~*Krissys Bookshelf Reviews*~















Free Ebooks (7/21/17)





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My T-Rex Gets a Bath on Kindle

My T-Rex Gets a Bath by Chloe Sanders: “My T-Rex Gets a Bath” is about a mischievous dino named Rex and his buddy, Tom. This is a great book about the importance of good hygiene and something kids can learn from (in a delightful rhyming format).

This book is Free on July 21, 2017





Crystal Magic on Kindle

Crystal Magic by Madeline Freeman: When she moves in with her aunt, Kristyl hopes to leave the past behind. But her classmate, Owen, may know more about her — and her powers — than she knows about herself…

This book is Free on July 21, 2017

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DASH Diet For Beginners on Kindle

DASH Diet For Beginners by Emma S. Fisher: This book is all about the DASH diet—what it is and how you can try it for yourself. “DASH” simply means Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension, which as the name denotes, is a diet that is designed to naturally and effectively boosts your body’s nutrients to lower blood pressure. By reading this book, you’ll have an idea as to what this diet is all about and how you can start practicing it today. It also contains a lot of diet plans and recipes to help you through this new and healthier way of living.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Paleo Diet for Beginners on Kindle

Paleo Diet for Beginners by Emma S. Fisher: In this book, you will learn why Paleo is one of the top diets of this generation. You will understand how the “modern man’s diet” has caused a man to regress from being agile, athletic, and lean, into being sluggish, inactive, and overweight, and why going Paleo is the solution to achieving your goals such as eating healthy and losing weight.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Instant Pot Fish & Seafood Cookbook on Kindle

Instant Pot Fish & Seafood Cookbook by Alex Baker: This is a cooking book that teaches you everything you need to know about cooking fish and other kinds of seafood using instant pots. Consumption of seafood is extremely healthy and provides multiple benefits. Seafood contains healthy fats like omega 3, fatty acids and proteins that are very important for your dietary needs.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Sean O'Casey on Kindle

Sean O’Casey by Gary O’Connor: The writer whose greatest creation was himself… Sean O’Casey was an Irish playwright who formed a strong nationalist identity both in his plays and in his personal identity. Sean O’Casey’s life is as rich and layered as any play, yet in this skillfully crafted biography, Garry O’Connor reveals the man behind the myth and all his glorious contradictions.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Mother of Ten on Kindle

Mother of Ten by JB Rowley: What happens to children robbed of family? Myrtle’s first three children grew up without any knowledge of their mother after Myrtle was forced to give them up when they were still toddlers. In this sequel to Amazon #1 best seller, Whisper My Secret, JB Rowley explores what happened to the three half-siblings she never knew.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Essential Oils For Pets on Kindle

Essential Oils For Pets by Nancy McWatkins: Essential oils are not only useful for us, but also for pets! Learn in this eBook about the most effective and useful essential oils as well as other herbal oils that can be used for alternative therapy!

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Paws and the Tails of Happiness on Kindle

Paws and the Tails of Happiness by Kostas Dimitriadis: Dogs and cats have conquered our hearts for countless reasons, the most important of these being our profound need to see ourselves through different eyes. Nature’s eyes, our little friends’ eyes, look at us in such an innocent and pristine way, a way so deeply etched inside us that it moves and overwhelms us.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Gardening: Container Gardening 3-in-1 Boxset on Kindle

Gardening: Container Gardening 3-in-1 Boxset by Louise Harvey: Three books in one. Louise Harvey presents beginner guides on three wonderful house plants – The Orchid, Air Plants, and the Bonsai. All three plants present their own unique challenges. Louise provides her unique insight into how she cultivates each one in an easy-to-follow format, for the complete novice.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017




The Scarlet Peacock on Kindle

The Scarlet Peacock by David Field: A dramatic re-telling of the rise and fall of one of Henry VIII’s most powerful followers. Thomas Wolsey began life as the son of a butcher, but his wit and wiles saw him rise to one of the highest positions in England. This was a path that earned him jealousy and scorn from some in the treacherous life of the royal court, and ultimately led to his tragic downfall…

This book is Free on July 21, 2017




The Martian Wars: The Fall of Nova (Part 1) on Kindle

The Martian Wars: The Fall of Nova (Part 1) by Jake Beebe: This is Earth in the waning days of the twenty-first century. The United States of America is now Nova, ruled by a decrepit prime minister and the Novan Council. There is a vaccine for old age, but it is administered to the young, who will live to be three hundred years old, while the elderly are forsaken. Mars has been colonized, but the early promise of a new world has given way to a reality of resources brutally exploited by the home planet.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



The Lighthouse In Space on Kindle

The Lighthouse In Space by Saurabh Dashora: Insanity grips you when you are alone. Insanity grips you faster when you are alone in space 2.5 light years away from Earth. Engineer Calwin is assigned to the Lighthouse In Space against his wish. The previous Engineer’s sudden and mysterious death left no other choice. But Calwin already wants to embrace death, unable to cope with the loss of his wife. The mysterious woman on the Lighthouse, however, does not want him to die. The mysterious woman Calwin can see only in his dreams.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Futurism & Fantasia on Kindle

Futurism & Fantasia by Audrey Sharpe & 10 others: Riveting tales of old magic, new enemies, and galactic mayhem. Read the first chapters from new and upcoming titles in Science Fiction and Fantasy, presenting a glance into worlds shaped by ancient rites, sassy spacefarers, and addictive characters.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Fey Touched on Kindle

Fey Touched by Erin Zarro: The Fey are genetically-engineered humans and the Fey Touched are those who hunt the ones who kill people for their souls. A Fey Queen is on the run, not wanting an arranged marriage with forty males of her Clan. A Hunter searches through the stream of time to find her missing sister using an addictive drug. Another Hunter is falling in love with his enemy. And then the Hunters start dying of a mysterious illness.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017




The Viking (Book 1) on Kindle

The Viking (Book 1) by Marti Talbott: At not yet fifteen, Stefan excitedly boarded a longboat to take part in his first Viking raid, only to find himself alone and stranded in Scotland.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017

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You're the Rogue That I Want on Kindle

You’re the Rogue That I Want by Samantha Holt: Red never shies away from a challenge. Never. But when Miss Hannah St. John strides into his life demanding—yes, demanding—he help her, he’s certain she’s more challenge than even he can handle.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Protection on Kindle

Protection by Elle Thorne: Grizzly bear shifter Grant Waters wants curvy Chelsea O’Reilly. He has since they met, except he’s worried his secret may be too much for her. Hair stylist and curvy girl Chelsea gets butterflies when Grant’s around, but she’s got her own baggage. Not to mention, she thinks that Grant would be better off with the local, stunning, curvy, widowed-way-too-early Mae Forester.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017

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Grizzly on Kindle

Grizzly by Katharine Belle: Enjoy THREE romance, action, and drama packed shifter books in this bundle. FUR AND SMOKE: War is coming as Jack and his friends join a new shifter clan with a plan to destroy the hunter network that has been tracking Jack since his youth. In order to keep a tight ship, the clan has rules. Always follow the shifter code, never challenge their leader Ian. And most importantly, Ian’s younger sister Elle is entirely off-limits.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Ethereal Knights on Kindle

Ethereal Knights by Addison Moore: *A paranormal wonderland!* Angels are among us, and on Paragon island, they’re everywhere. Logan and Gage Oliver are smitten by the new girl in town, Skyla Messenger. But suddenly an entire faction of angels is out to kill her. Logan and Gage will do anything to keep Skyla safe, even risk revealing their own angelic identities.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



The Enforcers: NOAH on Kindle

The Enforcers: NOAH by Anastasia Wilde: Noah Reilly has hit rock-bottom—until a human vet rescues him from a bear trap and saves his mangled leg. Mina Reston doesn’t know the wolf she saved has a human side—until hunters come after her shifter son. Forced to go on the run, she turns to Noah for protection and finds a love and strength she never expected—if they can all survive…

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Horizon MC on Kindle

Horizon MC by Clara Kendrick: Hold on tight and don’t let go — five books of motorcycle club romances are roaring down the road, headed straight toward you!

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Christmas with Angel: Last Chance (Book 1) on Kindle

Christmas with Angel: Last Chance (Book 1) by Lexi Post: After eight years apart, Lacey and Cole can now spend Christmas together. When Cole returns to the ranch, he expects to take Lacey to his mother’s. But Lacey isn’t happy, as Cole’s mother is who kept them apart to begin with. And then all plans change when Lacey finds herself protecting her horse, Angel, from Angel’s former abusive owner, who’s willing to kill to have his horse back.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017

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The Sculptor's Model on Kindle

The Sculptor’s Model by Lulu Fairhazel: Beatrice Carpenter needs a male model, like, yesterday. If she loses out on this exhibition opportunity, she might never become the world-famous artist she’s always dreamed of being. She’d find it a hell of a lot easier to concentrate if the construction workers next door would just stop drilling! But it turns out one of them might be the solution to her problem…and more.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Forever Perfect on Kindle

Forever Perfect by Lexy Timms: USA Today Bestselling author Lexy Timms brings you a beautiful love story, packed with heat and romance, that will have you begging to fall in love with Dr. Layton.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017

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Totlandia: The Onesies: Fall on Kindle

Totlandia: The Onesies: Fall by Josie Brown: Mothers in Pacific Heights become intensely competitive as they vie for spots in the most prestigious children’s playgroup in all of San Francisco.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017

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My Bad Boy Neighbor on Kindle

My Bad Boy Neighbor by Desirae Clark: A good girl, a bad boy, and a bet. Nerdy Astrid gets her life turned upside down when notorious Kai moves in across the street. A walking chick magnet if there was one, Kai starts to notice Astrid, and not in a way she ever wanted to be noticed. Will Astrid ever get rid of him? Or will she give in to what he wants?

This book is Free on July 21, 2017




Girl Undercover: The Adler Conspiracy (Parts 1-12) on Kindle

Girl Undercover: The Adler Conspiracy (Parts 1-12) by Julia Derek: LAPD Detective Gabi Longoria returns home one night to a nasty surprise—her husband has been brutally killed. A note next to his body says: “Rats always get what they deserve.” In the process of finding his killer, she meets a mysterious man who claims an evil corporation killed her husband—what’s worse, he also claims they’ve developed a master race to replace all of humankind…

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Whiskey’s Gone on Kindle

Whiskey’s Gone by Susan Russo Anderson: Fina Fitzgibbons gets a call from a Brooklyn Heights lawyer asking her to find Whiskey Parnell, Trisha’s office manager. Fina interviews named partners, artists, and painters. Her quest for the missing single mom takes her to DUMBO, Carroll Gardens, Coney Island, and Brighton Beach. But in the end, a vicious surprise awaits her as the final piece of the puzzle comes crashing down.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Skeletal on Kindle

Skeletal by Katherine Hayton: Daina Harrow is dead. Now that her teenage bones have been unearthed, join her spirit in the coroner’s court as he cross-examines the people who knew her and loved her, hated her and tortured her, to tease out the truth behind her devastating death.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



The Red Hot Empress: The Annie Szabo Mystery Series on Kindle

The Red Hot Empress: The Annie Szabo Mystery Series by Meredith Blevins: The spicy Szabo women would like to kick back with a lover, a good movie, and a few laughs, but life has something else in mind. One meeting with an extraordinary boy leads them headlong into another wild, and hair-raising, adventure. “A madcap dash through San Francisco’s Chinatown and the crumbling Haight-Ashbury district with a cast of bona fide eccentrics!” ~ Kirkus Reviews

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Harold Shipman: The True Story of Britain's Most Notorious Serial Killer on Kindle

Harold Shipman: The True Story of Britain’s Most Notorious Serial Killer by Ryan Green: The story of Britain’s most notorious serial killer, Harold Shipman, from his upbringing, his victims, his trial, and his motivations. Shipman killed no less than 218 of his patients, making him Britain’s most prolific serial killer.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Storm at Sunset on Kindle

Storm at Sunset by Ian Hall: The story of an RAF pilot whose work is not done after the close of WWII. He is sent with his squadron to the Far East, where their task is to bring those kept in internment camps back home. But the war isn’t over in these far flung corners of the jungle, and the squadron soon finds itself in a fight to survive…

This book is Free on July 21, 2017





Family Matters on Kindle

Family Matters by Laurinda Wallace: When kennel owner Gracie Andersen receives a strange gift from her troubled uncle, she is drawn into the investigation of her cousin’s accidental death of 20 years ago. No one wants her digging up the past and someone intends to stop her. With her black Lab, Haley, by her side, they’re on the trail of a killer in the village of Deer Creek.

This book is Free on July 21, 2017



Grace to the Finish (Manor House Mystery #8) by Julie Hyzy

Grace to the Finish - Julie Hyzy



Author: Julie Hyzy

Title: Grace to the Finish

Series: Manor House Mystery

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Now that Grace Wheaton has officially been named heir to Bennett Marshfield's fortune, her usually busy schedule has become a juggling act. In addition to her duties at Marshfield Manor, she's bankrolling her roommates' refurbished wine shop, Amethyst Cellars. Grace is excited to check out the rustic space with Bruce and Scott. But that excitement turns to dismay when they stumble upon the body of the banker involved with the sale.

Grace wants to get to the bottom of this mystery quickly so that her friends' new venture isn't overshadowed by an unsolved murder, but she's got even more to balance when her troubled sister, Liza, is released from prison early. Liza's first stop is Marshfield Manor and her first priority is grabbing a bite of Bennett's fortune for herself. Grace has to keep her greedy sister at bay and catch a killer before her new life comes crashing down around her.






I loved Grace to the Finish, I loved the cover art, I loved the characters, the story, I pretty much loved it all which really kind of bums me out because now I want to start this series from the beginning and read it all the way through and I just found out that the author is bringing the series to an end. Sad way to meet such a great book is when its coming in on its last leg.

If you haven't read the previous books in this series the author makes it fairly easy to slip in and understand what's going on enough to be able to follow along without too many plot or character gaps which is always great but there is definitely story on both ends that I want to know more about.

Grace to the Finish is fun, its well written, its one of the best cozy mysteries I've read in a long while.






Until next time book lovers...



Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

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Secrets of Skin and Stone by Wendy Laine






AuthorWendy Laine

Title: Secrets of Skin and Stone


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Something is wrong in Hidden Creek. The sleepy Alabama town is more haunted than any place fiend hunter Grisham Caso has ever seen. Unearthed graves, curse bags, and spilled blood all point to an evil that could destroy his gargoyle birthright. The town isn’t safe for anyone, and everyone says fiery Piper Devon knows why.

Piper wants to leave Hidden Creek behind. She’s had enough of secrets—they hide in the shadows of her room and tell her terrible things are coming. Too-charming city boy Grisham might be her only chance to save herself.

To survive, Piper and Grisham have to shed their secrets and depend only on each other. But what lurks in Hidden Creek still might take everything away from them, including each other.







Secrets of Skin and Stone is a typical angsty teen paranormal write short on plot and character development but has potential to be more.

Readers get the usual boy meets girl circumstance that bring them together and the usual love at first sight thing while their lives which are mentioned to be difficult seem to take a back seat to the love story that the author struggles to weave together in order to provide a reason to keep waiting for the supernatural half of the story to catch up.

I'm not big on the mentality of the characters which I think was my fault because I couldn't really slip into their mind space which was more than a little depressing while at the same time was emotionally vague.

I think the story itself has potential and I think there were plenty of interesting places in the supernatural half that could have been expanded on and explored, but what I felt the book really needed was more emotion. I didn't really feel any of that at all or at least very little.

There is some content trigger in the book about self mutilation in case there are readers who are sensitive to that.

I'm not a big fan of including subjects like that in teen books because I don't think that all the young minds that read these kind of books that include those topics are mature enough or of sound mind to not be influenced by those topics however on the same side of the coin I do believe its better to be discussed than ignored I just feel its a delicate thing to bring up when it comes to young minds and influencing them so I have mixed feelings about it.




Until next time book lovers...



Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

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Revenge (Lawless #3) by Lexi Blake

Revenge (A Lawless Novel) - Lexi Blake



Author: Lexi Blake

Title: Revenge

Series: Lawless

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When Drew Lawless discovers a fatal flaw in his plan to avenge his parents’ deaths, he turns to the one woman he'd promised he wouldn't touch. He offers her a deal, one that will bring her into his investigation, his life, and his bed.

Investigative reporter Shelby Gates never dreamed how twisted the case would become—or how fascinated she would be with Drew. Every day they spend together binds them. And every night brings her closer to realizing he might be the man for her.

As Drew's feelings for Shelby grow, so does the danger. From the streets of Dallas to Austin’s high-tech business world, Drew and Shelby play a game begun twenty years before—a game they will win, or die trying.






Alright so Revenge is the third book in the Lawless series if you haven't read the previous books I highly suggest you start at the beginning this isn't a journey you want to start without knowing where it all began.

The whole family involvement is heavy and complex so pay attention because details are important in Revenge.

Shelby and Drew were great together and I liked that Blake really tried to go out on this series with a major climax but in some ways it sort of went a little beyond which sort of crushed my belief in some of the things that came up... but when you're trying to make it go might as well go all out.

So hey, I give Blake props for that but it made me conflicted about how many stars I wanted to rate this book. I must confess I'm a little partial to the series and seeing as how I was wanting to know what the final reveal would be I uprated. Revenge is a great read.





Until next time book lovers...



Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a print copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley Publishing. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

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Keeping It Hot (Breakfast in Bed #1) by Sydney Landon







Author: Sydney Landon

Title: Keeping It Hot

Series: Breakfast in Bed

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Zoe Hart owns the coffee shop in one of the hottest upscale resorts in Florida, run by her childhood best friend, Dylan Jackson. Even though Dylan is a workaholic, he still finds time to enjoy the beautiful women who pass through his hotel all of them except Zoe. She has been in love with Dylan for years without him noticing.

But with her thirtieth birthday fast approaching, she realizes she can't keep pining away for a man who doesn't show the merest sign of romantic interest in her.
When Zoe launches her plan to shed her tomboy image in Dylan's eyes, she's thrilled once he starts to notice her in a whole new way.

But she'll have to face the risk that seducing her best friend might come with lasting changes to their longtime friendship...






O-kay, So I read Keeping it Hot three times and I'm still bouncing between rating it three and four stars trying to figure out how I really feel about it.

There are times I really love both Zoe and Dylan, and there were times Zoe annoyed the crap out of me and times when Dylan pissed me the hell off. Other times they redeemed themselves through the bond they shared in their friendship which I actually felt was better than their relationship after Zoe had to change everything about herself to win Dylan's heart.

I'm usually a fan of romances that have that right in front of you realization thing going on but circumstances that bring the h/h together and how its handled can vary on whether the book is a win or a lose for me.

This is where I had trouble because I didn't think Zoe should have had to go to such extremes to catch Dylan's more intimate attention however their romance was quite steamy once I got past all of that.

Still there was some turbulence in the back of my mind that Zoe's new look wasn't all quite her real self and should have been seen by Dylan if he really wanted her that way before all the change she made to herself.

Keeping it Hot is an entertaining read and the first book of the Breakfast in Bed series. If you haven't read it yet I recommend it.





Until next time book lovers...



Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a print copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley Publishing. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

Thank you so much for stopping by!



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Enjoy An Exclusive Sneek Peek Of: The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller! (Please Be Aware!! Contains Content Trigger!)

The Art of Starving

Matt hasn't eaten in days. The hunger clears his mind—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he's going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away.

Matt has discovered something: the less he eats the more he seems to have . . . powers. The ability to see things he shouldn't be able to see. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space.

Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq's life, then use his powers to uncover what happened to Maya. All he needs to do is keep the hunger at bay. But Matt doesn't realize there are many kinds of hunger…and he isn't in control of all of them.


Eating disorders and body dysmorphia are recurring themes in The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller. Please be aware if these are sensitive topics for you!




Eating disorders and body dysmorphia are recurring themes in The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller. Please be aware if these are sensitive topics for you!

Congratulations! You have acquired one human body. This was a poor decision, but it is probably too late for you to do anything about it. Life, alas, has an extremely strict return policy.

Not that I’m some kind of expert or anything, but as an almost-seventeen-year veteran of having a body, I’ve learned a few basic rules that might save you some of my misery. So I’m writing this Rulebook as a public service. Please note, however, that there are a lot of rules, and some of them are very difficult to follow, and some of them sound crazy, and please don’t come crying to me if something terrible happens when you can only follow half of them.


Understand this: your body wants the worst for you. It is a complicated machine built up over billions of years, and it wants only two things—to stay alive and to make more of you. Your body thinks you’re still an animal in the jungle, and it wants you to eat ALL the food, and stick your DNA up in anything you can hold down. Lust and hunger will never leave you alone, because your body wants you grotesquely fat and covered in kids.

DAY: 1

Suicidal ideation.

When you say it like that it sounds soft and harmless, like laissez-faire or any of the other weird sets of meaningless words they make you memorize in school. The letter from the psychiatrist sounded so calm I had to read it a couple of times before I saw what she was trying to say. She didn’t quote me. She didn’t tell my mom I said, Sometimes I think if I killed myself everyone would be a lot better off or Five times a week I decide to steal the gun my mom thinks I don’t know about and bring it to school and murder tons of people and then myself.

Instead, the psychiatrist said a lot of scary things in very tame and pleasant language:

Recommend urgent action—
Happy to prescribe—
Facilitate inpatient treatment—

Poor thing. How could she know my mom hides from the mail, with its bills and Notes of Shutdown and FINAL WARNINGS? I didn’t want to go see the psychiatrist in the first place, but the school set it up for me because I am evidently an At-Risk Youth. At risk of what, I wondered, and then thought, oh right, everything. At risk of enough that one or all my teachers filed whatever due-diligence report they’re obligated to file on someone who is obviously headed for homicide or suicide, so his or her blood isn’t on their hands. And as soon as the psychiatrist’s report came, addressed to my mom, I plucked it from the mail pile.

I read it on my walk to school. My mom still thinks I take the bus, but I stopped around the six thousandth time someone called me a faggot and punched me as I walked through the aisle. That kind of thing can really start your day off on the wrong foot. Plus, walking to school makes it easier to get there late, so I’m spared the agony of playing Lord of the Flies while we all stand around outside waiting for the first bell to ring.

The branches were almost entirely bare overhead. Stark and black like skinny fingers clawing at the sky. One crooked tree still had half its leaves. Hunger rumbled in my belly, and I felt like if I reached out hard enough, I could stretch myself taller than any of the trees. Hunger is funny like that.

Anyway. I shredded the letter, let it fall behind me like a trail of breadcrumbs. Lesson learned: Don’t tell people you want to kill yourself. Although really I should have known that one already. If high school teaches you nothing else, know this: Never tell anyone anything important.

I slowed down. Savored my last few steps before the hill crested and brought me in sight of the school. Stared up at the trees, and down the garbage-strewn road. Stopped. Breathed. Wondered what would happen if I turned and walked into the woods and never came back. I thought about this a lot. I had plans. I’d hitchhike or ride the rails or follow the river.

Under my bed there was a bag, full of books and hoodies and diet soda from the vending machine behind the ShopRite, and one of these days I would be ready to sling it over my shoulder and run away for real.

But I wasn’t ready, not yet. As miserable as it made me, I had to go to school. Not because I cared about college or education or a career or any of that pig shit, because anyone who spent five minutes in a Hudson High School classroom would know there was no actual educating happening anywhere in sight. The reason I couldn’t kill myself, and I couldn’t stop coming to school, was because Maya beat me to it. Because five days ago, my older sister ran away from home. She called the next morning from somewhere on the freeway to assure us she wasn’t kidnapped, she was taking a week off (“or whatever”) to go to some studio near Providence to record her band’s first album, she’d catch up on school when she got back. We shouldn’t call the cops. Etc.

She says she’s fine. She says nothing happened. But I don’t think that’s entirely true. I think someone hurt her. And I know who. And I had to keep coming to school because I had to find out what happened, so I could hurt him back.

So I crested the hill and walked down to the squat sprawling one-story building, an ugly heap of aluminum and brick, cursing my abject failure at estimating travel time, for I had arrived too early, and they were there, my peers, my fellow primates, hooting and hollering, pounding chests and grooming each other.

My senses felt like they’d been turned up too high. Maybe it had something to do with skipping breakfast, with the churning engine of my empty stomach generating electricity that danced in my limbs, crackled in my head, but these people stunk. They spoke too loudly.

Their clothes and bags were head-achingly bright. It made every step toward them harder.

And there, at the door, arms folded like the bouncers outside a club in a cop show, they stood. Three of them: Bastien, Tariq, Ott. Hudson High’s soccer stars; the shrewd-eyed roosters at the top of our pecking order.

“Pretty,” Ott said as one girl approached.

“Not pretty,” to the next. Grinning hyena-style at how her face crumpled.



Thinks she’s pretty.”

At this, they cackled. Everyone but Tariq. Tariq, with his perfect stomach and impressive chest and a beard thicker than any high school senior’s ever, Tariq of the dimples and broad nose, Tariq who could have stepped out of my computer screen, because he’d fit right in on the sites I spent all night searching when my mom was asleep. Pages packed with boys, beautiful ones—a secret nation to which I would never belong. Tariq, who somehow made me feel fat and scrawny all at once.

Tariq, who saw me and looked away as fast as he could but not fast enough to hide the guilt that soured his face.

We had both been crushed out on Tariq, my big sister and me. He wasn’t like the other boys on the soccer team, even if he did spend an awful lot of time with them. He wasn’t a bully. He was handsome and smart, and even nice, sometimes.

That’s what made him so dangerous. Everybody knows to steer clear of a bully. Maya would never have gone to meet up with Tariq in secret if he had already showed us all he was a brutal thug.

But he seemed . . . human. So she did.

He didn’t know that I knew. And, admittedly, I didn’t know much. Just that they met up that night. So maybe nothing happened. Maybe he just gave her a ride to Providence, to this recording studio I don’t really believe exists, or to where one of her bandmates lived. The fact that he gave her a ride that night wasn’t what made me suspicious. What made me suspicious was this: something shifted, in Tariq’s body language, after that night. He doesn’t look me in the eye anymore. He turns his shoulders away from wherever I am standing.

Like right then, as I approached the front door, where he stood with his best friends, staring at the ground with his perfect lips pressed tight together.

I gnawed my fingernails furiously.

My mom tells me it is a disgusting habit. She tells me to stop. I can’t stop.

It hurt, how much I wanted to smash my face against those perfect lips. I wanted it even though I felt pretty sure Tariq did something terrible to my sister. And the wanting got rolled up with the shame and filled me with a sputtering, stupid animal rage. How could it be, that in spite of everything, I still felt lust when I looked at him? Lust, and hate, in equal measure.

That’s why I’m writing this Rulebook.

Your body is a treacherous savage thing and it is trying to kill you. I am here to help you win. Together, we are both going to win.

Ott saw me stop and stare daggers at Tariq.

“You want something, Matt?”

That’s my name: Matt. I didn’t want to tell you, because I hate it.

A matt is something people step on. A matt is full of filth.

I debated lying. Making up something badass or manly, Damien or Colby or Barrett or Bo, something gay-porn-star-y. But honesty is important. I want you to trust me. Because pretty soon I’ll be telling you some things you’re going to have a very hard time believing.

So, Ott called my name. My whole body twitched with fight-or-flight triggers, but I knew either choice would be disastrous. If I fought, I’d get my ass beat, and if I ran, my limited ability to make Tariq feel uncomfortable, to apply pressure, would evaporate.

People were watching. If Tariq hadn’t been standing there, I’d have gone about my business, but he was my real audience. Ott didn’t matter.

I winced, tasting blood where I bit down too hard on the cuticle of my ring finger.

In movies and books, all you need to do to stop a bully is to punch them back. Bullies are cowards, the story goes; they can dish out violence, but they can’t take it.

This, you should know, if you haven’t already found it out the hard way, is bullshit. I tried it, in middle school, and it made things worse. Maybe it’ll work for you, if you’re stronger than me, or a faster runner, but it earned me a lovely session of puking up blood.

I knew that hitting Ott wouldn’t get me anywhere. But I did see something flicker in his eyes, something like fear but not exactly that, something bigger, messier: hate and fear all at once. I took a step closer. I took a deep breath. I smelled him.

And don’t ask me how, but I knew. I knew from the smell: I made him nervous. I terrified him. My existence, my gayness, threatened his whole way of understanding the world, what it meant to be the male of the species.

I’d never understood the word homophobia before— people who are homophobic are not afraid of gay people, they just hate them! But in that moment it all made sense. Straight men will insult and assault and beat and kill gay men because they are terrified. Because masculinity is the foundation they built their whole worldview on, the set of lies that lets them believe they are inherently better than women, and gay people expose how flimsy and arbitrary the whole thing is.

I turned to him and said, “No, Ott, I don’t want anything. I was just wondering. What about me?”

His mouth curled into a snarl. “What about you?”

“Which one am I?”

He unfolded his arms with a slowness that revealed his uncertainty. “Which . . . one?”

“Yeah. Am I pretty? Not pretty? I definitely think I’m pretty.”

A girl giggled. Even Tariq cracked a grin, though he turned his head to hide it from me.

I took another step forward. Ott’s lips parted slightly, and I saw muscles tighten in his arms. He was confused and getting angry: he sensed I was humiliating him, but not in any way he could reasonably understand. He was desperate for me to touch him, or explicitly insult him, so he could hurt me. I had planned to tap his chest with one finger when I delivered the finishing line, but that would have made Ott feel justified in a physical response. So why bother.

Seconds ticked away—

You are Not Pretty,” I told Ott an instant before the first bell rang.

Then I slipped by him and walked inside.


Eating disorders and body dysmorphia are recurring themes in The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller. Please be aware if these are sensitive topics for you!

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Enjoy An Exclusive Sneek Peek Of: The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson!

The Sandcastle Empire  
Before the war, Eden's life was easy. Then the revolution happened, and everything changed.

Now a powerful group called the Wolfpack controls the earth and its resources. And even though Eden has lost everything to them, she refuses to die by their hands. She knows the coordinates to the only neutral ground left in the world, a place called Sanctuary Island.

Eden finally reaches the island and meets others resistant to the Wolves. But the solace is short-lived when one of Eden's new friends goes missing. Braving the jungle in search of their lost ally, they quickly discover Sanctuary is filled with lethal traps and an enemy they never expected.


I WON’T MISS these mornings.

I won’t miss the sand, the sea, the salt air. The splintered wood of the old, worn boardwalk, burrowing beneath my skin. I won’t miss the sun, bright and blinding, a spotlight on me as I watch and wait. I won’t miss the silence.

No, I won’t miss these mornings at all.

Day after day, I slip down to the boardwalk when it’s still dark. I’ve worked hard to make it look like I’m simply a girl who loves sunrises, a girl who’d never shove back. One of those is true, at least. The Wolves who guard this beach hardly blink at me anymore, a rare show of indifference bought by my consistency, my patience. Two years of consistency and patience, every single morning since they plucked us from lives we loved and shoved us into gulags. I sit where the guards can see me—where I can see them—where I can see everything. I watch the water, I watch the waves. I watch more than water, more than waves. I look for cracks.

There’ve been no cracks. The guards’ routine has forever been solid, impenetrable, the only reason I haven’t yet made a break for it. I will, though. I am a bird, determined to fly despite clipped wings and splintered feet. This cage of an island won’t hold me forever.

One day, when the war ends, I will eat ice cream again. I will run barefoot on the beach without fear of stepping on a mine. I will go into a bookstore, or a coffee shop, or any of the hundreds of places currently occupied by Wolves, and I will sit there for hours just because I can. I will do all of these things, and more. If I survive.

I am always ready for a way out, always looking to leave. I carry my past wherever it fits: tucked in at my back, hanging from my neck, buried deep in my pocket. A tattered yellow book. A heavy ring on its heavy chain. A vial of blood and teeth. My empty hands are my advantage—with nothing but my own skin to dig my nails into, with no one left to cling to, I’m free to take back this war-stained world. If everything goes as planned, that is.

It may not be obvious to anyone else, but things are changing. I see subtle signs of it everywhere, for better and worse all at once. Where there used to be only two guards at this beachfront station, now there are four. Where the guards once stepped casually around certain patches of sand—they’ve been loud and clear in warning us of the land mines buried there— they now step carefully, single file, if they even leave their station at all. Until last week, their post was equipped with a blood-red speedboat. Now they’ve traded sleek for simple, a no-frills green sailboat in its place meant to disadvantage anyone who tries to use it to escape. As if any of us could make it that far without being blown to pieces.

This quiet shifting of routine assures me the rumors are true.

Someone escaped last week, people say. Someone else plans to try. Today, tomorrow, next week, next month, I’ve heard it all. The rumors aren’t about me—I’d never be allowed to sit here now, watching as always, if they were. This worked out exactly the way I hoped, that my being close to the beach triggers the assumption that I am up to nothing, nothing at all out of the ordinary. To change my routine would be suspicious.

Now I wait only for the guards to turn their backs on me, as they sometimes do, when they go for coffee refills inside their bare-bones old beach tower. They are far too comfortable with me looking comfortable. Too confident I’ll stay put. They keep their eyes trained on the seawall, on those who’ve taken a sudden interest in the sunrise.

The boardwalk has been lonely for the better part of two years, but not now. Not yesterday, either, or the day before. Whether the others are plotting an escape or just hoping to glimpse one, who knows? This is undoubtedly the best spot for either, I figured that out my first week. From every other side of this island, the water leads straight back to mainland Texas. Better open ocean than that.

These fresh faces that peek out over the seawall and divert attention away from me—it’s good, and it’s not. Anyone could make a run for it at any time. The Wolves will redouble their security measures when that happens, no doubt, rain bullets and bombs over the entire camp. I can’t be around when that happens. I need to make a run for the boat today, this morning, now, or I might never get the chance.

I have to be first.

Dawn breaks, a hundred thousand shades of it, so brilliant the sky can hardly contain it.

Two guards go inside their post, and the third turns—this is it this is it this is it—but then the air shifts. It starts with a seagull, warning on its wings as it flies straight for the ocean, like it wants to get far, far away. The two remaining guards meet eyes. I hear the rumble of footsteps, not from the beach but from beyond the seawall at my back, toward barracks and breakfast and the silk lab I’ve left behind.

A distant explosion shakes the entire island. Two more follow on its heels, five more after that. Gunfire, like a storm—so many blasted bullets I lose count—screaming, chaos. It’s louder with every second. Louder and closer.

I freeze, every muscle in my body stiff. I’m too late, a split second too late—someone must have attempted escape from the wrong side of the island.

Looks like I’m not the only one who wanted to be first.

All four officers are out of the post now, running their tight zigzag pattern through the sand, toward the noise, careful not to blow themselves to pieces. They don’t look my way as they pass.

I should have gone for it in the dead of night, shouldn’t have waited for perfect timing—there is no perfect. These bullets and bombs are the consequences, I’m sure of it, security measures on steroids. I’ve missed my chance.

Or maybe not.

The green sailboat bobs idly at the end of their dock. No one has stayed behind to guard it.

I shift, about to make a break for it—but then that miserable seagull settles itself on the sand in the wrong place and sets off a mine. The earsplitting explosion is close enough to scare me still. Smoke and feathers obscure the guards’ sandy footsteps, obliterating my only clue as to where the safe path is. Before last week, when they planted hundreds of fresh mines, I could have run it in my sleep. Not now.

People come spilling over the seawall, five and ten and fifteen, more with every second. If they’re desperate enough to run this way, straight toward the sand and the mines, I don’t want to know what they’re running from. I scramble to the edge of the boardwalk. There’s an opening below it, where wind has blown the sand away from the posts and planks. I will wait this out and try again, or I will die. It’s a tight squeeze, just enough room for me but hardly enough room to breathe. My breaths are shallow anyway, shallow and quick. Sand sticks to the slick sweat on my neck and cheek, coating the entire right side of me. The grit is everywhere: inside my nose, between my teeth, behind my eyelids. But I breathe, never having felt so alive as I do in this moment, so close to death.

The noise is inescapable now, the sound of the desperate as they run from death to destruction. Footsteps pound the boardwalk, shaking it. If it gives out, I will be splintered and crushed beneath it.

Sand scatters under the first pair of brave feet, not terribly far away from me. Two more pairs follow, and ten more after that. Then twenty.

The mines spray sand and skin high into the air. All over the beach, explosions burst like fireworks. Yet the feet keep coming, winding through pillars of smoke until—pop!—they are forced to stop.

It isn’t pretty. It is a sickening, revolting mess.

Something heavy slams into the boardwalk, directly above me. The boards creak, sagging so low they press into my shoulder blades. Quickly, the pressure recedes—but then there are fingers, long and tan and delicate, curling over the plank’s edge two inches from my face. A noise almost slips out of me; I bite it back.

Shots ring out, cracking wood, deafening and close. I don’t feel anything—but would a bullet burn like fire, or would it be a blast of numb shock? The fingers grip tighter, knuckles white even in these shadows, and then they are gone. I shift, as much as I can in this tight space, and see three perfect circles of sunlight streaming through the wood just past my head.

Another shot rings out, and then, just like that, darkness overtakes the light—there is a thud above me, even heavier than the first, and a limp arm hanging over the boardwalk’s edge. A limp arm clothed in crisp, tan fabric that would blend into the sand if not for the blood.

An officer. An officer is down, and they will find him, and if I stay where I am I will be covered in his blood as it drips through the cracks.

I could run now. I could follow the footsteps of the dead, step only in places where the sand has been tested. I could make it to the sailboat, if I am smart. If I am smart and quick. I could finally, finally sail to Sanctuary.

I inch out of my hiding place, careful to stay low. An enemy of an officer is a friend of mine, but that doesn’t mean I’m safe—I still need to be as careful as possible, and quiet. A blast of saltwater breeze hits me, cool against damp sweat.


I freeze, though I’ve obviously already been seen.

“The guards are making rounds,” the voice says. Soft, urgent. “They’re not close, but they’ll see me if you run.”

I turn my head, just slightly, enough to look at her. She’s petite, Asian—I don’t recognize her. Her long, tan fingers ravage the fallen officer’s pockets. Could this girl really have killed him, David against Goliath?

“Here,” she says, tossing me a lanyard heavy with keys. Clever, an attempt to share the blame if someone sees, because why else would she hand over this freedom? Not that I’m complaining—I don’t plan to be around long enough for blame. She stuffs his ID tags into her pockets and tucks his pistol into the back of her shorts. “I’m coming with you.”

The pistol makes me nervous, but at least it isn’t aimed at me. “You don’t even know where I’m going.”

She tilts her head to the beach, to the sickening display of blood and bone before us. “I know you’re not staying here,” she says. “That’s all I need to know.”

“Is it clear yet?” Still crouched on the low side of the boardwalk, all I can see is the girl, and the officer at her feet. Even this much blood turns my stomach, but I keep it together. I have to.

“Clear enough that we’ll have a head start. People are avoiding this beach now. . . .” Her eyes drift to the mess of death in the sand. The tide doesn’t reach far enough to lick any of the blood away, and neither of us can look for more than a few seconds. “It’s only a matter of time until they’re all killed. The guards won’t be distracted for long.”

“Okay,” I say. “Okay. We can do this.”

“We have to do this. What else is there?”

She’s right. And it isn’t like I have anyone to go back for, not anymore. I take a deep breath. “Follow—”

“Crap, they’re on the seawall—they see us. They see us! Go!”

I spring to standing and take off. The smoke has cleared, not completely, but enough. I don’t look behind me to see if she’s there. I don’t look at what remains of all the people I might have eaten breakfast with later this morning. I only look ahead, at the ravaged sand, darting left and right like the officers did when they first noticed the air shifting.

Bullets burrow into the sand, into bodies already dead, into a wake of people who trail behind us. So many bullets from only—I risk a glance—two guards. I dodge their shots, keep running until the sand is smooth ahead of me, untested. I stop short, not sure exactly how to proceed, and the girl from the boardwalk barrels into me. It’s everything I can do to keep from losing my balance, from taking one wrong step that could end everything.

But of those who’ve fallen in with us, only two stop. The others push past us, sights set on the sailboat. Between their footsteps and the spray of bullets that follows them, the sand is broken—and they are dead—in a matter of seconds.

I suck in a breath, choke on sand and smoke, but force myself to keep going. The boardwalk girl follows, along with the two girls who stopped with us. I recognize both their faces from the seawall, peeking over, today and yesterday and the day before.

I lead the way, fast as I can. The guards’ boat isn’t far now. If we press on we might actually make it. More shots ring out, but this time they’re fired by the boardwalk girl, directed at the officer who usually guards the boat—bullet and blood, he collapses before he can make it back to the dock—then at the other guards who chase us, their pistols dead. This girl is an impressive shot, unsettlingly so. She keeps pulling the trigger long after she runs out of bullets.

No one shoots at us anymore.

No one follows us at all.

But I keep running. I can’t stop. We’re past the minefield now, into guards’ quarters—where the guards would be if they weren’t dead or hunting—and down the endless dock where their boat is tied up.

I climb up and over the boat’s side, collapse just long enough to catch my breath. I’m vaguely aware of the three other girls as they join me, one of them a blonde who works to untie the knotted rope, our only anchor to the dock. The sky starts to sway as the tide pulls us out to sea. It hurts to breathe, it hurts to think. Everything hurts.

It is worth it.


The Monster in the Closet (Romantic Suspense #19; Baltimore #5) by Karen Rose

Monster in the Closet (The Baltimore Series) - Karen Rose



Author: Karen Rose

TitleThe Monster in the Closet


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A mother is dead, and now her killer hunts the child that witnessed the brutal crime...

Private Investigator Clay Maynard locates missing children for clients, but has nearly given up hope of finding his own daughter, cruelly stolen from him by his ex-wife twenty-three years ago.

Equine therapist Taylor Dawson has chosen to intern at Daphne Montgomery-Carter's stables so that she can observe the program's security director - her father, Clay Maynard. Trying to reconcile the wonderful man she's getting to know with the monster her mother always described, Taylor never expects to become the target of a real monster, the man who murdered the mother of the little girls she works with at the stable. Neither does she expect to fall for Ford Elkhart, Daphne's handsome son, who is dealing with his own demons. As family and friends gather for a wedding, Taylor starts to imagine a permanent life in Baltimore.

But not if the real monster gets to her first..








Monster in the Closet is a crazy intense book. Rose is amazing, the multiple character story lines and the journey she takes into the mind of Gage and his justification for what he does and who he becomes is seriously disturbing. I have to give Rose mad props for creeping me out the way she did in this book.

Poor Jaz was valiant and amazing and despite being broken by what she witnessed she managed to carry the more delicate emotions of the reader. I really liked getting to see the journey the cops took, the one Gage took and the journey of the victims in this book took.

There is so much going on and it really sucks you in right from the get go. Monster in the Closet is disturbing, its dark, its emotional and very well done. I have to give Rose credit for the places she must have had to go mentally when writing this book more than just a romantic suspense this book is a serious suspense write but it also pens a journey that tells how dark family relations can go when one of them goes scarily wrong. 

If you haven't read these books before I highly suggest it!





Until next time book lovers...



Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley Publishing. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

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Movie Night: Me Before You









A girl in a small town forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralyzed man she's taking care of.
























Me Before You is one of those emotional girlie watches that you have to carry a tissue box with. Its fairly silly how dramatically childish Lou is in some ways but it appeals to Will who is struggling to accept his new place in life. When the end comes and she realizes that her hopes and dreams of inspiring him to find a new lease on life doesn't pan out the way she wanted it to she has to cope and come to terms with the fact that he wants out.

The film and the book both deal in assisted suicide and the fine line many people fall on when it comes to that subject. As a person who believes in a persons right to choose its understandable that someone who doesn't want to be in that position could decide to end it but as a romance tale its not my kind of love story.








Free Ebooks (7/7/17)





Don't forget to check my Free Ebook page on Pinterest for more Free Ebook titles and genres not listed below!



God's Guide To The End Times on Kindle

God’s Guide To The End Times by William Luke: Read in plain English what God has revealed, including the intense trial that is to come upon the world to clarify the faith of unfaithful Christians – and how to avoid it. The terrible trouble that is to come upon the world to prove the defiance of unrepentant people – and why they will not escape it. FREE giant color chart via download or email.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017






Entranced on Kindle

Entranced by Tamara Hart Heiner: Jayne didn’t ask for powers or to be a Latvian deity, but it’s what she got. And now there’s another goddess trying to take her down by destroying the people around her, one by one. Sides are being drawn, and the clock is ticking for Jayne to save those she loves!

This book is Free on July 7, 2017




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Baking Chocolate Cupcakes and Brownies: A Beginner’s Guide by Lisa Maliga: “Baking Chocolate Cupcakes and Brownies: A Beginner’s Guide” was written by someone who went from baking box mix brownies and cupcakes to discovering the joy of baking from scratch. With a photograph of each finished treat, the reader will be inspired to try baking these delicious recipes.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



The I Know Everything About Everything Phenomenon on Kindle

The I Know Everything About Everything Phenomenon by Douglas Soat: Continued success can cause some people to believe that they know everything about everything and to develop other unfavorable characteristics. This book covers this phenomenon and how to deal with it.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



Storytelling: A Storytelling System To Deliver Inspiring and Unforgettable Speeches on Kindle

Storytelling: A Storytelling System To Deliver Inspiring and Unforgettable Speeches by Brad Jones: Storytelling has been a huge part of human culture for thousands of years. Our ancestors used stories to pass on valuable information, teach lessons, connect with others, entertain and inspire. Telling stories is as integral to our culture now as it was back then. We have adapted our approach and style, but its intention still remains. Harness this great power with tips on telling stories, giving presentations and speeches.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



Healing on Kindle

Healing by Faye Froome: Discover amazing therapies in this 3 book box set! Feeling stressed, tired, and mentally drained? Yearning to feel more energized without the need to turn to conventional medicine? If you have answered yes to these two questions, then look no further than this amazing offer from the author Faye Froome.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



Mindfulness For Beginners on Kindle

Mindfulness For Beginners by Tom Miles: If you experience anxiety, fear, tension, fatigue, a lack of concentration, sadness, or even depression in your life – you’re likely to find countless benefits from experiencing Mindfulness. ‘Mindfulness For Beginners’ will present easy-to-follow steps to practicing meditation for the first time, and show you how to ‘let go’ of negativity in your life with minimal effort.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



Dog Training on Kindle

Dog Training by Valerie Fennel: Dog training made easy! Learn and discover these best tricks, tips, methods, and strategies all in one eBook to train your dog or puppy to be obedient, learn tricks, stop barking, become crate trained, and more!

This book is Free on July 7, 2017





Murphy’s Luck on Kindle

Murphy’s Luck by Benjamin Laskin: While searching for a luck-free zone, jinx-plagued Murphy Drummer stumbles across lucky Joy Daley. Mayhem and miracles follow, whimsically upending the lives of everyone in Joy’s life. At first, Murphy’s victims question who he is; at last, they’ll be questioning who they aren’t.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017




Pillar of Night on Kindle

Pillar of Night by Robert E. Vardeman: The sixth and final installment of the Cenotaph Road series, Lan Martek and Claybore are locked in a race to crack the secrets of the Pillar of Night…

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



My Name is Simon: I, Dragon (Book 1) on Kindle

My Name is Simon: I, Dragon (Book 1) by Nathan Roden: A tyrant. A curse. The true king of the realm…isn’t human. Simon Morgenwraithe is heir to the throne. He loves his future queen. But trapped in the body of a dragon, he loses his crown and his bride…to his baby brother.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



Betrayal on Kindle

Betrayal by Pippa DaCosta: She is programmed to kill. He’ll do anything to survive. “Dark, gut-punching, thrill of a ride!”

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



The Vanishing Man on Kindle

The Vanishing Man by Sydney J. Bounds: Alec Black, popular novelist and secret agent, had been sent on an undercover mission to Mars – a case that was to plunge him into a dimension of horror…

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



Earth Seven and the History Department at the University of Centrum Kath on Kindle

Earth Seven and the History Department at the University of Centrum Kath by Steve M: If you find alien technology, don’t try to become a god. It may not turn out as you planned. The University of Centrum Kath sends a rookie field historian to investigate the use of comms tech on a Primitive 3 planet.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017





The Rake and The Recluse on Kindle

The Rake and The Recluse by Jenn LeBlanc: Francine is just ready to start her life, then a car accident changes everything. She isn’t badly injured but she also isn’t where she started. She wakes up in Victorian England and is being cared for by an angry Duke with little patience for her as an interloper. Even so, the man is attractive beyond compare and she just wants to touch him. All of him.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017

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Redemption on Kindle

Redemption by Rye Brewer: A vampire slayer by necessity. Anissa Garnet is no stranger to taking out the enemies of her clan leader. Her assignment is simple. Jonah Bourke is not to attend the League of Vampires. Ever. It should have been an easy kill. It should have been one and done. It would have been, if Jonah Bourke hadn’t saved her life.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



SeQuence on Kindle

SeQuence by Lorraine M.L.M: An afflicted yet gifted human girl falls in love with a drool-worthy young man with a tragic past. SeQuence is a sweet, romantic tale about first and forever love, sacrifice, and courage in a breathtaking and mystical world where SeQuence takes precedence over Chance.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



Of Love and Darkness on Kindle

Of Love and Darkness by Tami Lund: He’s cursed. She’s the last of her kind. Sydney doesn’t care. If Gavin wants to be her mate, he needs to earn his place in her bed.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



Kade's Dark Embrace: Immortals of New Orleans (Book 1) on Kindle

Kade’s Dark Embrace: Immortals of New Orleans (Book 1) by Kym Grosso: Kade’s Dark Embrace is the first book in the riveting USA Today bestselling erotic paranormal romance series, The Immortals of New Orleans. After a series of girls are ritualistically murdered on the cold streets of Philadelphia, seasoned detective Sydney Willows is forced to work with hot, alpha vampire, Kade Issacson.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017

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The Afterlife Series Box Set (Books 1-3) on Kindle

The Afterlife Series Box Set (Books 1-3) by Willow Rose: From an internationally bestselling author comes this wonderful collection of the first three books in the addictive Afterlife series — you’ll love reading about teenager Meghan and her adventurous life after death.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



Winters Heat on Kindle

Winters Heat by Cristin Harber: Colby Winters cannot allow himself to abandon Mia. Serving as an elite member of Titan Group, he tried to protect her from his world. But somehow they found her. Now he’s ready to face a firestorm of bullets to protect his secret and save the woman he can’t live without.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017

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Dreams of Her Own on Kindle

Dreams of Her Own by Rebecca Heflin: Straitlaced personal assistant Millie Stephens’ near-death experience motivates her to take a walk on the wild side, and bad boy Ian Brand could be just the ticket. Will Ian and Millie look beneath the surface and see there’s more to each other than meets the eye?

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



Hitched on Kindle

Hitched by Kendall Ryan: Marry the girl I’ve had a crush on my whole life? Check. Inherit a hundred-billion-dollar company? Check. Produce an heir… Wait, what? I have ninety days to knock up my brand new fake wife. There’s only one problem—she hates my guts. She can’t stand to be in the same room with me. Says she’ll never be in my bed. But I’ve never backed down from a challenge and I’m not about to start now.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017

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Love and Shenanigans on Kindle

Love and Shenanigans by Zara Keane: A romantic comedy featuring a crashed wedding, a puppy with attitude, and a second chance romance. Three days before leaving Ireland on the adventure of a lifetime, Fiona Byrne returns to her hometown to attend the family wedding from hell. When she discovers she’s legally married to the groom, her future plans ricochet out of control.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



The Boss on Kindle

The Boss by Lexy Timms: Jamie Connors is under pressure to squeeze into the maid of honor dress for her sister’s wedding. Add to that her mother’s nagging and her ex-boyfriend becoming her brother-in-law and she’s just about ready to be done with it all. But when she gets a new PA position for a gorgeous billionaire, she’ll have more to manage, all while trying not to fall for her usual type.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017

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One More Breath on Kindle

One More Breath by Amber Garr: This award-winning novel features a young woman starting over, who stumbles into love while still being haunted by her past.

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Hold Me Now: A Totally '80s Romance on Kindle

Hold Me Now: A Totally ’80s Romance by Addison Moore: It’s 1985, senior year is in full swing, and Jennifer Barkley is crushing hard on Jessie Fox. After Jen accidentally flashes Jessie, along with the entire basketball team, things only go up from there. If you love all things ’80s, then you will love HOLD ME NOW! It’s like totally awesome.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



Asunder: Iron Bulls MC (Book 1) on Kindle

Asunder: Iron Bulls MC (Book 1) by Phoenyx Slaughter: Asunder is an erotic romance featuring a foul-mouthed biker and the girl who melts his stone-cold heart. The second book in the series, Disconnect, will be on sale for $0.99 until 7/11 as well.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017

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Sex Guide For Women on Kindle

Sex Guide For Women by Scarlett Dalton: The topic of sex is categorized as taboo. Scarlett Dalton defies the social norm and goes into detail on how women can have mind-blowing sex, truly satisfy their man’s needs, and leave them desperate for more.

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Wife in Charge on Kindle

Wife in Charge by Kelli Ashford: An erotic romance novella about a couple getting their marriage back on track after the husband has an affair.

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The Compromised Detective on Kindle

The Compromised Detective by Pirate Irwin: It’s August 1944 and the people of France are celebrating liberation from Nazi occupation – but a nasty hangover remains. French men and women faced a stark choice in those dark days: to resist or to collaborate. Some, like Chief Inspector Gaston Lafarge, tried to keep a foot in both camps. When the skeletons in your closet are revealed, what would you do to hide them?

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



Garden Girls Cozy Mysteries Series: Box Set II (Books 4-6) on Kindle

Garden Girls Cozy Mysteries Series: Box Set II (Books 4-6) by Hope Callaghan: Get 3 Cozy Mysteries from Hope Callaghan’s popular “Garden Girls” Series! Death By Dumplings: “Garden Girl” Gloria Rutherford must help clear her friend’s name when a customer is poisoned after eating at her restaurant. Eye Spy: Gloria and the Garden Girls are back with another mystery to solve when their friend and local postmaster is investigated for criminal activity.

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All Good Deeds: Lucy Kendall (Book 1) on Kindle

All Good Deeds: Lucy Kendall (Book 1) by Stacy Green: With nearly 700 five-star ratings on Goodreads: Lucy tracks down killers to deliver vigilante justice. But a missing child will pull her into a case darker and more complicated than anything she’s ever faced… A gritty crime novel full of twists and turns.

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The Bootlegger's Legacy on Kindle

The Bootlegger’s Legacy by Ted Clifton: The Bootlegger’s Legacy weaves a tapestry of history, romance, drama, and mystery, connecting two generations and two families in the adventure of a lifetime.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



The Housewife Assassin's Handbook on Kindle

The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook by Josie Brown: Do you enjoy mysteries? What about satires? Maybe female leads that like a little massage with their espionage? The Housewife Assassin has it all! With three kids and a license to kill, Donna Stone is about to get real.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017

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Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire on Kindle

Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire by Jillianne Hamilton: Danger and snarkiness are always around the corner when professional thief Molly Miranda is around. Molly’s life gets complicated when she and her roommate knock boots. Things get worse when she is partnered up with an untrustworthy wildcard and their assignment doesn’t go quite as planned.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



The Mashego File on Kindle

The Mashego File by Ian Patrick: A hot and trending crime thriller set in the murder capital of the world. Fact or fiction? A breath-taking ride into the heart of darkness as revenge clashes with justice.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



The Remington Factor on Kindle

The Remington Factor by Raymond Obstfeld: A mysterious bio weapon is wreaking havoc on citizens of the US, and only 4 people know about its secret origin and possibly how to stop it. Trouble is, their memories have been erased. One of the four, Clifford Remington, will stop at nothing to regain his memory and stop the hundreds of murders happening all around him. But there are those who wish to stop him first. And they are following him close behind…

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



One Way Ticket on Kindle

One Way Ticket by Jay Forman: Travel writer Lee Smith experiences a bumpy landing when she returns to Canada from a Caribbean cruise. A text from her best friend, billionaire Jack Hughes, pops up on her phone before her plane has even stopped at the gate in Toronto – “Somebody tried to kill me.” Braving Berkshire, her old childhood school, Lee finds sex tapes, a blackmail scheme, and a murderer who’s only just getting started – and it looks like Lee could be next on the list…

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



Matt (Vol. 1) on Kindle

Matt (Vol. 1) by Ahmad Ardalan: A soft verdict from a judge on his wife’s murders turns a sane, successful, loyal husband into a manic. From Berlin to Rome to Paris, the great cities of the world suffer in the wake of his wrath, as brutal, barbaric killings seem to be the only temporary antidote for his fuming, blood-boiling rage. Revenge is what keeps Matt alive, blood is what feeds his soul.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017


Enjoy An Exclusive Sneek Peek Of: I See London, I See France!

I See London, I See France
Nineteen-year-old Sydney has the perfect summer mapped out. She's spending the next four and a half weeks travelling through Europe with her childhood best friend Leela. Their plans include Eiffel Tower selfies, eating cocco gelato, and making out with très hot strangers.

Her plans do not include Leela's cheating ex-boyfriend showing up on the flight to London, falling for the cheating ex-boyfriend's très hot friend, monitoring her mother's spiraling mental health via texts, or feeling like the rope in a friendship tug of war.



The Basics: London, the capital of England, is the perfect gateway city for your European adventure. You can fly there directly from pretty much anywhere in America, it’s a five-hour time difference from the East Coast, plus the Brits speak English.

Um, most of the time. They snog instead of kiss, wear knickers instead of underwear, and spend pounds instead of dollars, so you might not always understand what they’re bloody (bloody=curse word!) talking about.

I am going to Europe. EUROPE. I am leaving the country.

I have never left the country, and now I’m going to at least five countries.

If we make it to the gate.

“Run, Leela, run! Come on! Hurry!” I yell as the two of us charge through the airport. “They just called final boarding!”

“Wait!” she calls back. “I lost a sandal!”

I turn to see her hopping on one foot. Her bright blue purse is overflowing with a black leather wallet, Vogue, People, EW, Newsweek, hand sanitizer, a small notepad, pencils, her iPhone, and an open metallic makeup bag the size of a microwave. She’s also holding a white plastic bag stuffed with chips, a vitaminwater, and a sandwich.

“I dropped the napkins!” she says. “I have to go back for the napkins!”

“Forget the napkins,” I order. “We don’t have time for napkins. Put your foot back in your shoe and keep moving! I’ll take your food, let’s go!”

I grab her bag along with mine and keep running. Instead of a purse, I’m wearing a small black backpack that’s keeping everything in place. My passport. My wallet. My guidebook. Four paperbacks—One Day, The Paris Wife, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and My Brilliant Friend—that all take place in cities I’m planning to visit. Now that it’s summer vacation, I can finally read whatever I want.

When we get to the gate there is only one person in front of us.

The board says:
London Flight: 401
Departs: 5:00 p.m.
Final Boarding

“We made it!” I say, panting. “I can’t believe it.”

Our first almost-delay was when my mother nearly had a panic attack when Leela’s parents picked me up to take us to the airport. She’d come to the driveway to say good-bye, but as I was getting into the car, I saw her eyes glaze over and she seemed very far away. “Mom?” I said, freezing in my spot. “Are you okay?”

“Just a bit light-headed,” she answered, retreating toward the house. “Don’t worry about me. Go. Have a safe flight.”

I felt slightly sick as I watched her close the front door behind her. I wondered: Can I really do this? Can I really leave?

“Everything okay?” Leela’s dad asked.

“Yes,” I said. “Let’s go.”

So we went.

Traffic was miserable, costing us an extra ten minutes. Then security pulled Leela over to examine her massive makeup bag to make sure she wasn’t breaking any kind of liquids rule.

“Why do you need so many lipsticks?” I asked her.

“That’s a ridiculous question.”

“Then why didn’t you pack them in your suitcase?”

“Most of them are in my suitcase. But I couldn’t pack all of them in there. I was worried they would melt.”

The final straw was my fault. I insisted on stopping at our terminal’s Fresh Market to get sandwiches. That way we’d be able to eat as soon as we got on the plane, be done before takeoff, and could go straight to sleep. But the line inched forward and we almost missed boarding.

Yet we made it. We lost the napkins, kept the lipsticks, and we made it. Now, we’re here at the gate. Electricity and excitement rush up my spine—I’m seriously, no joke, actually doing this. I am traveling around Europe with my best friend for four and a half weeks. Holy crap.

“Boarding pass and passport, please,” the flight attendant says when it’s our turn.

“Here you go,” I say, and hand over my paperwork.

“Have a good flight, Sydney,” the flight attendant tells me, and hands back my stuff. She turns to Leela.

“Damn,” Leela says. “My boarding pass was with the napkins.”

Tip: Are you taking a late-night flight? Sleep on the plane! That way you’ll be well rested when you land and ready to hit the ground running.

Otherwise you’re totally going to be a hot mess by noon.

Somehow we make it. We spot the pile of napkins and the boarding pass and thirty minutes later, we’re in the air. I take a final bite of my Fresh Market sandwich. “Bathroom, then sleep,” I say.

“Perfect,” Leela says, still chewing. “I’ll watch our stuff.”

Her stuff is already overflowing from her seatback pocket, and covering both her floor area and mine.

As I make my way toward the back, I can’t believe I actually left. I haven’t been on a plane since I was ten, over nine years ago. I feel free, like a balloon floating through the sky.

The plane rocks to the left.

Free. And slightly untethered.

I push away any feelings of uneasiness. The next four and a half weeks are going to be amazing. Incredible. Amazingly incredible.

I smile at the passengers as I pass them. Hello, little boy. Hello, little girl. Hello, too-skinny mom. Hello, extremely sweaty dad. Hello, cute guy.

At first, I don’t recognize him.

Then I think: His shaggy brown hair, pink cheeks, and lazy smile look familiar.

Then I realize. MATT. IT’S MATT. Leela’s ex-boyfriend MATT.

I have never met Matt in person, since Leela met him in Montreal at McGill University, but I recognize him from her Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. Selfies of the two of them on the top of a mountain (#climbedit #MontRoyal), pulling all-nighters at the library (#needcoffee), and sharing a plate of french fries, gravy, and cheese curds (#myfirstpoutine).

Leela introduced us via FaceTime, too.

He’s definitely as cute in real life as he was on the phone.

He’s watching something on his iPad. I make a U-turn, go back to our row, and sink into my aisle seat.

“I forgot my parents’ converter,” Leela says. “To plug stuff in.”

“Don’t worry about that. I bought one and definitely packed it. We can share.” I place my hand on her arm. “But brace yourself, my friend. Matt’s on the plane.”

Leela gasps. “My Matt?”


“No,” she finally says when she catches her breath. She drops the rest of her sandwich in her lap. Cheddar. Everywhere.

“Yes,” I repeat.

“Are you sure it’s him?”

“Ninety-nine percent sure.”

“What row?”

“Thirtyish. He’s wearing a McGill sweatshirt.”

She buries her face in her hands. “The jackass is on my airplane. What the hell is he doing on my airplane?”

“Technically the airplane is owned by Delta. Yet operated by Virgin Atlantic.”

She doesn’t laugh, even though it was super funny. Okay, maybe not super funny, but definitely a little funny. I would have laughed if she’d said it.

“He must be in our original seats,” she says. “Thank God I switched mine to be next to you. Thank God. Could you imagine if I had to sit next to him for the entire plane ride? I would die. DIE.”

“Can we not talk about dying when we’re on a plane over the ocean? Thank you.”

“He was supposed to cancel his ticket,” she continues. “I told him you were coming with me, and he said he’d go home and get a job in Toronto instead. So why is he here? On my plane? Why would he fly out of Baltimore? He doesn’t even live in Baltimore! I do!”

“Didn’t you buy the tickets to London together? He probably just kept his. Or maybe he likes the Orioles? I don’t know,” I say. I look out the small window by her head. All I see is blue. “Are you going to go back and yell at him?”

“Yes! No. I don’t want to see him. I don’t want to talk to him. He knows I’m on the plane. If he wants to see me, he can look for me. He’s an ass.” She jerks up. “Crap. Was he sitting with someone?”

“I don’t know,” I say. “I was so surprised to see him I ran right back here. I never made it to the bathroom.”

“Did he notice you?” she asks, worried. “I’m sure he’d recognize you too.”

“No, no. He was watching something. I don’t think he saw me.”

“Please, please, please go back and see if he’s sitting with anyone.”

“Right now?”

“Yes. Please. I need to know.” She shakes her head. “No way he’s going to Europe by himself.”

“He might be,” I say. “Lots of people do.”

“No,” she says. “He’s not the solo traveler type. Oh God, I bet he’s with that chick Ava. She’s probably sitting right next to him. They’re probably feeding each other peanuts. Peanuts! I hate peanuts! Who actually eats the peanuts they give you on airplanes?”

“They don’t pass out peanuts anymore. Too many allergies. It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.”

“Can you just pretend you’re going to the bathroom and check?”

“I actually do have to go to the bathroom. Still.”

“Perfect. Problem solved.” Leela’s face is desperate, pleading. Her brown eyes look crazed. Even her usual sleek brown hair is mussed, adding to an overall manic look.

I unbuckle my seat belt and stand up. We’re in row fourteen. The plane rumbles beneath my feet as I carefully maneuver my way to the back. Twenty-eight. Twenty-nine. Thirty.

I look up. And there he is. Still in the aisle seat. Still watching a movie. There’s an older man reading a James Patterson novel to the left of him.

Not Ava. Small miracle.

Matt looks up. Notices me staring. We lock eyes. I look away but it’s too late. Oops.

“Hey,” he says.

“Hello, Matthew,” I say. Crap. If he didn’t know who I was at first, I blew it as soon as I said his name. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do, so I keep moving, using the backs of people’s chairs to wipe off my now-sweaty palms. Luckily there’s no one in the bathroom, so I quickly step in and lock the door behind me.

On my way back, I pretend he doesn’t exist.

Leela is gripping her armrests like the plane is going down.

“He’s alone. And he saw me,” I say.

“What do I do?”

“I don’t know. Go talk to him?”

“He should come talk to me! He should apologize again! He cheated on me! He’s on my plane!” Her voice is a hysterical whisper.

“You’re right,” I say. “He should come talk to you.”

“He’d better,” she says.

I take a deep breath of stale airplane air and wiggle around, trying to get comfortable. It’s tough, since the seat seems to be designed for a preschooler.

Leela combs her fingers through her long dark hair. “Do I look okay? In case he comes back?”

“You look great,” I tell her.

“How’s my lipstick?”

“Still good,” I say.

“Thank you, Bite.”

I slip off my shoes and try to stretch out my socked toes. “What’s Bite?”

“This Canadian brand of lipstick I’m obsessed with. I’m applying for an internship there next summer. I love their branding.” Leela is studying marketing at McGill.

I’m studying English lit at the University of Maryland.

I turn to her, realizing the implication of what she just said. “You might stay in Canada next summer?”

“Maybe,” she says. “If I get the internship.”

I sink back into my seat, feeling something close to relief that I came on this trip. Leela and I need this month together. A friendship can’t survive on childhood memories alone. We have to create new experiences, or the friendship will shrivel up. Like the orchids my dad sent me for my birthday that I completely forgot to water.

She points to the screen above us. “Want to watch the movie?”

“I thought we were going to sleep?”

“I can’t sleep at a time like this! Also I have to pee. And there’s no way in hell I’m going to the bathroom.”

Tip: You might want to get CFAR (Cancel for Any Reason) insurance to prepare for the unexpected.

If you don’t, you’re SOL if your boyfriend hooks up with some random girl and you want a refund on your ticket. Sorry.

Leela and I had always planned on traveling together.

We’d been best friends since the third grade. We picked matching outfits in advance and told people we were twins. Although we were both around the same middle-row-on-picture-day height, I doubt anyone was fooled; she’s Indian and has dark skin and wavy long dark brown hair, and I’m pale with curly medium-brown Jewish-girl hair.

While other kids played soccer and went to ballet, Leela and I read books. The Princess Diaries. Anne of Green Gables. But our favorite books took place in England. Mary Poppins. Matilda. Harry Potter. Peter Pan. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging. Thongs! Snogging! Ha!

We vowed that one day, when we were older, we would go to England and have our own adventures. London would be so much more fun than Maryland. We would have tea with our pinkies up. We’d go to Buckingham Palace. We’d fly across the city with umbrellas and broomsticks. We’d get engaged in London. Okay, not really, but Leela’s parents had gotten engaged in London and wasn’t that the most romantic thing you’d ever heard?

In middle school, we became obsessed with the Eiffel Tower. We decided we’d go to Paris and London. In high school, Leela studied French and discovered stinky cheese. I read Anna and the French Kiss, Just One Day, and a whole lot about Marie Antoinette.

My cousin Melanie actually backpacked through Europe when she was nineteen. She went for six months. She explained that backpacking through Europe didn’t mean hiking from city to city over mountains like I kind of thought it did. She took trains, and she just carried all her things in a backpack instead of a suitcase. We couldn’t imagine. How would everything fit? I wanted to travel with all my stuff in a backpack! We wanted to backpack through Europe!

Even after Leela got into McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and I got a scholarship to go to University of Maryland—which was great because I could live at home, and I felt like I needed to live at home—our plans didn’t change.

“We’re still going to Europe next summer,” she said.

“Of course,” I told her, although unlike Leela, I didn’t have a passport.

The night before she left for Canada she said, “We’re still going to Europe this summer,” as she hugged me good-bye.

I promised we would.

Leela met Matt on the first day of Frosh. That’s the week of drunken debauchery at McGill, the week before school starts. Like in Europe, the drinking age in Montreal is eighteen.

At the start of the year, Leela and I spoke or texted every day. But as the months went by and I got caught up in classes and studying and parties and driving to and from campus in addition to running around for my mother and my sister, Addison, my response time got slower and slower.

Leela: Call me when you can. I miss you!
Leela: Remember me?
Leela: Cough, cough, this is still your number, right?
Me: I’m sorry! I suck! I’m so busy! I love you!

I missed the days when our daily lives were intertwined with school and gossip and hanging out and reading and just watching TV together.

My phone buzzed in late February.

Leela: We’re still going to Europe together, right?

I didn’t answer right away. I wanted to go to Europe. Badly.

A week later she wrote again.

Leela: Hello, stranger. What’s the story for this summer? ARE we going to Europe or not? If yes, we have to get plane tickets.

I hesitated, my hands on my phone. Our friendship needed this trip. But I couldn’t say yes. I wrote back:

I don’t know.
Leela: Your mom will be fine.
Me: I’m not sure that’s true.

I waited for Leela to respond. She finally texted:

Leela: But we’ve been planning this trip FOREVER!!
Me: I know.

I thought about it. I missed Leela like crazy, but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave my mother for the summer. She wouldn’t be fine.

My mother has a severe anxiety disorder called agoraphobia. People think agoraphobia is a fear of going to public places, but that’s not totally it. Agoraphobics are afraid of being out in public and losing control, so they prefer to stay in places they think of as safe.

That’s how my father explained it anyway.

When my little sister and I were still in elementary school, my mom always asked my dad to drive, and we were always the first to leave events, but she still came to our school plays and book fairs and teacher conferences. She worked from home since she’s a children’s book illustrator, but she still left the house. She didn’t love it, but she did it. She and my dad argued all the time. He wanted to go for more dinners, more parties, to meet more people, see more things. She wanted him to slow down and pay attention to his family. He liked to be out. She liked to play Monopoly and watch TV. He wanted to see a marriage counselor. She refused. Her aunt was a therapist, and she thought her aunt was a total kook.

So he went without her. And then when I was in seventh grade, he moved out without her. Without us.

After she and my father got divorced, everything went downhill. She was driving us to my middle school’s winter carnival when she had a panic attack. I was in the front, and my sister was in the back seat. We were at a red light when the light turned green and my mom didn’t move.

“Mom?” I said, and then noticed that her face was white and her hands were shaking. “Mom, are you okay?” She didn’t look okay. She looked like she was about to pass out.

The navy Taurus behind us started to honk. Once. Twice. Again. HONNNNNK.

What was happening?

“You have to drive, Mom,” Addison piped up from the back seat. “You can’t b-b-block the road!” Addison had developed a bit of a stammer. Stress, her teacher said. She was only in the fourth grade.

“I . . .” My mom’s voice cracked. “I don’t feel well. I think I’m . . . my chest hurts.”

Was she having a heart attack? My own heart started to race.


“Mom? Mom?” Addison cried out.

“Pull into the Dunkin’ Donuts over there,” I said suddenly. I put my hand on top of her arm. It was cold and clammy.

She pressed her foot lightly on the gas, crossed the lane, and drove into the parking lot, her hands still gripping the wheel. She put the car into park.

“What are you doing?” Addison asked, her voice rising. “You guys are freaking me out!”

“Does your chest still hurt?” I asked.

My mother nodded. She continued to shake. An Adele song played on the radio.

It was a heart attack. My mother was having a heart attack. I had to do something. What could I do? I needed help. We had to go to the hospital. “Should I . . . should I call an ambulance?” I looked for her purse. Where was her purse? I needed her phone!

She shook her head no, but didn’t speak.

“Mom? Where’s your purse?” I asked. “I need to call an ambulance.”

“No,” she said finally. “Don’t. I’m just . . . nervous.”

What did that mean?

“Nervous?” Addison asked, and then squeaked out a laugh. “About the winter carnival?”

My mom closed her eyes. “Syd. Run inside and get me water?”

“Okay.” I jumped out of the car and into the cold, relieved to have something constructive to do. I watched them through the store window as I waited in line. My mother’s hands were no longer gripping the steering wheel, and her door was open slightly. She seemed to be taking deep breaths.

A minute later I got back in the car, opened the bottle of water, and handed it to her. “Do you feel better?”

She took a long sip. “A little.”

“It’s for sure not a heart attack?” I asked.

“A heart attack?” Addison screeched. “You think Mom is having a heart attack?”

“I’m not having a heart attack,” my mother said quickly. “I’m fine. It’s just a panic attack. I had them when I was younger. Just give me a minute.”

We sat still, the radio continuing to play.

“Okay,” my mom said after a few songs.

“We don’t need to go to the carnival,” I said. “Do you want to go home?”

“No!” Addison squawked. “The carnival has c-c-otton candy.”

I wanted to yell at my sister but didn’t want to stress my mom out even more.

My mom’s lower lip trembled. “I wouldn’t mind lying down.”

I put my hand back on her arm. “It’s okay. It’s not that important.”

For the next few years, my mom wouldn’t drive anywhere unless I was in the passenger seat. She said she liked having me beside her. I calmed her down. Addison and I started taking the school bus to and from school, and I went along with my mom to her appointments, to the mall, to the grocery store, to the pharmacy, to wherever she or my sister needed to go. She was worried that without me there she would have another panic attack, and somehow lose control of the car. I liked knowing that I could help. That I could make my mother feel better.

When I was sixteen-and-a-half and I got my license, I started doing most of the driving. That way my mom could relax in the passenger seat and not have to worry about having a panic attack at all. I didn’t mind: I felt needed. I hated that she worried so much, and that her world was getting smaller and smaller, but I was glad I could help and I liked driving and that I basically had my own car. I got to take it to school and wherever I wanted. I also had to pick up Addison after swimming and take my mom to the grocery store.

Until we stopped going to the grocery store. One minute my mom was studying a frozen lasagna in the freezer section of Safeway and the next minute her hands were shaking and the lasagna was on the floor. She was sweating and hyperventilating, and she needed me to take her out of there, take her outside right away before she fainted. I grabbed her hands, we left the groceries in the cart and the frozen lasagna on the floor, and I found a bench outside. I told her to take big breaths, that she was going to be okay, that I loved her, and she was going to be fine.

She hasn’t been back to the Safeway since. You can order online from Safeway, and they deliver in an hour.

My mom was pretty sure she’d have a panic attack at our high school parent-teacher nights, so couldn’t my father go to those, he didn’t live that far away, and then he could tell her what they said? He liked doing stuff like that. Surely he could do at least that after moving out on all of us. He could. And he did.

He also asked her to see a therapist.

She said she’d be fine. She’d had a few panic attacks as a teenager, but they had gone away. She ordered some books with relaxation techniques.

When they still didn’t go away, I begged her to at least ask her regular doctor for help. She finally agreed.

I drove her to the appointment and read Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story in the waiting room. Her doctor told her that she had to learn to relax, and prescribed an antidepressant. My mom took it every day for a month but said it made her brain cloudy, and then she still had a panic attack when she tried to take us to see a movie. So she stopped taking the pills.

That was two years ago.

These days she doesn’t drive. Or go to the grocery store. Or to the movies. Or to shopping malls, or go on trains, or planes, or take cabs. She won’t see another doctor, or try another medication. She doesn’t want to feel drugged out. I’m not sure what else I can do to help her, but it’s hard to watch her in pain. So I do what I can to keep the panic away.

My mom will sit in the backyard, and even go for walks, but she needs me to be with her when she leaves the house to keep her calm. She doesn’t want to risk panicking and fainting and god forbid hitting her head on the concrete and bleeding all over the sidewalk without anyone to help her.

It took me a week to answer Leela’s text about whether or not we were still on. I finally wrote back:

I’m sorry. I can’t.

She wrote back immediately:

BOOOOOO. Are you sure? I really want to go with you.
Me: I want to go with you too. I’M SORRY.

Two weeks later she wrote:

How would you feel about me going to Europe with Matt? I would OF COURSE rather go with you. Would you be upset? Be HONEST.

I felt terrible about it, but I couldn’t say that since I wasn’t a selfish asshole. I wrote back:

Go for it. You have my blessing.
Leela: Love you. Thanks. Now I just have to convince my parents. . . They like Matt but I’m not sure how they’re going to feel about me traveling with my boyfriend.

Leela’s parents had always been in favor of our plan to go to Europe since they thought a month of traveling would be good for her. They thought it would teach her to be more independent. Even though she went to school in another country, she still never had to act like a grown-up. She lived in a dorm and had a meal plan. She went to class and came back. Plus, her older sister, Vanya, was a senior at McGill, checking up on her and paving the way. Leela was lucky.

I wasn’t sure if I was rooting for her parents to say yes or no.

Three days later Leela wrote:

They said yes! My mom says she likes the idea! She says she feels even safer knowing he’s with me. Sexist but at least they said yes.

I didn’t respond right away. She was going to Europe without me. She was going to Europe with Matt.

Leela finished her freshman year at McGill in the middle of May and came home.

At the beginning of June, she stormed into Books in Wonderland, where I work every summer, tears streaking her cheeks. “Matt kissed some girl named Ava at a bar,” she said.

I took a break and led her outside. We sat on the edge of the sidewalk, our knees hiked up into our chests. “How do you know?” I asked.

“He admitted it. I asked if something was going on, and he said yes. Claimed it was a mistake. He didn’t mean for it to happen. He was at a party, and it was an accident. He was freaked out about how serious we were getting. He said he’s still freaked about how serious we’re getting. But come on, how do you accidentally kiss someone?”

I considered. “I’m not sure. I think it’s physically impossible. You’d both have to have your mouths open, and you’d have to bump into each other at a very bizarre angle.”

She hiccup-laughed. “Exactly. So what am I supposed to do about Europe?”


“No kidding.”

Matt and Leela had decided to travel through Europe together for a month. Four and a half weeks, to be exact. They were flying to London on July first and flying out of Rome on August second. They were leaving in three weeks.

“Do you still want to go?” I asked.

“With him?”

“No. Not with him. You can’t go to Europe with a guy who just cheated on you. Do you want to go to Europe by yourself?”

“No, I don’t want to go by myself! I can’t go by myself!”

“Of course you can. People travel by themselves all the time. You can go wherever you want. A bookstore in London. A beach in Italy. The Louvre! You’ll eat gelato! Macarons! Stinky cheese!”

“He doesn’t even like stinky cheese,” she said, sniffing.

“Then he has no taste.”

She turned to me. Her expression was hopeful. “Come with me.”

I laughed. “I can’t.”

“You can, Sydney. Please come.” She brightened. “Isn’t Addison working at Sunny’s this summer?”

“Yeah.” She’d gotten a job at the grill by the local pool.

“So she’s here. And she has her license now, right? She can help your mom.”

“She just got it last month. I’m not sure she feels comfortable driving yet. I think she’d be really mad.”

I’ve always tried to shield my sister from the stress of taking care of our mom. I was the one who made sure my mother left the house every day. I was the one who drove her around. In the years right after the divorce, my sister had been too young to help, and I didn’t want to worry her. Besides her stammer, she also started to fall behind in math. Luckily we found tutors and speech specialists who could come to the house.

“Your mom would be mad?”

“No, Addison would be mad. And my mom. They both would. I can’t go. I’m sorry. I wish I could but I can’t.”

“Can’t? Or won’t?” Leela asked. “Think about it. It’s the trip of a lifetime. And you deserve it, Syd, you really do. You do so much for your family. You need time off. And we never get to see each other anymore. I miss you.”

“I miss you too,” I said. And I hadn’t exactly been the world’s greatest friend this year. And Leela needed me. She really did. And she’d always, always been there for me.

Maybe my mom would be okay if my sister helped her? It was only four and a half weeks. I looked back at the bookstore. Eleanor, the owner of Books in Wonderland, wouldn’t mind. She had enough extra staff.

I blew out a breath. “How much would the trip cost exactly?”

Leela squeezed my arm. “Not THAT much. We can do it on sixty dollars a day. That’s like two thousand for the whole thing.”

“Plus the flight. How much was yours?”

“Eight hundred. Flying into London and flying out of Rome. Are you going to come? Please say you’re going to come!”

“And how do we get around?”

“Eurail. Seven hundred.”

“So three thousand five hundred. That’s a lot. But I have some Bat Mitzvah money left. And I’ve been working here for the last month . . . I think I have about three thousand dollars I could scrape together.”

“Maybe your dad has airline points?”

My dad did have airline points. He had a shitload of airline points. He never invited us to stay at his one-bedroom apartment, but he always offered us airline points.

“Take a vacation,” he’d say. “Have some fun.”

“I don’t even have a passport,” I said.

“You can get one fast. I swear. We’ll expedite it.”

Could I do this? Could I go? The possibility felt like a window being cracked open. I could practically taste the fresh air. The fresh air, gelato, macarons, and stinky cheese.

“I bet we could stay with Kat for part of the time,” I said. I’d met Kat at college. She was working at a gallery in Paris for the summer, and her parents had rented her an apartment. “That would save us a few euros.”

“Yes!” she said. “We can do this! You’re coming to Europe! Woot!”

My cheeks flushed. “Don’t get too excited. I have to talk to my family.”

That night I waited for Addison to get dropped off at home. When she walked into the foyer, her hair was wet and piled on top of her head. We both have our mother’s curly brown hair and round face and our dad’s light brown eyes. Addison’s shorter than I am and more muscular since she swims almost every day and plays third base for the JV girls’ softball team.

She wasn’t the same helpless kid she used to be. She could drive. She had a job. She had even lost her stammer.

“Hey,” I said, lowering my voice since our mom was in the kitchen. “I have a crazy question.”

She dropped her knapsack on the floor. “What?”

“Matt cheated on Leela—”

She made a sour face. “Jerk!”

“I know. But the thing is, now she wants me to go to Europe with her.”

She blinked. Fast. “Oh. Okay. You always wanted to go, right?”


“Do you have the cash?”

“Maybe. But I would only do it if you think you can handle Mom. Could you? You can drive so I wouldn’t be leaving you stranded. All you have to do is make sure she walks around the block once a day to get some exercise and drive her around if she has to go somewhere. It’s only a month. Four and a half weeks. Would you be okay with that? In theory?”

She shrugged. “I guess.”

“Yeah? Think about it. I don’t have to go.”

“No, you should go. Sounds fun.”

“Yeah? And you’d get the car to yourself all summer. . . .”

She smiled. “I definitely like the sound of that.”

“If something horrible happens I’ll come back early. I’ll get on the next plane. Swear.”

She rolled her eyes. “What do you think is going to happen exactly?”

“Who knows with Mom? She could refuse to leave her bedroom entirely. Or stop showering. I don’t know. Something. If there’s an emergency I’ll come back. Deal?”

“Deal,” she said. She unzipped her knapsack, took out her wet bathing suit, and uncrumpled it. She didn’t seem worried at all.

Hope swelled inside of me.

“What’s Mom making for dinner?” she asked.

“Chicken stir fry.”

“Do you think it’s ready? I’m starving.” She headed into the kitchen, wet bathing suit in hand, not a care in the world.

Okay then.

My heart hammered over dinner. Could I really do this? No. Yes. Should I bring it up? No. Yes. What would my mom say?

My sister helped herself to more chicken and broccoli. “So I hear it’s just us this summer, huh, Mom?”


“What do you mean?” my mother asked, eyebrows scrunching together.

Addison made an oops face at me. She clearly hadn’t realized I had not discussed this with Mom yet.

Now or never.

I stared at my plate and the words tumbled out of my mouth like vomit. “Matt cheated on Leela, she’s miserable and needs someone to travel with, I want to go, Dad has airline points, it won’t cost you anything, Addison will help you, is that okay?”

My mom put her fork down. “Can you repeat that? Slowly?”

I repeated it. Slowly. Her face got paler and paler with each sentence. Oh, no. Was she going to have a panic attack right at the table?

Instead of speaking, her shaking hands reached for her glass of water.

“Do you hate the idea?” I asked, my shoulders falling. “I don’t have to go. Forget it.”

She cleared her throat. “No,” she said. “You should go.” She took another sip of water. She seemed to notice her hands were shaking and hid them under the table.

“We’ll be fine,” my sister said, rolling her eyes. “It’s not that big of a deal.”

It was a big deal. But I wanted to go. And Leela needed me.

That night, I lay in my twin bed, the same bed I’d slept in my entire life, staring at the glow-in-the-dark stars I’d stuck to the ceiling when I was eight. Could I really do this? My mom said she’d be fine. My sister said she could handle it. I wanted—desperately—to see Europe.

I took out my phone.

Me: OK. I’m in.


Shadow Reaper (Shadow #2) by Christine Feehan

Shadow Reaper (A Shadow Rider Novel) - Christine Feehan



Author: Christine Feehan

TitleShadow Reaper

Series: Shadow

Cover Rating:

Book Rating:


Buy This Book:





Billionaire playboy Ricco Ferraro knows no other life. Being a shadow rider is in his blood - but so is a haunting desperation stemming from the secrets of his dark past. His recklessness puts not only his life at risk, but also the future of his entire family. To save them all, he must find a woman who can meet his every desire with a heat all her own...

Just when Ricco has given up hope, he meets her - a mysterious woman whose shadow connects with his. She's someone looking for a safe haven from the danger that has stalked her over the last several months. In Ricco's embrace, she finds one. But the darkness in which they so often find sanctuary can also consume them.






I always know when I'm reading a Christine Feehan novel, the characters always come from a traumatic past, they've been victims, they have serious complex issues, the men are mirror images of eachother and the women are always doubly emotional creatures dependent on the love from the men who are obsessed with them and its almost always instant love from the get go and the entire story revolves around them having sex while the rest of the plot simply takes place.

Shadow Reaper was fairly good and felt much like coming home with Feehan's typical formula so I kind of enjoyed it although as the second book in the shadow series it wasn't as good as the first one which kind of bummed me out considering how much I was looking forward to reading Mariko's story. I was hoping she would be just as strong willed as she was in the first book but she felt a little overly too sensitive and a little less independent this time around.

I do like the concept of how the riders use the shadows - I do wish we had spent a lot more time using them. I look forward to reading the next book in the series and hope our riders gain victory.





Until next time book lovers...



Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a print copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley Publishing. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

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Movie Night: Money Monster








Financial TV host Lee Gates and his producer Patty are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor takes over their studio.

























Another film about the broken financial industry and the rich that run it and the regular people who get screwed in the process.

Its not one of Clooney's best acting role but it was a decent film.








Movie Night: Midnight Special











A father and son go on the run, pursued by the government and a cult drawn to the child's special powers.
























I thought this movie had a brilliant cast but I don't feel this movie did their talent justice.

Midnight Special felt like three different movies smashed into one film that never really explained its purpose, the how, the why, its backstory that led to where viewers came in at the beginning or really any of it at all.

The last three or so minutes of Midnight Special had potential, the various character plots had potential, but I don't feel like the writers or the movies creators really captured the full potential this film could have had.

Midnight Special really could have been an amazing mind blowing film that could have set an all new pacing and stage in the film industry but... I don't know if it was lack of inspiration, time or budget the whole thing fell flat that became something else entirely and didn't have a purpose for why it was happening in the first place other than to have the final reveal scene. When I finished the movie it just felt like Midnight Special was created just to simply create the dual layer reveal without any other purpose.

Its kind of a bummer because it could have been so much more.








Kids Corner: Story Time- Reggedy Ann and Andy Book









The 1972 Golden Book (Shapes Book) Best Friends are the best edition. Raggedy Ann and Andy will do anything for their friend!






Jan Sukas











Krissy's bookshelf: read

Reaper's Stand
Archangel's Shadows
To Love a King
Touch a Dark Wolf
Gray Bishop
The Viscount's Christmas Temptation
The Second Chance Hero
Loving Him Off the Field
Only Enchanting
Final Lap
Hunt the Jackal
Before You Break
Priestess Dreaming
Scandal And The Duchess
Sci-Fi Nights: Alpha Bad Boys & Wild Girls of Futuristic Romance
Love Bites

Krissy's favorite books ยป

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