Mandy had only been to Barrymore’s Steakhouse once before, on an ill-fated date a couple of years ago. Fact: still believing in Santa Claus at the age of twenty-two made even the former high school chess-club champion feel cool by comparison. He’d laughed at her. Then tried to backtrack. The evening had never quite recovered, and she hadn’t gone out with him again.She wasn’t going to let that happen tonight.If Jake stayed around very long, it was just a matter of time before he heard she’d seen Santa Claus. But like Cinderella with her conjured dress and pumpkin coach, Mandy wanted at least one night of being normal. Of not trying to explain herself.“That’ll be all. Thanks.” Jake handed the menus back to the waiter, a thirtyish blond man she didn’t recognize. It was the main reason she’d chosen this restaurant. At any of the places on Evergreen Lane, someone on the staff was likely to be an old classmate, or one of their siblings. It was a wonder that Mandy hadn’t known the girl who took their order at the Pine ’n’ Dine this afternoon.“So, I promised you no shoptalk,” Jake said. “Tonight it’s your turn. Has Christmas always been a big deal for you?”“Always.” If you only knew. “I know some people get tired of it. I’ve just never been one of them.”“Oh, I think most people like Christmas. It’s just that for most people, once a year is enough.”“You know, people say that to me all the time. But they still come into the store.” A smile touched her lips. “You did.”“You’ve got me there.”Jake had changed into a crisp white shirt with a deep brown tie and a tweedy light brown jacket. Almost like the kind of coat professors were supposed to wear, except that he looked way too young to be a professor. He managed to look dressy and casual at the same time. She knew he’d never been here before, but there was something in the way he sat back from the table that gave the impression of comfort.Mandy picked up her water glass. “Here’s what I see every day. Some customers are like me. They love it right away. Then there are the ones like you. Their first reaction is, ‘What the heck?’ But they come in a little farther, like they’re trying to figure it out. They look around, they hear the music . . . and it usually happens. They get that Christmas feeling.”Jake’s eyes glinted. “And they usually buy something.”“Well, usually. But that’s not the point.”“Sure it is. The store’s in business to make money.”“Okay. But what do the customers get out of it?”When he didn’t reply, she answered for him: “A little piece of Christmas.”“You’re right. If a business doesn’t supply a benefit, it doesn’t stay in business. But for you, that little piece of Christmas is there twelve months a year. Doesn’t it get . . .”“Less special? Not for me.” Mandy considered. “The way I see it, those other eleven months out of the year—they’re mine. When the whole world isn’t surrounded by Christmas, and people aren’t so busy getting stressed out about it, they come into The North Pole and just enjoy it. And I get to give them that.”Jake nodded. He seemed satisfied. Maybe even impressed. “You win.” He picked up his glass of soda. “I’m not a total Scrooge, by the way.”“Not many people are. It’s just easy to lose sight of Christmas when you’re right in the middle of it. What’s Christmas like for you?”“Well, it’s the one day of the year I know I won’t be working.”Mandy flinched. “Seriously?”“Okay, I’m exaggerating. It’s a couple of days. And I always spend it with my family. It’s . . .” He shook his head with a smile. “Chaos. Complete and utter chaos. My dad calls it the annual invasion.”That sounded better. “Relatives?”He nodded. “Two days before Christmas, everyone converges on my parents’ house. And I mean everyone. There’s me, my mom and dad, my older brother and his wife. They have a little girl, Emily. That’s who the pinecone necklace is for. But then there are aunts, uncles, cousins . . . and tons of food. My mom cooks a lot of it, but everyone brings more. There are kids you haven’t seen for a year, so you’re trying to keep everybody’s name straight, what grade they’re in, and who got their braces off, and it doesn’t really matter because you can’t hear a thing.”“It sounds wonderful.”“I guess it is.” His gaze drifted past her, and Mandy knew he wasn’t seeing the inside of the restaurant at all. “The only one who’s not making a racket is my dad. He’ll sit in his armchair while everybody’s rushing around. He acts like he thinks everybody else is nuts, but you can tell he loves it. But by the next day, everybody clears out to go to their own homes. My brother and his family usually stay a little later. It’s amazing how much quieter the house seems with only six people in it.”“And Christmas Eve?”“Really quiet. Lots of last-minute preparations behind closed doors. Then usually we’ll watch a movie. It’s kind of the calm after the chaos. Then in the morning, we open presents and go out to breakfast. But the best part is all the buildup.”Mandy nodded. “That’s because when it comes, it’s over so fast.”“Unless you work at a Christmas store.”“It helps.”Jake picked up his drink. “What about you? What do you do for Christmas?”“A little quieter than that. The last couple of years, I’ve had dinner at Mrs. Swanson’s. She’s the owner of the shop. This year I think I’m going to invite her over instead. I’ve never cooked a turkey by myself before.”He frowned. “Where’s your family?”Mandy took in a deep, slow breath. “I lost my mom three years ago. Everybody else is out of state.”Jake looked startled. He set down his glass. “She couldn’t have been very old. What happened?”“An aneurysm. One of those things you don’t see coming. She was forty-seven.”“What about your father?”“They got divorced when I was eight.” She felt a tight smile cross her face. “He came to the funeral.”“I’m sorry. I had no idea.”“Of course you didn’t. You just met me.” She shook her head. “But it’s okay. The thing about my mom . . .” She stirred her iced tea with her straw, aware of Jake’s eyes on her. “She did so much, and I just didn’t realize it. You don’t think about those things when you’re a kid. She must have worked so hard. She worked at the bank up here, so I was a latchkey kid, but when she got home, she always had time for me. She made sure I knew I was important to her. We never had a lot of extra, but we didn’t need much.”She didn’t go into the rest of it. After her mother died, Mandy found out just how hard her mother had worked to make sure her daughter would be all right. The house was paid off, so it was Mandy’s, free and clear. There had even been an insurance policy for good measure. Not bad for a reluctantly single mother.Mandy tried to put her finger on what she wanted to say. “I wish I could have had her longer. Of course. But . . . she left me with something. She made me want to make other people happy. Maybe that’s what my job is really about.” Jake studied her, his eyes quiet and direct. She just hoped he didn’t feel sorry for her.“I’ve never met anyone like you,” he said finally. By the time they left the restaurant, the sky was darkening, and a chill had crept into the air. Mandy slipped her sweater on. As they walked toward the car’s parking spot alongside the curb, Jake took her hand. Her fingers curled around his, and she was surprised how comfortable it felt.“Still up for a movie?” he asked.She hesitated for an instant. “Sure.”Tall Pine Cineplex was the only theater in town. On a Saturday night, there was an awfully good chance she might run into someone from her old school there, and there was no telling where the conversation might go. She’d just have to think on her feet.Jake stopped and turned her toward him just before they reached the car. “Mandy.”She hadn’t realized until now just how much taller he was; even in her heeled boots, she needed to tilt her head back to look up at him.His eyes were fixed on hers in that direct stare she was beginning to know. Now he seemed as close to being uncertain as she’d seen tonight. Somehow, Mandy found that reassuring.“There’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while,” he said. “And I’m hoping you won’t mind.”He stepped down from the curb, taking his height down several inches. He still stood taller than Mandy, but now his mouth was just slightly above hers. Jake lifted his hand and ran a finger lightly down the side of her cheek. There was no mistaking what he meant.Mandy thought of the way it felt when she jumped into the cold water of the Tall Pine pond on a hot summer day.I’m not ready for this. . . .Running his fingers underneath her jawline, Jake tipped her chin up toward him. Her heart was thrumming so loudly she was sure he could hear it.I haven’t had nearly enough practice at this. . . .His lips met hers lightly, and Mandy felt something inside melt. She closed her eyes and drank in the warmth, the softness, the nearness. His other hand came up to frame her face. The kiss was gentle, unhurried, and the street around them felt unusually still. It was as if the world had paused.Oh, I could do a lot more of this.Her knees were shaking, so she brought her arms up around his waist and held on.Why had she thought she needed a sweater?After another long, melting moment, he lifted his head and smiled. “I hope you don’t mind,” he repeated.Mandy didn’t trust her voice. She nodded. Then shook her head.She felt light as a feather, and she knew it was too good to be true. She might not turn into a pumpkin at midnight, but this couldn’t last. A little voice in her head nagged her: You know you can’t keep this up, right?She brushed the little voice aside with, I can try.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
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DO YOU BELIEVE IN SANTA?
DO YOU BELIEVE IN SANTA
Evergreen Lane #1
Released Sept 29th, 2015
Miracles don’t just happen on 34th Street. They can happen right in your living room—if you’re willing to believe…
What grown woman claims to have seen Santa Claus? Mandy Reese, for one—on a very special Christmas Eve when she was eight years old. These days, Mandy works at a year-round Christmas store in Tall Pine, California, where customers love to hear about her childhood encounter with Saint Nick. But when Jake Wyndham arrives in town—charming, gorgeous, extremely practical—Mandy faces a dilemma. Deny what she saw, or let Jake think she’s sugarplum crazy?
Jake scouts hotel locations all over the country, but he’s never met anyone quite like Mandy before. Her warmth and sparkle are irresistible, but…meeting Santa? Really? Jake’s no Scrooge but he’s definitely skeptical. Then again, there are all kinds of things Jake never experienced until he came to Tall Pine. Like autumn snow. Mind blowing kisses. And the magic of falling head-over-heels, madly in love…
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Sierra Donovan is a wife, a mother of two and a writer, though not always in that order. Her greatest joy is helping people find true love on the printed page. She is a firm believer in Christmas, classic movies, happy endings and the healing power of chocolate. Sierra’s first novel, Love On The Air, was a Holt Medallion finalist. Her 2014 Kensington debut, No Christmas Like The Present, won the Golden Quill Award for Sweet Traditional Romance. Her 2015 novel, Do You Believe In Santa? marks the beginning of Sierra's new Evergreen Lane series. You can email Sierra at email@example.com, or visit her website at www.sierradonovan.com.
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The Surviving Series #4
Releasing Nov 28th, 2015
What happens when you pray for death and you’re ignored?
You have to live.
You have to survive.
But what if the last thing you want is to take your next breath?
To the world, Ryan is a hero, an ex-marine, brother, son and protector. He has devoted his life to keeping others safe. He will do anything and everything to ensure his loved ones are protected, even if that means destroying his very own soul. After an explosion on the battlefield ends his career in the Marine’s, Ryan is sent home with an honorable discharge. But the war hasn’t ended for him.
He is home, he is free and he’s breathing, but he’s dead inside.
He wants nothing more than peace, but the nightmares in his mind will not grant him that. They taunt him, tease him and torture his waking moments. The darkness within him is slowly consuming him, blackness has seeped into his veins and is rotting his core. Ryan is a man on the edge of destruction. For once he is the one in need of saving. He needs a saviour.
He needs her.
Ryan is commissioned as a bodyguard to Aloura Cavendish. When he initially meets her, he believes her to be a spoiled rich brat, wasting his time. But the fire inside her astounds him. When he pushes, he never expects her to push back. When he runs, she chases. For the first time in his life, Ryan has a protector willing to fight his demons. The only problem – he is too afraid to release them.
That’s when I heard the music, the loud angry tones of Green Day’s “American Idiot” I grinned because it appeared Aloura wasn’t a fan of having us invade her life.“Gentlemen, I may not require your services. It appears I will just strangle my daughter myself.” Graham, uttered sarcastically as we headed towards the loud music. When we reached the open doorway he strode through, leaving Will and I to follow. My douche of a brother paused causing me to walk into his back. I peered around the doorway and froze. There was no other way to describe it – her – other than absolute perfection. She was dancing around the room, her body moving with such fluidity that she almost floated. The music died immediately and she stopped. Her attention fixed on her father who had stopped the music. She slapped her hands down over her hips and breathed up at the ceiling. Her shoulders lifted and fell with each breath she pulled in. She glared at her father’s back again as he came towards us and then she caught sight of Will and I standing at the door gawping at her like two morons. I straightened and smoothed my hands over my head. It’s a habit I developed after I was discharged from the hospital. I hate the constant reminder marring my skin that I fucked up. That people died because of me.“Sweetheart,” Graham gritted out through his teeth. “These are the gentlemen I was telling you about.”“The ones with tight arses and buns you want to bite?”I spluttered a laugh as her father turned crimson. The silver in his hair glistened against his skin. Will glanced at me, trying to hide his smirk.“That’s what you said this morning isn’t it?” She asked batting her eyelashes at him. She headed over to a black piano in the corner of the room and picked something up from the top, when she held them up to her face I realised she was putting glasses on. She turned and blinked a few times in our direction and her cheeks turned a really beautiful shade of pink. She ran her hands over her black hair, which was pulled back in a messy knot type thing. Then she trailed them down her body, tugging at the hem of her t-shirt. It was fascinating watching her assessing us.“I should have punished you more as a child.” He glared at her, but there was no mistaking the small curl of his lips of the undeniable love shining in his eyes.“So this is my horrible little brat, Aloura.”
Hi! What to say about myself...I don't really have anything interesting to offer other than I love to read, and create stories for others to enjoy. I've always been told I have a vivid imagination, I just lacked the confidence to pursue putting it onto the the written page. But finally I embarked on making a single dream come true.
I love to read, and write. I only read romance, any genre really, but it has to have a beautiful romance. I also demand a HEA, even if it takes two or three books to get there. Reality is too broken and jaded without having to live through the trauma and angst in a book for it to end unhappily.
THE GIRL'S GOT SECRETS
Forbidden Men #7
Releasing Nov 28th, 2015
Here’s the same old “girl posing as a boy” story but with a rock-n-roll twist.
Remy Curran dreams of one day being in a band, except the group she wants to join refuses to hire a girl drummer. So, she auditions as a guy...and makes the cut.
Becoming “Sticks,” a member of Non-Castrato, isn’t quite what she dreamed it would be, though. She spends most of her time keeping up the subterfuge and learning how to walk, talk, act, and drink like a man.
But what’s even harder to deal with is acting oblivious when the band’s heartthrob lead singer, Asher Hart, treats her like one of the guys and not a woman. She never imagined he’d be so much more than a pretty face with a nice voice. But he’s better than perfect. He’s perfect for her.
When love and lies combine, Remy must keep up the act or lose everything. But who knew lying to reach one dream could prevent you from attaining an even bigger dream?
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Remy and I bent at the same time to turn on the karaoke machine.“Sorry,” we murmured together when we nearly bumped foreheads. Then we shifted an inch apart but still both going in to get the machine up and running.“Holy shit,” she murmured under her breath, turning toward me slightly. “You smell really good.”I didn’t want it to, but my body reacted, remembering every touch, lick, and kiss she’d ever given me. I glanced at her face, and her eyes flared as if she was in trouble for saying such a thing.“Sorry.” She lifted both hands in some kind of surrender. “It’s just...it’s new. You’ve never smelled like that before.”Lust stirred through me. I tried to bite it back, tried to cling to the fact I was mad at her, but a need unlike any I’d ever experienced with any other person roared through my blood.I had to shake my head and blink myself back to the present, remind myself where I really was and what I was doing. And that was most definitely not Remy Curran.“It’s, uh...Eva gave it to me as the best man gift. I figured I should wear it today.”She nodded, agreeing. “Well, it’s amazing. I think I just got pregnant.”
Linda grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now she lives in Kansas with her husband, daughter, and nine cuckoo clocks. Her life's been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing's always been a major part of her world, and she is so happy to finally share some of her stories with other romance lovers.
A SEAL Forever by Anne Elizabeth
West Coast Navy SEALs, Book 3
Release date: December 1, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Even a hero needs someone to believe in him...
Parkour instructor Maura Maxwell has always denied her attraction for her bachelor neighbor because she’s seen his revolving door of women and doesn’t want to become another notch on his belt. But the man who rescues her from a sudden storm isn’t the one she thinks she knows—he’s Master Chief Declan Swifton of SEAL Team Five, and he literally sweeps Maura off her feet.
Just as his teasing and tenderness start to work their way into Maura’s heart, Declan and his team are called in for a dangerous op in the Middle East. The man who returns is facing the toughest fight of his life, and he needs Maura by his side more than ever…
Master Chief Declan Swifton of SEAL Team Five rolled over the side of the Rigid-hulled Inflatable Boat and slid soundlessly into the Pacific Ocean. The RIB took off without even a comment from the operator, leaving Declan to sink farther into the drink.The temperature cooled as he swam away from the surface. Fish skirted the edges of his thighs, small shimmers of movement against his skin. He scissor-kicked his way forward. The ocean currents caught him, dragging him in the direction they wanted to go, toward shore. He lay with his arms at his sides, frog-kicking only. Above him, he could see the afternoon sunlight glistening and frothy foam chasing away the glassy surface. Down here things were different…calmer. Peaceful, in a way few souls would understand, and yet he knew that even he would have to surface soon.His lungs would start to ache and burn, his gut would begin to feel as if it would cave in, and that would force him to either head topside or drink in the salt water. But there was still time. This was the water in front of Imperial Beach and the apartment he lived in. He knew it very well.Scanning the ocean floor, he gauged it would be about thirty seconds until he reached one of the many rocky sandbars out here. He’d have to pull up before then, or the force of the current would smack him against the side.As his body began to complain, he used both arms and legs to draw himself upward. Breaking the surface, he opened his mouth and drew in air like a thirsty man would gulp water.The waves bounced him like a buoy. The tide was coming in and the wind was picking up momentum. Looking at the sky to the east, he could see that there would most likely be a storm today. Over his should, to the west, he spied a wave coming his way large enough to take him to shore. It would reach him in about thirty seconds.Dec took a long, slow breath and appreciated the sun dropping into the horizon. The colors were extraordinary; orange and gold dappled the horizon as the blazing ball of light attempted to sink before the moon lifted higher in the sky.His hands flexed, cupping the water. It had been a hot day, and the sun’s rays had heated the top of the ocean, making the surface feel like a warm bath, loosening his muscles. Three months ago, he’d been in waters so frigid, with actual ice caps—the memory still made him cold. But here, the Pacific Ocean off California’s Imperial Beach, was a slice of heaven.Coming in from the east were some nasty-looking cumulonimbus clouds. Seeing the lightning arc way off toward the distant desert, he decided it was time to go in, and right on cue, here came a perfect wave.Swimming at top speed, Declan pushed his way through another changing current, one that sought to drag him into faster-moving waters. He went over a higher sandbar, having no intention of going to Mexico today, and increased the reach of his stroke. With single-mindedness he worked his way into the more placid surf as he homed in on a large stretch of beach.The SEAL felt a few sea lions swimming around him, and one nosed him in the gut and another in his back a few times, assessing whether or not he’d play. Not this time, my friends . He continued swimming without engaging. If he stopped to play, he’d be out there for hours.Switching to the breaststroke, his arms protested. His platoon had switched their training this month to desert-warfare techniques, and he’d been sweating his balls off in the heat. He managed to learn a thing or two, even now, after all of his years in the Teams. But it felt good to be back in the ocean, his element. He’d live in the deep blue like a Jules Verne character if he could.
New York Times bestselling author Anne Elizabeth is an award-winning romance author and comic creator. With a BS in business and MS in communications from Boston University, she is a regular presenter at conventions as well as a member of The Author’s Guild and Romance Writers of America. Anne lives with her husband, a retired Navy SEAL, in the mountains above San Diego.
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COMING APART AT THE SEAMS
Riley O'Brien & Co #2
Releasing Dec 1st, 2015
Love can take some time to break in...
Teagan O’Brien, heiress to the Riley O’Brien & Co. denim empire, is anything but a spoiled rich girl. She’s worked hard to secure her place in the family business and can hold her own, in and out of the office. Only one man has ever been able to get under her skin—sexy football star Nick Priest. Years ago they crossed the line from friends to lovers, but he left her heartbroken. Since then, she’s been determined to keep him at arm’s length—no matter how tempting he looks in his jeans...
Nick has fortune, fame, and looks that make most women hot and bothered. But he doesn't have the woman he really wants. He knows he screwed up when he walked away from Teagan, and now that he has a second chance, he’ll do whatever it takes to win her over—no matter how tongue-tied he gets...
A waiter passed with champagne, and Nick plucked a crystal flute from the tray. “Congrats. Times two,” he said, tapping his glass against Quinn’s highball.Only days ago, Quinn had officially taken over as president and CEO of Riley O’Brien & Co. More important, he’d become engaged to Amelia Winger, a sweet little thing with a real talent for fashion design.“Thanks,” Quinn said, a big grin on his face. “I’m a lucky man. A very lucky man.”His happiness was almost tangible, and Nick experienced a stab of envy, not because the other man didn’t deserve to be happy, but because he wasn’t. Far from it.The two of them slouched side by side with their backs against the wall. The party was in full swing, the band wailing away and the dance floor packed. Hundreds of people milled around the ballroom, the men dressed in dark suits and the women garbed in cocktail dresses. It was one of the few times Riley O’Brien & Co. employees had to dress up. Usually, they all wore Rileys and T-shirts.Quinn scanned the crowd, visibly relaxing when he spotted his redheaded fiancée. The look on his face was a mix of pride, possession, and adoration. The guy obviously was head over heels in love with his future bride.Pulling his attention from Amelia, Quinn looked toward Nick. “Listen, Priest, I need to talk with you about something important.”He tensed. As far as he knew, the O’Brien brothers were still unaware that he and Teagan had hooked up.He nodded, silently directing Quinn to continue. He preferred to say as little as possible so he could hide the severe stutter that had plagued him since childhood.Quinn was one of the few people who knew about his speech impediment. They’d spent too much time together over the years for the other man not to notice, but he’d never said anything about it. He wondered if they were drawn to each other by the simple fact that Quinn talked too much and Nick didn’t talk enough.“I’ve persuaded Amelia to have a short engagement, and we’re in a hurry to nail down the wedding plans.”Nick stifled a grin. He had little doubt how Quinn had persuaded Amelia.“Cal is my best man, and I’d like you to be my one and only groomsman.”He studied the groom-to-be. He knew it wasn’t manly to admit it, but he loved Quinn like a brother. It would be an honor to stand beside him as he made his wedding vows.Of course, he didn’t tell Quinn any of this because it required too many words. It was too much effort to get his brain and his mouth to work together. They were enemies.“Okay.” He focused on shaping the sound that caused him the most problems. “W-w-w-when is the w-w-w-wedding?”“The first Saturday in March.” Quinn sighed. “Ten long weeks away.”Nick chuckled wryly. Compared to the time he’d spent chasing Teagan, ten weeks was nothing. A hit from the kicker instead of a thumping from a linebacker.“When are you heading back home?” Quinn asked.Nick shrugged. He had played for the Tennessee Titans for the past two years, and he currently lived in an upscale suburb outside of Nashville. But now that the season was over, nothing prevented him from staying in San Francisco as long as he wanted. As long as it took.Quinn narrowed his eyes. “Where are you spending Christmas?”“Not sure.”“With your dad?”He laughed, the sound shaded with bitterness he didn’t bother to hide. “No.”“Why don’t you stay and celebrate Christmas with us? You know Mom and Dad would love to have you.” When he didn’t reply, Quinn punched him on the shoulder. “And Amelia and I are having a New Year’s Eve-slash-engagement party. You can’t miss that.”Quinn had unknowingly given Nick the perfect opportunity to spend more time with Teagan. It was more than he could ever have hoped for.
Jenna Sutton spent most of her career as an award-winning journalist covering business-related topics including healthcare, commercial real estate, retail, and technology. Nowadays she writes about hot, lovable guys and the smart, sexy women who make them crazy. It’s the culmination of a lifelong dream, and she feels so lucky to be able to do it.
Jenna has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Texas Christian University and a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University.
Jenna and her husband live in a 103-year-old house in Texas.
Enslaved by N.W. Harris
Genre: YA, post-apocalyptic
Series: The Last Orphans #3
Publication: December 29th, 2015 by Clean Teen Publishing
If he loses her, he’ll lose his will to fight.Shane and his friends survive the first major attack against the enemy, destroying the alien ships that came to harvest the children of Earth and turn them all into slaves. However, one ship escaped, and the aliens have captured Kelly. Shane will do whatever it takes to save her, but turning his back on his friends could jeopardize the whole mission.The enemy invades Kelly’s mind, turning her into a slave soldier. She’ll follow their orders, even if it means murdering her friends, including her little sister and Shane. She is helpless, trapped inside her body while it performs heinous tasks under the direction of her new masters, while her sanity and desire to live fade.Shane returns home to make a rescue attempt, only to find Kelly commanding an army of human slave soldiers, and she’s determined to make him join her ranks. Will Shane save Kelly before she gets to her sister, or will she help the enemy enslave the rest of humanity?
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The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris
Genre: YA, post-apocalyptic
Series: The Last Orphans #1
Publication: October 9th, 2014 by Clean Teen Publishing
One horrifying day will change the life of sixteen-year-old Shane Tucker and every other kid in the world.In a span of mere hours, the entire adult population is decimated, leaving their children behind to fend for themselves and deal with the horrific aftermath of the freak occurrence. As one of the newly made elders in his small town, Shane finds himself taking on the role of caretaker for a large group of juvenile survivors. One who just happens to be Kelly Douglas—an out-of-his-league classmate—who, on any other day, would have never given Shane a second glance.Together, they begin their quest to find out why all of the adults were slaughtered. What they find is even more horrifying than anything they could have expected—the annihilation of the adults was only the beginning. Shane and his friends are not the unlucky survivors left to inherit this new, messed-up planet. No, they are its next victims. There is an unknown power out there, and it won’t stop until every person in the world is dead.A spine-tingling adventure that will have you gasping for breath all the way until the last page, The Last Orphans is the first book in an all-new apocalyptic series.
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Tarnished (Perfected #2)
Release Date: 2015
Freedom comes at a cost...
Ella was genetically engineered to be the perfect pet—graceful, demure...and kept. In a daring move, she escaped her captivity and took refuge in Canada. But while she can think and act as she pleases, the life of a liberated pet is just as confining as the Congressman’s gilded cage. Her escape started a revolution, but she’s trapped, unable to get back to Penn—the boy she loves—or help the girls who need her.
Back in the United States, pets are turning up dead. With help from a very unexpected source, Ella slips deep into the dangerous black market, posing as a tarnished pet available to buy or sell. If she's lucky, she'll be able to rescue Penn and expose the truth about the breeding program. If she fails, Ella will pay not only with her life, but the lives of everyone she's tried to save...
PERFECTED (BOOK #1)
Perfection comes at a price.
As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these "family companions" enter their masters' homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.
Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman's bubbly young daughter, but she doesn't expect Penn, the congressman's handsome and rebellious son. He's the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.
But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she's faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn's family is leaving…and if she's unsuccessful, she'll face a fate far worse than death.
For fans of Keira Cass's Selection series and Lauren DeStefano's Chemical Garden series, Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.
Praise for Perfected:
“Compelling, imaginative, and unique. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough!”
— Mary Lindsey, author of Shattered Souls
Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals including Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids. To learn more visit www.katejarvikbirch.com