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.


Original post:

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


Cover Rating:

Book Rating:


Buy This Book:





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!

Thank you so much for stopping by!



Krissys Bookshelf Reviews









Krissys Bookshelf Reviews has a QR code for your phone!


Original post:

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.








Original post:

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




Baking Chocolate Cupcakes and Brownies: A Beginner’s Guide on Kindle

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

Kindle Nook Kobo Apple


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

Kindle Nook Kobo Apple


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

Kindle Nook Kobo Apple


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

Kindle Nook Kobo Apple


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

Kindle Nook Kobo Apple


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.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



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

Kindle Kobo Apple


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.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



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.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017




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.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017



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.

This book is Free on July 7, 2017

Kindle Nook Kobo Apple


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

Kindle Kobo Apple


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


Original post:

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.


Original post:

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.

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!



Krissys Bookshelf Reviews









Krissys Bookshelf Reviews has a QR code for your phone!


Original post:

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.








Original post: