Friday, November 30, 2012

'Just For Fun (Escape to New Zealand series)' Cover & Excerpt Reveal



The fourth installment in the Escape to New Zealand series by Rosalind James is due out in early December! This is your chance to preview the novel, with a sneak peek at the cover and an excerpt!

Contemporary Romance
Title: Just For Fun (Escape to New Zealand #4)
Author - Rosalind James

Date Published: 12/8/12

Synopsis:
    

What if the person who broke your heart turned out to be the only one who could mend it?

Nic Wilkinson is a responsible, organized, disciplined rugby player at the top of his game. Emma Martens is a sometimes-scattered, often-emotional, and always-broke would-be designer with a big chip on her shoulder where Nic’s concerned.

They have no history together, except one perfect week. Nothing in common anymore, except the most important thing of all.

Getting together again would be messy. Complicated. Scary. And, just maybe, worth every risk.

Read an excerpt:
“Mum!” Zack burst in through the front door. “It was brilliant!” He kicked his shoes off impatiently, dropped his rugby boots next to them before struggling out of his jacket. Nic followed him in, grabbed the jacket and hung it on the brightly painted rack next to the door when Zack would have dropped it on the floor.
Emma reached out for a hug that, Nic saw, the boy was still willing to give his mother, at least here at home. Her eyes met Nic’s as she looked over her son’s head. How did she always look so soft? So . . . pettable? She was wearing another sweater, that was all, he told his troublesome libido. Another light, lacy one, prettily trimmed once again. A pale pink cardigan with pearly shell buttons, edged in cream, over a long stretchy top and leggings. She looked like an invitation to cuddle. Like the best blankie ever.
“Can Nic stay for dinner, Mum?” Zack asked excitedly, offering a welcome distraction from his wayward train of thought. “He could help me tell you all the things we did. We’re having spaghetti!” he told Nic. “It’s really good.”
“Can’t, mate. Sorry,” Nic put in hastily at Emma’s instinctive shake of the head. “But I’ll have a glass of water, if one’s on offer.”
“Sit down,” Emma told him. “Please.”
Nic slipped off his own shoes before heading to the couch with Zack. “Cheers,” he said as she came back from the kitchen to hand each of them a glass, then took her own seat in a small armchair next to the couch, the only other option the little room offered.
“You look tired,” she said abruptly. “And bruised. Are you OK?”
“Just a bit confused on the sleep schedule, still,” Nic admitted. “I took a wee pill on the flight home, but it never works that well.”
“It’s a long way, Mum,” Zack put in. “South Africa’s really far.”
Nic took a long drink of the cold water, looked around for something to set the glass on. “Coaster?”
“Just put it down,” Emma told him.
“Don’t want to spoil this,” he said, looking more closely at the coffee table. The simple rectangle had been transformed into a forest of ferns, with native birds peeping out from underneath fronds, perched in trees. The parson-throated tui making a meal of red fruit, the colorful, stumpy takahe on the forest floor, tiny fantails darting overhead.
“You can’t,” Emma assured him. “It’s all enamels. Everything in this house is pretty indestructible.”
“Did you find the ruru yet?” Zack asked him, leaning forward.
“Don’t tell me,” Nic said. “Let me look.” Zack watched him eagerly as he searched and finally pointed triumphantly to a notch in a tree where the owl blended into the bark. “There.”
“You did this too, eh,” he asked Emma. “Nice.”
“I did everything. That’s my decorating theme. Things I made.”
“I like it,” he assured her. The warm colors of the lounge seemed to cocoon them. Two walls were a rich caramel, the others a warm yellow. She didn’t even paint every wall in a room the same color, he realized. Well, at least in the kitchen it was all the same. Purple. He wondered what color her bedroom was. How it looked. And found himself wishing, against every better impulse, that he could see it.
Author Bio:

Rosalind James is the author of the Kindle bestseller Just This Once and the three subsequent books in the Escape to New Zealand series. She is a former marketing executive who has lived all over the United States and in a number of other countries, traveling with her civil engineer husband. Most recently, she spent several years in Australia and New Zealand, where she fell in love with the people, the landscape, and the culture of both countries.

Visit www.rosalindjames.com to listen to the songs from the books, follow the characters on their travels, watch funny and fascinating New Zealand and rugby videos, and learn about what's new!

Contact Links

'The Mistaken' Book Tour

Hops

The Mistaken

Tyler Karras is an honest man, a transplanted Brit living the American dream, but his charmed life takes an unexpected turn when his brother, Nick, is coerced into joining ranks with San Francisco’s Russian mafia.  Ty intervenes to secure Nick’s freedom, yet only succeeds in incurring their wrath.  With no choice but to accept Nick’s new life, Ty returns to his own, but his dreams are dashed when his wife—pregnant with their first child—is killed, the victim of a reckless crime.

Despondent and bitter, Ty macerates his grief in alcohol. From the depths of the bottle screams a voice, howling for vengeance.  His target is a stranger, the woman who drew his wife toward her death.  He doesn’t know her, but he’ll find her, and when he does, he will make her pay, for a deal has been struck with Nick’s Russian associates, enslaving her into a life of bondage.  But as Ty moves forward in a cloud of alcohol, he mistakes the wrong woman for his intended victim and now all his plans have gone straight to hell.

With his eyes made clear by the stark reality of his mistake, Ty is driven, compelled by remorse and a relentless sense of guilt to make amends and protect Hannah Maguire, the innocent woman whose life he has derailed.  He vows to keep her safe and out of the Russians’ hands, but they’re holding Nick as leverage to force Ty to complete their deal and turn over the girl.  Once again, he must fight to free his brother, miring all three lives in further jeopardy.  But Ty can’t do it all:  Save the girl, his brother and his own soul.  One of them must make the ultimate sacrifice.

Buy links: Paperback \ Kindle \ Barnes & Noble

About the author:

Nancy started writing fiction rather suddenly one day in 2010. Inspired by a song, she was struck with an idea she couldn’t shake and just had to write it down. It was while working on this, her first novel, that she discovered just how much she loved writing. She only wishes she had known how much years earlier.



Find Nancy S. Thompson

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Hashtag:   #MistakenBookTour



Thursday, November 29, 2012

'Sugar & Spice' Book Barrage!


Sugar & Spice
by Kristen Beairsto

Self-Published
Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: Steamy
Length: 122 pages

Blurb:

Sugar and spice makes everything nice, but mixing business and pleasure can come with a price . . .

Francis Stevens – Frankie to her friends – has declared herself permanently single after a couple of monumentally disastrous relationships. And she doesn’t mind at all. Between the international expansion of the lingerie catalog company she runs with her friends, labor strikes, and her regular work load, she has little time for love or a relationship.
But Royce Weston has other ideas. After his family accuses him of becoming a workaholic, a chance encounter with Frankie at a night club has his mind on things other than business. As luck would have it, Royce winds up the executive assigned to work with Frankie and her lingerie company when she partners with his family’s investment firm to fund her expansion.
Despite Frankie’s outward appearance of confidence and swagger, insecurities rear up and cause her to over compensate and drive harder for what she wants. Doubts weigh her down and with Royce watching her every move, she fights to keep her businesswoman’s fa├žade firmly in place. But while Frankie tries her best to keep her mind on business, she can’t ignore the way Royce’s touch makes her feel or the fact that he makes it clear he’s interested in more than just a business relationship. When all of her defense mechanisms fail to keep him at arm’s length, Frankie finds herself wondering: is it possible to mix business and pleasure?


Read an excerpt:
“Any chance you’d leave the catalog to come have dinner with me?”

Frankie froze. Was he asking her out? She shook her head, reminding herself it didn’t matter.

Frankie dropped her pencil and sat back in her chair to stretch for a moment, “Sorry, I can’t. I need to get this done as soon as possible. Wisconsin really set me back.” She tried to stomp down her regret.

“That’s what I thought you’d say.”

Whipping around, Frankie stared disbelieving at the sight of Royce standing in the doorway leading to her office. Looking much the same the night he showed up at her apartment with dark hair mussed, suit jacket slung over his arm, tie undone hanging around his neck, and his briefcase in his hand along with a brown paper bag. In his free hand, he held his BlackBerry to his ear.

The corner of his mouth curving upward, he took the phone from his ear and turned it off without taking his eyes off her.

“How did you get in?” Frankie finally asked when she found her voice again.

Arching a brow, Royce pointed to the cell phone she still held to her ear.

Turning her head, Frankie looked blankly at the phone as though she didn’t know how it got there. With an embarrassed blush rushing up her cheeks, she rolled her eyes at herself and turned the phone off.

Royce strolled into the room, “You forget, Weston, Inc. owns this building, which means I have access to a key,” he set his briefcase and the bag of food on the table beside her layouts, “but we can’t talk because we have to dance.”

Totally bewildered, Frankie just stared at him, “Huh?”

Coming around behind her chair, Royce pulled it out from under the table, “My mother was born and raised in Vegas. If there’s one thing she taught me, other than never talk to strangers and always brush my teeth …” he informed her as he pulled Frankie to her feet, her shock at his sudden appearance and his announcement made it easy.

Taking her hand in his, he moved her other hand to his shoulder and his free hand took up a firm position at the small of her back. He pulled her so close she felt the heat of his body envelop her, “You never let a beautiful woman sit while she listened to Ol’ Blue Eyes. Frank’s songs were made for dancing.”

As Fly With Me began, Frankie had the vague sensation of her feet moving in step as Royce led her in time with the melody.

“I should warn you, I’ve broken toes before,” she tried for a light tone. She found herself having a hard time breathing. Had the room been this warm all night?

With the same lopsided grin, “I think I’ll take my chances,” he informed her right before moving her into an unexpected turn.

Almost losing her balance, Royce caught her just before she lost her footing, causing her to laugh as she fell back in step with him. She couldn’t help but enjoy herself. When he moved for another turn, she stood ready for him, laughing smugly, ridiculously proud of herself.

“Not bad,” he gave an approving nod.

“Maybe for an empty office, but not exactly ballroom material,” she joked.

The song ended and flowed into Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered so quickly, Frankie didn’t even notice when Royce slowed their movements considerably.

Smiling at him, Frankie relished the feel of his arms firmly around her for a moment, “You’re very good at this.”

Royce grinned, “It’s one of the main attractions on my resume. My mother thinks it's romantic to be able to dance this way, while my father only knows how to dance this way. When they started dragging me to their friends’ parties, I didn’t have a choice but to learn.”

“Well, you’re still very good. And I agree with your mother, it is romantic,” she chuckled.

When they actually stopped moving, Frankie didn’t know. But she soon realized they stood still, his fierce sapphire gaze locked with hers. She ordered herself to break the contact to look anywhere else but into his eyes, but she couldn’t.

He leaned slightly downward towards her, “Maybe Mom was right,” he whispered, his head descending the rest of the way.

Buy links: Paperback \ Kindle \ Barnes & Noble \ Kobo

About the Author:

In between her to-be-read pile and trying to bring the characters in her head alive, Kristen spends as much time as she can with family and friends. Much to her husband’s dismay, she enjoys collecting purses, shoes, and jewelry. During those rare times she’s not working at her day job, rushing her daughters somewhere, watching movies with her husband, and trying to meet a deadline, she can usually be found energetically cheering for one of her favorite New York sports teams.
As with just about every other writer on the planet, Kristen grew up an avid reader. She started with young adult before she technically hit the age range and moved on to sci-fi classics by Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. At fifteen, her best friend gave her a book she just had to read! The book was Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts. Always a sucker for a happy ending, she was a goner and fell in love with the romance genre. Having started writing novel length stories at the age of eleven, Kristen’s stories all took a romantic turn from that point on.

Visit Kristen online at:

Follow the tour here.

Giveaway Info:
 
Prize is 5 eBook copies of "Sugar & Spice" (1 each to 5 winners). Contest is tour-wide and open internationally. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Ends Dec 4. Enter via Rafflecopter below.
  
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'Redemption' Book Blast!




Redemption (Legends of Graham Mansion)

Be careful what you wish for.

When the breakup of her family forces Grae White’s mother to move her two children from their privileged city life to her hometown in the mountains of Virginia, all Grae wants is to be invisible in her new life. But that’s rather hard when everyone knows that her father is the latest headline-grabbing white collar criminal, the most popular boy in school wants to take Grae to the prom, and then there’s that she lives in a haunted mansion. It would make anyone want to get away. Grae soon learns that a simple wish can reveal an unknown ability.

Something more than curiosity spirals Grae back in time to seek the truth in the tragedy of a 200 -year-old murder. Along the way, she learns about history, happiness, and heartache in the lives of those who have lived on the property, including her own family. Her first journey reveals secrets that will lead Grae to further explore the legends of Graham Mansion.

REDEMPTION is Book One in the Legends of Graham Mansion series. Look for the second story in the series, AMBITION, in spring 2013.

Purchase on Kindle / Paperback / Smashwords


Follow on Facebook / Goodreads / Friend on Facebook - Rosa - Marilyn


The Authors are having a contest for a $50 Amazon gift card and five copies of the book, Open INT for Digital or US for Print Fill out the form below to enter
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

'Highland Magic' Book Excerpt Tour


Welcome to the Excerpt Tour for Highland Magic by Christine Young, hosted by Goddess Fish tours. Check out an excerpt below and then follow the rest of the tour for even more!

BLURB:

Throughout the Highlands she is known as Keely, the witch woman. She is a great healer-a woman whose dreams come true. Ian MacPherson is a man who puts honor, loyalty and duty above everything. Their lives are entwined when Ian is sent by the Scottish King to bring Keely to trial for witchcraft. He is attacked and left for dead, but Keely rescues him. When he wakes, he discovers he has no memory. As he remembers his lost past, Ian finds that his need to protect the woman who has saved his life eclipses his duty to his king and country., He is a man torn between honor and duty to his country and the woman he loves.


Read this exclusive excerpt:
"The runes have said otherwise. You have always told me they are my heart and I must heed them, bow to their power. I am afraid, though. I understand there is much uncertainty in the land. I ken that James searches for me, calls me witch woman and accuses me of treason. And yet--" She broke off suddenly, unable to form the words which would hurt Whipple deeply. She would set her course with Ian even though she understood he might well be on the King's mission.
"Ye cannot marry that man." 
Keely did not understand Whipple and this new edict. He'd been gone for days and now he returned, commanding her to not wed Ian. "He wanted to wed me this night. He says he can protect me if we are married." 
"Danger abounds in these hills. He is one of James' men. I did not wish to frighten ye, but if ye are caught, they will condemn ye as a witch and he will not raise a hand in your defense." 
"They have already condemned me. Ian will keep me safe. He has been honest with me. He has explained all that he remembers." 
"I cannot let ye do this," Whipple snarled, his voice raspy with unspoken emotion. "You cannot stop me. Nor could you stop Ian." She was more than aware of Whipple's condition. He was powerless and yet he seemed to rise above his handicap. His shoulders squared and his nostrils flared. His anger was something she had rarely seen. 
"Have ye lost all sense? He does not have your welfare in mind. He will hand ye over to your enemies. Have ye not heard a word of what I have said? He is the King's man." Both arms and his cane were raised skyward as if he meant to conjure lightning bolts.

Buy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/PwjPvD

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born in Medford, Oregon, novelist Christine Young has lived in Oregon all of her life. After graduating from Oregon State University with a BS in science, she spent another year at Southern Oregon State University working on her teaching certificate, and a few years later received her Master's degree in secondary education and counseling. Now the long, hot days of summer provide the perfect setting for creating romance. She sold her first book, Dakota's Bride, the summer of 1998 and her second book, My Angel to Kensington. Her teaching and writing careers have intertwined with raising three children. Christine's newest venture is the creation of Rogue Phoenix Press. Christine is the founder, editor and co-owner with her husband. They live in Salem, Oregon.

Blog: http://christineyoung-romancewriter.blogspot.com

Buy Links: http://shop.roguephoenixpress.ieasysite.com/category.aspx?categoryid=72&startpage=2

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

'In Leah's Wake' Review Tour


In Leah’s Wake
by Terri Giuliano Long

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

A Story of Love, Loss, Connection, and Grace

At the heart of the seemingly perfect Tyler family stands sixteen-year-old Leah. Her proud parents are happily married, successful professionals. Her adoring younger sister is wise and responsible beyond her years. And Leah herself is a talented athlete with a bright collegiate future. But living out her father’s lost dreams, and living up to her sister’s worshipful expectations, is no easy task for a teenager. And when temptation enters her life in the form of drugs, desire, and a dangerously exciting boy, Leah’s world turns on a dime from idyllic to chaotic to nearly tragic.

As Leah’s conflicted emotions take their toll on those she loves—turning them against each other and pushing them to destructive extremes—In Leah’s Wake powerfully explores one of fiction’s most enduring themes: the struggle of teenagers coming of age, and coming to terms with the overwhelming feelings that rule them and the demanding world that challenges them. Terri Giuliano Long’s skillfully styled and insightfully informed debut novel captures the intensely personal tragedies, victories, and revelations each new generation faces during those tumultuous transitional years.

Recipient of multiple awards and honors, In Leah’s Wake is a compelling and satisfying reading experience with important truths to share—by a new author with the voice of a natural storyteller and an unfailingly keen understanding of the human condition…at every age.

WINNER, Global eBook Award, Popular Literature, 2012
WINNER, Indie Discovery Award, Literary Fiction, 2012
Recipient of the CTRR Award for excellence
2011 Book Bundlz Book Pick
Book Bundlz 2011 Favorites, First Place

Praise for In Leah’s Wake

“An astounding story of a family in transition." -- Tracy Riva, Midwest Reviews

"A powerful and intimate portrait of a family in disarray." -- Margot Livesey, award-winning author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

"Terri Long's accomplished first novel takes the reader on a passionate roller-coaster ride through contemporary parenthood and marriage. Sometimes scary, sometimes sad, always tender." -- Susan Straight, National Book Award finalist, author of Take One Candle, Light A Room

"An incredibly strong debut, this book is fantastic on many fronts." -- Naomi Blackburn, top Goodreads reviewer worldwide, Founder Sisterhood of the Traveling Book

“A very moving and, at times, heartbreaking story which will be loved by many, whether they are parents or not.”-- A. Rose, Amazon UK, TOP 100 REVIEWER

“Pulled me right along as I continued to make comparisons to my own life.”-- Jennifer Donovan, 5 Minutes for Books, Top 50 Book Blog

"A masterpiece of psychological tension and unbearable suspense, a portrait of America in the present day." -- Frederick Lee Brooke, author of Doing Max Vinyl
“Multiple ripples of meaning contribute to the overall intensity of this deeply moving psychological drama.”-- Cynthia Harrison, author of The Paris Notebook
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read an excerpt:
ZOE

On their way home from the workshop, Leah said, “I’m impressed, Ma.”

They were stopped at an intersection, waiting for the light to change. Zoe looked at her daughter and smiled. “Thank you, honey. That’s sweet.” This is my daughter, she thought. This is my Leah.

“I mean it.” Leah turned the radio up. “You’re great with them.”

Why in the world were they constantly fighting? Getting along required only this: mutual respect.

The car behind them honked. The light had turned. Startled, Zoe stepped too heavily on the gas. The car jerked into the intersection.

Leah grabbed the handhold above her door, letting out a yelp.

“Sorry,” Zoe said sheepishly. “Think there’s a Success Skills workshop for driving?”

“Driver’s Ed,” Leah said, giggling. When they finally stopped laughing, she said, “Can I ask you something, Mom?”

“Certainly, sweetheart. Anything.”

“What made you do it? The seminars, I mean.”

“Tough question.” She’d been unhappy. No, unhappy was the wrong word. Frustrated. Discontented, maybe. “Something,” Zoe said quietly, “was missing.” She signaled their turn onto Main Street. Don’t get her wrong: she loved her family. She squeezed Leah’s forearm. Most days, she enjoyed her job. “How can I explain it?” She wanted to make a difference. “I thought if I could help people make important changes in their lives, I’d be doing something worthwhile.”

“Was it hard?” Leah reminded her of the long hours she’d spent developing, organizing, and marketing her workshops. She reminded Zoe of her so-called friends and colleagues, who’d warned her that in a tiny suburb like theirs she’d never attract enough attendees to make the venture worthwhile, who’d insisted that she was wasting her time. “Don’t you get tired? Do you ever think about quitting?”

“Sure,” Zoe admitted. “Sometimes. Then I think about the women I’m helping and I get excited again.” She told Leah about the cards and letters she received after the workshops, thanking her, telling her—she laughed—she was an angel. “The confidence I see in their eyes at the end of the day. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.”

After that, Leah grew quiet.

They passed a cornfield, the harvested stalks lying in the furrows, to be shredded for compost. Soon the fields gave way to forest.

Leah yawned. Within minutes, she was asleep.

Zoe turned off the radio and plugged a CD into the changer. The Liszt piano solos had been a gift from a student. “You’ll like the freethinking music,” the woman had said, and she had been right.

Zoe stroked Leah’s temples, pushing the hair out of her daughter’s eyes. Zoe felt sick about their blowout yesterday. The business with this Todd was her fault as much as Leah’s. If she’d paid closer attention to her daughter, instead of allowing herself to be driven by the demands of work, Leah would not have looked for affirmation from a person like Corbett. That’s all in the past, Zoe vowed. From now on, she planned to be available for her children. She’d rearrange her patient schedule so that she was there when Justine came home from school. She’d pick up Leah after practice; she’d attend every game. She would set aside at least four hours of individual, quality time, per week, for each of the girls. She’d pack healthy, appetizing lunches. Bake cookies. Sew Halloween outfits. She’d be the perfect mother. Better than perfect, she thought, and brought herself up short. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s take this one step at a time.

On Old Orchard Road, a mile from home, Leah opened her eyes, yawning. “I was having this crazy dream,” she said, yawning again.

“What were you dreaming about?”

Leah rubbed her eyes. “I can’t remember. What’s this music?”

“Liszt. Hungarian Rhapsodies. A student gave it to me. Like it?”

“It’s cool,” Leah said, fingering her belly ring. “Kind of—wild.”

“It’s gypsy music.” Zoe eyed the ring. “Did it hurt? Getting pierced?”

“Not too much. You still mad?”

Zoe squeezed Leah’s thigh. “No, sweets. But I wish you’d talked to me first.”

“You weren’t home,” Leah said, a hint of accusation in her tone.

“Sorry. I’d like to have been there for you. That’s all I meant.”

“Dad was pissed.” Leah scraped her thumbnail, chipping the garish blue polish.

Zoe remembered. Will had been angry with her, too. In the Tyler household, by order of both parents, belly rings were forbidden. If you’d stay on top of things, she might not have done this, he’d charged, after the girls had gone to bed. “So it’s my fault?” Zoe shot back. “Like you’re ever around?” The argument ended in a stalemate. “Dad doesn’t mean to be so hard on you, honey. He just worries.”

Slouching, Leah slid her hands under her thighs. “He doesn’t need to.” She wasn’t a baby.

“I know, sweetie.” Zoe signaled their turn onto Lily Farm Road. “It’s just, it’s scary being a parent. The decisions you make now—”

“Will affect the rest of my life. God, Mom. Can’t you say something different for once?”

“We’re your parents, sweetie. It’s our job to provide guidance.”

Leah bolted upright. “You are such a hypocrite. All day long you tell those women to make their own decisions. Then you tell your own daughter she’s supposed to listen to you?”

Zoe tightened her grip on the wheel. True, she advised her students to take control of their lives. But that was advice for adults. “You’ll be an adult soon enough, Leah. Then you can make all your own decisions. For now—”

“I’m an adult already.”

“You’re sixteen, honey. I know you feel like an adult—”

“Well, guess what, Mom?“ Leah shifted aggressively toward her door. “In November, I’ll be seventeen. You’ll have no say over me then.”

Zoe’s jaw clenched. A therapist, she was well aware of the state law governing the legal age of adulthood. “Until you’re a responsible adult—living on your own—your father and I make the rules.”

“So I’m irresponsible now?”

Zoe caught herself, before she went on a rant about Corbett. She felt closer to Leah today than she’d felt in ages. She refused to end the day with a fight. She reached for Leah’s arm. “Honey, listen. All I said is—”

Leah jerked away. “You said I’m a baby.”

Patience, Zoe told herself. Take a breath. She eased the Volvo alongside the mailbox, pulled out the mail and set it on the console, then turned into their driveway. “Honey,” she said, forcing a smile, “think about it. How would you feel if your daughter came in at three—”

“Oh my God,” Leah spat. “That’s why you were so big on me coming.” She scooped her team jacket from the floor. “So you could get me alone. Try to get me to dump him. I hate to break it to you, Mom. You wasted your time. It’s up to me who I go out with.”

“Leah, please.” Zoe stopped at the foot of the drive and pressed the button to lift the garage door. Leah’s dollhouse sat on the metal shelf at the back of the garage. When Leah was six, Zoe and Will had bought two houses, one for each of the girls, at a yard sale. At night, after the kids had gone to bed, they’d decorated the houses, painting and papering the walls. She’d cut squares from scatter rugs to carpet the floors, sewed tiny Cape Cod curtains for the miniature windows. Until last summer, Leah had kept the dollhouse on a table next to her bed. One day, she’d decided that she was too old for a dollhouse, and carried it down here. Leah wasn’t a baby. Zoe knew that. She wanted to protect her daughter; keep her safe. “I didn’t say a word about your boyfriend.”

“Right, so lie to me now.”

“Well, honey, admit it, he’s not exactly a person any parent—”

Leah clapped her hands over her ears.

“—wants to see their child—”

“La, la, la, la, la,” Leah sang.

“Listen to me.” Zoe pried her daughter’s hands away from her head. “He’s not good for you, honey. He’ll hurt you—”

“La, la, la, la, la,” Leah trilled, her voice drowning Zoe’s.

“Damn it, Leah. He used to be a roadie. This is not a good guy.”

“I don’t need this.” Leah flipped the lock on her door.

Zoe caught Leah’s wrist. “The kid sells drugs, for God’s sake.”

“You tricked me,” Leah spat. “I’m done with you,” she shouted, wrenching free. “I’m never going with you again. Anywhere. Ever.”

“No problem,” Zoe spat back. She was sorry she’d talked the little brat into coming. Big mistake. She should have known this would happen. “Believe me, I have no intention of asking again.”

“I hate you,” Leah cried. “I hate you. I’m not pretending I don’t anymore.”

Leah slammed the door, and went hurtling into the house.

The histrionic gypsy music rang in Zoe’s ears. She slapped the dash, her fingers fumbling with the dial, and cut the music off.

She’d lost her cool, said all the wrong things. Leah was spewing words, trying to hurt Zoe as much as Zoe had hurt her. Leah wanted reassurance. She wanted to be told she was capable and smart. She wanted to know that Zoe was proud of her, that she trusted her to make her own decisions. Zoe had let her down. She’d seen the ache in her daughter’s eyes, the disappointment. Maybe this was what people meant by the term “growing pains,” not the pain children experienced in their joints as their limbs grew, but the ache they felt in their hearts.

Zoe stared at the discarded playthings in their garage, Leah’s dollhouse, her tricycle, her wooden blocks dissolving in a watery blur. If only you knew how hard it is to watch you stumble, to see you in pain. Pull yourself together, Zoe told herself. Don’t let your failures defeat you. Yet here she was, her failures an anchor, sucking her under the sea.
 **My thoughts**

This is a painful book to read. You can feel the angst of Leah and her family from the very first page. They love each other and everything seems to be going well, but so much can change so fast. It's hard to pinpoint exactly when everything went wrong. Everyone is at fault, even if they don't realize it.

I feel like I have personally known every character in this book. Perhaps I have even been in some of the situations. Life is a roller coaster ride with unexpected twists and turns, all of which you find in this book. Perhaps it will help some parents remember what it is like to be in the throes of teen angst. Perhaps it will help some teens realize how those seemingly innocent decisions or risks really aren't the greatest idea.

Buy links: Paperback \ Kindle

 
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Terri Giuliano Long is a frequent blog guest, with appearances on hundreds of blogs. She’s written news and feature articles for numerous publications, including the Boston Globe and the Huffington Post. She lives with her family on the East Coast and teaches at Boston College. Her debut novel, In Leah's Wake, was a Kindle bestseller for more than 6 months. For information, please visit her website: www.tglong.com

Website: www.tglong.com
Twitter: @tglong


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