Thursday, March 28, 2019

Mona Lisas and Little White Lies

Romantic Comedy
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. John Herrick will be awarding $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

See below to read an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY



She’s America’s hottest new celebrity. But her identity remains a secret.



Lily Machara is a wisecracking auto mechanic. She’s never cared for glitz or drama. But when Ryder Flynn, a rising star in the world of commercial art, adopts Lily as his muse after a random sighting, Lily discovers herself painted into his hot new pieces … and becomes America’s newest — anonymous — celebrity.


The only problem: The woman Ryder imagines isn’t the true Lily.

Or is it?

Now, as Lily and Ryder give in to mutual curiosity and a budding romance, Lily’s life — secrets and all — fall victim to a pop culture with one question on its mind: Who is the woman in Ryder Flynn’s art?

In the spirit of Cyrano de Bergerac and Pretty Woman, MONA LISAS AND LITTLE WHITE LIES is a delightful new romantic comedy from John Herrick, bestselling author of Beautiful Mess.


read an excerpt...

Ryder rubbed his eyes. No wonder they felt so sore—one glance at his watch told him it was almost two in the morning. Although he could still hear well, the loud music seemed to have whittled his sensitivity to about 85 percent, as though he’d wrapped his eardrums in cotton.

           

After dinner, he’d allowed Chase to drag him to a nightclub, which was where Ryder had last seen his friend before returning to the hotel alone by way of a taxi. They would find each other before the art show opened that morning at ten o’clock. Chase might push his limits, but he was never late.

           
Now, upon entering the hotel, he found the lobby empty except for a concierge at the front desk. The room’s silence rivaled that of a funeral parlor. Ryder made a beeline for the elevator bank and pushed the round button to hail a ride upstairs. With a glance around the corner, he found the doors to the art show shut and locked. He detected no pulsating rhythms, which meant the wedding reception had ended, as well.
           
Ryder heard the elevator tone—followed by the swish of fabric coming from his left. He halted. Listened.
           
Another swish, like the chiffon of a bridesmaid’s dress.
           
When the elevator doors opened, Ryder wasn’t standing in front of them. With one eyebrow furrowed and his ear cocked upward, he eased toward the far end of the elevator bank, then peered around the corner.
           
More rustling of fabric, then tiny sobs. Step by step, he followed the sounds. On his right, he noticed someone had left open the door to a dark room. Another sob came from inside that room. A female voice.
           
“Hello?” Ryder whispered. His eyes adjusted to the dark as he brushed his hand along the wall in search of a light switch. At last, he located the switch and flipped it on.
           
The room was small. He wandered to a far corner, where a desk topped with random clutter sat, a four-star hotel’s answer to a dumping ground. When he peeked behind the desk, he discovered a young woman. Weeping, she sat crumpled on the floor with her back against the desk. A peach-colored rose trampled by life.

To Read an Interview with the Author, Click Here



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

John Herrick is best known as a chronicler of the human heart. His complex characters and
earnest tone prompted Publishers Weekly to write, "Herrick will make waves." When he is not writing, he loves long drives on the interstate. He is a sucker for 1990s music. Herrick lives in St. Louis.

In addition to novels such as BEAUTIFUL MESS and FROM THE DEAD, he authored the nonfiction bestseller, 8 REASONS YOUR LIFE MATTERS.
Visit his website at www.johnherrick.net.

You can find John online at:










Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Slaughtered

Thriller
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. K.A. Lugo will be awarding signed hard cover copy of Slaughtered (worldwide) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter as well as a Tirgearryen T-shirt to another randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.





See below to read an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY


Fallen homicide detective, Jack Slaughter, closes the door on the home where his perfect family has been brutally snatched from him. Moving across the city, he works as a private investigator to fund his own investigation into what happened to his family—who killed his little girl, Zoë, and where is his wife, Leah?

Every three month for the last three years, Jack receives a simple text telling him where he can find his missing wife. There’s a body at each location, but none of them are Leah.

Jack hates missing person’s cases, but they’re his bread and butter. He only takes the case to find Carl Boyd's missing wife because the details of her disappearance closely match Leah’s. He hopes by finding Bonnie Boyd, he'll find his own wife.

The Butcher

Following the leads in the Bonnie Boyd case, Jack discovers someone has been killing women all over the city for the last three years, a fact Jack’s ex-partner and still best friend, Ray Navarro, has neglected to tell him. The city has a serial killer and officials haven’t been able to find a single lead on the person they’ve dubbed The Butcher.

Could Bonnie Boyd’s disappearance be linked to The Butcher? More important, was Leah one of The Butcher’s victims? Could he have gone so far as to murder a child?

With every clue Jack weaves together, the more his own life unravels.

My Review...
What a roller-coaster ride. This started with one of those characters I love. Jack Slaughter, an ex-cop, a new P.I., driven almost mad because of the loss of his wife and daughter. Handsome. I’m just somehow sure he is, you know, the rugged-looking kind. And then after about a third of a missing woman case he’s working on, he’s working on 13 murdered women, all cop cases which he is not even supposed to have anything to do with. I kept thinking “but wait, what happened to poor Bonnie Boyd that’s missing? Poor Mr. Boyd, he just got dropped.”


So, as you can see, I was beginning to get really upset about this book inside a book; about an author who had two storylines in her mind. I want to tell you, I was furiously writing a review about that in my mind while lying in bed trying to go to sleep. And then, wait until you hear this…I get up the next morning and start reading, trying to get the book over with and what happens? I can’t put the book down; can’t turn the pages fast enough the story has evolved and gotten really good.  

So, what have we got? Great characters, lots of action, some confusing problems with the storyline and a book good enough that you can’t put it down. I’m going to let you draw your own conclusions from that.

This is the first book in this series. Although K.A. Lugo might have upset me for a little while with this book, I most certainly think she should be working on Book 2. I like that Jack Slaughter guy and you know, good characters…well…people read books because of characters they like.

Read an excerpt...

"You’re still struggling with your guilt, Jack. You know there was nothing you could have done to prevent what happened."

"I should have been there, Nick. I could have been home earlier." Jack’s voice hitched.

From the corner of his eye, he saw Nick calmly gazing at him. Were priests trained to remain composed around people who were on the verge of insanity? He was on that knife blade. Every goddamn day.

"Were you ever home earlier?" For a moment, silence floated between them. "And how much earlier? Five minutes or an hour? Who’s to say this wouldn’t have happened on another night?"

Jack scrubbed a shaking fist across his forehead, trying to stop the building pressure there. "How many times do you think I’ve beat myself up over that?" He shot his gaze back at the priest, unintentional anger in his voice as he spoke. "Had he already tried on other nights? If I had been home earlier that night, would he have tried again on another night? Was he going to keep trying until he could finally get in when I wasn’t there? Or was he really after me, but took his anger out on my family instead?" He stopped short; he was now practically yelling at the priest.

His heart pounded hard in his chest, nearly robbing him of breath. The frustration of being so out of control was almost too much to bear. He gazed deeply into the glass in his hands, as if somehow the whiskey’s amber depths foretold his future. How much more could he take before it became too much?

Not for the first time, he swallowed hard at the thought of eating his gun. He couldn’t—not before he found Leah and administered his own justice on his daughter’s killer.

"Jack." Nick’s too-calm voice seemed to echo in the quiet room. "Don’t let this pull you into the darkness."

Had the priest read his mind? Jack downed the whiskey in one go. "Too late."

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


K.A. Lugo is a native Northern Californian who grew up in Carmel-by-the-Sea, part of a larger community founded by artists and writers, including John Steinbeck, George Sterling, and Jack London. Over the years, she's worked with several Carmel notables, but it was in 1997 she left the employ of Clint Eastwood to live in Ireland for six months. It was during this time she met the man she would marry, and relocated to live in Ireland.

While always writing since a very young age, K.A. earned her keep in Ireland as one of the country's foremost travel consultants who also wrote travel articles about Ireland.

Since 2005, K.A. has published fourteen titles in genres including romantic suspense, erotic romance, cozy mystery, and now thrillers.

Slaughtered is the first in the new highly acclaimed Jack Slaughter Thriller series, set in San Francisco, a city close to K.A.'s heart.

K.A. loves hearing from readers and promises to reply to each message. Please visit her socials to stay up-to-date on this exciting new series.      
    






Monday, March 25, 2019

Evil Embers

Urban Fantasy
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cristelle Comby will be awarding $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

See below to read an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY





After narrowly preventing the destruction of Cold City, PI Bellamy Vale needs a rest. Or rather, he needs a plain and simple vanilla case—no monsters or otherworldly creatures involved!



When foreign businessman Eli Smith shows up at his doorstep with a thick wallet and a request to find his missing sister, Vale doesn’t think twice before agreeing.


If he’d known body-hopping demons and smoke monsters came attached to this job, however, he might have.

read an excerpt...

The door slammed shut as something grabbed at me. And by “grabbed”, I mean “lifted me off the ground and rammed me into the nearest wall”.

The structure bent under the impact while a nightmare that would have fit in an old-school John Carpenter movie screamed at me. With my gas mask on, I never heard it coming.

Dazed, I glanced up and faced sharp, yellow-tainted teeth. They formed a circular pit of canines, ready to swallow my head whole. I pulled a knife from my boot and slashed the creep at the center of its mass. The fiend’s scream rose an octave as the cold steel struck home.

The creature dumped me back on the floor before dissipating into nothingness.

The attack sucked the air out of my lungs, and I spent the next few minutes coughing through the mask. I felt like kicking myself. I spent my first week here carving wards around the entire six-block area before going in for the first time. I should have known better than to cut one on this house’s front door and move on. I forgot the back door. That mistake left that damned poltergeist way too much room to attack.

The monster du jour was a ghost, an escapee from the realm of death—the Underworld, Hell, or whatever else you call the place people go to once they’re done with life. From what I knew, not everyone turns Casper in their afterlife. However, those who do become near-mindless creatures stuck in their own plane of existence. When they make it to our side of the border, they turn into full ectoplasmic savages.

The dead guy I stepped over near the open back doorway was proof enough of that. What was once an engineer working for the city now had his chest cavity cut down to the bone and his head severed from his body. Blood splatters all but drowned out the muted yellow of his shredded biohazard suit. Judging from the angle of what remained of his corpse, he was trying to flee the house when the poltergeist got him.

“Dammit,” I muttered as I tightened the straps on my gas mask. Whoever this engineer was, I was pretty sure he didn’t come in here alone, which meant I may have to explain what a six-foot PI in a surplus army jacket, a gas mask right out of the First World War and second-to-thirdhand leather gloves was doing in an area strictly reserved for city workers and engineers.

Don't miss an interview with the author. Click Here.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, on the
shores of Lake Geneva, where she still resides.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

She is the author of the Neve & Egan Cases series, which features an unlikely duo of private detectives in London: Ashford Egan, a blind History professor, and Alexandra Neve, one of his students.

Currently, she is hard at work on her Urban Fantasy series Vale Investigation which chronicles the exploits of Death’s only envoy on Earth, PI Bellamy Vale, in the fictitious town of Cold City, USA.

Twitter :

Website :


Goodreads :






Sunday, March 24, 2019

Dead Gold and Kindred

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hawk MacKinney will be awarding $20 Amazon/BN GC  to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

See an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY 

https://www.ourtownbookreviews.com/p/this-post-is-part-of-virtual-book-tour_14.html











This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Indie Gantz will be awarding $20 Amazon/BN GC  to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

See an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY 


https://www.ourtownbookreviews.com/p/kindred_17.html


Dead Gold

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hawk MacKinney will be awarding $20 Amazon/BN GC  to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

See below to read an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY







The dazzling lure of Olympic gold fame is a spotlight glare hotter than any fifteen minutes of fame.

During plans for a cross-country ski vacation, Aspen Police Department Criminal Investigation Division Detective David “Spinner” Krespinak and SEAL-bud Craige Ingram are ensnared by glamour, upmarket glitz and bling, and greed in the deadly champagne powder world of a money-gets-you-anything high-country ski-mecca. Body parts start turning up in the most unlikely places. As the two friends start their investigation, A hornets nest of the local elite do not want the publicity. For good reason it seems, they may be part of the mystery of bodies and body parts piling up at the morgue.

The closer they get to the killer the more confused they become. Who is behind the murders and mutilation? The list of suspects grows as they close the net on the killer.

The tender underbelly of Aspen is not what it seems. It is a raw open sore that oozes blood, drugs, and murder.


Read an excerpt...

A heavy burgundy turtleneck turned up against the frosty bite, Spinner was waiting at the foot of the steps. A big angular grin spread all over his rugged face, “Hard to believe you finally hauled your butt out here.”


“Time gets away for both of us and our twenty-eight hour days. Been a while since you’ve kicked back at Moccasin Bend.”

With a hearty guffaw Spinner retorted, “You haven’t changed one damn bit, Peadinger. You’ll always be the same compulsive CO, churning full blast 'till you’re sure all bases have been covered.” The two bear-hugged like long-lost brothers.

Craige said, “It's good to be here and even better seein’ your bronco-bustin’ backside.”

Spinner was a quiet-spoken Kentucky transplant to west Texas, and then Aspen, and his easy throaty laugh always made Craige feel everything was okay. He brightened Craige’s world as much as the other way round. No matter how long they’d been apart, the two exSEALs remained closer than close.

Spinner said, “Been too long since our last runs on that Big Sky Montana ski trip.”

With a touch of the pensive for times that called back some good memories—and some not so good, Craige said, “How could Big Sky have been that long ago? Seems like it was only a year or so. That was right before we deployed for Operation Nightfire off Lastovo Island.”

'Nightfire’ was hardly out of Craige’s mouth before dark shades moved across both their faces. The snarling double deals fiasco and compromises bordering on sheer stupid came with a nasty stench of treachery, and it left keepsake scars on both their handpicked teams selected for an in-out HALO recon with orders to avoid contact. On-the-ground objectives targeted and acquired. Heavy camoed, they rechecked their gear, and prepared to re-stage. Kicked in a get-the-hell-out-of-Dodge and regrouped. Established a secure base and reconned their perimeters during the moonless night. Recon went off without a hitch—except for the before-dawn ambush hit. Darrell and two navy corpsmen weren’t where they were supposed to be. Their deaths an obscene memory no one forgot.

Don't Miss this FUN Interview with Hawk MacKinney: Click Here



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Hawk MacKinney served in the US Navy for over 20 years.  While serving as a Navy Commander, he also had a career as a full-time faculty member at several major state medical facilities. He earned two postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history. He has taught postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel.

In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction—historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers. His titles are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series—murder and mayhem with a touch of romance. Hidden Chamber of Death, the first book in the mystery series, was followed by Book 2, Westobou Gold and his latest, Book 3, Curse of the Ancients. All have received national attention. The Bleikovat Event was Vol I in The Cairns of Sainctuarie Science Fiction Series followed by Vol II, The Missing Planets. Vol III, Inanna Phantom is in final galleys.




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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Don't Mess with Gracie



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Carol Kilgore will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


The mysterious Mr. Ott is trying to intimidate Gracie Hofner into being his internal spy at The Bastion Group. She’s learned a lot about him through several sources, even using information provided by the pair of ghosts trying to save their granddaughter. But it isn’t enough. Mr. Ott is an expert in hiding his true identity.

Gracie isn’t as worried for herself as she is for her family, her friends, and her new tenant, Milo Porter. Her feelings for him have grown, but she can’t show them. Mr. Ott’s threats involve those she loves, and one friend has already been killed. Besides, she’s certain there is someone else in Milo’s life.

It takes Gracie and her growing support team to unmask Mr. Ott, but it’s what Gracie learns along the way that shows readers the wisdom of the advice Don’t Mess with Gracie.

This is the conclusion to The Amazing Gracie Trilogy—a story so big it takes three books to tell it. Gracie’s adventures begin with Jalapeno Cupcake Wench, continue with Bluebonnet Ballerina, and conclude here.

Read an Excerpt:
“I’m so glad we were down here, Milo.” Cameron blinked a few times, as if she couldn’t believe what she saw. “She could’ve been killed.”  

“No. She would’ve protected her head.”

I tried. How did he know?

Milo still held her shoulders, and now his fingers were making tiny circles above her shoulder blades. “We saw you in here and were coming in so I could introduce the two of you.”

“Nice to meet you, Cameron.” Gracie nodded. “I’m bleeding? Where?”

Milo took her hands before she realized she was moving them toward her face. “It’s not bad. Let’s go inside. I’ll fix you up.”

Cameron followed them. “Milo was a corpsman in the Navy. He knows what he’s doing. When I sprained my ankle a few years ago, he took care of it.”

“I don’t usually meet people like this,” Gracie said.

“Yeah she does.” Milo still held her hands in one of his.

Gracie turned to make a face at him. The quick movement made the ground wobble. “Whoa. I’m a little dizzy.”

“That’s all right.” Milo put his free arm around her waist. “You won’t fall.”

How was this happening? She was always the one in control. The person in charge. Yet Milo had stepped up when she needed someone, and she didn’t mind. That was it—she didn’t mind. She always minded when she lost control of a situation. Maybe I have a concussion.

Milo held onto her and led her out of the garage. He glanced at her car. “I like your new Jeep.”


About the Author:

Carol Kilgore is the award-winning author of the three books in The Amazing Gracie Trilogy: Jalapeno Cupcake Wench, Bluebonnet Ballerina, and Don’t Mess with Gracie.

In addition, she is the author of In Name Only, Solomon’s Compass, and Secrets of Honor, three standalone romantic suspense novels set along the Texas Gulf Coast.

She and her husband live in San Antonio, the setting for the Amazing Gracie books, with two quirky herding dogs who still require help opening the food bin and the door.

You can learn more about Carol by visiting her website and subscribing to her newsletter or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Newsletter: http://www.carolkilgore.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carolkilgore.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carol_kilgore

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Kilgore/e/B008FRCXQY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1

BUY LINK:
The book will be on sale $0.99 from Mar 4-18. Beginning Mar 19, it will be regular price of $3.99.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P61FPNP  


Carol is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.






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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Where Sleeping Lies Lie



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. M. Naidoo will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



“Two men... two worlds... one desperate promise...”

If Anna had only known how the simple push of a button would turn her life upside down, she would never have pressed ‘Play.’

Just 22 seconds into the recording she’s hit by the realization that, if the voice in the thick German accent is right, she has been living with an unthinkable lie for the past thirty years.

There is only one way to find out: Follow the instruction left by a dead person and head back to Germany, to a life Anna has next to no conscious memory of.

To her surprise, she finds an unexpected ally in Peter, an old childhood friend whose law degree and language skills prove to be more than useful. Besides, he has the most gorgeous blue eyes and the uncanny ability to push Anna's buttons without the slightest effort. At every turn, their search for answers is littered with more lies and revelations.

Anna must ultimately decide whether even the noblest of ends, truly justify the means and whether some secrets should better stay buried.

“Mystery, history, and a twist at every turn. Brilliant characters and prolific storytelling... irresistible!”


Read an Excerpt...

"God, I can't even imagine." The weight of what Martha had lived through had made Anna feel queasy. She needed water.

"No, you can't."

She hadn't noticed how Peter was leaning forward, rubbing the back of his head, or how his voice had taken on a frigid undertone.

"Losing a child? I mean how do you get up in the morning?" Anna picked up her glass from the table.

"You don't—not for a long time." Anna froze. As she turned to look at Peter, his eyes, blank and dark, were fixed onto the candleholder in the center of the coffee table. She let herself fall back onto the sofa under the weight of the realization.

"When?" As if it would make a difference how much time had gone by.

"Nine years ago, in August." He turned his head to look at her. Anna didn't know what to say. What could she say?

"Her name was Sophie, the happiest, smartest, funniest, most loving three-year-old you will ever meet. One minute she's running and laughing, the next she's hooked up to machines with doctors telling you she won't ever wake up again." The pain she had felt in his voice had turned to bitterness.

"I'm so-"

"Sorry for my loss?" He finished her sentence. "That's what they all said, doctors, nurses, family, friends… everyone."

"What else were they going to say?"

"Nothing. Because there wasn't anything, anyone could say that would have brought her back. Words were just a waste of time."

"What about her mom?" Anna couldn't help but ask.

"Gone." He paused. "Without Sophie… we couldn't pick up the pieces."


About the Author:M.Naidoo lives in Northern California with her husband, two daughters, and three dogs. Born and raised in Germany, she was able to draw on a wealth of memories and passed down stories for Where Sleeping Lies Lie.



When she is not in front of her computer, pounding out story lines and characters, she enjoys reading, movies, spending time with her family, and long walks on the beach - her proverbial 'happy place'. M's love for the shore line and ocean shine through in the vivid descriptions of the coast in her debut novel The Pelican.



"Juggling my life as a writer and a full-time 'real' job has its challenges. I don't get to spend half as much time as I'd like doing what I love, and there are never enough hours in the day. Still, I feel extremely lucky to be following my passion, and I am enjoying every minute of it. Getting here has been one heck of a ride!"

For information about the author, her blog, upcoming releases, and more
visit http://www.mnaidoo.com.

Like and follow M. Naidoo on social media

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMNaidoo

https://www.instagram.com/authormnaidoo/




Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NL34N26



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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Next to Last Mistake



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Amalie Jahn will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Young Adult  YA
Tess Goodwin’s life in rural Iowa is sheltered and uncomplicated. Although she chooses to spend most of her free time playing chess with her best friend Zander, the farm-boy from next door, her skills as a bovine midwife and tractor mechanic ensure that she fits in with the other kids at East Chester High. But when her veteran father reenlists in the Army, moving her family halfway across the country to North Carolina, Tess is forced out of her comfort zone into a world she knows nothing about.

Tess approaches the move as she would a new game of chess, plotting her course through the unfamiliar reality of her new life. While heeding Zander’s long-distance advice for making new friends and strategizing a means to endure her dad’s imminent deployment to the Middle East, she quickly discovers how ill-equipped she is to navigate the societal challenges she encounters and becomes convinced she’ll never fit in with the students at her new school.

When Leonetta Jackson is assigned as her mentor, she becomes Tess’s unexpected guide through the winding labyrinth of cultural disparities between them, sparking a tentative friendship and challenging Tess to confront her reluctant nature. As the pieces move across the board of her upended life, will Tess find the acceptance she so desperately desires?

Read an Excerpt
I stand without making eye contact with anyone else in the room, especially Mrs. Alexander who’ll block me from leaving if given the opportunity. I gather my books hastily into my arms and run for the door. After skidding into the hallway, I make a beeline out to the student parking lot.

By the time I get there, Leonetta is already waiting for me, leaning against the hood of my car.

“Shortcut,” she says as I approach. “There’s a delivery corridor behind the closest stairwell to Mrs. Alexander’s room. Comes out right over there.” She nods toward a door on the side of the building, not twenty feet from where we’re standing.

Despite the storm raging inside me, I grin at her. She’s a good friend. A great friend. I should’ve known she’d come after me.

“What’s going on?” she asks as I sidle up beside her.

I consider saying ‘nothing’ and leaving it at that. I don’t want to talk about my epiphany, but I can’t lie to her. She’ll see right through me.

“You remember the guy, Zander, my friend from back in Iowa?”

“The one you talk about all the time?”

I glare at her. “Not all the time.”

It’s her turn to raise an eyebrow at me.

“Okay, I talk about him sometimes,” I concede. But then I stop. I can’t find the words to go on.

“What about him?” Leonetta urges, nudging me with an elbow.

“I…” I’ve never said the words aloud and it’s harder than I thought it was going to be. “I love him,” I say finally.

She makes a small sound. A bit like a laugh but more like a contented coo, as if she’s a baby and I’ve been tickling her toes. “I know.”

It feels almost like she’s punched me in the gut.

“You know?” I say. “How is that even possible? You’ve never even met him.”

She lays a hand on my shoulder, and if it had been anyone else doing it I would have thought it condescending, but since it’s Leonetta I’m certain she’s being sincere.

“Honey, that wistful look you get whenever you talk about him… There’s never been any doubt in my mind about your feelings for him.” She narrows her eyes at me, searching for something in the lines of my face. “Don’t tell me you’re just now figuring it out.”

Am I just now figuring it out?

“I’m afraid we might end up like Catherine and Heathcliff because we’re exactly like them, and I don’t want that for us. We were kids together. We grew up together. We have this thing between us that’s so much bigger than simple friendship. When Catherine says ‘I am Heathcliff,’ I totally relate. Because I am Zander, whether I want to be or not. I can’t separate myself from him because so much of who I am is tied to who he is. Our history is long and deep. But since we’ve been apart, things have changed.” I take a deep breath, surprised at how easily all of this is flowing out, but I focus, forcing myself to come to the point. “What destroyed Catherine and Heathcliff was their refusal to embrace change. They didn’t let their love mature. If my friendship with Zander is going to survive, it’s what we need to do.”

Leonetta shrugs. “So, you gonna tell him?”

My heart stops. “Tell him I love him?”

She slides off the hood of my car. “Yeah.”

“I don’t know if I can. At least not right now. Not while we’re so far apart.” She scowls at me. “I will, though, eventually. Maybe this summer if he comes to visit.”

“What if he never comes to visit?” she asks.

Tears pool in the corners of my eyes. “He’ll come,” I tell her. “He has to.”


About the Author:

Amalie Jahn is a USA TODAY bestselling author of more than 8 young adult novels, including The Next To Last Mistake, her latest release (Light Messages Publishing 2019).

Amalie is the recipient of the Literary Classics Seal of Approval and the Readers' Favorite Gold Medal for her debut novel, The Clay Lion. She is a contributing blogger with the Huffington Post and Southern Writers Magazine, as well as a TED speaker, human rights advocate, and active promoter of kindness. She lives in the United States with her husband, two children, and three overfed cats.

When she's not at the computer coaxing characters into submission, you can find Amalie swimming laps, cycling, or running on the treadmill, probably training for her next triathlon. She hates pairing socks and loves avocados. She is also very happy time travel does not yet exist. Connect with her right here in the present day at these social media sites:



Websites – http://www.amaliejahn.com and lightmessages.com/amalie-jahn

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AmalieJahn

Twitter - https://twitter.com/AmalieJahn

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/amalie.jahn.official

Visit http://www.amaliejahn.com to join Amalie’s FREE Readers Group and in addition to receiving promotional discounts, sneak peeks, and monthly newsletters, your membership will now grant you exclusive access to bonus material (shorts and novelettes) delivered right to your inbox!

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1611532647/ref=as_li_tl

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-next-to-last-mistake-amalie-jahn/1129761093?ean=9781611532630

Apple – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-next-to-last-mistake/id1439682885?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-next-to-last-mistake



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