce-ai spus? am întrebat, după câteva bătăi buimace de inimă, grăbind pasul ca s-o ajung din urmă. S-a format... Ea păru surprinsă, ca şi cum ar fi uitat că mă aflam acolo. Haina albă, fluturând în vânt, îi sublinia silueta de ibis cu picioare lungi, parcă gata să-şi desfacă aripile şi să se ridice plutind deasupra parcului. - Ce anume s-a format? - A! Chipul i se albi, ea dădu din cap şi râse scurt, în felul ei ascuţit şi copilăresc. Nu, am spus „deformarea timpului”. Deşi cuvintele sunau ciudat, am ştiut ce voise să spună – sau mi-am închipuit că ştiu: fiorul acela al discontinuităţii, cele câteva secunde care dispăreau brusc în timp ce te aflai pe stradă – un lapsus al timpului, secvenţa tăiată din film. - Nu, pitic, era vorba de cartier. Îmi ciufuli părul, făcându-mă să zâmbesc pieziş, pe jumătate stingherit: „pitic” îmi rămăsese din copilăria mică şi nu-mi plăcea, aşa cum nu-mi plăcea nici ciufulitul părului, dar, oricât de stânjenit mă simţeam, m-am bucurat s-o văd mai relaxată. - Mi se întâmplă de fiecare dată aici. Ori de câte ori ajung în locurile astea, e ca şi cum am din nou optsprezece ani şi abia am coborât din autobuz. - Aici? am întrebat neîncrezător, dându-i voie să mă ţină de mână, ceea ce n-aş fi făcut în mod normal. E ciudat. Ştiam totul despre primii ani ai mamei în Manhattan, la o distanţă apreciabilă de Fifth Avenue – pe Avenue B, într-un atelier deasupra unui bar, unde vagabonzii dormeau rezemaţi de uşi, încăierările din bar se revărsau afară în stradă, iar o cucoană bătrână şi nebună pe nume Mo ţinea ilegal zece sau douăsprezece mâţe într-o secţiune îngrădită a casei scărilor, la etajul cel mai de sus. Mama dădu din umeri. - Da, pentru că aici totul e exact ca în prima zi. Un tunel în timp. În Lower East Side... ştii cum e, mereu apare ceva nou , dar, pentru mine... am mereu senzaţia asta de Rip van Winkle , venit de fiecare dată parcă de şi mai departe în timp. În unele zile mă trezeam şi mi se părea că rearanjaseră complet vitrinele peste noapte. Restaurantele vechi dăduseră faliment, un bar modern luase locul curăţătoriei... Am păstrat o tăcere respectuoasă. Mama se gândise mult la trecerea timpului în ultima vreme, poate pentru că i se apropia ziua de naştere. „Sunt prea bătrână pentru tot ritualul ăsta”, spusese cu câteva zile în urmă, în timp ce ne învârteam de-a buşilea prin apartament, scotocind pe sub pernele canapelei, în buzunarele pardesielor şi jachetelor după ceva mărunţiş ca să-l plătim pe livratorul de la raionul de mezeluri. Mama îşi vârî mâinile în buzunarele balonzaidului. - Aici, în partea de nord, s-au schimbat mai puţine, spuse. Deşi vocea îi suna limpede, i-am văzut tulbureala din ochi; era clar că nu dormise bine – mulţumită mie. Porţiunea de nord a lui Park Avenue e unul din puţinele locuri unde mai poţi vedea cum arăta oraşul pe la 1890. La fel Gramercy Park ... şi Village – ici şi colo. Când am venit în New York mi s-a părut că zona asta era o amestecătură de Edith Wharton, Franny şi Zooey şi Mic dejun la Tiffany . - Franny şi Zooey se petrecea în West Side. - Da, dar eu eram prea fraieră ca să-mi dau seama. Tot ce pot să spun e că era foarte diferit de Lower East, unde tot felul de indivizi fără adăpost făceau focul în cutii de conserve. Aici, la sfârşit de săptămână, era o atmosferă magică – hoinăream prin muzee, flanam prin Central Park... - Flanai? Folosea atât de multe cuvinte care mie mi-erau străine, şi „a flana” îmi sugera o plimbare înfofolită în flanele, pe vreme geroasă, deşi cu pas iute, ca să nu te laşi pătruns de ger... - Ei, adică umblam creanga, brambura, cum fac eu. Eram lefteră, cu ciorapii găuriţi, mă ţineam cu fiertură de ovăz. Dacă poţi să crezi, deseori veneam pe jos până aici la sfârşit de săptămână. Economiseam pentru biletul de tren spre casă. Asta pe vremea când existau încă jetoane, nu cartele. Şi, cu toate că trebuie să plăteşti ca să intri în muzeu... Ştii cum scrie, să „donezi o anumită sumă”? Ei bine, cred că aveam mult mai multă îndrăzneală pe atunci, sau poate celor de la muzeu le era pur şi simplu milă de mine, pentru că... O, nu! exclamă brusc, pe un alt ton, oprindu-se locului ca fulgerată, în timp ce eu făceam mai departe câţiva paşi, neştiutor. - Ce-i? m-am întors. Ce este? - Am simţit ceva. Întinse palma şi se uită la cer. Tu nu? Şi, chiar în clipa aceea, lumina începu să pălească. Cerul se întunecă repede, de la o secundă la alta; vântul răsfoi copacii din parc, şi frunzuliţele noi de pe crengi se iţiră fragede şi gălbui pe fundalul norilor negri. - Ah, Doamne, ar fi trebuit să ne dăm seama! spuse mama. Vine răpăiala. Se aplecă deasupra carosabilului, privind spre nord: nici un taxi. Am prins-o din nou de mână. - Haide! am spus. Cred că avem mai mult noroc pe partea cealaltă a străzii. Am aşteptat nerăbdători ultimele clipiri ale semnalului roşu. Crâmpeie de hârtie se roteau în aer şi se rostogoleau pe stradă. - Hei, uite un taxi! am spus, privind spre nord pe Fifth Avenue; dar, chiar atunci, un tip cu o servietă veni în fugă la bordură cu braţul ridicat, şi lumina taxiului se stinse. Peste drum, pictorii se repezeau impacientaţi să-şi acopere tablourile cu folii de plastic. Vânzătorul de cafea trăgea obloanele remorcii. Ne-am grăbit să traversăm şi, chiar când am păşit pe trotuar, un strop greu de ploaie mi se turti pe obraz. Cercuri maronii, mari cât monedele, pătară ici-colo asfaltul. - Ah, fir-ar! strigă mama. Bâjbâia în geantă după umbrelă – care abia dac-ar fi ajuns pentru o persoană, darămite pentru două. Şi se porni – şiroaie reci de apă împinse pieziş de vânt, rafale impetuoase răscolind coroanele copacilor şi zgâlţâind tendele de peste drum. Mama se chinuia să deschidă umbrela ţâfnoasă, dar fără prea mult succes. Oamenii de pe stradă şi din parc, cu ziare şi serviete deasupra capului, tropăiau pe scări în sus către porticul muzeului , singurul loc din apropiere unde te puteai adăposti de ploaie. Şi, în felul cum noi înşine ne-am repezit pe trepte sub capricioasa umbrelă dungată, repede, repede, repede, era ceva festiv şi fericit, ca şi cum am fi scăpat de o primejdie groaznică, cu toate că, de fapt, ne năpusteam direct spre ea. [...]“(Copyright Editura Litera)
Jade Phillips wasn’t what everyone wanted her to be. She was supposed to be an honor roll student, polite, and most of all, well-behaved. Instead she has a juvie rap sheet as long as her arm, a liver that has handled more alcohol than most Irish men, and a partying habit that keeps her hungover on weekdays, and she doesn’t care. She wasn’t going to change for anyone, or so she thought.
Her father is remarrying, and the family dynamic isn’t the only thing he wants to change; he wants Jade to change. His future wife, the senator of Virginia, is running for re-election and she cannot afford to have Jade’s unruly behavior ruin her reputation. That means no more drugs, alcohol, partying, and most of all, no more arrests.
If Jade is unable to clean up her act, then she will be forced to go and live with her overzealous grandmother in the middle of nowhere. Forcing her to leave her friends, and her life behind.
Now Jade has to make a decision. Will she change for the better or will she suffer the consequences?
After all, no one has ever been hurt by a little bad publicity.
Austin’s sweaty body collapsed next to me. His chest rose and fell as he breathed in heavily. Once he caught his breath, he turned towards me and wrapped his arms around my naked body, pulling me close to him and kissing my collarbone. “Just lay here with me,” he sighed. A frown tugged at my lips. I didn’t want to lay here in his arms. That would give him the wrong impression. I’ve told him before that I wasn’t looking for a relationship and that when he starts to have feelings for me other just sexual desires then we’ll have to stop hooking up. “Austin I can’t.” “Not even just for a few minutes? I don’t have feelings for you I just like to spend some time with a girl after we have sex. Not just have her run out right after.” “I won’t leave; I’ll just be right down the hallway. I should probably go anyway. Brooke should be waking up soon," I said, coming up with a lame excuse to leave. Brooke wouldn't be up or another four hours, maybe more. Austin sighed and pulled his arms from around me. He sat up and reached onto the floor, pulling on a baggy pair of basketball shorts and tossing me my bra that was somehow connected to my tank top. He threw me the inside out skinny jeans and flopped back down on his bed. “Get out," his words were cold but I knew that he would get over it. I stood up slowly, clutching my clothes in a pile in my arms as I did so. Lying on the ground was my underwear which I grabbed and added to the pile. Without responding to his words, I held my head high in confidence and proceeded towards his door, butt naked. From behind me I heard him say, “You can put your clothes on first you know.” I shrugged. “I doesn’t really matter. No one’s awake and you want me to get out, so the fastest way for me to get out is to go like this.” Austin rolled his eyes, “Don’t be so damn stubborn and just put your clothes on Jade.” “Fine,” I retorted. I dropped my clothes on the ground and pulled on each item wordlessly and as quickly as possible, leaving the pants off. That was a struggle that I wasn’t willing to go through again. “Happy now?” “I’m always happier when you don’t have clothes on, but yeah, I guess. Now get out.” “Someone’s on their period,” I mumbled, turning and leaving his room with Brooke’s jeans crumpled up in my arms.
I made my way silently down the hallway until I made it to Brooke’s room. Her clothes were thrown everywhere, leaving the floor a mess and a near impossible thing to navigate through in the dark. I groaned internally, not wanting to wake Brooke up so that she could see my half naked state, but I had no other option considering that there was no way I would be able to make it across her floor again without getting hurt or making noise. “Rise and shine, sunshine!” I yelled as I flipped the light switch, sending the room into a sudden burst of illumination. My best friend of eleven years groaned and put the pillow on top of her face to hide her eyes from the light. “You’re a bitch,” she said through the pillow. “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you. What did you say?” I said with a cheery smile as I lifted the pillow from her face. “I said you’re a bitch!” She screamed as she rolled over, pressing her face into the mattress. She said something else, but her words were muffled and I couldn’t hear her. “I seriously couldn’t hear what you said that time, Brooky,” I said using her childhood nickname so she would know that I was being sincere. She slowly sat up, her hair ratty and matted from her full night sleep. It looked like as if a giant tumbleweed had landed directly on top of her head and as she turned to look at me so did the tumbleweed. “I asked why you’re half naked. Austin could walk by at anytime and see you. You know he likes you. Please don’t taunt my brother.” Brooke said with a silent pleading in her eyes. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that Austin and I had been hooking up since high school started three years ago. I used to have a crush on him, back when he didn’t have one on me. Now it’s switched, but it would have been mutual if he hadn’t broken my heart freshmen year. He had started making out with this girl right in front of me after telling me how much of a good time he had with me the night before when I had mistakenly allowed him to take my virginity. Then he had proceeded to make plans to see her later that night and give her a ‘birthday gift’, which I assumed just meant getting naked and having sex.
Of course, he thought nothing of it especially since he was getting laid by some senior slut even though he was only a sophomore. I swear that girl just wanted to get into every attractive guy's pants and with her looks it wasn’t a challenge for her. It shattered my heart how he was able to use me like that and then move on so quickly without even batting an eyelash. Ever since then he had been just a strict hook up in my eyes, and I didn’t care whether or not he had feelings for me because he hurt me first. I wouldn’t let him hurt me again; he made his choice first and he turned me into what I had become. “You’re brother has a yearly subscription to Play Boy and has sex on a daily basis. Will it really matter if he sees me without pants on?” I asked mostly to probe and see if I could tell her about Austin and I. “You’re different though. You aren’t just some random slut. You’re my best friend, and he likes you. It would change the relationship drastically. I mean he already hangs off you like he would do anything to get in your pants. I couldn’t handle it if my best friend and my brother were dating. That'd be sickening.” She feigned gagging noises and stuck out her tongue. “Why would it be gross?” Brooke sighed, thinking for a moment before she spoke. Her freshly dyed blonde bangs fell into her blue eyes. “I just can't imagine you two dating, especially not after what he did to you. Why are you asking me all this anyway?” She asked, furrowing her eyebrows curiously. “Because I’m standing here half naked and if you said you were cool with it, I would be in Austin’s room right about now getting laid,” I suggested. I didn’t like lying to Brooke so instead I tried to find ways around it, normally she took it as a joke and moved on.
“That’s disgusting!” Brooke yelled, throwing her pillow at me. “It’s the truth! You know I need the attention…” “You sound like a whore.” Brooke said with a straight face as she finally got out of bed and went to the bathroom, but I knew that she was joking by the smile playing at the corners of her lips. “Well, Austin could be my pimp.” “That would mean he gives you to other people dumb ass!” She called over the flush of the toilet. She let out a long drawn out scream sending me running into the bathroom. She was decent and the sink was running, but I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. “What’s wrong?” “Why am I up at eight AM on a Saturday!?” Brooke yelled as she pointed at the clock. Its bright red fluorescent numbers lit up saying that it was 8:23am. “Because you got out of bed,” I answered, simply walking back into the room to see Austin, who was still in only basketball shorts and bare-chested handing me a news paper. I saw remorse in his eyes, whether it was because he had heard Brooke’s and my conversation or whether he realized he had been a big jerk after having sex with me this morning, I wasn’t sure. “What’s this?” I asked, glancing at the front page to see the only female senator in our area on The cover. Despite a large toothy grin that seemed to be plastered on her face, her eyes were hawk-like, staring at me as if I was her prey. In the picture, her hand was held high, flashing a huge diamond ring on her bony ring finger. She was apparently getting married. I couldn't help but to wonder what poor sap would be desperate enough to marry her. I looked up at Austin, confused as to why he was showing me this. “Look at who she’s marrying.” Austin instructed, pointing to a section of the article. I read carefully at first, but then my attention span phased out and I skimmed until I saw my dad’s name. I stopped, and snatched the article from his hands to look over it myself. I read, and re-read over the article again and again until I could practically recite it by heart. I couldn’t believe that these words weren’t considered slander. There was no way that my father was getting married only a few months after burying my mother; especially not without telling me first. The article had also stated that Senator Tara Jacobs also had one daughter, who after her father died was her mother's sole custody. I glanced up at Austin with wide eyes. I felt my bottom lip tremble slightly, something that always happened when I was trying not to cry. Austin immediately understood and wrapped me tightly in his arms as the idea that my dad was trying to replace my mom floated into my mind.
Tell us about how you two ended up teaming up to write this book. We met in a creative writing class in high school where Taylor told me about an amateur writing website called wattpad. We both realized that we liked each other’s writing style, and thought it would be fun to start write stories together. (Sara) Have you both always wanted to be writers? We have both always had a passion for writing, but we had never actually considered it as a career path until recently. Writing had always been a hobby for us, and eventually that hobby just snowballed into something bigger. Surprisingly, neither of us are majoring in English. Rather, Sara is a biology major, and I am a psychology major. (Taylor) I actually didn’t want to be a writer. I’ve always wanted to work with animals, and writing was just a hobby. (Sara) What inspired Bad Publicity? Bad Publicity started out as us wanting to write a really unique story. Sara came up with a vague idea of what the book should be about, teen rebellion, wild fun, and a lot of mistakes and consequences for the characters, and Taylor was able to go in and make the description to inspire us to write the entire book, and then make it into a series. Together we based the book off of our lives, experiences, and dreams. What genres do you each like to read? Sara: I have always enjoyed reading Thriller/mystery stories the most. I grew up reading horror and paranormal, even some suspense, but it was mostly mysteries. Heather Graham’s novels are my favorite, but the genre itself has always been a favorite. Taylor: I use to really love reading teen fiction/drama novels, but recently I have been really into mystery/thrillers. I started doing a 2015 reading challenge, and the first book I chose to read was the option “Read a book from an author with the same initials as you”. Therefore, I chose to read a book by Tami Hoag, and I have become a huge fan. I’ve been reading through her novels like wildfire. Do you like to write in the same genres? We both started off writing the same genres, but as Sara transitioned into writing suspense/thriller, she kind of dragged me into it. We both can write almost any genre, but like most authors we have our preferences. I think that we both can agree that we enjoy writing stories that are thrilling the most. (Taylor) What is it like co-writing a book? Planning the story together, melding your styles, etc? It’s interesting. We have to spend a lot of time making sure that we see everything the same way so that we can avoid any confusion, and then plan the story out so that we can both work in the same direction. It takes a lot of time and effort to make a cohesive story because we are two different people who can see a scene in many different ways. We go about melding our stories together in two different ways. One way that we do this is where Sara will write a skeleton (which is a chapter that has no detail and is basically an outline of that needs to be filled in) and Taylor will go through it to add detail and anything she thinks is missing. Another way that we mix our stories is through what we call a “split chapter” where someone begins it, and the other person finishes it, then starts the next chapter and so on. Bad Publicity itself was written as a split chapter story. We enjoy both of these writing styles because we can practice writing more, overcome writer’s block, and learn from each other as we move forward. It is great having a writing partner, especially one who is your best friend, because we can support each other in our individual works as well as in our co-writes. Is Bad Publicity a stand alone or part of a series? It’s a series. It’s called the Untamed Hearts series for the wild and free feeling we hope to give the readers through out the series. There are two other books to the series, Broken Promises and Brush Strokes. Can you tell us about some of your plans for the future, writing wise? Future books, future partnered up projects? Together and alone, we have many other novels that we are ready to share with the world. Currently we are trying to move more into the direction of writing thriller/mystery novels that have an element of romance mixed in.
Separately we are working to become well-rounded writers. We will be releasing a few solo books this summer, and working together on the rest of the series over the summer.
A word, a single word defines a moment for Anne. She needs to find a new one when her spouse leaves her at the age of 47, coming out of the closet literally in a closet. She finds herself back in her hometown amongst her high school friends which she left behind in her past.
An inheritance from a friend leaves her with the means to meddle and spy on the lives of some of their mutual acquaintances. In an attempt to run from her reality Anne gets engrossed in a game of "fun" and "flirtation" with her friend and fellow sufferer Connie at her side. Anne however did not read all the files and what to her is fun games turns into a deadly reality. It is no longer a game.
Life, death and not even a defining word can stop the reality of manipulation.
The characters in Defined by Others are predominantly women. They are all flawed and for the most part very superficial. Some of their flaws are surprising and others are logical. I chose women born in the year 1965, I did this to work with a play on Chinese Astrology. I made them 47 years old as the book takes place in 2012, one of the characteristics of female snakes according to Chinese Astrology is that they are all very beautiful. I wanted characters that were superficial and very worried about their physique and how others see them; thus being defined by the opinions of others. The women have a connection as teens from growing up in the same affluent town in the American Northeast. The story is fueled by who they are at 47 and who they were at 17. ANNE is one of the main characters and the story is told from her point of view, in her voice. She is fluent in many languages and loves words. She likes to define every moment with just one word. Her husband recently left her, and he left her broken and confused. Divorce is hard at any age, but divorce because the man you shared almost two decades with realizes he is gay must be brutal Anne has a nice side, she is forgiving of her husband, she tries to get into his skin and appreciate that his confusion, she is still however so confused and vulnerable that when life presents her with a way to make other’s suffer as she has, she is pretty quick to grab it. She has adolescent twins, she is however a very detached parent, as the story evolves she identifies that she continued the family pattern with which she was raised. In the course of the story she has to make numerous life changing decisions. Anne is in a journey of self-discovery and she has likable and dark traits. CONNIE is also a main character, she is curiously linked to Anne because her respective husbands have fallen for each other and left them. Connie has been carrying the pain and confusion longer than Anne. She is broken and lonely and in Anne she sees the possibility of a friend, ally or at the very least fellow sufferer. Like Anne she does not blame the man who left her, and respects that as the father of her children, she needs to wish him nothing but the very best. She loves to nurture and to cook. She goes completely against her nurturing nature as the story evolves, because she is so hurt, confused and unbalanced. As much as Connie chooses to also manipulate those she sees as her foes, there is a very tender and likable side to Connie. She loves her children very deeply and is very lost when the main focus of her life changes; she was born to be the quintessential mom. AMANDA is dead, during the entire story-line she manipulates with her legacy from the very grave. She was ravaged by an illness that magnified her negative traits, and if the other characters are to be believed there was nothing positive about Amanda. As the story progresses I do give Amanda a background a reason to be so dark, I did so because otherwise the character would be too flat or cartoon like as an image of pure evil. During her illness she devices away to be cruel and most involved with the women in her past and present. Upon her death (not a spoiler this is the opening of the book) she leaves her “game” to Anne, it is a game of manipulation and deceit through social media. ALLISON is mean, she identified as Amanda’s mean girl side-kick but she too is a victim of the manipulation game. I have had readers contact me, and it is indeed Allison they seem to dislike the most, I did not feel a need to give her as much depth or an excuse for her nastiness, as she is a secondary character. I just wanted to show that although she is vulnerable, she is also a natural leader. She is clever and assumes she is far cleverer than she really is. As I wrote Defined by Others I did want Allison to be a sort of live walking continuum to Amanda’s nasty side. PETER is the only male in the story who is very present, the husbands are in the sidelines. Peter is a lawyer, he connects with Anne at the beginning of the book as Amanda’s lawyer. He is kind and understanding, he falls for Anne and he falls hard, he is also divorced and as such looking for a new way to fit in. He is not privy to Anne and Connie’s machinations, but he does suspect they are up to no good. I wanted Peter to be a very easy man to love, intelligent, successful, and vulnerable. I had to make him vulnerable by having his ex drop him in a cruel and hurtful way. I made him Amanda’s reluctant lawyer so that he would be aware that Anne had inherited something odd and questionable from Amanda, I did not want to turn him into a detective, he needed some level of awareness to make him believable. I also had him fall in love with Anne, but fall in love with Connie’s cooking and thus forming a strong bond with both women. MRS. G. (Anne’s mother) is a character that is as much represented by her dialogue and appearances throughout the story as she is by her “secret room”. Mrs. G. was a liberal adventuresome lady who is also defined by others, and as such she pretends to be as conservative as those who surround her world. She has a special room, full of New Age Books and other secrets, she is as such very present throughout the story.
About the Author:
M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan the author of The Bridge of Deaths and Defined by Others. Catalina is originally from Mexico City, Mexico. She has lived in France, Sweden and various parts of the U.S.A.
She has called South Florida her home for the last twenty-five years; she is a writer, a mother a wife and a pretty good cook.
Her first book The Bridge of Deaths is available in two different versions, her book Defined by Others is the first in a series Defining Ways exploring what makes us flawed and human.
Book two Climbing Up The Family Tree; Defined by Pedigree will be released in November 2015.
„Lui Margo i-au placut dintotdeauna misterele. Si tinand
cont ceea ce a urmat, mereu m-am gandit ca a iubit atat de mult misterele,
incat a devenit ea insasi unul.”
„…au inceput sa se gandeasca mai des la el. La viitor. Iar
acum viata a devenit viitorul.”
„Frumusetea lui Margo era un soi de corabie a perfectiunii –
fara vreo fisura si imposibil de fisurat.”
„De aproape, toate lucrurile sunt mai urate.
Nu si tu.”
„Da, era o coarda penibila, dar era singura care-mi mai
ramasese, si toate fetele de hartie au nevoie de macar o coarda, nu-i asa?”
„Ea a ridicat un picior si si-a lasat toata greutatea pe
mine cand a executat aceasta miscare. Oti a avut incredere in mine, ori a vrut
„Voiam sa zic doar ca face lucruri in stilul lui Margo.
Scrie povesti. Transforma lumi.”
„Acesti copii sunt un soi de baloane cu heliu legate cu
sfoara. Si atata se smucesc, pana se intampla ceva, iar sfoara e taiata si ele
zboara departe. Si e posibil sa nu mai vezi niciodata acel balon. Sau e posibil
ca in trei-patru ani de-acum, sau in trei-patru zile, vantul sa aduca balonul
inapoi acasa. Dar, asculta, pustiule, tot timpul se taie sfoara baloanelor.
Probelema cu aceste baloane este ca sunt prea multe. Cerul e plin-ochi cu
baloane care se ating unul de celalalt in timp ce zboara de colo-colo. Te uiti
dupa baloanele de pe cer si poti sa vezi toate baloanele, dar nu poti sa vezi
balonul cuiva anume. Si iti pare rau pentru pustiul asta, fiindca singurul
lucru mai rau decat un cer plin de baloane pe care il vezi tu este ceea ce vede el: o zi limpede si albastra, intunecata doar
de acel balon. Dar imediat ce sfoara este taiata, pustiule, n-o mai poti lega
„Vreau sa zic, la un moment dat trebuie sa incetezi sa te
mai uiti la cer, altminteri intr-o zi ai sa te uiti in jos si-ai sa vezi ca si
tu ti-ai luat zborul.”
„Voiam sa rup acoperisul si sa luminez intregul spatiu,
astfel incat sa pot vedea totul deodata, in loc sa folosesc lanterna cand
intr-o parte, cand intr-alta.”
„Cu cat lucrez mai mult cu oamenii, a spus el, cu ata imi
dau seama ca duc cu totii lipsa de oglinzi bune. Pentru oricine e foarte greu
sa ne arete asa cum suntem, iar pentru noi e extrem de greu sa aratam cuiva cum
„Dar nu esti de parere ca la un anumit nivel fundamental ne
dam seama ca e greu sa intelegem ca alti oameni sunt fiinte umane la fel cum
suntem si noi? Ii idealizam ca pe niste zei sau ii alungam ca pe niste animale.
Adevarat. Si ferestrele oarbe au constiinta.”
„Orasul era de hartie, dar amintirile nu erau.”
„…placerea nu consta in a face acel lucru; placerea consta
in a-l planui.”
„Ii auzim pe altii si putem calatori spre ei fara sa ne
miscam, si ni-i putem imagina, si suntem cu totii legati unul de celalalt
printr-un sistem nebunesc de radacini ca niste fire de iarba – dar jocul ma face sa ma intreb daca noi chiar am
putea vreodata sa devenim cu totul altcineva.”
„Ce lucru inselator sa crezi ca o persoana e mai mult decat
„Ma uitam in jos si ma gandeam ca eu eram facuta din hartie.
Eu eram persoana aceea fragila si care putea fi impaturita, nu altcineva. Si
tocmai asta-i problema. Oamenii adora ideea uneu fete de hartie. Mereu au
facut-o. Si cel mai rau lucru e ca si mie imi placea. Eu am cultivat-o, stii?
Pentru ca e oarecum minunat sa fii o idee pe care toata lumea o place.”
„Vesnicia e compusa din clipele prezente, spuse ea.”