Thursday, April 19, 2018

LIE TO ME by Natasha Preston - Excerpt Reveal

 

We are so excited to be sharing an excerpt from #1 New York Times bestselling author Natasha Preston's LIE TO ME with you today. LIE TO ME, a new standalone contemporary romance, will be released on all platforms on April 23.

 

About LIE TO ME

At nineteen, Savannah Dean escaped her family, leaving behind a note and the people who caused her so much pain. Now, she lives on her own and keeps to herself. At nineteen, Kent Lawson’s girlfriend betrayed him, leaving him behind with a broken heart and a whole lot of mistrust in women. Now, he lives on his own and shares himself with nearly every pretty thing that walks by but only for one night. When Savannah and Kent meet, they can’t stand each other. Kent knows she’s hiding something, and he despises liars. 

Add LIE TO ME to your Goodreads TBR here!    

Pre-order LIE TO ME today!Amazon / iBooks / B&N / Kobo
 

Read an excerpt from LIE TO ME

Wednesday rolls around way too fast. I have a whole evening with Savannah. It’s been really nice these past four days that she’s been out of my life. Yet, the whole time, I’ve been craving the way we snip at each other.
I need help.
I cut my engine outside her building and look up. Apparently, she lives up on the first floor and faces out toward the road.
Is she looking at me right now?
Why I feel the need to get out and buzz her apartment, I don’t know, but somehow, I find myself getting out of the car and walking toward the building. I stop at the front door, realising that Heidi told me what floor Savannah is on but not the number. Or she might have told me, and I just didn’t listen.
This is a great start.
I’m about to call my sister when I see Savannah through the glass, walking down the stairs to ground level.
F**k me.
Has she always looked like that?
She’s wearing a pair of dark blue skinny jeans and a grey off-the-shoulder shirt, but she looks sexier than any other woman I’ve ever seen in a little dress.
Why don’t I like her again?
Her steely eyes, looking even more prominent with the colour of her top, warily eye me. Our last encounter wasn’t exactly pleasant.
She opens the door and smiles. “Hi, Kent.”
My back stiffens. “Savannah.”
“Are you sure you don’t mind taking me tonight? I can Uber.”
And there it is. This is why she f**king bothers me so much. I feel like telling her to call a f**king Uber then. She always sounds so unsure of herself, like every tiny thing a person does for her is some massive inconvenience. Why?
“It’s fine,” I spit.
She folds her arms, carefully because her fractured arm hasn’t healed. It does take away a little of the dramatic flair she was going for. “Do you need to take a nap before we go?”
“What?”
“You’re cranky.”
“You’re too polite.”
“Being polite is a bad thing?”
I flex my jaw. “Yes.”
“Fine. Get in the car, and take me.”
The intent behind her words is clear; however, I hear it completely different and laugh.
She rolls her eyes. “Don’t be a knobhead, Kent. Take me to your parents’ house, I mean.”
“Knobhead. I’ve not heard that one in a while.”
Savannah takes another long breath. “I really don’t know why I thought accepting a lift from you would be a good idea. In fact, I didn’t. I still think it’s a bad idea.”
“You always follow through with bad ideas?”
“Tonight, I am.”
F**k yeah. I love this fighting side of her. It’s like, when I rile her up enough, the cover slips, revealing the real Savannah. I’m not sure if she’s hiding something the way Freya was.
“You should work on that. I don’t do anything I don’t want to.”
She tilts her head to the side, fire and determination in her eyes. “Oh, you wanted me to come tonight? And you wanted to be the one to pick me up?”
“You’re hot when you’re angry, Savannah.”
Actually, she’s hot all the time. It’s just, right now, she’s the whole package.
“You always use bullshit like that to deflect from someone calling you out?”
“You’re the first woman to call me out.”
“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” she mutters.
“Do you want to argue on your doorstep all night or get to my parents’ for dinner? I’m cool with either, just checking to see which way you’re leaning.”
She drops her arms, one still bound tightly in a splint. “I’m hungry.”
“Excellent, let’s go then.”
 

About NATASHA PRESTON

UK native Natasha Preston grew up in small villages and towns. She discovered her love of writing when she stumbled across an amateur writing site and uploaded her first story and hasn’t looked back since. She enjoys writing contemporary romance, gritty Young Adult thrillers and, of course, the occasional serial killer.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Review: CHASER by Kylie Scott





CHASER
A Dive Bar Novel
by Kylie Scott
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 288
Source: InkSlingerPR






Synopsis

Given his well-earned bad boy reputation, Eric is having a tough time scoring.. When single Jean moves to town, she seems heaven sent by the sex gods. Only problem is, she not only wants nothing to do with him, but it turns out that she's pregnant.

Starting over in a small town, Jean is determined to turn her wild lifestyle around and be the kind of mother she always wished she'd had. Since local bar owner and all round hottie, Eric Collins, is now determined to steer clear of her pregnant self, it should be easy. When she goes into labour during a snow storm and her car slides on some ice, it's Eric who comes to the rescue.

There seems to be a bond between them now, but is it enough? And can Eric give up his manwhore ways to be the man Jean needs?


My Thoughts

I came at this book with so much enthusiasm and excitement because of how much I've enjoyed the first two books of the Dive Bar series. Kylie Scott made me a fan when I first read DIRTY and then when I read TWIST. This is a series I've come back to again and again. I even reread DIRTY right before starting CHASER just because I love it so much. 

I like that CHASER is told from Eric's point of view. In DIRTY and TWIST, he's not shown in the best light and has some major growing to do. When he meets Jean, he realizes it's finally time to do just that. To slow his roll and become a friend. He begins taking life and his role in the Dive Bar more seriously and it's wonderful to experience this through his perspective.

I LOVED Jean. The women of the DIVE BAR series know what they want and don't put up with what isn't working in their lives. They certainly don't need anyone to save them and Jean is no different. She's making a new life for herself and her baby.

Together, Eric and Jean are magic.They have an easy way of being around each other - the openness in conversation and the honesty that comes from friendship. It's not super angsty and there is a slow build, and I couldn't wait for them to get together.  

There are so many things I love about this book - the sense of community, the friendships, the brutal honesty, Joe's and Eric's interactions (especially with their mom), and the appearances of the other characters from the previous books and the opportunity to see that they're up to. And I need to know more about this Mal character because he sure is full of himself. I guess it's about time I picked up the Stage Dive series.

Like the other books in this series, I'm know that this is one that I will be a go-to read when I need a swoony book. Seriously I'm ready to read it again. I LOVED IT!!


Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/
Links:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

It's Release Day!! CHASER by Kylie Scott



It's Release Day for the newest book in the Dive Bar Series!!

CHASER is available now! 

I cannot get enough of this series.

Chaser (1)

    Given his well-earned bad boy reputation, Eric is having a tough time scoring. When single Jean moves to town, she seems heaven sent by the sex gods. Only problem is, she not only wants nothing to do with him, but it turns out that she’s pregnant. 

 Starting over in a small town, Jean is determined to turn her wild lifestyle around and be the kind of mother she always wished she’d had. Since local bar owner and all round hottie, Eric Collins, is now determined to steer clear of her pregnant self, it should be easy. When she goes into labour during a snow storm and her car slides on some ice, it’s Eric who comes to the rescue. 

 There seems to be a bond between them now, but is it enough? And can Eric give up his manwhore ways to be the man Jean needs?    

         
kyliescottimage

Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/   

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | FACEBOOK FAN GROUP | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS   
      

Friday, April 13, 2018

Review: MY UNEXPECTED LOVE by Heidi McLaughlin






MY UNEXPECTED LOVE
The Beaumont Series: Next Generation #2
by Heidi McLaughlin
Publication Date: April 12, 2018
Pages: 240
Source: Buoni Amici Press
Cover Designer:  Sarah Hansen Okay Creations
Purchase Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks






Synopsis

Ben Miller met the love of his life the day he crossed paths with Elle James in their high school cafeteria. New to Beaumont, he took a chance when he approached her. Their first encounter was everything his mother ever read to him about fairy tales. He saw the girl who would be his forever.
From the moment Elle James met Ben Miller they’ve been best friends. Everything they did, they did it together, from late night study sessions, family vacations, throwing bottles off the water tower, going to prom and finally moving to California for college.
However, after the almost tragic accident where she nearly lost her twin sister, Elle’s life hasn’t been the same, and neither has her relationship with Ben.
One fateful decision changes the scope of Ben and Elle’s relationship. For one, it means a new beginning. For the other, it means change.

My Thoughts

I always look forward to reading a new Beaumont book and MY UNEXPECTED LOVE was no exception. Pretty much as soon as I had this book in my hands, I started flipping pages. Elle's and Ben's story is full of angst and heartbreak. They have a moment that seems like their beginning only to become the beginning of their end - before they ever really get started.

Ben was first introduced in HOLDING ONTO FOREVER - these books do need to be read together to appreciate the connection and love that Ben has for Elle. While reading HOF, I was already rooting for this couple - best friends to more. Yes, please! Ben's love for Elle is evident and they needed to be together. She just needed to see it. It takes her a while to figure it out and hearts are will be shattered. Mine included. 

What I loved:
  • Overwhelming sense of family. The Powell-James family are tight. I liked how, at different times, Quinn and Elle share their feelings about becoming a family. 
  • Moments with Elle and Peyton - their bond and protectiveness is undeniable
  • Elle reflecting on her situation and taking control and making a change. She's the only one who can do it and she has to want it.
  • Getting glimpses of Jimmy, Jenna, and Eden (I can't wait to read Eden's story!)
Since Ben didn't appear in the original Beaumont books, I would have liked more of his and Elle's experiences as teens - whether those moments appear in flashbacks or reminiscing about those times. They are there, I just wanted more. This is the young adult reader in me coming out - I live for that. 

MY UNEXPECTED LOVE made my heart hurt for Elle as she dealt with the aftermath of almost losing her sister and then losing best friend. Her unexpected love. But she had some growing to do and really being honest with herself. And that is what I love so much about these books - all of the love, the imperfections, and ultimately the Forevers. 




About Heidi:
Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of The Beaumont Series, The Boys of Summer, and The Archers.

Originally, from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup and a Highland West/Mini Schnauzer, JiLL and her brother, Racicot.

When she's isn't writing one of the many stories planned for release, you'll find her sitting court-side during either daughter's basketball games.

Heidi's first novel, Forever My Girl, has been adapted into a motion picture with LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, starring Alex Roe and Jessica Roth, in theaters January 19, 2018.

To stay connected with Heidi visit www.facebook.com/authorheidimclaughlin  or heidimclaughlin.com

Social Media:

Tour Wide Giveaway:
$100 Amazon Gift Card

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Review: THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS by Margaret Peterson Haddix





THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 400
Source: Media Masters Publicity
Purchase Amazon | B&N | Indiebound






Synopsis

Fourteen-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and pretty. Sixteen-year-old Kayla Butts is known as “butt-girl” at school. The two girls were friends as little kids, but that’s ancient history now. So it’s a huge surprise when Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain. Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends—and make her miss soccer camp. Kayla struggles just to imagine leaving the confines of her small town.

But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had hidden from both of them their entire lives. Maybe the girls can put aside their differences and work through it together. Or maybe the lies and betrayal will only push them—and their families—farther apart.


My Thoughts

I first found the THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS appealing because of it's cover and the title. If I saw this book in the bookstore, it is one that I would catch my eye and I would have to check it out. This winter had felt brutal and I needed a book about summer, a little pick me up.

THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS is the first book that I read by Margaret Peterson Haddix and I really enjoyed her writing style with alternating perspectives. Each chapter has a short header that sets the tone of each girl's experience. 

Avery and Kayla couldn't seem more different - partly because of their ages 14 and 16, respectively, but mostly because of their upbringing. Both girls are taken out of their comfort zones in the midst of discovering this new family secret. Their summer vacation becomes about acceptance and finding comfort where it is least expected. 

It's a story of class and privilege, self-discovery and self-reliance, family and friendships. Haddix really tackles it all in this engrossing story that left my heart feeling full.

THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS is definitely a worth-while read. It is full of the angst and ache and personal growth that I like in young adult contemporary. I'm looking forward to reading other books by this new-to-me author.


Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Surprise Cover Reveal: YOU PROMISED ME FOREVER

SURPRISE COVER REVEAL!!!

This certainly is a PLEASANT, I'M SO HAPPY I CAN'T STAND IT SURPRISE

We are getting more of Tuttle and Amanda!!

YOU PROMISED ME FOREVER by Monica Murphy




We promised each other forever yet we didn’t even make it through our first year in college…

​YOU PROMISED ME FOREVER, and Adult Contemporary Second Chance Romance coming August 29th!! ​

Preorder now exclusively on iBooks: https://apple.co/2Gu9z4l
More preorder links coming soon!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE by Cori McCarthy - Excerpt and Giveaway



Now a Major Motion Picture
By Cori McCarthy

Release Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire


Summary:

Their fantasy is her reality in this bright and uplifting contemporary coming-of-age novel by the acclaimed author of Breaking Sky and You Were Here.

Iris Thorne wants to blaze her own path. That’s easier said than done when you’re the granddaughter of M. E. Thorne, famous author of the Elementia series, hailed as the feminist response to J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. And with a major motion picture adaptation of her grandmother’s books in the works, Iris can say goodbye to her dream of making her own way in the music industry.

So when Iris and her brother get invited to the film set in Ireland, she’s pretty sure the trip will be a nightmare. Except Iris can’t deny the rugged beauty of the Irish countryside. And brushing shoulders with the hot, young cast isn’t awful, especially the infuriatingly charming lead, Eamon O’Brien. Iris even finds the impassioned female director inspiring. But when the filming falls into jeopardy, everything Iris thought she knew about Elementia—and herself—is in question. Will making a film for the big screen help Iris to see the big picture?



Praise for Now a Major Motion Picture

“A war cry and a love letter all at once.”–Kirkus

“This is simultaneously a whimsical teen romance and an emotionally compelling story about family, creativity, and courage.”— School Library Journal


“Joyful and authentic. With a vivid cast of unique characters, the story is engrossing, right down to the sometimes wryly self-referential, on-point chapter titles.” –Booklist


Purchase Links:



Read an Excerpt from Now a Major Motion Picture:

I DON’T WANT TO ALARM ANYONE, BUT THERE’S AN ELF AT BAGGAGE CLAIM
The guy was probably a painter. Possibly a drummer.
College age and wearing all black, he’d been the unique focus of my thousand-hour red-eye. My inflight boyfriend. It was a torrid, imaginary romance. We’d gone on at least a dozen dates and told adorable anecdotes to our future children about how their parents met a few miles in the air.
Now we were no longer separated by two Aer Lingus seats. We were shoulder to shoulder, dazedly watching the baggage belt spin. Just say hi. Ask him something.
I hugged the neck of my guitar case. “Do you know the time?”
He checked a large, silver watch. “Half twelve.”
“What?” I blurted. The bags began to emerge, and I was suddenly under new pressure to break the ice before we parted ways. After all, an entire transatlantic daydream depended on it. “Is that six? Eleven thirty? I’m so jet-lagged it could be either.”
Twelve thirty.” His Irish accent made his words feel like lyrics to a decent song.
“Yeah, that doesn’t make sense. Half of twelve is six.” I smiled.
“Americans,” he muttered with a snicker.
And he continued snickering as he reached for a suitcase, leaving me with the unparalleled awkwardness of being embarrassed by and disappointed in a complete stranger. I’d mentally dumped him four exotic ways—my favorite involving a baseball stadium video screen—by the time my little brother came running back from the bathroom.
“Iris!” Ryder yelled. “I peed for like two whole minutes. I should’ve timed it!”
The baggage claim crowd parted for him—people tend to do that when someone’s yelling about their urine. Now I really felt like a gross American. Thanks, Ireland. We’re off to a great start.
“Eleven days,” I murmured. “Only eleven days.”
Ryder showed no sign of jet lag. He wrestled a foam fantasy axe out of his backpack, spilling weapons everywhere. He then engaged imaginary opponents in fierce battle while the people from our flight continued to back away. My ex-in-flight boyfriend even gave him a dirty look—before giving me a dirtier look.
“I’m not his mom, you know,” I said as I collected Ryder’s weapons off the floor.
A well-meaning Irish granny stepped up. “Is this your first time in Ireland?” she asked Ryder, placing a steadying hand on his shoulder. My brother nodded and squirmed. I checked my desire to tell her that, in America, we don’t touch kids we don’t know, but I didn’t want to call more attention to our swiftly amassing cultural differences. “Are you going to see the Giant’s Causeway? Or the Cliffs of Moher?”
“No,” Ryder said, breaking free from her hold. “We get to meet famous people and help out on set and probably even get bit roles.”
“No bit roles, Ry. You know that,” I said.
McGranny looked to me for an explanation. I zipped up Ryder’s backpack and said it fast. “He means the adaptation for Elementia. They’re filming here for the next two weeks. We’ve been invited to…” What were we supposed to do? “Watch, I guess.”
“Our grandma wrote that book!” Ryder said so loud we now had an even larger audience. Everyone who’d been groggily waiting to claim their luggage had tuned in.
“Excuse me?” My ex-love was back in the picture, not snickering this time. “Did you say your grandmother was the author M. E. Thorne?” The spark in his eyes seemed desperate to rekindle our imaginary flame.
Get out of your own head, Iris.
“Yeah,” I managed.
“Have I got something to show you.” He started to take off his shirt.
“Oh, for the love of…” I whispered, staring down at my red Chucks.
“Look!” Ryder proclaimed. “Iris, look! He’s got the map of Elementia on his ribs!”
I had to peek. It was an awfully big map. Alas, my curiosity was rewarded by a rich paleness smattered in black chest hair.
He put his shirt back down and smiled, but I kept hearing the way he’d grumbled Americans. “So are you excited about the film adaptation?” he asked. “Are you having a hand in its development? How do you feel about them changing the ages of the characters?”
I braided my hair back and said nothing, reminded once again of my life’s golden rule. People usually treated me one of two ways. One: like I was M. E. Thorne’s granddaughter, gifted with an otherworldly glow. Two: no one. I’d give anything for a third option.
“This is all you talk about, isn’t it?” he continued. “You’ve probably been reading your grandma’s books since you were a kid. I discovered them a few years back. Then again, I bet you can’t say anything because of the movies. Top-secret insider information, right?”
I chewed on my response. The gristle of this fantasy talk would not go down. Everyone assumed I’d be over the moon about the adaptation, but it meant the story’s fandom would triple. Quadruple. Soon everyone would revise their interest in me, just like this guy.
“Ryder, see if that’s our bag,” I said, moving us to the other side of the carousel. When I had my back to everyone from our flight, I squeezed my eyes, a little scream coming up from deep inside.
“You okay, Iris?” Ryder put a hand on my shoulder. I opened my eyes. Not his hand—it was his foam dwarf axe. At least his little-kid expression was earnest.
“I’m fine.” I rested my forehead on the top of my guitar case. I knew better than to check out when I was on Ryder duty, but I couldn’t help it. One moment later, my brother was lunging for his luggage, and the next, he was on the carousel, disappearing through the plastic hanging strips and into the bowels of Shannon Airport. “Hey!” I yelled. “Ryder!” Fear slapped me awake, and I almost crawled through the plastic strips after him. “Hey!”
“Need some help, then?”
I turned toward a new Irish voice and almost fell over. “Oh no.”
The boy had elf ears. Honest to God, pointy and flexed into his hairline elf ears.
“Oh no?” he returned, his eyebrows sky-high.
“What’re you… What are you?”
“I’m an elf,” he said as casually as if he were telling me he was an art major. “I’m here to give you a lift.” He held up a printed sign that read Thorne.
“Put that down. These people are already too curious.” I grabbed the paper and balled it. “And if you’re here to help, solve that equation.” I pointed to the baggage exit. “One brother went in. No brothers are coming back out. He’s probably on the runway by now.”
“Ye of little faith,” Elf Ears said, crossing his arms. “He’ll pop back through in a moment.” He leaned over conspiratorially. “It’s a circle, you know.”
I couldn’t believe that a stranger with artificial ears was “ye of little faith”-ing me. “What if security catches him? In the United States, the TSA confiscates firstborns for this kind of thing.”
On cue, Ryder came back through the plastic strips, sitting on my duffel and wearing my sunglasses he’d pillaged from the outer pocket. He knew he was in trouble, and yet he grinned. Then he saw the guy beside me, and his mouth dropped open. Ryder jumped down and ran over, leaving me to fetch both of our bags from the carousel.
By the time I’d returned, Ryder’s face was a full moon of excitement. “Iris. This is Nolan. Nolan.”
Nolan held out his hand as though we hadn’t previously met, i.e., argued. “It’s Eamon. Eamon O’Brien.”
I dropped Ryder’s bag to shake Eamon’s hand. “What a name. Did you spring from the roots of Ireland itself?”
I had to hand it to him—he didn’t flinch.
“And you’re Iris Thorne. Nothing to slag there, right?”
Ryder pulled on my shirt, revealing way too much of my bra, while hissing, “It’s Nolan.”
I grabbed his hand and yanked up my neckline. “Stop it or I’ll snap your dwarf axe over my knee.” I plucked my sunglasses off Ryder’s face and put them on in time to catch quite possibly the dirtiest look an elf has ever given a human. “Oh, come on. I don’t really break his toys. And how come there are three of us, but I’m carrying all the bags?”
“It’s not a toy,” Ryder snipped. “It’s a costume replica.”
Eamon continued to glare, proving his eyes weren’t blue but a crystal color that felt digitally enhanced. No wonder he’d been cast as the famous elf in Grandma Mae’s books. Nolan—Eamon—whatever his name was threw the strap of my huge duffel over his shoulder and tried to take my guitar.
“Don’t even think about it,” Ryder said for me. “She’s married to that thing.”
“Is that legal in America these days? Do you share health care?”
I stuck out my tongue, and Eamon grinned wildly, which encouraged me to put my tongue away and wonder how he’d reduced me to Ryder’s maturity level in a matter of minutes.
We passed under the green banner of Nothing to Declare, and I tried some light conversation. “So, if you’re one of the actors, why are you doing airport pickups?”
“I volunteered. I’m a huge fan.”
Good Lord.
“Hey, I read about you,” Ryder said. “This is your very first movie!”
I couldn’t help myself. “Then how’d you get the role?”
“That’s a fine story. I love Elementia. It’s in my blood. I first read it with my mam when I was, oh, about this high.” He held his hand to Ryder’s head, making my brother beam. “When they announced the movie and open casting, Mam and I decided to dream big. We made an audition video in a wooded bit on Saint Stephen’s Green.”
“Elijah Wood did that to become Frodo,” Ryder said.
“Right, right.” He knocked Ryder’s shoulder, best friends already. “I thought, if it worked for Elijah, why can’t it work with me?”
“Because Elijah Wood had an established film career before he did that,” I muttered.
“What was that?” Eamon asked.
“Nothing.” I knew where this story was going. Without a doubt, it would conclude with “then I met the grandchildren of M. E. Thorne and it was the most magical thing to ever happen to me.”
Eamon continued. “Lo and behold, I’m cast as Nolan. And today I’m getting fit for my ears when Cate Collins, wonder director, needs someone to pick up M. E. Thorne’s grandchildren. I volunteered, quick as light.” Eamon shifted the bag on his shoulder and glanced at me. “This is when I meet a tiny, axe-wielding hero and his mountain troll of a guardian.”
My guitar case slipped out of my hand, banging hollowly on the ground. “What the…”
Ryder’s smile was wider than both of the hands he used to cover it.
“Pardon that.” Eamon winked at me—the sassiest thing I’d ever seen a guy manage. “I’m prone to descriptive exaggeration, me springing outta the roots of Ireland and all.”
I blushed, an odd mixture of offended and ashamed.
“Iris Thorne!” an unfamiliar voice yelled from behind.
I turned, my pulse turning into a drum. Just like there were two ways people treated me, there were two kinds of Elementia fans: the ones who loved the trilogy—and the ones who’d reconstructed their lives for it. The latter group called themselves Thornians. They wrote letters to my family. They knew my birthday.
And one of them tried to abduct Ryder when he was six.
I was sort of relieved to see it was my ex-in-flight boyfriend, the newly redubbed Mr. Nerdy Torso Tattoo, jogging over. “How do you know my name?” I asked, my voice breaking a little as I put out an arm to keep him from getting too close to Ryder.
“Your brother was yelling it. I didn’t even know M. E. Thorne had young grandkids.”
I relaxed slightly. “I’m not that young.”
“I’m crossing my fingers you’re eighteen.” The guy leaned close with flirtatious wickedness, reminding me of what had drawn my attention to him during the flight. Lanky gorgeousness. The glasses. Blue eyes. Dark, tight swirls of hair. He rested a long-fingered hand on the top of my guitar case. Definitely musician’s fingers. Also, it was suddenly quite obvious that I’d been wrong; he was well beyond college age.
Earth to Iris. Walk away, Iris.
“I’m…seventeen.” I stepped back, oddly relieved to bump into Eamon. “Have to go.”
The guy pulled out his wallet and handed me a business card. “Shoot me a message around your birthday. I’ll take you out, and we can talk about the movie, or the books, if you prefer.”
Neither, thank you. “I live in LA.”
“I’ll make the trip.” He smiled at the person he thought was me. He walked away. And I hated M. E. Thorne more than usual, which, to be honest, was already a lot.
We walked toward the parking lot, and I kept my head down.
“You work fast, Lady Iris,” Eamon said, low enough that Ryder couldn’t hear.
“No way,” I muttered back. “That guy has the hots for my dead grandma.” He glanced at me, concerned. “I’m fine,” I added, hoping I looked annoyed—bold and unflappable—but from the way his expression fell, I think maybe my sad was showing.




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About the Author:


CORI MCCARTHY studied poetry and screenwriting before falling in love with writing for teens at Vermont College of Fine Arts. From a military family, Cori was born on Guam and lived a little bit of everywhere before she landed in Michigan. Learn more about her books at CoriMcCarthy.com.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @CoriMcCarthy
Instagram: @cori_mccarthy

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