stories in and

Life After

Life After by genalea barker

Someone once asked August Haiz if twins realize one of them is an accident. Deep down, August knows if anyone was an accident, it wasn’t Benny—it was her. Granted, August doesn’t mind dancing in the background, letting Benny be the star musician and center of attention. In fact, she prefers it that way. Abandoned by their mother as children, the twins have spent a decade dodging the unpredictable nature of their alcoholic father in an attempt to stay off his radar. With graduation in sight and their freedom on the horizon, August and Benny look forward to fleeing their hometown together and starting fresh at college. But a tragic accident turns August’s world upside down, swallowing her hopes of a brighter future. Guilt-ridden and struggling to cope with her new normal, August shuts out the people who love her most, and nearly ruins her most important friendship. If August wants a chance at adjusting to life after tragedy, she’ll have to process her pain, let go of the past, and leave the darkness behind.

Sushi and Sea Lions

Sushi and Sea Lions by Rachel Corsini

When a career-ending injury and a messy breakup send prima ballerina Daniela Verdi back to Queens, New York, she fills her days with countless distractions: meaningless sex, pinot grigio, and video games. It takes a chance meeting with her brother's best friend, Vincent LaBate, for her to remember who she was before the stage lights and distractions of the Upper West Side. She's convinced that Vincent could never love a girl like her: broken, insecure, and stumbling her way through life. What Daniela didn’t count on is that Vincent is as scarred as she is after divorcing his cheating wife and going through an equally messy child custody fight. Soon enough, old vulnerabilities rear their ugly heads, opening a crack in Daniela’s perfectly imperfect romance. As Daniela and Vincent's relationship develops, will Daniela learn to accept that a dream life isn't all it's cracked up to be?

Inked (Gilded Blood)

Inked (Gilded Blood) by Rachel Rener

When Zayn, your smoking hot boss, tells you never to touch the cache of deluxe tattoo ink locked away in his office, you listen to him… until the day you run out of your own ink, your squirming client is on the verge of peeing his pants, and your boss is nowhere to be found. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? I fully expected Zayn to yell at me when he returned to the shop. What I didn't expect was the fresh cobra tattoo on my client’s butt magically springing to life. Or the interdimensional filing cabinet hiding in the back of Zayn's office. And, oh, did I mention that my gorgeous, magic-ink-hoarding boss is actually an incubus? Now – through (mostly) no fault of my own – we have to venture into a strange and distant land where a never-ending list of lethal flora, fauna, and fae await us. When you add in my Jewish mother’s string of poorly-timed, hysterical phone calls, there is one thing I’m grateful for: There’s no cell service in the fae realm.

A Certain Kind of Sadness

A Certain Kind of Sadness by Jillean McClory

Insecurity and loneliness eat away at Rachel Wharton as old debts and obligations compel her to accept a job in another city, leaving behind family and friends. But leaving Morgan Hillier, the man she has loved since childhood, at a critical time in their fragile relationship breeds a toxic mix of self-doubt and anxiety. Now Rachel finds herself stuck in a dingy three-story walk-up. Her demons and countless falls from grace crowd her tiny apartment. Questions she has avoided for years demand her attention: how did she get here? Why did she let this happen? Her regrets challenge her to take off her blinders and see what’s in her peripheral vision, forcing her to examine her perceptions of love, family, bravery, and her ability to captain her life. Always the victim of circumstance – from her privileged upbringing, her unrequited love for Morgan, to being stalked by a man in the shadows – Rachel struggles to accept her new life. Without a net to catch her when she stumbles, she regrets her decision to take a job that anchors her to a mistake she can’t undo. It’s exhausting navigating the distance between her and Morgan, but her mother’s disapproval makes it problematic, putting further strain on their already complicated relationship. To make matters worse, with each day that passes, Rachel becomes a version of herself she hates – a poor slob in love.

Happiest in Denial

Happiest in Denial by Cassandra Cordini

Who doesn’t dream of true love? When Mia meets Wolfgang, she thinks all her dreams have come true. Blinded by her passions, she plunges into marriage, even though dark shadows seem to hover around him. Wolfgang can’t hide his true nature and in time even Mia is finally forced to confront the truth about her husband. Dignity and self-respect come at a terrible price – will Mia pay it or will she be forever Wolfgang’s plaything?

Bluffing for Beginners

Bluffing for Beginners by Merren Tait

Em never imagined she'd use "covert" and "shameless" in the same sentence. Until she had nothing left to lose. Em Stewart is no pushover. She can hot wire a car, torpedo a beer in under ten seconds, and make the most curse-hardy trooper blush with her colourful tongue. But when she's abandoned by her long-time boyfriend twenty minutes into starting their new life together on a remote island, she's in a tailspin. Somehow, she must forge their fresh start on her own in a place full of strangers and find her groove within the small island community - even with its songbird-loving eccentricities. The problem is Em isn't very good at hiding the truth. Her face syphons blood off her organs every time she meets the local ranger, and she accidentally gives up the island's greatest secret to the one person most willing to exploit it. Now Em has to perform the biggest bluff of her life to protect her new home against corporate interest, even if it means ruining a fresh shot at love before it's had much of a chance. But Em's not afraid of going down in a blaze of glory. And one thing's for sure: She's about to take the islanders on the ride of their lives. Bluffing for Beginners is the second of four stand-alone novels in the award-winning Good Life series.

Planet of the Creeps

Planet of the Creeps by D.S. Whitaker

A twisted Cinderella story set in modern day NYC about blind dating, deceit, and the struggle to find true love. Cindy has been looking for love through Smitten, an online dating app, only to encounter one creep after another. She has a happy life living in NYC with her gay roommate, Barry, but she feels he’s putting his own love life on hold for her sake. Then her baby sister gets engaged. She decides it’s time to try again to find her own true love. The CEO of Smitten, Lance, is facing declining subscribership and the Board wants his ouster. Lance truly believes women can’t find matches because they’re too picky. As a last-ditch effort, he develops a marketing scheme involving a contest for female users. A few lucky women will go on a series of blind dates for a hefty sum, in the hopes of improving Smitten’s matching algorithm. He decides to pose as a waiter at the restaurant hosting the experiment to find out the truth and validate his position. Cindy accepts the invitation to participate. Lance is a terrible waiter and the patrons treat him horribly. But Cindy becomes his beacon of happiness as the contest progresses. She treats him like a person and not a servant. He watches how she maintains a positive attitude despite several hilariously awful blind dates with the creepiest men. Soon, Lance starts to fall for her—hard. Only, she doesn’t know his true identity. Can Lance win Cindy’s love? Or will he turn out to be the worst creep of them all?

All My Restless Life To Live

All My Restless Life To Live by Dee DeTarsio

WINNER 2014 National Indie Excellence Award All My Restless Life to Live, “Charming, quirky and wildly entertaining . . .” a sparkling novel that laughs at the sadness of life. Life is a soap opera, especially for Elle Miller, who writes for one. (Ellen dropped the “n” in her name in hopes of finding a better ending for herself.) When her laptop crashes, she borrows her dead dad’s computer and gets way more than she bargained for. Elle unravels mysterious communications from his computer, as she tries to save her career at "I’d Rather Be Loved." With a storyline featuring a trip through Atlantis, she takes a trip to the Emmys, and finds herself in the middle of a romance between a real doctor and a hunk who just plays one on TV. Friends, family, and clues from “the other side” all help Elle figure out the difference between living the good life--and living a good life.

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