Saturday, July 15, 2017

City of Secrets--Chapter 22

City of Secrets

Chapter 22

Previously: When Penny's older brother died, she didn't just lose him. She also lost the friendship of the best friend she shared with her brother. Josh left town when Richie died, without a word of goodbye to Penny. Penny hasn't heard from him all summer.

Chapter 22
    Penny pulled the keys out of the ignition, but didn’t get out of her mother’s Subaru—anger held her rooted in place. “I’m working from home today, so I’ll fix dinner. It’ll be nice to sit down as a family again,” she said, mocking her father’s words from that morning. She didn’t know who she was more angry with: her dad for breaking yet another promise, or herself for trusting him.

    “It’s not like we’d be a family again anyway.” They’d never be a family again—not with one member missing.

    “Darn it,” she muttered, slamming her hands on the steering wheel. She wasn’t doing herself any good, and she wasn’t doing her mom any good either. She needed to hurry and get back home. They never left Vicky alone for longer than twenty or thirty minutes—not since the time she’d left the gas stove on all day.

    Penny grabbed her purse and got out of the car, the misty air hitting her in the face. She glanced up at the darkening sky, wondering if there would be another downpour. That week they’d experienced an unusual number of storms, even for Caribou Canyon. Penny thought it was fitting, considering recent events. She hurried through the parking lot and stepped into Josephina’s Diner, enjoying the rush of warm air.

    She was about to step up to the counter when a familiar laugh rang through the restaurant. The sound travelled straight to her heart and gripped it tightly, even as her pulse sped up in anticipation. He’s back, she thought. How could she have forgotten? She wasn’t ready for this. Not in the slightest. She’d known she would have to face him eventually, but she’d hoped to have time to prepare. Time to talk herself into being strong. She didn’t feel strong. She felt lonely and weak, homesick and lovesick.

    “Whoa. That is seriously nifty. Teach me,” a girl said. Her high-pitched voice was easy to hear in the nearly empty diner.

    “Really?” asked the voice that had haunted Penny’s waking and sleeping thoughts for the past three months.

    “Yes, really. And shut up about it already,” the girl said.

    “Okay. It’s easy. You just rip a small piece off the end, put it in your mouth, and blow.”

    Penny knew she shouldn’t look, knew she didn’t want to see who he was flirting with, but she couldn’t not look. Turning, Penny saw Josh Abbott—she knew it was him even though his back was to her—sitting in the farthest booth. Her heart broke at the sight of him—the best friend she’d needed desperately and the unrequited love she’d longed for. His auburn hair was slightly mussed up, and even in her anger she still wanted to run her fingers through it.

    He was home. He was home and he hadn’t called her. Despite the fact that he’d been freezing her out, she realized that she’d still expected to hear from him when he came home.

    Penny turned her gaze to the girl who sat across from Josh, pain and jealousy coursing through her. The girl was thin, and didn’t look to be older than fourteen. Her hair was light brown and cut close to her head in a style more common on boys than girls; it made her small ears look more prominent, giving her an elfish appearance. Her skin was so pale it was almost white, and Penny figured it had to be makeup, that the girl must be trying to pull off a goth or emo look. The dark circles under her eyes, which were also probably makeup, served to further prove that assumption.

    The girl put a straw in her mouth and blew the wrapper at Josh, who laughed. She let the straw fall from her mouth, a grin spreading across her face. “Holy shit that was fun.” She hopped out of the booth and skipped to the counter. The girl, who was as short as she was thin, was dressed so strangely that Penny couldn’t help but stare. The girl wore a blue knee-length pencil skirt, the kind a business woman—maybe a lawyer—might wear, except the lawyer probably wouldn’t have paired it with black and white striped tights. The lawyer also would’ve left the sparkling red Mary Jane shoes at the store, figuring that an outfit resembling that of the one worn by the Wicked Witch of the East would be frowned upon in court.

    The girl grabbed a handful of straws from the dispenser—her thumbs were hooked through self-made holes in the black hoodie she wore—and skipped back to the booth. Penny watched with growing jealousy as the girl blew another straw wrapper at Josh.

    “I thought this would get old, but nope. It’s great. I feel like I’m giving an alien a tour of Earth,” Josh said.

    “An alien?” she said, her voice full of offense. A wrapper hit her square in the nose, and she grinned. “Yeah, that is I. Alien here. Prithee, Jay, don’t take me to your leader. I suspect authority could be problematic for me.” Proving this, she put another straw in her mouth, this time shooting the wrapper into the booth across from her.

    Jay? She calls him Jay? His name is only one syllable; he doesn’t need a nickname. Jealously flared through Penny as she stared at the elfish looking girl who was utterly fascinated by blowing wrappers off of straws. You’re just jealous because you never gave him a nickname. 

    “Oh my god, did you just say prithee?” Josh said, laughing. “What kind of textbooks did your dad teach you from?”

    “Jay—” the girl began, but cut herself off. Her voice had lowered and her smile disappeared.

    “Shit, Tone, I’m sorry. I wasn’t—”

    “It’s okay.”

    Penny had been in the process of trying to will the girl to stone with her eyes when Josh’s words hit her. The girl wasn’t some random groupie who’d followed him home. Penny realized that she was staring at Antonia Torrance, daughter of the town shut-in, and the new lead guitarist of Hell’s Descendants. Penny had seen the girl’s picture on the band’s website, but hadn’t recognized her in person. Antonia—who, according to the band’s website preferred to be called Toni—had been the talk of the town back in May, when she’d gone from being Caribou Canyon’s second most reclusive resident to touring the United States with the nation’s hottest new band.

    Toni’s father was George Torrance, former mayor of Caribou Canyon. According to Penny’s parents, George was once amicable and warm, and a friend to nearly everyone. He was the most popular mayor the town had ever had. All of that changed when George’s wife died after giving birth to their daughter. George had sold his palatial house in the center of town and moved to a secluded cabin at the top of Riverdale Road, a windy dirt road that led to an old hunting area that was rarely used anymore.

    George Torrance had become a ghost, a shut-in. By association, his daughter became one too. George never enrolled her in public school, opting to teach her at home instead. George took care of all his business online and had his groceries delivered—a service not normally offered at the Stop and Shop. Penny knew that it was George’s former status that influenced the store manager to make an exception for him. Even the delivery people never saw him—they left the groceries in a cooler on the porch, where enough cash to cover the bill and a tip were waiting in an envelope.

    Curiosity temporarily replaced Penny’s jealousy. Penny had been hearing rumors about the Torrances her entire life. One rumor stated that Toni had died years ago, having been killed and cannibalized by her crazy father. Another was that Toni was a demon child who’d killed her mother shortly after entering the world, and kept her father imprisoned in their home. Whispers around town said that Toni would sometimes come out during the full moon, walking around in the woods and howling at the sky. Others insisted that Toni didn’t exist at all—that she’d died along with her mother, and that was the real reason George had shut himself away from the world.

    Toni was Richie’s replacement. As much as Penny hated that someone had stolen Richie’s rightful spot, even she couldn’t deny that Toni was a good guitarist. She was brilliant. She’d learned all of Hell’s Descendants’ songs so quickly that the band hadn’t needed to delay the tour.

    Penny couldn’t take her eyes off Toni. She realized that the girl wasn’t wearing white makeup after all. She really was that pale; Penny wondered if the dark circles under her eyes were real as well. She’d been wrong about the girl’s age. Toni was at least sixteen or seventeen—Penny thought she’d be a junior if she went to public school.

    Richie’s replacement, Penny thought, the jealousy taking over again. Why couldn’t you have just stayed in your cabin? It was a selfish, unfair thought. It wasn’t Toni’s fault that Richie had died. She couldn’t be blamed for taking the opportunity to escape her sheltered world. Penny knew she had no right to be angry with the girl, but she was. That anger—fueled by pain and jealousy—grew as she continued to watch Toni and Josh. If people didn’t know them, they’d think the two had been friends for years. Good friends. Maybe even best friends. He was talking to her like she was Richie. Josh truly had found Richie’s replacement.  

    “Hey there,” a gristly voice said. Penny turned to see Walter Morris, co-owner of Josephina’s, walking out from behind the counter and heading her way. She was grateful for the excuse to turn away from the besties in the back of the restaurant. Penny smiled at Walter, whom she’d known her whole life. Walter and his wife had owned and ran the diner since before Penny was born. Walter and Josephina were two of the nicest people Penny had ever met. She’d always found it endearing that they’d stayed in Caribou Canyon and ran the diner, despite the fact that over two decades ago they’d won twenty-seven million dollars in the biggest lottery jackpot in Colorado history. Other than visiting their home in the Hamptons once a summer, the couple never left Caribou Canyon.

    “Hi, Walter. I’m sorry—I didn’t mean to make you come all the way over here.”

    He smiled back, every crinkle and crevice in his face moving along with his lips. “S’all right, honey. Crazy, idinit?” Walter said. His white apron was stained with what looked like ketchup, and he was staring just as blatantly at Toni as Penny had.

    “What?” Penny asked, feeling guilty for having stared for so long.

     Walter glanced at her and winked before turning his gaze back to the tiny girl who was sure to be the talk of the town once word got around that she was back. “Thought she was a groupie at first, till I membered seeing ‘er picture in the paper. Can’t believe it. Poor thing, locked in that cabin.”

    “Yeah,” Penny whispered, hoping Walter would get the hint and lower his voice.

    It was too late. Toni looked up at them from across the restaurant. Her eyes travelled over Walter dismissively before coming to rest on Penny. She tilted her head and stared at Penny just as curiously as Penny had stared at her. A second later, she leaned across the table and whispered something to Josh.

    Oh no, Penny thought, heart pounding. He’s going to turn around, he’s going to see you. Dread and anticipation warred inside her. She wanted so badly to see him, but she wasn’t sure if that was because she wanted to hug him or slap him. For that reason, she considered turning and running out the door. But she couldn’t. She was frozen.

    Josh turned, lifting himself partly out of the booth and leaning over the back of it. His face was unreadable as he stared at her. Penny’s mouth was dry, and she wasn’t sure she could’ve spoken even if she knew what to say, so she waited for him. He’s going to call you over. He’s going to apologize. Don’t let him off easy. Don’t give in. Penny was still steeling herself to be firm, to let him know how much he’d hurt her, when he smiled and lifted his hand in a wave. A second later, he turned and slid back into the booth.

    Penny gaped. She hadn’t thought it possible for Josh to hurt her more than he already had, but he just did. That wave was a punch in the gut. A wave. Over a decade of friendship, and all he could muster was a wave.

    “You wanna come getch your order, honey?” Walter asked.

    Penny nodded and followed Walter to the counter. “Be right back,” he said, disappearing into the kitchen.

    Penny sat on a stool near the register, her back facing Josh. She tried to focus on The Eagles’ Hotel California that was playing over the speakers, rather than the sounds of Josh and Toni’s conversation.

    She breathed a sigh of relief when Walter came back and set a bag full of to-go boxes on the counter. “That’ll be $17.44.” Handing him a twenty, she waited for what felt like an eternity as he opened the register. Walter paused, bill hovering over the drawer, and glanced at Toni and Josh. “Didn’tch you two have a thing, or something?” Walter asked, in a voice that was loud enough for the entire town to hear.

    Penny’s cheeks burned. Was he trying to embarrass her? “Uh, no. We were just friends.”

    “That don’t mean you didn’t have a thing. What’s he doing, treating you like he don’t know you?”

    Walter’s words were fuel for the anger that was already burning inside her. She took a deep, steady breath, trying to stay calm. “It’s nothing, Walter. Can I just have my change?”

    Walter moved at a pace that would only be slower if he’d simply stopped moving entirely. “What does he think? He too good for us now?” A harsh laugh escaped the man’s mouth. “Well, he better think again.”

    Penny shrugged, not sure what that was supposed to mean. Finally, Walter presented her change. She put a dollar bill in the tip jar—despite his slow speed and humiliating comments—and pocketed the rest.

    “Bless your heart, honey. You wanna know something?”

    No, I want to get out of here. “What’s that?” Penny asked, trying her hardest to keep her voice friendly.

    “You’re one a the good ones, Penny Harper. Too good for us. Don’t be taking this the wrong way, but I hope you get out of here, honey. I really do,” he said, his smile gone and his voice low.

    The strange statement was enough to momentarily distract her from thoughts of Josh. I hope you get out of here. It reminded her of the conversation between her aunt and her father—the one she wasn’t entirely convinced was a dream. “Uh, okay. Well, it’s senior year, and I plan to go to college, so I guess I will.”

    Walter nodded slowly, and Penny was struck by the sadness in his eyes. “Yeah, that sounds good. You have a good night, honey.”

    Penny forced a smile. “You too.” She was halfway to the door when Josh’s loud laughter hit her in the gut. She froze, the anger and hurt washing over her again. The urge to simultaneously slap him and hug him was almost overwhelming.

    Penny was moving before she could think it through. She didn’t know what her plan was—to hit or to hug—but she figured she’d find out when she got there. Penny stopped when she reached their table, standing where a waitress would.

    “Oh,” Toni said, tilting her head at Penny. Penny was caught off guard by the curious expression on the girl’s white face. Toni’s eyes, a deep blue that gleamed in protest to the shadows underneath them, were wide. “Hello. I know who you are. I don’t know if I’m supposed to say something to you or not.”

    Under different circumstances, Penny might’ve had a lot to say to that statement, but she couldn’t think about Toni at the moment. She turned to Josh, and could’ve sworn she’d seen pain in his eyes before he pasted a very cordial and very un-Josh-like smile on his face. “Hey, Penny. What’s up?” he asked, in a tone one would use to speak to an acquaintance.

    “What’s up?” she repeated mockingly. She shook her head. It was like she was nothing to him. Like it didn’t even matter that they’d gone from talking everyday to having spent three months apart. “Too bad she doesn’t have a sister,” Penny said, tilting her head in Toni’s direction. “Then the replacement would be complete.” With each word, her anger increased. She might’ve been able to maintain control if it weren’t for the look of dumbfounded shock on Josh’s face, as if he had no idea why she was mad. It was that expression that pushed her over the edge. She picked up the half-empty glass of soda in front of him, tossed the liquid in his face, slammed the empty glass back on the table and walked away while Josh was still gasping in surprise.

    “Whoa,” Toni said, before bursting out laughing.

    Penny passed Walter, who was coming out from behind the counter, towel in hand. Her heart sank, heavy with guilt. “I’m sorry,” she mouthed at him.

    He winked. “Don’t be, honey. You’re better off.”

    Penny felt like the door was miles away; every step she took toward it, it moved even farther away. She was forced to listen to Walter assuring Josh that he would take care of the mess, and to Toni apologizing profusely for laughing and asking if she could help. Josh was silent. That silence told her everything. When Penny finally reached the door and stepped outside, she knew she had her answer. Josh wasn’t her friend anymore; maybe he never had been. 


Next Chapter

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Saturday, July 8, 2017

City of Secrets--Chapter 21

City of Secrets

Chapter 21

Previously: Natasha left a life behind when she moved to Caribou Canyon. She desperately misses that life, but is afraid that holding on to the past will prevent her from getting the answers she needs. When faced with a phone call from her former boyfriend, Natasha finds herself torn between the past and the present. 

Chapter 21

    Natasha sat on her bed, staring at the phone in her hand, willing herself to take the call. Maybe if she waited long enough, Nick would just hang up. She squeezed her eyes shut, pushing away the pain and guilt that thought elicited. She was being childish, not to mention mean. If she’d just returned even one of his texts, she wouldn’t be in this situation now. She took a deep breath and put the phone to her ear. “Hey.”

    “Hey? Really, Tasha?” Nick said, his irritation obvious. “You even managed to make that sound like you haven’t been ignoring me for the past few weeks.”

    The sound of Nick’s voice—angry or not—sent cracks through the already broken pieces of Natasha’s heart. She said nothing, afraid she would cry if she opened her mouth. The lump in her throat was the size of a boulder.

    “Tasha? Are you there?”

    Tasha. Tears filled her eyes and the boulder in her throat grew to the size of a mountain. Tasha was what everyone back home called her. It was the nickname her fake parents had given her. She hadn’t told anyone in Caribou Canyon it was her preferred name, because she didn’t know who Tasha was anymore. That girl’s life was a lie. “I go by Natasha now,” she said, her voice coming out harsher than she’d intended. But at least it didn’t sound like she was about to cry.

    “Oh, okay. That’s cool, I guess,” Nick said, clearly at a loss. Natasha could picture the look of surprise on his face; she’d always gotten angry when teachers called her Natasha.

    “Yeah, it seemed like a good idea to change it. Tasha was what they called me and—you know. . .” she trailed off, not wanting to burden him with her problems.

    “Yeah, that makes sense.”

    Silence fell, during which Natasha’s mind wandered to places she didn’t want it to. She pictured Nick laying on his bed with the phone to his ear. The weather would be warm there—like it was supposed to be—so he was probably wearing a t-shirt, one that showed off the muscles in his arms. It might even be wrinkled and lifted up slightly, showing his stomach and the trail of light brown hair below his belly button. . . .

    “Do you even know why I called?” he asked, his voice breaking through the image of herself laying next to him, trailing her fingers along his bare stomach.

    She shook her head and wiped the tears from her eyes, but more just formed in their place “Uh, because we haven’t talked in a while?” Ouch, why don’t you dig the knife in deeper, Natasha?  “Look, I know you’re mad, but—”

    “Yeah, I’m mad, Tash—Natasha, but not because of what you did to me. I’m mad because of Meg. She called me crying.”

    “What? She called you? Why?” she asked, momentarily distracted by an unwelcome surge of jealously that she had no right to feel. What was Meg calling Nick for? Meg had never liked Nick; according to her, he was boring and pretentious. Nick thought Meg was irresponsible and untrustworthy. It was only because of their shared connection with Natasha that they behaved civilly to one another.

    “Do you even know what day it is?”

    Yeah, it’s Thursday, she thought, but that couldn’t be what he meant. She grabbed her cell from where she’d stashed it in the nightstand. There were several texts and missed calls from both Nick and Meg. She ignored those, and looked at the date. Her heart sank to her stomach, even heavier with guilt than it had been before. Crap. Meg. She’d forgotten Meg’s birthday. The two of them had spent every birthday together since they were six. And this wasn’t just any birthday; it was Meg’s eighteenth birthday. Natasha had promised that though she couldn’t be there physically for this one, she would still do something special. And she’d completely forgotten.

    I’m a horrible person, a terrible best friend. And she thought Laurel and the other cheerleaders were self-centered. They had nothing on Natasha. She took a deep breath and forced her voice to be steady. “Of course I know what day it is. It’s not over yet. I was just about to call her.”

    Nick scoffed loud enough that the sound sent a tickling sensation through her ear. “Right. You never miss the morning birthday text. I know you, remember?”

    The only thing worse than lying to someone you cared about was having them catch you in that lie. “I just—it’s been hard here.” Her voice cracked, giving away the fact that she was on the verge of tears.

    “I know that, Tasha. Natasha. You know I’m never going to get used to that.”

    Natasha couldn’t bring herself to reply. She wasn’t used to it either. She didn’t think she would get used to anything. Her life had turned into something completely unexpected, and nothing felt real anymore.

    Nick continued, “I know things are hard for you right now.” His voice was softer, understanding, and somehow, that made her feel worse. “But it doesn’t excuse how you’re treating us. I don’t deserve to be punished, and neither does Meg.”

    Natasha immediately went on the defensive. “What? How am I punishing you? I just need time, you know that.”

    “And we’re giving it to you, but there’s a difference between needing space and completely shutting people out. You’re lying to us, breaking promises. Hell, you act like we never even existed. You don’t think that’s punishing us?”

    His words punched her in the stomach, right where her guilty heart was resting. God, he was right. She swallowed again, painfully, because the lump was now the size of the Rocky Mountains. “I’m not trying to,” she said, her voice a whisper. If he hadn’t known she was crying before, he did now.

     “Really? Because it doesn’t seem like that. Tasha—damn it—Natasha, what your par—Steven and Ellen did is messed up, but it’s not our fault. None of us did anything wrong, but you’re acting like we did.”

    “Okay! Okay, Nick, I get it. I know. I’m a horrible person. You don’t—you don’t have to rub it in.” Shit. So much for keeping her cool.

    “I never said you were a horrible person.”

    “But I feel like it,” she admitted. “Nick, I’m sorry. I just—I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore. Everything is so confusing. I don’t know how I’m supposed to think or feel, or, or anything.” It was the most honest thing she’d said to him, to anyone, in weeks.

    “I know. I get it. I—” He stopped, though it was clear that he’d been about to say something else.

    Silence fell. Natasha closed her eyes and leaned back against the headboard. It was an awkward silence. She didn’t know what to do or say. Part of her just wanted to hang up, but there was another part of her that liked feeling connected to him, even if it was painful and awkward. She remembered how easy it used to be, sitting in silence with him. They’d lay on his bed, sometimes touching, sometimes not; sometimes clothed, sometimes not, and just be. No talking. Just being together. Now that silence stretched between them, reminding her of the girl she used to be and the things she used to have.

    Nick finally broke that silence. “How’s your first week been?”

    She almost laughed. He probably thought he was making casual conversation, having no idea how loaded that question was. For a second, she imagined telling him everything. It would be so easy to confide in him. But she couldn’t. She’d kicked him out of her world; it wouldn’t be right to burden him with her problems. “I don’t know. Not bad, but weird. It’s really different here. I made the cheerleading squad.”

    “Cool. Congratulations.”

    More silence. She wanted to ask him how his week was, but stopped herself. She’d broken up with him, would it be rude to ask him how his week was, knowing it was probably bad?

    Again, it was Nick who broke the silence. “When you said you wanted to stay friends, did you mean it, or were you just trying to make dumping me easier?”

    She cringed at the words. She wished he would say break up instead of dump. The latter sounded so much worse. “I—I meant it, Nick. You have to know that,” she said, her voice cracking. She was desperate for him to believe her, to know that she truly hadn’t wanted him out of her life. She still didn’t, but she couldn’t have him in it. He represented the past, and she couldn’t live in the past.

    “Okay, but what about now? Do you still mean it?”

    Crap. He had to go and ask the hard question, didn’t he? The tears were flowing freely now, and she didn’t bother to move the phone away. She wished she could lie, but she couldn’t. Not again. “No. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. It’s not because I don’t want to be. I just can’t right now.”

    “You said that when you dumped me. It still doesn’t make any sense. If you want me—as a friend or a boyfriend—then I’m right here.”

    The pain in his voice was too much. It pulled at her insides. She felt like she was going to break apart. “It’s not that simple. It’s—”

    “Save it. Whatever you say, I won’t understand.”

    “Okay,” she said. There was nothing more she could say. She couldn’t make either of them feel better.

    “If you change your mind, you know where to find me,” he said. She didn’t think he’d intended those words to hurt, but they did, because she knew he meant them. He would be there for her in an instant, despite the fact that she’d hurt him.

    “Thanks,” she said, the word coming out a whisper.

    “Yeah. Bye, Tasha.”

    “Bye, Nick.” There was a click. It was a tiny sound, but the finality of it ripped a hole inside her. 


Thanks for reading! Comments welcome! 

Friday, July 7, 2017

My poor neglected blog

Hello, poor neglected blog. I've really missed you.

Okay, so it hasn't been totally neglected, mainly because I've been posting my YA Paranormal, City of Secrets, on it. But still, as far as my blogging about writing: it's been neglected.

So much has been happening over the past year. The main reason it's been neglected is because last summer I began working on multiple projects, which I swore I would never do. I was trying to keep up regular installments of City of Secrets while working on my Adult Post-Apocalypse vampire novel, New Year's Revolution. Now NYR is on hold while I work on Pieces, my first ever in the Adult literary fiction category (more on the progress of Pieces later). So many projects. I told myself I wouldn't work on multiple projects, but I did. The ideas just started building up and I didn't want to ignore any one of them. So the blog suffered. Big time.

Then I started throwing myself into jewelry making. I am now a seasoned jewelry maker, though I like to say craftivist. Why craftivist? My friend started an organization called Pins With Purpose. Artists volunteer time and supplies to make jewelry to sell for charity. Learn more here:
Yes, that was indeed a shameless plug.
Along with jewelry making, I've thrown myself into the advertising and marketing of PWP, so I'm on the net all the time tweeting. That is not an easy task. So the blog suffered. Big time.

I've also spent the past year dealing with chronic neuropathy and ankle pain and battling with a WC insurance company to get healthcare. The pain makes me very fatigued. I did finally have surgery number three on my ankle. It's hard to say at this point how I'm recovering, but I'm thinking positively. Guess what? That contributed to the suffering of my blog. Big time.

Those are just a few of the things that made me neglect my poor blog. But I worked hard on getting this blog going, and I don't want to lose it. So I'm back. I will be blogging about writing again, and whatever else comes to mind.

Stay tuned . . .  Exciting news (I swear) to come.

Until then, you should check out my YA Paranormal serial, City of Secrets. It's about a small town with plenty of juicy secrets and some ghosts. It's free to read here on my blog. I'd love comments and opinions. Thanks.

Also, I'd love a FB like!
Thanks! You're all awesome!