Archive for the ‘YA’ Category

Flesh

by Laura Bickle

Genre: YA Horror

Date of Publication: September 19, 2017

ISBN: 9781537857992 / ASIN: B074XBJ697

Number of pages: 307 / Word Count: 76,573

Cover Artist: Danielle Fine

My Review

Charlie isn’t afraid of the dead. It’s her tenth grade classmates that can send her screaming. Halloween is rolling around again and she isn’t expecting much excitement. Especially after the fiasco from last year. Her parents didn’t appreciate her throwing a party at their funeral home.

This year Charlie is keeping a low profile. She’s not looking for trouble but trouble finds her when a deceased classmate, Amanda, who’s body should be resting in a morgue drawer, gets up and starts munching on corpses. That’s just the beginning of many bizarre events that start happening. Faster than you can say Ghoul Girl, she’s scrambling to hide Amanda and find out why the dead aren’t staying dead.

This book is tagged as YA Horror and there were some gruesome scenes. Like the one where Amanda starts chowing down on live worms like they’re gummies. And when she chews on a corpses arm like it’s a drum stick. Those scenes made me squirm. But Laura also made them funny. The family dog, Lothar, loves Amanda because she shares her kibble. Yep he’s a man eater, kind of.  He even liked the worms.

Flesh doesn’t have tons of action, but there’s enough to keep the story moving fast. The character’s act genuine. And there’s a legend about Bob the Catfish that adds an interesting twist.

I was torn over how to rate this book. Keeping in mind this was aimed at the younger audience, I went with 4 stars. It didn’t wow me but I had fun and I think it hit the mark for the young adult readers.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

The dead are easy to talk to. Live people, not so much.

Charlie Sulliven thinks she knows all the secrets of the dead. Raised in a funeral home, she’s the reluctant “Ghoul Girl,” her reputation tied to a disastrous Halloween party. But navigating her life as a high school sophomore is an anxiety-inducing puzzle to her. She haunts the funeral home with her parents, emo older brother, Garth, their pistol-packing Gramma, and the glass-eyeball-devouring dachshund, Lothar.

Chewed human bodies are appearing in her parents’ morgue…and disappearing in the middle of the night. The bodies seem tied to a local legend, Catfish Bob, who has resurfaced in the muddy Milburn river near Charlie’s small town. When one of Charlie’s classmates, Amanda, awakens in the cooler as a flesh-eating ghoul, Charlie must protect her newfound friend and step up to unravel the mystery…and try to avoid becoming lunch meat for the dead.

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Enjoy this glimpse inside.

“Amanda, I…Oh.”

            I don’t know what else to say. My brain just shuts down.

            She is wearing the sheet, wound around her like a toga. It trails behind her bare feet, sort of like a painting about Greek goddesses I’ve seen in art books. She’s leaning over another body stored in the cooler unit on a cart. Her back is to me, and I can only see her pale skin and her burgundy-black hair shuddering.

            “Amanda.”

            She turns at the sound of my voice, seeming only to hear me for the first time. Her face is covered in dark blood. In her hand, she’s holding a big chunk of purple flesh. Her eyes are half-closed. The autopsy incision on the elderly body below her has been ripped open, and I’m pretty sure that what she’s holding is a lung.

            “So hungry…” she murmurs.

            I retreat until my back presses against the cold door. A whimper escapes my lips, and I drop the laundry basket with a sharp crack of plastic on the tile floor. This has to be a dream. A screwed-up anxiety dream that I’ll wake up from any moment now…

            Amanda’s black eyes snap open. She stares at the chunk of flesh in her hand. “I…Agh…What’s going on?”

            Lothar waddles over to her and begins to beg. Bile rises in my throat. “That’s Mrs. Canner,” I manage to answer. “She’s seventy-two and died of surgery complications for varicose veins. Deep vein thrombosis, I think. I don’t remember.” I’m babbling, trying to keep the bile down.

            Amanda drops the lung with a wet splat. The dog scrambles to it and begins scarfing it down. Her hands are trembling. She presses them to her temples. “I don’t understand. I don’t understand.”

            I nudge the laundry basket closer to her with my foot. “I brought you some clothes. And, um. Food. You should get dressed.”

            I think I should be afraid. I think I really ought to be. But Amanda seems genuinely confused. She reaches for the clothes I’ve brought her. To be polite, I know that I should really look away. But I can’t move. I am not turning my back on her. My heart pounds, and I struggle to take deep, uneven breaths.

            Amanda unwinds the sheet and slips into my clothes. Though I avert my eyes, I see that her shoulder and side are still torn open. But my mother hasn’t begun the autopsy yet, so there is no Y-incision across her chest and abdomen.

            “Do you remember what happened to you?” I manage to ask. I congratulate myself for having a rational thought. Woot.

            Her voice is halting, and her brow wrinkles as she struggles to button my jeans. “I remember…something was chasing me. Jesus, it hurt…” Her hand comes up to her neck, and she seems to remember, fingering the edges of the wound. “Am I in a hospital?” she asks again.

            I suck in a breath. “No. You’re at my house.” It’s not a lie. Not really.

            She scans the room, as if registering the sight of the cadavers. “You’re the girl whose parents run the funeral home. The Ghoul Girl.”

            “It’s gonna be okay,” I tell her.

            “Why am I here?” Her breath makes ghosts in the cold air.

            “The Sheriff found you, alongside the road.” That’s true also, even if not the whole truth. “I think we should get you upstairs, so you can talk to my parents…”

            She shakes her head, and her dark hair slaps across her face. “No. I…Oh my god. I’m here because…somebody thought I was dead?”

            I swallow hard. “Yeah.”

~~~~~

Glittery Ghoul Donuts

By
Laura Bickle

When I saw vampire donuts come
across a friend’s Facebook feed, I knew that I had to give them a try. I’ve had
my own share of Pinterest disasters, to be certain, but I think this is
something I can handle. The worst thing that could possibly happen would be
that I’d have a dozen mangled donuts, right? I could eat all the evidence
before anyone was the wiser.

 

I  gathered my materials. I picked up a dozen glazed donuts,
a bag of plastic vampire fangs, and a package of candy eyes. For fun, I got
some edible glitter. I originally thought I might make sparkly vampire donuts
with silver glitter, but decided to get green so that the completed creatures
would remind me more of ghouls.

 

 I squished some vampire fangs into the donut holes to make
mouths.

Then I added the candy eyes. They stick very well into the
donut glaze.

Then I dusted the donuts with edible green glitter. I was
pretty pleased with my green choice…they seem particularly monstrous.

And ta-da! A horde of flesh-eating ghoul donuts!

I’m counting this as a Halloween
craft win. Do you have any Halloween crafts you’re going to make this season?
Any raven wreaths, bat cookies, or carved pumpkins on your agenda?

~~~~~

About Author Laura Bickle

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.

The latest details on her work are available at:

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Welcome to The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice.

 

This is a really fun meme!

The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader and find a sentence or a few (no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.

Then go over to Freda’s Voice and leave your link so we can visit your 56!

My 56 for this week is from:

Flesh

  by Laura Bickle

c8df8-add2bto2bgoodreads2bblack

Genre: YA Horror

My 56 from the eBook

My voice quavers. But I’ve got to get some power, some leverage in this situation. Nothing else is stopping her from eating me.

This is from a crazy scene. I’ve enjoyed a bunch of Laura’s books and this is another winner.

~~~~~

Read on if you want to know more.

Synopsis

The dead are easy to talk to. Live people, not so much.

Charlie Sulliven thinks she knows all the secrets of the dead. Raised in a funeral home, she’s the reluctant “Ghoul Girl,” her reputation tied to a disastrous Halloween party. But navigating her life as a high school sophomore is an anxiety-inducing puzzle to her. She haunts the funeral home with her parents, emo older brother, Garth, their pistol-packing Gramma, and the glass-eyeball-devouring dachshund, Lothar.

Chewed human bodies are appearing in her parents’ morgue…and disappearing in the middle of the night. The bodies seem tied to a local legend, Catfish Bob, who has resurfaced in the muddy Milburn river near Charlie’s small town. When one of Charlie’s classmates, Amanda, awakens in the cooler as a flesh-eating ghoul, Charlie must protect her newfound friend and step up to unravel the mystery…and try to avoid becoming lunch meat for the dead.

Amazon

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Ultimate Sacrifice
S.E. Green
Publication date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Horror, Young Adult

My Review

Well, this wasn’t what I was expecting, in a good way.

Told from Vickie’s, seventeen years old, point of view, the story begins when her brother finds a little girl’s body in the woods by their house. It appears to be a ritualistic sacrifice. The family is under suspicion because of the close proximity of the murder and their connection to the girl. Hounded by and condemned in the press, Vickie digs deep, looking for something, anything, to clear her and her family.

This story goes quickly. As Vickie gets desperate and does some stupid things to solve the murder, the more reckless she becomes. Her actions are believable. You know how you watch a movie and scoff when the character goes in the basement after hearing a strange noise. We are so sure nothing bad will happen to us that we often do go see. I could feel her frustration when people look at her strange. And her family has some deep, dark secrets. She thinks she knows them, but she doesn’t.

Reminds me so much of a movie I watched a long time ago. Two couples are racing to get away from demon worshipers after coming across their sacrifice. Just like in that movie, I kept getting nigglings of something supernatural. Not just because of how the little girl was killed either.

I also knew that the more Vickie stuck her nose into the investigation, the darker things would become. It was subtle to begin with. Then I started to get an idea where the author was taking me, and couldn’t wait to see if I was right. I knew what I wanted to happen. It’s horror, right. And I got it. A surreal ending.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

Vickie has always lived a quiet, ordinary life in an equally quiet and ordinary small town. Yet one fateful night a child turns up dead in the woods behind her house in a ritualistic slaughter. Vickie and her family are suddenly thrown into a national spotlight. But as the investigation unfolds, she begins to realize her family isn’t so ordinary after all. Evil is inching closer to those she holds dear and Vickie isn’t sure who she can ultimately trust.

Goodreads / Amazon



Author S.E. Green

S. E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) is the award winning author of the thriller, KILLER INSTINCT, the spy series, THE SPECIALISTS, and the romances, THE SUMMER MY LIFE BEGAN and SHADOW OF A GIRL. She lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog. ULTIMATE SACRIFICE is her debut YA horror, due out October 2017.

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Red Dagger
H.G. Lynch
(Reaper Born, #1)
Publication date: August 24th 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis

Ruairidh is a Demon Hunter, like his father. But when his father is murdered by a demon he was hunting, Ruairidh must move back to Scotland to live with his mother and brother.
He vows to kill the demon who murdered his father, but he struggles to balance Hunting with college, and his hostile brother makes it clear he wishes Ruairidh had never come back.
Doesn’t help that Ru is falling for the girl his brother is crushing on.
Life is going to get very tricky for Ruairidh, but as long as he has his sword and his wits, he’s ready to take on whatever comes at him.

Goodreads / Amazon

On sale for $1.99 for a limited time only!

The tie-in novella releases the same day – Poison Arrow (A Reaper Born Novella)

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Enjoy the excerpt:

The Catchi loomed up in front of me and grinned, its fangs dripping venom. Then it brought one clawed foot down on my reaching hand, its curved toenails sinking into my wrist, and I cried out in pain. I glared up at it and yanked the hunting knife from the sheath on my thigh, slicing it cleanly through the demon’s calf. It howled and hobbled back as the lower half of its leg hung on by a few threads of muscle. I’d cut through the bone.

Pulling the dismembered foot free of my hand, I tossed it aside and rolled to my feet, blood leaking down my fingers and dripping onto the floor. I knew I had to move fast because Catchi could regenerate limbs – I hadn’t crippled it for long; all I’d done was really piss it off. The neon green blood gushing from its severed leg was already slowing, the stump already knitting flesh to bone and stretching out.

Without waiting for it to heal any more, I lunged while it was still off-balance. I crashed into it at the waist, tackling it to the ground. We skidded along the wreckage-strewn floor and slammed into the wall. The demon scrambled to shove me off, its claws raking my arm, but I ignored the flare of agony and brought my blade down in a vicious arc, ramming it hilt-deep in the demon’s throat. Green blood sprayed over me as I yanked the knife to the side, ripping open the Catchi’s neck.

The monster’s eyes widened, its mouth opening to display brown fangs the length of my pinkie finger, but the only sound that came out was a faint gurgling. Breathing hard, dripping blood – both its and mine – I started to get up, but the demon grabbed my arm, and with one last surge of energy, head-butted me in the stomach. I gasped as I felt the poisonous spikes drive into my gut and stumbled backward, clutching a hand over the wound.

The Catchi went limp, finally dead, but I couldn’t enjoy the success because it had just condemned me to death along with it. “Fuck,” I wheezed, already feeling the venom going to work, the acid eating at my insides.

 

Author H.G. Lynch

H.G. Lynch is a Paranormal Romance author from Scotland. She is an avid reader, and cat-lover. She spends most of her days writing, while wrestling her cat off her laptop. She loves horse-riding, Star Trek, and snow.
Her books are dark paranormal romances.

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Running with Wolves
Summer Lane
Publication date: September 22nd 2017
Genres: Adventure, Historical, Romance, Young Adult

Alaska, 1898

“They always come back,” she whispers. “Always.”

He spilled their blood. Now, she’s out for revenge.

Jenna Renee is a woman wronged. When her adoptive parents are brutally murdered by an outlaw named Conroy Parker and his gang of thugs, they take everything from her: her family, her happiness, and her money.

Determined to bring Conroy and his boys to justice, she hires a gruff but dangerous gun-slinging trapper and guide, Jeremiah Black, to help her hunt Conroy down.
But there is more to Alaska than meets the eye.

The cold touch of the arctic winter is dangerous, and the corruption of Conroy Parker and his comrades runs deep. The tundra is unforgiving, and so are the wolves. Nothing is as at seems.

If the wilderness doesn’t kill Jenna, the pack will. Revenge comes with a price, and so does love. There will be no mercy….only the hunt.

A romantic adventure from #1 bestselling author Summer Lane, set amidst the gritty and awe-inspiring setting of Alaska during the last great Gold Rush.

Goodreads / Amazon

B&N

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Interview with Bestselling Author Summer Lane
(Courtesy of Writing Belle Publishing)

This is your first historical fiction. How different was the writing process, as opposed to the past 17 novels you’ve written – which have all been post-apocalyptic?
A historical novel is more strictly attached to the time period in which it takes place. The way people talk, dress, act, and even eat are different than how we do all of those things modernly. I had to do a lot of research, of course. I have been slowly working on this book for roughly 2 years, when the idea originally occurred to me. I have read so many books about Alaska…toward the end of the writing process, I was devouring whole college textbooks and double fact-checking everything I had until I was entirely sure my eyes were going to fall out of my head.
With my apocalyptic books, the research is tactically-oriented, if that makes sense. With Wolves, I had to make sure the slang and vernacular was correct and that the history was right on target. I took a few artistic liberties with the story, as all writers do, but everything is based in fact. Everything.

Where did the idea for Running with Wolves come from?
I have always loved animals. I have always loved dogs. I first was enraptured by the idea of setting a story in Alaska when I was a little girl, after watching the animated film Balto for the first time. The concept for this particular novel sprung up about 2 years ago. It took me a long time to cultivate the plot to a point where I liked it enough to go ahead and write the book. I have always wanted to write a western-style novel, and that’s what Wolves is. A western novel set in the snow, with adventure and romance.

Where does the story actually take place?
I have constructed a fictional tale within the boundaries of the boomtowns and mining camps that existed in 1898. The main character, Jenna Renee, lives outside of a town called Dyea. I used prominent and famous historical hotspots, such as the Chilkoot Pass and Dawson City, in the book, too.

Can we look forward to some romance, in addition to adventure?
Yes! One of the central themes of the novel is the romance story between Jenna Renee and the rather callous but handsome United States Marshal Jeremiah Black. I love Jeremiah’s character – he’s got a lot of surprises up his sleeve, and I think readers will love him as much as Jenna does.

What are your upcoming projects?
Well, I have a non-fiction novel coming up in the next several months: Prolific: Writing a Hit Novel. I’m also releasing the first installment of the anticipated Resurrection Series in January 2018. Resurrection will continue the adventures, fights, and romances of Commander Cassidy Hart from the hit Collapse Series.

 

Author Summer Lane

Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 18 novels, including the smash-hit Collapse Series. She owns Writing Belle Publishing. Lane is also an experienced journalist and creative writing teacher. Writing Belle is her online magazine, where she has interviewed and featured hundreds of writers from around the globe.

Look for her upcoming books, Prolific: Writing a Hit Novel, and Resurrection: Shadows of Omega, the hotly anticipated continuation of Cassidy Hart’s post-apocalyptic adventures.

Summer lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, Scott, and their German Shepherd, Kona.

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Perfectly You by Robin Daniels

Ivy Nixon is the student body Vice President at Franklin High School. Each year, the school holds a date auction to raise funds for the senior class graduation party, and this year, Ivy’s in charge. Planning the event is a huge task and Ivy is determined to prove she can get the job done right. Unfortunately, she’s still one participant short and her deadline is looming.

Andy Walker, her cute but socially reclusive art class table mate, is her last resort. He may not be popular, but he’s funny, talented, and full of surprises. With a makeover and some major social marketing, Ivy is sure he could fetch a decent price at the auction.

Andy reluctantly agrees to help, but the more time Ivy spends with him, the more her feelings shift from professional to romantic in nature. To top it off, she’s done her marketing so well, that other girls are starting to notice Andy too. Come auction time, will Ivy be able to let him go to the highest bidder? Or will she find a way to keep him for herself…

Content Description: This is a stand-alone YA contemporary romance with companion novels set at the same high school. It contains minor language, innuendo, and crude humor, some steamy kissing, a party scene where underage drinking is taking place, and a brief but tasteful conversation about sex. The author has attempted to write characters who make good choices in questionable situations, in effort to keep the content appropriate for teens. This book contains no sex, written or implied, and no explicit language. Recommended for ages 14 and up.

EXCERPT

“Probably not,” I conceded. “Looks like I can kiss my dreams of being on the PGA tour good-bye. What am I doing wrong?”

“Now you’re asking?” Andy laughed. “On the last hole?”

“Better late than never.” I shrugged and gave him a toothy grin.

“Hang on a second.” He sank his last ball in two, then waved me over. “Ok, come here. Let Lilly and Jake go while I show you what to do.” I walked to the edge of the green, club in hand. He stood close behind me, wrapping his arms around mine. Then he gently positioned my hands on the handle of the club. I’d always thought it was cheesy in movies when a guy showed a girl how to do something rather than just explaining it. The move was so obvious. But now that I was in that very situation, Andy’s body pressed against mine, his yummy cologne assaulting my nose, I didn’t care if it was cheesy.

“First of all, you’re gripping the club too tightly. You need to relax.” He leaned over my shoulder and spoke softly against my ear. His breath tickled my neck, and my brain got fuzzy. “Next, you need to stop swinging like you’re trying to drive the green. You have to finesse a putter. Swing it more like a pendulum and less like a baseball bat.” He chuckled, then started swaying my arms back and forth with his. “Like this, can you feel the difference?”

“Mmm-hmm,” I lied. I was trying to pay attention, honestly, I was. But his closeness was making it extremely difficult. I couldn’t feel anything beyond the warmth of his body and the softness of his lips grazing my ear. Was he trying to help me or distract me? My mind wandered until he pulled away and walked around to face me. “Finally, you need to aim.” He smiled. “That’s when you look at the ball, then look at the hole, then try to put the ball in the hole.”

 

Author Robin Daniels

Robin Daniels is a wife, mother of five and avid consumer of books. She loves reading SO much that she was actually grounded from it as a twelve year old. No Joking! Her mom caught her reading when she was supposed to be cleaning, which was a common occurrence. At that point mom took the books and instructed her to go watch TV or play outside like a normal kid.

Robin is a sucker for home design shows and magazines, watches way too much Netflix and has a very codependent relationship with with a certain diet soda who’s brand shall not be named. (Though anyone with a similar problem could probably guess which one.)

Website * Facebook

 

amazon or paypal$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 9/15/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Uncanny
Sarah Fine
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

Two sisters. One death. No memories.

Cora should remember every detail about the night her stepsister, Hannah, fell down a flight of stairs to her death, especially since her Cerepin—a sophisticated brain-computer interface—may have recorded each horrifying moment. But when she awakens after that night, her memories gone, Cora is left with only questions—and dread of what the answers might mean.

When a downward spiral of self-destruction forces Cora to work with an AI counselor, she finds an unexpected ally, even as others around her grow increasingly convinced that Hannah’s death was no accident. As Cora’s dark past swirls chaotically with the versions of Hannah’s life and death that her family and friends want to believe, Cora discovers the disturbing depths of what some people may do—including herself.

With her very sanity in question, Cora is forced to face her greatest fear. She will live or die by what she discovers.

Goodreads / Amazon

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Enjoy this glimpse inside

I did not anticipate the wind. on the sidewalk, it made jackets flap and leaves rustle. Seven stories up, it threatens to throw me right over the edge.

Is that what I want?

I’m not good at knowing what I want—that’s what she said to me, and it turns out she was right. This will be my last decision, and it could be my worst or my best, but I don’t know if it will be something I want.

But wanting isn’t relevant now.

My shoes scrape over cement as I stand on the roof’s ledge. I am battered. Faltering. My arms are out, my fingers splayed. I turn around and face the school’s security cannies, who have formed a semicircle around me on the roof as they slowly approach. outdated, outmoded, neo-plastic skin, expressionless. They are here to stop me, or at least detain me until emergency services reach us, but like me, they are not immune to gravity. If I go over, they can’t save me.

They’re programmed to save me. They won’t feel a thing if they fail, though. They can’t. That’s the difference between us.

Looking at their blank eyes fills me with a sense of the inevitable.

I can’t remember not existing, whatever happened before I became me. I don’t think it hurt, not like this. Perhaps I’m wrong, though. Maybe I’ve been here before.

I crane my neck to see past the machine men, searching for the one face I need, one I know I’ve already seen for the last time. She isn’t here. Of course she isn’t. She can’t be.

I want to see her one last time. After everything I did, she wouldn’t look at me with anything other than sorrow or maybe hate or pity. But still, I want to see her.

There. That’s one thing I know I want. Even if it were relevant, it still doesn’t matter. I inch back a little. It would be easier for the wind to take me. I’d prefer that over doing this myself. But the cannies keep getting closer, and the wind is still now. Unhelpful.

“This is my choice,” I say loudly. “I’m doing this of my own free will.”

Is this what she wanted? I think this might be what she wanted.

It’s all tangled up in her, and she’s not here. I’ll never see her again. I’ll never see her again, and it’s because of the choices I made.

Free will.

Want.

I close my eyes. It’s time.

Author Sarah Fine

Sarah Fine was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast. When she’s not writing, she’s working as a child psychologist. No, she is not psychoanalyzing you right now.

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