Monday, November 30, 2015

Tell The Truth; The Devil Won't By Colette Harrell


 Tell The Truth; The Devil Won't
By Colette Harrell

About The Book:

tell_the_truth_the_devil_wont_amazon_book_coverFrom the author of The Devil Made Me Do It

The full-figured Esther Redding doesn’t realize it, but she desperately needs a change. Her Cinderella tiara is tarnished, and her glass slippers cracked.

No longer any one’s knight in shining armor, Briggs Stokes always had a soft spot for Esther. She was in his blood, and he didn’t want a transfusion. When he returns to Detroit, he decides that nothing will keep him from her door. Well, nothing . . . but the once reformed bad girl, Monica Stokes Hawthorne, Briggs’s ex, who wants to be his—give me one more chance, again—wife. The resulting tug-of-war that ensues may be the catalyst that destroys the person they both love the most.

More than one household is upset when the prison doors swing open and a “rehabilitated” Roger, Esther’s ex, returns home. Following Roger is a sinister force so malicious that no one in their community will be left untouched.

When truth is held hostage by lies, mayhem ensues. And when it does, the lives of Esther, Briggs, Monica, and Roger are forever changed.

Don’t blink—pray—these shenanigans are too shocking to miss . . .

The second stand-alone book in the Heaven over Hell trilogy.

Genre: Christian Fiction
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Urban Christian (October 27, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1622868196
ISBN-13: 978-1622868193
Publication Date: October 27, 2015

Purchase Links:

Amazon | B&N 

About The Author:

colette_website_picture_cropped_is_on_author_pageColette R. Harrell, Christian Fiction Author

Colette Harrell, wants you to know that she’s like you, God’s chosen vessel. She has come to be a gift, to be an encourager and a light that reflects God’s goodness.

She’s a wife, mother, author and playwright. A Detroit native, she currently calls Ohio home. She holds a master’s and is a Director of Social Services. Writing with humor and compassion to engage and minister to the human heart. Her motto is: whatever you do, do it “for love alone.”

Her newest novel, Devil Get Behind Me! Will thrill this January 2016. It is filled with wisdom and humor. This adventourous love story goes where Ms. Harrell loves to tread, down an unbeaten path. No millionaires rescuing damsels in distress—although she enjoys these reads herself—but real people, falling and getting back up.

The Devil Made Me Do It was her debut novel. It was Nominated for First Fiction for the Phyllis Wheatley Book Award. It has been held as one of Black Pearl Magazine’s, top ten Christian fiction books for 2014. And, Read Between The Lines radio show, named it as one of its overall top ten books for 2014.

Her sophomore novel, Tell The Truth, The Devil Won’t will cement her as an author to watch.

Connect Socially






Chapter One

It was dead cold. The air crackled with the sound of ice-covered tree branches crashing onto cement sidewalks; it was an unnatural arctic day, even for Harlem. There were motorists stranded on every major highway as an epic ice storm settled over the length of New York City. And while the air over those highways was filled with road rage, explicit language, and hunger pains, the contrasting hush of the opulent brownstones on 132nd Street was shattered by an eerie scream that filled the bitter air.

Monica Hawthorne, the ex-Mrs. Briggs Stokes, stood shaking uncontrollably. Her beloved, risked-everything she-had-to-have-him husband of one month, Randall, lay in a pool of blood on their imported Brazilian cherry kitchen floor. If Randall could, he would have stood up and told her for the tenth time that ten thousand dollars for a floor was too much, and just because she could buy it didn’t mean she had to. But Randall couldn’t utter a word. She watched horrified as his blood seeped into the natural grooves of the wood, giving credence to the fact that maybe the cost was too much.

Monica blinked, but he wasn’t getting up or giving her advice about her newly acquired wealth, because standing over him was his newly divorced wife, the ex-Mrs. Meredith Hawthorne. This She-Spawn-from-the-Pits, with her six hundred-dollar hairdo mussed, her designer clothes askew, and her chest heaving in spastic breaths, clutched the knife that once protruded from Randall’s chest. Words of explanation weren’t necessary; the vivid picture painted its own morbid story.

Monica was spellbound. She was in her own home. The ordeal of leaving one husband to claim another’s was behind her. The guilt had been laid aside. The shame stamped down, at least temporarily. It was Randall and her against the world. But it had all just changed drastically.

Snapping to, Monica shrieked, “Oh sweet Jesus! What have you done? You crazy—!”

Her cries were halted by the demented gleam in the ex-Mrs. Hawthorne’s eyes. The maniac’s focus switched from Randall to her, then back to Randall. Mrs. Hawthorne had gone mad, crazy, bonkers, craycray.

Monica’s head hurt at the thought that she was still addressing this woman by what was rightfully her new name. It bore psychological study that she could only think of the witch as Mrs. Hawthorne. For over three years the woman had railed it at her, negating Monica’s right to ever wear the title. She’d stood in haughty arrogance and promised in divorce court that she would never relinquish it. At the time, Monica didn’t care; she felt Mrs. Hawthorne could keep the last name, as long as she had the man. Now she felt she had been short-sighted. If in the middle of a bloody rampage, she thought of her that way, then who was she?

The murderous interloper looked on in glee as blood bubbled out of Randall’s mouth. Monica observed her spiteful approval as Randall’s hand feebly stretched over his wound, but failed in mustering the strength to staunch the flow of his river of life. His eyelids fluttered—pausing, fighting to focus as he scanned beyond Mrs. Hawthorne’s face. His eyes settled on Monica’s outstretched hands.

“Randall,” Monica whispered. She swayed in agony.

Time was grinding to a stop, like an old-fashioned watch discarded in a moth-eaten hope chest, it would soon end, and Randall would be done. She needed a way to get close to him, but Mrs. Hawthorne stood as she had for the last three years, directly in her path.

Always . . . in my way.

Rage bubbled into a go-for-broke moment. Monica launched forward and charged Mrs. Hawthorne with a Joan of Arc warrior’s roar. The sound of the impact and responding grunt was dulled by the body that crumpled to the floor. Monica gambled . . . and lost. Her body fell inches from Randall’s.

Her hands bloodied, Mrs. Hawthorne rocked in despair. She had meant to take her time with the slut, but her offensive attack had taken her by surprise.

Then . . . Monica moved. What she was witnessing had

Mrs. Hawthorne’s keening wail ricochet throughout the spacious brownstone. She glowered in anguish, howling as Monica’s fingers inched toward Randall’s, and they entwined even in their near-death status.

She watched in ghoulish repulsion as the almost loving tableau played out before her. Her eyebrows arched as she made out Monica’s pleading words, “Jesus, help us.”

A rattle of air descended from Randall . . . and then stillness.

In slow motion, Mrs. Hawthorne turned in robotic movements away from the scene. Her steps faltered when she heard Monica’s fading voice, “Father, why hast thou forsaken me?”

The prophetic words washed over her as she stood in cold resolution. Shaking it off, she strutted away from the two people who had humiliated her in public and had caused her heart to bleed dry for three unbearable years.

Randall had won his freedom, imprisoning her in her own madness in the process.

She had sworn to Randall’s dying mother, there would be no divorce. Tears gathered at the end of her hawkish nose, dribbling onto her twice-a-week, spa-waxed upper lip, then streamed down her cosmetic-tightened neck.

She was Mrs. Meredith Hawthorne, of the Hawthornes, and failure was foreign to her. In agony, she backtracked, and stumbled, tumbling over the bodies. Blindly, Meredith wiped her eyes, reared back, and spit in Monica’s face. Still feeling empty and unfulfilled, she stared, craving the ability to wake Monica and kill her again.

Rising, she noted Randall’s discarded, prized Civil War-era, matching pearl- and jewel-handled knives. She blew a kiss at him, and left the knives there. It was only fitting Randall have ownership of what he demanded in the divorce decree. What better way to deliver his bounty, then to use it as the method of obliteration for both he and his tramp?

Mrs. Hawthorne reached into her purse and pulled out her derringer. Acting as a lover whose desire is close to fulfillment, she caressed it. Her insides churning, she panted, taking one last glance at the co-conspirators to her destruction. She could answer Monica’s final question. God had forsaken Monica because she was a Delilah home wrecker. What Mrs. Hawthorne wanted to know, was why He had forsaken her.

She lay the letters for her children—who never called—on the solid mahogany credenza, then her purse. All she’d had was the facade of a happy life. She’d paid for it in an avalanche of tears as she played dumb blonde to Randall’s neglect and numerous indiscretions over the years, anything to keep him home. And how had he repaid her? By falling for a nasty, ashy-prone, ghetto rat. The slut’s resulting pregnancy, and his request for a divorce, “so he could be happy” was the Joker’s wild card. How many wrongs was she expected to endure?

She looked around and hiccupped laughter—a great-granddaughter of the confederacy ending up in a brownstone in Harlem? Well, rise up every long-buried plantation owner and move over. I’m coming in, and from this gaudy, overpriced slum.

In the middle of her cynical chuckle, she bit her lip. She was stalling and knew it. The gun shook in her hands as she placed the barrel to her temple; lips pressed together, she focused on the brightness of the moon, brilliant against the frigid dark sky. The trigger was pulled, and the gun clattered to the ground. Once again blood seeped into the Brazilian cherry hardwood floor.

It should now have been quiet in the apartment. Instead, after the booming sound of the gunshot, you could hear through the intercom three things: the startled cries of a newborn, a phone ringing, and a feeble whimper.

The air was clear and sweet with the aroma of citrus floral and the essence of myrrh. Large winged inhabitants fluttered about on missions of supreme purpose. Above, two hovered in midflight, one apparently holding the other from takeoff.

“Why do you hold me, Zadkiel? I must go. Did you not hear Monica scream? I am hers, and she is mine. Monica thinks that God has forsaken her. I am here,” he bemoaned. What the guardian saw split him in two. He could not linger.

Zadkiel pulled the guardian angel back, his wings clutched, and held him firm through the struggle. “Stand down. She cries out in fear, not faith. We are not charged to react to tears, but we are rewarders of faith. What is occurring is heartbreaking, but you have not been given leave to interfere.”

The guardian wanted to push at Zadkiel’s wings, but that would have been disrespectful. “Oh, why do the humans act this way? Must they torment and cause such pain to each other? They have left a child and though Monica has not been innocent for many years, her screams of pain bring too many hurtful emotions to the forefront. How can you float above it all?”

“I am not above anything, but we must be obedient to our Lord of Hosts. He has not given us permission to intervene; a greater good must be coming.” Zadkiel then telepathically shared with him how he kept the sounds of Randall’s and Monica’s pain in the background of his thoughts. “I am empathetic to your feelings. I have learned that our God knows all and His will is the only way. He did not create this mess, but He will make a way out for the innocent babe. Go sing a song of praise. It will ease your soul.”

Large expansive wings flapped in decisive strokes as a voice of power and beauty soared over majestic heads. As other voices joined in song, the angelic choir trumpeted the holiness and sovereignty of God. Contrary to the chaos, He continued to reign.

In another realm, the gates of hell rattled in anticipation of the eventual capture and consumption of the new souls. It was a two-course meal: adulterer and murderer, their favorites.


By Dani-Lyn Alexander

Dani-Lyn Alexander’s irresistible new yuletide romance and second holiday-centered novella from Pocket Star EBooks THE NEW YEAR’S WISH, a lighthearted office romp that will make you long for the company holiday party.
Olivia Calloway isn’t cut out for the nine-to-five life. She’s a born entrepreneur. She just has to figure out her soul’s true calling—and she’s given herself until the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve to do it. With her trust fund dwindling and only two and a half months to go, she takes an assistant position at prestigious law firm Harris & Harris. The problem is, Olivia’s a terrible employee—incessantly late, forgetful, and clumsy. Not that her gorgeous new boss Garrett Emerson seems to mind. Beautiful, charming Olivia has been on his mind ever since she ran into him, literally, sprinting to the interview. But Olivia’s first big assignment—to plan an elaborate last minute New Year’s Eve party for the entire company—could make or break her job entirely. With Ms. Harris herself demanding perfection, a jealous office rival rooting for Olivia to lose, and even Garrett dreading the affair, can Olivia finally prove herself—or will an unforeseen complication send her back to the drawing board? All she wants for the holidays is to be her own boss—and to ignite the flirtatious sparks between her and Garrett…so she can file their relationship under love.
Dani-Lyn Alexander is a native New Yorker. She was born in Rome, New York, then moved to Rosedale, and finally to Long Island. She still lives on eastern Long Island with her husband and three children, ages twenty two, fifteen and three.
Buy links for The New Year’s Wish:

KINDLE (ebook)
NOOK (ebook)


By Mariah Stewart

Cozy up and settle down with a dreamy read by New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart, the timeless, charming holiday novella IF ONLY IN MY DREAMS, originally featured in the popular yuletide anthology Upon a Midnight Clear, now available as a standalone at a great price!

A lively family reunion on a Montana ranch brings on a flurry of memories for a beautiful young writer—and a winter storm that rekindles an old flame—in this “warmly magical” (Library Journal) feel-good holiday gem!

About the Author:

Mariah Stewart is the award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous novels and several novellas and short stories.  A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and two rambunctious rescue dogs amid the rolling hills of Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she savors country life and tends her gardens.  Visit her website at, and like her on Facebook at

Buy Links:

KINDLE (ebook)
NOOK (ebook)

Because Naughty Holidays can be oh so Nice by Nicole Edwards

That's right! Today is the last day to grab Because Naughty Holidays can be oh so Nice - 2015

by Nicole Edwards at the sale price of $2.99! Don't miss out!!!

Book: Because Naughty Holidays Can be oh so Nice. (3 novella collection)

Official Release date: December 1st, 2015

Author: Nicole Edwards

Genre: Which ever can handle her books! 

Contains: Three stories from Nicole Edwards series and couples as voted by the readers!

Warning: Contains M/M/F, M/M, M/F/M... Did you really expect it to not be Menage?

Because Naughty Holidays can be oh so Nice - 2015
By Nicole Edwards

The readers voted and the winners for the 2015 holiday book are: Alluring Indulgence: Travis, Kylie, Gage; Sniper 1 Security: RT and Z; Club Destiny: Luke, Sierra, Cole. Come and see how they are heating up the holidays this year!

The Walker brothers are at it again...
Travis Walker won’t deny he has a competitive spirit, and this year, when his brothers decide to go all out with the holiday decorations, Travis is intent on winning this free-for-all.

What’s the best gift you can get for the man you love?
Ryan Trexler is hell-bent on getting his husband the best Christmas gift. One that will make Z think about him all year. Only he doesn’t have the slightest clue what to get him.

Spend New Year’s at the hottest fetish club in town
Luke McCoy has been known to throw a good party, but this year, he wants the New Year’s celebration at Devotion to be the best yet.

Or on Nicole's Website: Pre-Order Here

That's right! The time has come for the Nicole & Colt Edwards                      3rd annual Count Down to Christmas!
What the heck is this? Only the most awesome 31 days of giveaways of the year! 

Get the scoop here 

and follow these important pages to stay informed of the daily giveaways:

Don' forget to enter the Nicole & Colt Edwards Countdown to Christmas Grand Prize: 

  New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nicole Edwards lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, their three kids, and four rambunctious dogs. When she’s not writing about sexy alpha males, Nicole can often be found with her Kindle in hand or making an attempt to keep the dogs happy. You can find her hanging out on Facebook and interacting with her readers - even when she’s supposed to be writing.

Nicole also writes contemporary/new adult romance as Timberlyn Scott.

Nicole would love to hear from you!

#giveaway Finding Freedom by Lynn Burke Found by Fate 2

Roane Publishing is giving away THREE ecopies of  Finding Freedom!

Finding Freedom
Found by Fate 2


Will two men be Tessa’s ticket to freedom – or her one way trip to eternal damnation?

Tessa’s life beneath the strict rules of her parents’ cultish church leaves her longing for independence. Her boring, small-town checkout lane job barely covers the bills, let alone fulfill her wants and desires.

Until the weekly visits of god-like Trent and Brody have her dreaming of a Tessa sandwich with both sensual men as her bread.

Fantasies may be a pastime of the wicked, but when Trent asks her on a date—with both him and Brody—Tessa decides to take a chance, knowing the purity of her soul is at stake. Will these two men be her ticket to freedom – or her one way trip to eternal damnation?

Genre:Contemporary Erotic Romance
Release Date: February 2016
PublisherRoane Publishing


​Roane Publishing is giving away THREE ARC copies to three lucky winners!

You don’t even have to be a blogger.

If you are willing to leave an honest review before December 19th, you are eligible to enter.

How? Simply fill out the form!

You have until Midnight of December 5th when three winners will be chosen by random drawing.


122840_book blast
 By E. Douglass Brown, Ph.D’s

Self Knowledge
According to E. Douglass Brown, modern science has silenced all doubt among open-minded informed people that life emanates from an intelligent designer. The all-encompassing, distinct characteristic of the human being is an inborn link to the spirit of God. To cultivate that link, the Creator provides human beings with a divine paradigm for self-development.
In Self-Knowledge and Spiritual Yearning: The Role of Spirituality in Psychological Health, Dr. Brown offers revitalizing prescriptions from the Quran for cultivating a healthy personality and for healing the person who has suffered psychospiritual injury and rupture from his or her true self. Dr. Brown also describes seven stages of psychospiritual self-development identified centuries ago by Islamic scholars and mystics, and provides examples of behavior in each stage.
Through the use of universal metaphors, Dr. Brown explains how a person advances to higher levels of self-awareness, finally culminating in unfettered God-consciousness. He also includes instructions from the Quran about how to overcome life situations that impede your progress in achieving a greater plane of consciousness. Learn to focus on spiritual healing and start integrating it into your daily life!
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Psychology
Format: Ebook/Hardcover/Paperback
Self-Knowledge and Spiritual Yearning book links:

 Meet the Author:
 E. Douglass Brown holds a BS in Psychology and Philosophy from St. Louis University, an MA in Social Psychology from the University of Iowa, and a PhD in Psychology from St. Louis University. A former Associate Professor of Psychology and licensed Clinical Psychologist for twenty-nine years, Dr. Brown has worked with patient populations in varied settings. 

Tour Schedule: 
November 30
December 1
December 2
December 3
December 4
December 7
December 8
December 9
December 10
December 11

#GiveAway #Interview THAT NIGHT By Lisa McManus

By Lisa McManus

Giveaway: $10 Evernight Teen GC and 1 ebook copy of THAT NIGHT. Please use the RaffleCopter below to  enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the tour stops. You may find those locations here


Crystal: Today I have the pleasure of hosting Lisa McManus. Welcome Lisa! I'm so happy to have you here today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?

Lisa: When I’m not being a wife, a mother to two teen boys, an office worker, and a person longing for a nap, I write slice-of-life stories as well as fiction for kids and teens. A creative person at heart, books and knitting needles always at the ready, I am also involved in archery.  Like I said, I long for a nap….

Crystal: What are you currently working on?

Lisa: I’m working on a contemporary fantasy full-length novel about a boy and his genie.  I love the characters, love the story, yet struggle with finding long stretches of time to work on it. Word by word, I’ll get it done.  I wish….

Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for either your current release or the WIP you are working on now?

 Lisa: Ideas are everywhere, but nowhere at the same time – the idea morphed and grew as wrote, yet I can’t pin down how it came to be. I knew I wanted to do a story about what a loved one of someone who attempts suicide goes through, and the story grew from there. Teen life is turbulent and confusing; gossip and alcohol consumption often making certain situations worse. I hope that Luke’s story and what he learned in the aftermath of his girlfriend’s suicide attempt helps someone through a similar situation.

Crystal: Do you have a favorite snack that like to munch on while writing? If so would you mind sharing what it is with us? 

Lisa: Mike ‘n Ike candies. I love them. I could easily substitute them for meals without question. No particular flavor or color is my fave – I love them all.

Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?

Lisa: I would have to say my favorite scene is Jessica confronting Luke in the library. Although that scene is not one of resolution of the conflict between the two characters, I hope I created a dramatic enough scene depicting Luke’s love and care for Jessica, despite the angst and drama unfolding between  them.

Crystal: When you are not busy writing wonderful stories to keep us lucky readers entertained, what do you like to do? Do you have a hobby?

Lisa: When I’m not writing, I knit and usually have a book at my side. My to-be-read pile is a big as my yarn stash, if not bigger (I hide books around the house – it’s embarrassing now many I have).  I have also in the last year taken up archery – something completely different for me. I love the meditative, focus-orientated nature of the sport, where for an hour or so I have to clear my mind and focus ONLY on getting the arrow in the middle of the target: easier said than done. I also write slice-of-life stories, and my story about archery, “Taking Aim at Excuses,” is in the book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Possible.

Crystal: Do you have a favorite background noise you like to have going while you write (TV, Music, kids playing)?

 Lisa: No noise is best, but I have often found that, despite my wishes, when there IS noise around I usually concentrate more – I strain to block out everything around me when there are other things going on (I write at the kitchen table), so in turn that only deepens my concentration. If there was something like a radio on, I’d end up singing to the songs (no autographs please – I can’t sing).

Crystal: Thank you for visiting today. It has been a pleasure to visit with you. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Lisa: Thank YOU so much for having me, and a special thanks to your readers for stopping by and reading about what I do. I hope your readers enjoyed this interview, and I look forward to connecting with them at my blog  Happy reading everyone!


It can take a whole day to figure out what happened…that night.

 On what was to be just another Monday morning at school, Luke’s girlfriend Jessica is nowhere to be found.  Names like ‘psycho lover’ follow Luke to his
locker, even from his best friend. Luke soon learns Jessica tried to kill herself at a party from the previous Saturday night, and she’s blaming him. With posts on FaceBook feeding the rumors of what happened that night, the school has to investigate. 

 Torn between worry, guilt, loyalty, priorities, and an urgency to clear his name and protect hers, he has to find her—he loves her no matter what. The teacher in
the middle of the investigation is also the same one to provide academic and character references for Luke’s college applications due by the end of the week. Luke knows he’s not to blame, but with no contact from Jessica and everyone blaming him for what happened, he’s at risk of losing everything—Jessica and his dreams of being a mechanic—all because of what happened that night.

Publishing 31,000 words


Buy Links:  


 “Hey, man.” I nodded to Jeremy Waters as I started the long trek up the front lawn of
the school. He nodded back but gave me a questioning stare as I walked past.
Again, weird. What is with everyone today? I wondered.
I scanned the busy school grounds. Where was Jessica? I knew our
break-up was inevitable, but I dreaded it. I still cared about her very much,
but things were changing: me, her, and ‘us’––and I didn’t know what to do about
it. Neither did she.
At first I didn’t notice anything off, but as I passed group after group of unusually
silent guys and girls from all grades, I got that weird feeling, like I was being watched, like the whole school was focused on me or something.
Some of the guys pulled their buds out of their ears as I approached, their banter from
moments before silencing as I passed. One guy shook his head as if in disgust.
Another guy awkwardly picked at something on the ground with the toe of his
shoe, as if he were avoiding something.
I kept going, trying to walk as normally as I could. Hard to do when you know you’re being watched.
Where was Jess? I checked my phone to see if there was anything from her: nothing.
I shifted my backpack and made my way up the path to the front steps of the school. With every footstep, uncertainty and foreboding gnawed at my gut.
A group of girls from Jessica’s drama club huddled on the front steps like a bunch of
hens. They all gave me the once-over. One of them was crying and another gave
me the finger.
That stopped me in my tracks. “What the hell?” I stared them down. “What was that for?”
“Screw you, Luke!” The one with the ornery finger spat. “Stay away from Jessica!”
What the...? Whatever.
Bunch of gossips––they seriously need to get a life.
Jessica and I had been drifting apart for a while. Where she was involved in her drama
club, her social life, I preferred being under the hood of a car, alone. But it wasn’t that I chose cars over her or anything. I cared about her very, very much. At one time I even contemplated the L-word thing with her. But lately, something had changed, and I couldn’t figure out what. I mean, I knew I wanted to be with her but it was like we were drifting towards each other, then away, then back towards each other again. Only to then again drift further away.
But I would never do anything to her, to earn me the middle finger from her friends. So why were they acting like that? What the...? I shook my head and kept going. I hadn’t done anything to provoke their reaction, so they could just go back to their pointless chatter about hair or whatever.
With fifteen minutes to go until the first bell, I wanted to catch up with Jess before
classes started. She lived way on the other side of town, and as much I would have loved to pick her up every morning, her mom insisted on driving her. Her mom liked me, so it wasn’t anything against me personally, but Jessica said it was a ‘mom and daughter thing.’ And besides, we always met first thing at school and I would, at least, get to drive her home.
But that day, even though I wasn’t exactly about to have ‘the talk’ with her right
before class, I wanted to at least see her that morning to start the day––it was our ‘thing.’ A pang of regret fluttered in my gut. If we broke up, would we still meet in the mornings? She had become part of my day and I still wanted that.
I made my way through the doors of the school. The halls were already swarming with East Clark High’s student body. I searched for Jessica as I pushed and wove my way
through the crowd. But I soon realized I wasn’t pushing past anyone, anymore.
The constant buzz in the halls had all but died down, and people were stepping
aside giving me a wide berth as I went.
What the hell was wrong with everyone? I frowned at everyone practically plastered up against the lockers, avoiding me like I was contagious or something. Did I smell like dog sh––
“Psycho!” A familiar voice hissed in my ear, cutting off my thoughts. Great––Mark.
I stuttered to a stop but tried to keep going. I, along with everyone else, was used to his stupid ways, but I had to find Jessica. I didn’t want to waste time getting into it with him right then.
But he came at me again with, “Psycho-lover!” and that definitely had me coming to a full stop. I swear I felt spit on my cheek.
I refused to swipe it away, giving him the satisfaction of … I didn’t know what. Something.
I glanced up to find his buddies chuckling while Mark, the idiot himself, contorted his face into what he assumed was the look of a crazy person.
He didn’t have to try very hard. It came naturally.
And I hoped his eyes stayed crossed like that.
I stared him down, and just when I turned away he was up against me, his face so close to mine his eyes looked crossed. “Jessica almost knocked herself off the other night. Whadidja do? Screw her over?” he hissed.
I stared at him in confusion. My face numbed. My neck heated. What was he talking about? What did he mean, ‘knock herself off’?

About the Author:

Lisa McManus has been an avid reader since her teen years, and is inspired daily by her teenage boys and the forests and beaches of
Vancouver Island, British Columbia where she lives. Along with writing for kids and teens, she is also multi-published with Chicken Soup for the Soul and numerous other magazines and anthologies.
When she’s not writing, reading or refereeing her family, she is either
hiking or out on the archery range.

Twitter: @LisaMcManusLang

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