The Geek and the Goddess
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
People always say they wish they could predict the future. But not me. I already know my future. I’m going to lose my sight. I don’t know exactly when, but it’s going to happen. And it’s the reason I’ll never fall in love.
At least that’s what I thought. Until one day a guy walks into my chem class and changes all that.
I thought for sure he’d avoid me after he saw how people at school treat me. The teasing. The nicknames. Just being seen with me is enough to ruin his reputation, yet this guy still wanted to date me. And he wouldn’t take no for an answer.
That’s how it began. How it ended is not at all what I expected. Ours is an unlikely love story.
A guy appears at the door. He looks back at it, like he’s double-checking the room number, then says something to a girl up front. She nods and he closes the door.
Everyone looks up and stares at him. He’s tall and thin, wearing jeans and a button-up white shirt with a blue blazer over it. And he has on a tie that’s blue and green plaid.
Who dresses like that for class? A blazer and a tie? Maybe he transferred here from a prep school.
“Greetings, earthlings,” he says in a deep voice. He smiles and a few people chuckle.
“Wesley,” Mr. Henderson says. “Welcome.”
“Thank you,” he says in a cheery tone, not seeming to care that people are staring at him.
“We have a seat for you back here,” Henderson says.
He sees me and smiles. “Guess it’s my lucky day.”
Lucky day? What is he talking about?
Everyone watches as he makes his way to the back. As he approaches my table, I notice he’s carrying a briefcase. Like one of those hard covered briefcases men used to carry to work. He sets it down and opens the metal hinges. The briefcase pops open and inside is his laptop, a notebook, and some pens. He takes out the laptop, then closes the briefcase.
“Everyone, this is Wesley Deckle,” Mr. Henderson says. “He moved here last summer from Sacramento, California. Please welcome him to Wisconsin by introducing yourselves after class.” He walks over to his desk. “I want phones put away and books out. We’ll begin shortly.”
Wesley holds out his hand to me and smiles. “Hi. I’m Wesley. And you are?”
“Luna,” I say as I get a better look at his face. He’s kind of cute. His eyes are a swirly mix of blue that reminds me of those pictures of Earth taken from space. He has dark brown hair that’s a little long with curly waves that make it look messy but in a good way. And he has good skin. Not a single zit, which is rare for people our age.
“Luna,” he repeats, and I wait for him to follow that with whatever rude comment he’s going to make about my unusual name. But instead he says, “That’s the coolest name ever.”
I stare at him, skeptical of his words. It’s quite possible he’s being sarcastic. He looks like someone who uses sarcasm.
“Are you being serious?” I ask.
“Luna. Roman goddess of the moon,” he says, smiling. “You were named after a goddess. That’s cool, don’t you think?”
“Not really.” I look away from him. “I’ve never liked my name.”
“Why don’t you like it?”
“Let’s start by reviewing the syllabus,” Mr. Henderson says.
I open my laptop, not answering Wesley’s question. Because answering it means telling him the history of my name and how it’s been used to tease me, ridicule me, make me an outcast. There’s no need to explain all that. He’ll find that out soon enough.
Allie Everhart writes romance and romantic suspense and is the author of the popular Jade Series, Kensington Series, Wheeler Brothers, and several standalone titles. She’s also a freelance health writer and has worked on several New York Times bestselling books. Allie’s always been a romantic, as evidenced by her early years as a wedding singer, her obsession with dating shows, and the fact that she still watches reruns of The Love Boat. When she’s not writing, she’s outside running, which is when she gets her best book ideas.
See You Soon, Afton
(The Afton Morrison Series #2)
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Genres: Adult, Thriller
Somebody is watching. Somebody isalways watching.
A teenage girl in Wakefield has been abducted, and tracking her down not only tests Afton’s moral limits, but threatens her freedom and her life.
Suspected of murder by local police, and under the watch of a menacing figure in the shadows, Afton’s search and rescue effort unravels dark secrets from her own past. Familial secrets her mother took to the grave, more than a decade ago.
See You Soon, Afton is the second of four parts in a new serial thriller by author Brent Jones. Packed with grit and action,The Afton Morrison Series delves into a world of moral ambiguity, delivering audiences an unlikely heroine in the form of a disturbed vigilante murderess.
Sleep was elusive, if not impossible, in an apartment upended and torn to shreds. My refuge no longer, but a foreign wasteland of fucking chaos. Rest had to wait, in favor of order and cleanliness. Sweeping up what remained of broken dishes. Returning books to shelves. Disposing of sopping electronics, ruined in the tub. Straightening furniture tossed askew. Returning area rugs, bedding, and garments, to their rightful homes. Dusting, mopping, scrubbing, until my hands were sore, my back ached, and my fingers turned red and raw. Whispering countless cries of apology to Twinkie, who, no doubt, had felt violated by the upset to his extended environment, beyond the four glass walls he called home.
And then, just as the night was shattered by the first traces of dawn, I crawled into bed, praying to a God I didn’t believe in for meaningful slumber. And yet I tossed and turned, my mind addled with an inescapable truth, that I was at the mercy of a man I couldn’t pick from a lineup, with a name I couldn’t verify. And that, having been foiled in my attempt to locate him, I’d been responsible for another night Kim would spend away from home. She was sick, I imagined. Hungry, cold, and uncomfortable. Filthy, bruised, and terrified that each moment might be her last. And that was the least of her tribulations, knowing the proclivities of her captor. All-out brutalization was probable by this point, leaving her bleeding and violated. Dead, even.
I took a certain undeniable pleasure in death and gore, but not when it came to Kim. She didn’t deserve it. I craved violence, so long as I could detach myself from the recipient. When it happened to them, or they, or someone else. People who, when alive, had caused others to suffer, or whom, at the very least, I hadn’t come to hold in a high regard. I considered that internal conflict with disdain, that degree of hypocrisy, while staring up at the ceiling.
The key to my survival, I had always known, was to choose targets with care, and to take every available precaution to avoid detection. To be meticulous. If I were to approach a murder without cold calculation, I’d be as vulnerable as those we see on the evening news, prone to the errors associated with erratic human behavior, most often motivated by passion or opportunity.
The problem with crimes of passion and opportunity is that they’re predictable and boring. Yes, boring. A trait that, until his menacing phone call, I’d never associated with myself. And behaving in a fashion both predictable and boring results in mistakes being made. Perhaps that’s just what Ray wanted. Not to harm me in a direct sense, but much like Animus, to bait me into recklessness. To overwhelm my better judgment with temptation and impulsiveness.
Close to ninety years ago, there’d been a convict by the name of Kürten, who was about to be beheaded by guillotine. Legend has it, right before meeting his demise, he’d asked an important question. He wondered if, even for a second, he might be able to hear the sound of blood spurting from his own neck once his head was removed. He claimed that it would be the pleasure to end all pleasures.
It was a sentiment I could appreciate at that moment. Self-preservation was a powerful force, but nowhere near as commanding as the thirst for blood and violence. Two impulses, forever in competition, at least for those of us with the desire to kill. And, feeling helpless in my futile pursuit of both Kim and Ray, that competition had me hurtling downward toward despair and madness. I was sweating through the sheets, twitching for no obvious reason, tweaking like a junkie desperate for her next fix. I was alternating between fevers and chills, scratching at my scalp until it burned, ripping the sheets off the bed, wishing that it had been me who’d twisted those shards of glass into Kenneth’s throat.
I was, after all, a self-proclaimed vigilante murderess, even if without deeds to match her intent. I suppose, if I were to be sentenced to death one day for the heinous slaughter of Kenneth Pritchard, I’d be wishing for the very same thing as Kürten in my last moments. The pleasure of being able to see it all come to an end.
It was with that image—me, with my head secured in a guillotine, taking my last breath—that my mind faded to restless sleep …
From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his career to pursue creative writing full-time.
Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex.
Publication date: January 12th 2018
Genres: Adult, Horror, Psychological Thriller
The debut psychological-horror novel from author Marty Thornley is a page-turning ride, a front row seat to a clinical trial gone horribly wrong.
For Greg Owens, this was supposed to be a chance to end years of back pain and escape his reliance on pain pills. If it all worked out, he could maybe even get back the life he left behind as the pills took control.
Instead, as the patients are cured of their physical pain, they encounter a different sort of pain building inside them – obsessive thoughts, depression, self-destruction. The side-effects grow worse, and the suspense ratchets tighter. The patients want answers and violent revenge, setting them on a collision course with a crazed doctor, determined to protect his life’s obsession.
What readers are saying…
“…most definitely a recommended read, though it’s probably not the best choice for those with a weak stomach.”
“Gruesome and twisted. Awesome!!!”
“OMG this book. Holy heck the gruesome descriptions of blood and gore and guts was SO RAD. I found myself cringing and fidgeting and yes, even feeling a bit nauseous in some spots – but totally in a GOOD WAY! Painless was exactly what I wanted in a super-unique, creepy, shocking horror-thriller.”
Marty started writing short stories as a teenager, inspired as much by favorite books and movies as the environment and characters that define the South Shore of Massachusetts. The pull of the movies dragged him first to film school and finally to Los Angeles, where he poked at the outskirts of the industry with screenplays and short films.
As his interest in a film career fizzled, he rebuilt himself bit-by-bit as a programmer. He spent the next decade building websites, finally realizing that something had been lost. His stories were collecting dust in the back of his brain while he sat through conference calls and code reviews.
So he returned to the woods of New England and the calming darkness under the trees. He returned to find the things that crawl in the undergrowth and turn them into words on the page. He dusted off one of his screenplays and turned it into his first novel. In the process, a dormant storyteller was awakened and is now seeking the next blank page to fill.