Posts Tagged With: contemporary

New Review: The Rag Issue 6

The Rag Literary Magazine Issue 6

Seth Porter , Daniel Reilly , Justin Duerr (illustrator)

Genre: Anthology, Short Stories, Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Poetry, Magazine

Read my review here: http://katepolicanisreviews.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/the-rag-literary-magazine-june-issue-6/

In The Rag Literary Magazine’s 6th issue, many of the characters you’ll meet are living disappointing lives, whether through their own poor decisions or because they were dealt a bad hand, or a combination of the two. When painful and often mundane reality clashes with their hopes and dreams, they struggle to stay afloat.

The Rag publishes short stories and poetry semi-annually from today’s best up-and-coming writers, with a focus on gritty and transgressive work.

Contents:
“Someone in the Room Will” by Falcon Miller
“Where the Butterflies Meet” by Timothy Ghorkin
“many many plumbers” by Daniel Fuginski
“Elevation” by Andrea O’Rourke
“Ayesha Miller” by Royce Brooks
“An Affair” by J.A. Bernstein
“Floaters” by Benjamin Soileau
“Swimming with Sharks” by Don Boles
“Croton Falls Still” by Kara Delavoye
“Kuskanax Creek” Jordan Mounteer
“Pneumatology” by Tyler Petty
“Oddly Precious Melancholy” by Janna Layton
“Dog Days and Wet Dreams” by J.R. Hamilton
“Best Work” by Stacey Bryan
“Lightin’ Hopkins Emerges from the Woods at Mooresville, In” by D.A. Lockhart
“Todd’s Mom” by David Joshua Jennings
“On Bread Alone” by Josh Goller

Art by Justin Duerr

Buy on Amazon

About The Rag:

The Rag was founded in September 2011 by Seth Porter and Dan Reilly, who serve as the primary readers and editors. Krissy Marheine designs the magazine and this website. The name The Rag came about both because it speaks to our underlying ethic-we’re independent, and we like our writing on the gritty and grimy side-and because it looks back to the heyday of writing and publishing, when you could read good stories or poetry in just about any old rag, and writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald were able to make a living from writing short stories alone. But the rags that used to publish cutting-edge writing either died off or grew up and turned stale. At The Rag, we hope to be on the front line of a new vanguard of electronic literary magazines with the means and the will to seek out and then support fresh voices.

 We think literature is and always will be important to our culture, and a vibrant literary community requires writers who can afford to write. Bylines don’t pay the bills. So, we always pay our writers. This helps draw in the talent, and that’s the ultimate goal, discovering and publishing talented new writers, and creating a magazine worth reading.

http://www.raglitmag.com

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New Review: Aunt Nellie B

 

Aunt Nellie B

by Dixiane Hallaj

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Read my review here: http://katepolicanisreviews.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/aunt-nellie-b-by-dixiane-hallaj/

Synopsis:

Charli is convinced that the women in her family are the victims of a curse—they go through husbands at an alarming rate. At a very young age, she begins a journal. The adult conversations are often bewildering. How can she avoid the curse? Aunt Nellie must have the answers.

The journal reappears at critical moments in Charli’s life, and beautiful Aunt Nellie is linked to each rediscovery. Each time Charli reads the journal, she learns new secrets, and gains new insights. Will she find the answer, or will she, too, fall victim?

Buy on Amazon

About the Author:

DIXIANE HALLAJ spent eleven years in the Middle East as part of her husband’s extended family, listening as they shared much of the refugee experience with her. Recently she visited refugee camps in Occupied Palestine, where she listened to the stories of many of the women. These stories formed the basis of her award-winning doctoral dissertation “Caught by Culture and Conflict.”
She currently lives in Purcellville, VA, with her husband and their cat, named “Dog.”

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New Release and Review: March by Sunni Overend

March

by Sunni Overend

Genre: Contemporary, Women

Read my review here: http://katepolicanisreviews.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/march-by-sunni-overend/

Synopsis:

A creative wunderkind who once topped the country’s most prestigious fashion school, Apple March is now languishing behind a retail counter. When fate shifts and her imaginative passion is reawakened, so too is the threat of a past secret.
From the cool heart of Melbourne to Paris and New York, in a vibrant world of Pimms and croquet, crocodile boots and cocoon coats, Apple seeks the thrill of creative freedom and the one man worth sharing it with.
A page-turning debut novel written with fun, stylish wit, March is too satisfying to miss.

Buy on Amazon

Book extract: http://www.sunnioverend.com/files/extract.pdf

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17973433-march

Trailer:

 

March by Sunni Overend – Book Trailer from Sunni Overend on Vimeo.

About the Author:

Sunni Overend grew up in Victorian wine country, studied design at RMIT University and opened her own designer clothing store. While running her store, Sunni gave in to her love for stories and her first novel, March, came to life. She currently lives in Melbourne with her architect husband, where she writes, grows flowers on her balcony and pretends she’s too busy and important to browse recipes, dog breeds, cashmere and country houses online.

Meet the Author – Sunni Overend from Sunni Overend on Vimeo.

www.sunnioverend.com

http://www.amazon.com/March-Sunni-Overend/dp/0987566709/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370319742&sr=1-2

www.facebook.com/sunnioverend

www.twitter.com/sunnioverend

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Pirate Tales Giveaway

The Cat Whisperer

Pirate Tales Giveaway

Mark your Calenders:

Salty Tales and I are thrilled to announce that the e-version of our first book, ‘Pirate Tales’, will be available for FREE through Amazon for one day only.

Tuesday, April 16th. All day! http://www.amazon.com/Pirate-Tales-Salty-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00BR0YGF2/ref=cm_sw_em_r_asw_21xCF.053CJCR_tt?ie=UTF8&colid=211AFCACOQPPZ&coliid=I3QV1OW2YYDC49
http://www.amazon.com/Pirate-Tales-Salty-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00BR0YGF2/ref=cm_sw_em_r_asw_21xCF.053CJCR_im?ie=UTF8&colid=211AFCACOQPPZ&coliid=I3QV1OW2YYDC49

So mark your calenders, to get your free copy of this years great Beach Read.

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New Review: Love and Other Subjects by Kathleen Shoop

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Love and Other Subjects

by Kathleen Shoop

Genre: Contemporary, Women’s

Read my review here

Five stars

I gave Love and Other Subjects five stars and I’m submitting it to Awesome Indies!

For every woman who wonders if she chose the right career…

In Love and Other Subjects Carolyn Jenkins strives for two things—to be the greatest teacher ever and to find true love. She’s as skilled at both as an infant trying to eat with a fork. Carolyn’s suburban upbringing and genuine compassion for people who don’t fit effortlessly into society are no match for weapon-wielding, struggling students, drug-using colleagues, and a wicked principal.

Meanwhile, her budding relationship with a mystery man is thwarted by his gaggle of eccentric sisters. Carolyn depends on her friends to get her through the hard times, but with poverty-stricken children at her feet and a wealthy man at her side, she must define who she is. The reality of life after college can be daunting, the road to full-fledged adulthood long and unscripted. Can Carolyn take control and craft the life she’s always wanted?

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Barnes & Noble

Buy on Kobo

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About the Author:

I’m married with two children. I’ve been seriously writing for almost a decade although I dabbled much earlier than that! I’ve had short stories published in four Chicken Soup for the Soul books, am a regular contributor to a local magazine, Pittsburgh Parent, and have had essays in local newspapers as well.

I have a PhD in Reading Education and have worked in schools for over twenty years. I work with teachers and their students in grades k-8 and am lucky to learn something new from them every time I walk through their doors. This experience was a huge help in writing LOVE AND OTHER SUBJECTS–a quirky, post-college coming of age story.

My first novel, The Last Letter (2011 IPPY Gold Medal–Regional Fiction, Midwest, 2011 Indie Excellence Finalist Award for Historical Fiction and Regional Fiction, 2011 International Book Awards Finalist for Historical Fiction and Best New Fiction), was a fascinating trip through history, punctuated with fictional characters and events. The idea for the story grew from my great-great grandmother’s letters (see My Dear Frank for the complete set of letters!) written during the year of her engagement to Frank Arthur. The beautiful letters are the inspiration for the novel, the seed from which The Last Letter’s characters and their voices grew.

I’ve also written women’s fiction–LOVE AND OTHER SUBJECTS– and have written another historical fiction novel, AFTER THE FOG, set in 1948 in a town not far from Oakmont, PA. AFTER THE FOG is also an award winning book–silver IPPY and WINNER in the literary category of the National Indie Excellence Awards.

Right now, I’m finishing up a 20,000 word short love story for an anthology and am also using my characters and setting from THE LAST LETTER as per reader request to show what happened between the two timelines in the original book! I hope readers will enjoy the fact I write about varied eras and places and that they will love each book for its unique setting and time.

 

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Author Blog-in: Home to Stay by June McCullough

This week I am participating in Kate Policani’s Author Blog-In. Over the next week I will publish different posts about other author’s novels. If you are looking for your next read, or perhaps a gift for someone, make sure you visit this site throughout the week to see if something catches your interest. Something like

Home to Stay

With the weather getting colder and the busy season about to descend upon us, don’t forget to put an evening aside just for you. Get yourself a cup of hot chocolate, or a glass of wine and escape with this contemporary romance that will take you to a ranch just outside Calgary, Canada.

Synopsis

Although she has never stopped referring to Aces Corral as her home, it has been two years since Diana Crawford has stepped foot on the ranch. Her decision to return home was made just as abruptly as her decision to leave, but as Diana’s car pulls into the long driveway, she knows it is time once again to build the family ranch into a successful business. Little does she know that waiting for her return is a man determined to change everything.

Coming home is emotional for Diana. She is thrilled to reunite with her elderly next-door neighbours, Len and Dot Mackenzie, who are the closest thing to family she has left. But when she meets their nephew for the first time, his captivating eyes and quiet strength hypnotize her. There is no mistaking the attraction, and it is not long before Barry Daniels lassoes her heart. As Diana works on reconciling her past, she knows she has a lot to learn about running a business and when Diana finds evidence of a betrayal that could destroy everything she has worked for; she is desperate to find a way to expose the scheme.

In this contemporary cowboy romance, a woman on the fringes of finding her own inner strength must expose a web of deceit before she loses everything she has ever loved.

Excerpt

“I better go. Think about what I said. There’s something between us and I don’t think we should deny it. I’m willing to take a chance and I want to know if you are, too, but I don’t want you to answer right now.”

He walked over to the door, opened it, and turned back to face her. “It would be sad if we never took a chance and ended up missing out on one of the best things to happen to either of us. You can let me know tomorrow at the barbeque.”

With that, he shut the door and was gone. Diana stood at the counter for a long time after. The feelings he stirred in her both excited her and scared her. Her mind was swimming as she slid her back down the cupboard, until she was sitting on the kitchen floor.

What am I going to do? Should I back off and play it safe, so I won’t be sorry? Or will I be sorry if I play it safe?

Reader’s Comments
You feel like you are right in the tale with the way she describes the characters and their way of life. S.O.
You need to do a sequel to this. C.M.
A “feel good” book that we could use more of! M.H.

Grab a Copy Now!

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Virtual Release Party Guest Book: Lethal Inheritance

Lethal Inheritance

(Book one of the Diamond Peak Series)

Author: Tahlia Newland

Publisher: Catapult Press

Genre: Young adult contemporary fantasy

Read Kate Policani’s review of Lethal Inheritance here: http://katepolicanisreviews.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/lethal-inheritance-by-tahlia-newland/

– Free – Download the prequel to Lethal InheritanceRun 20.9.12

Synopsis

If last night was real, Ariel should be dead. She’s not, but her mother has disappeared, there are bruises on her neck and the hideous beast in the photo looks frighteningly familiar.

 You can’t send police into a tunnel that doesn’t exist after a villain they can’t see, so when shadow demons kidnap her mother, Ariel has to mount the rescue mission herself.  Hot on the trail, she enters a hidden layer of reality only to find that the demons are hunting her, and they feed on fear. Ariel must defeat them before they kill her and enslave her mother. But how do you kill terrifying demons when your fear makes them stronger?

A quirky old guide teaches her how to locate and unleash her inner power, and while battling hallucinogenic mist, treacherous terrain, murderous earth spirits and self-doubt, she falls in love with Nick, a Warrior whose power is more than either of them can handle.

 Ariel’s journey challenges her perception, tests her awareness and takes her deep into her heart and mind to confront, and ultimately transcend, her fear and anger.

What readers are saying:

An avid reader of YA Fantasy said, ‘I have read a lot of fantasy and I consider this outstanding. It is so exciting and surprising that I didn’t want to put it down. I could never guess what would happen next. It’s a great adventure story bursting with wonder and magic and has an excellent ending.’

One 16 year old reader wrote, ‘Lethal Inheritance was engrossing from the earliest pages with original characters, plots and settings. The pace doesn’t slow throughout the novel, which made me continually want more and hungry for the next book. I loved the Gimps, in fact I loved the whole concept of the book and especially the little challenges throughout, such as the Lures, Reeds and Shifting Stones.’

Another teenage reader wrote, ‘I found ‘Lethal Inheritance’ to be adventurous and engaging. The novel took me on a journey through my imagination and into a world of infinite possibilities, yet still I found I could relate to the character perfectly. A beautifully written and highly imaginative story that deals with a spectrum of emotions, ideas, decisions and determination. A perfect read for all teenagers.’

Author Peter McAra wrote,
‘When I first read Lethal Inheritance, I was hooked. I saw it as a brand new take on vampires and werewolves. Now we have demons – they’re a lot more revolting and unpredictable than mere vampires. The mother/daughter connection in the story is different and interesting too. The more I read, the more involved I got. The style is pretty addictive – new and powerful, but recognisably young-adult-speak – anything but stereotyped. Lethal Inheritance has an intriguing pace of its own. ‘

Laurie Stiller YA author  said…
‘Its a really good yarn . I got quite caught up in it.  It’s inventive and new! The plot is great – always something new and exciting.

Catherine Hammond, the editor and ex publisher.

‘Not only is its imaginary world intriguing but it poses for its teenage protagonist a sinister threat and an overwhelming challenge, as well as a possible new love. One quirky element is the tangible effect of letting fear take over, which poses the question: what feeds on your fear? The mountain demons to conquer, the skills to learn and the barriers to overcome are all intrinsically tied to the inner life. These parallels and other highly original features make this speculative fiction book — the first in a projected series – an absorbing read.’

 

Purchase Links

US Kindle Store

UK Kindle Store

Kobo Store

Smashwords

Apple ibook store

 

Author Links

Blogsite

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads Author page

Amazon Author page

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Author Blog-in: The Truth about Dandelions


Author Blog-in

The Truth about Dandelions.

 Posted by hlinfield on October 12, 2012 at 7:05 AM

Today I would like to tell anyone who might be reading this blog about my recently released novel, The Truth about Dandelions.  I am an award winning author (recently taking first place in the Alice Munro Short Story Competition) with a long list of essay and short story publications.  This is my debut novel:

Mara isn’t a slut; she just can’t find what she wants. She wants to forget her mother’s death, her father’s hypocrisy, and the plane crash that follows her. As a child she couldn’t understand why the grass never got cut, and now as she gropes her way through university life, all those weeds, those dandelions, have stayed with her, haunting her dreams.

She can’t see a way out of her dark hole until she gets hit by a car on an Ottawa street and starts spending time with Jack, the guy behind the wheel. Kind, thoughtful, and a virgin – he’s the last person she’d ever expected to fall for.

As she opens up to Jack, the wounds she’d been trying to ignore surface, and she’s forced to finally choose between running from or facing the past that’s been haunting her all her life. Through nights out looking for release to the ultimate event that forces her to face herself, Mara finally learns the truth about dandelions.

(cover design by David Morris Photography: http://www.davidphoto.ca/)

You will not like this book if:

– you hate classic literature, particularly Charlotte Bronte

– you hate Richard Dawkins or people who criticize organized religion

– you get uncomfortable hearing about the brutal side of life

You WILL like this book if:

– you like questioning why people act they way they do

– you can hold two opposing views in your mind at the same time and not explode

– you can watch a person make mistake after mistake and still give them another chance

You can read the first 10% of The Truth about Dandelions for free on Amazon (link below).

It is now on sale for 99 cents starting on October 15, but only until October 31.   DON’T WAIT!

Download your copy at:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/167710

http://www.amazon.com/The-Truth-About-Dandelions-ebook/dp/B008A3JVQI

And if you don’t already have an e-reader, join the 21st century and GET ONE!!

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Author Blog-in: Moments Collide by Angela Graff

For the next few weeks, I’m going to be participating in an Author Blog-in, courtesy of Kate Policani, and her wonderful efforts to showcase indie authors, and help each other gain more exposure and a larger potential fan-base.

Today I’ll be featuring my book.

My book, Moments Collide, is available here on Amazon and CreateSpace, and more information can be learned about my writing on my Facebook Page, or this blog.

Moments Collide is the story told by Felix LaPage, a young man with huge musical aspirations.  Growing up, Felix developed a love of music, and with his cello, worked his way through school to try and become a musical success.

However, that’s not the whole story.  While working toward his musical dreams, Felix met a woman who would change the course of his life, but not necessarily in a good way.  With this woman, Rayne, Felix learns that not everyone is kind or selfless.  Struggling through Rayne’s verbal and emotional abuse, Felix also must face getting over her multiple affairs.

It’s one night, on a long train-ride home, where Felix meets a young woman who shows him a different path, a path that could lead to his own personal happiness, free of struggle and pain.  It’s up to Felix, however, to choose whether or not he’s meant to walk the painful path with Rayne, or a path that allows him to be free.

Below is a short excerpt from the book.  The book is available on the Kindle Library, which I highly encourage people to check it out.  Any and all reviews are highly appreciated.  Please enjoy the small bit of my story.  Much love to all the readers and writers out there.  Thanks for checking out my blog!

Note: this excerpt has had the language edited to keep it to a G rating for other bloggers.  Please note that the actual text in the book consists of adult language.  Thank you! 

As I approached my door, my phone began to ring again, the bells piercing through my thoughts in an extremely unpleasant way.  I was not surprised to see Rayne’s number and this time I answered it.
“Hello?”
“Uhg, Felix,” she hissed at me.  “What have you been doing all day that you couldn’t answer my calls?”
“Oh, I was just busy,” I said, my voice oddly calm.  “I did want to tell you, though; I had a visitor last night around midnight.”
“What kind of visitor?” she asked, her voice heavy with suspicion.
“Well, it was your friend Richard, actually.  Before I go on, Rayne, is there anything you want to tell me?  Anything at all?”
“Um… no,” she said.  Her voice was suddenly small and scared.  “Why?”
“Oh I don’t know,” I said, and the hard edge began to form around my words.  “I thought maybe you’d like to confess to cheating before I call you out on it.”
“Felix,” she cried.  “Is that what he said?  He said he and I slept together?!  I told you that he was going to try and pull this when I left!  I told you he was in love with me!”
“He had pictures of the two of you… YOU CARELESS PERSON!”  My voice went from calm to rage in a nanosecond.  Fury rushed through me and I couldn’t stop screaming.  “HE HAD PICTURES OF YOU AND HIM FROM THE SECURITY CAMERA, YOU DIRTY, DISGUSTING, LYING…!  SO TELL ME AGAIN THAT HE’S LYING, RAYNE!  TELL ME AGAIN!”
She was sobbing now, hysterically, and I didn’t care.  She blubbered on behind her sobs, words that I didn’t understand.  I caught an “I’m so sorry”, “made a huge mistake”, “went too far”, but none of it mattered.  She was a liar, she was unfaithful, and above all she put me at risk because she didn’t bother to tell me the truth.
“Do you realize that I have to get tested now, Rayne?!” I shouted at her.  I was still outside, not caring who heard me.  I was pacing the grass, kicking around the towels that Richard had left out in the rain.  “Do you realize that I could be infected with something because you slept around and didn’t bother to care about who you affected?!  Are you proud of yourself, Rayne?  Is this something you’re proud of!?  Are you happy now, with what you did?  Was he worth it?!”
“Felix, please,” she begged, her sobs still punctuating every syllable.
“No, shut up.  You don’t get to talk to me.  You don’t get to say my name.  You don’t get to ask me for anything.  When we get home you and I will discuss the end of our relationship, and at least this long drive you have ahead of you will give you time to reflect on whether or not losing an upright, honest man was worth your little fest with some dirty piece of junk.  Good bye, Rayne.”
With that, I hung up.  I was shaking, and my neighbor was outside staring at me.  He gave me an ‘I’m sorry, man’ smile and went back inside as I opened my front door and walked in.  My adrenaline was pumping and part of me wished she was there right now so I could keep screaming.
Screaming, however, was not going to make it better.  Even in my state of mind I knew that, and the two hours it took her to get home allowed me to be calm.  I was sitting on the couch when she walked in.  Her face was white and she looked petrified.  She set her keys down and started to sit next to me so I stood up and walked across the room.
The pictures were now on top of the TV, still unopened, and I threw them to her.  “Enjoy the show,” I said as she opened the folder and pulled out the stack.  I took care not to look at them but it was clear by her face that whatever the cameras captured was pretty graphic.
“I had no idea there was a camera,” she said.
“Well lucky for me then, isn’t it, or I might have never known,” I bit.
“Felix, if you’ll just listen to me for a minute-”
“Rayne, you don’t get to talk,” I snapped at her, my temper perilously close to shooting off.  “You’re going to sit there, keep your mouth shut, and listen to what I have to say.”
Tears streamed down her cheeks and she let out a little sob, but she knew I had her.  I would have felt sorry for how I was treating her if for one moment I thought her tears were because she felt bad for what she had done.  Unfortunately, for both of us, I knew she was only upset because she’d been caught.  She’d been caught in such a way that she couldn’t talk her way out of it.
“Rayne, I can’t afford this place on my own yet, so I can’t kick you out.  I was already speaking with the office but because of your credit they won’t let me off the lease so I can move out to a place I can afford, so for now, you get to move out of our bedroom and sleep in the second bedroom.  You and I will split bills down the middle, and you will carry the weight of the extra finances until I can afford to buy myself a car– a problem I wouldn’t have if you hadn’t insisted I sell my car to buy you a ring which you threw in my face just weeks later.”
“We’re both going to get tested, which you’re paying for, and if we need any treatments, you’ll also pay for those.  You won’t talk to me, you won’t touch me, you won’t look at me.  You won’t be spending any time with me, and if you ask me for anything, literally anything, I will spit in your face.  Do I make myself clear?”
With tears pouring down her face, make-up smeared, looking devastated, hurt and on the verge of hysterics, she nodded.  “I’m so sorry,” she breathed from beneath her tears.  “I love you, Felix, I really do.”
“Don’t ever say that to me again,” I hissed at her, my temper boiling, my face going red and hot.  “Don’t you ever dare!”
“But I do!” she cried in defense.
“I don’t care if you think you do, Rayne!” I bellowed.  “Your sick, sick mind has no idea what love is!  You have no idea what selflessness, love, or compassion are.  You don’t get to use those words to me.  You gave away that right when you opened your legs and let that slime-ball in!  If I hear you say anything like that to me again so help me you will not like what happens.”
“Felix,” she wept, “what can I do to make it better?”
“Nothing,” I hissed, leveling my finger in her face.  “Nothing, Rayne.  It’s over.  You disgust me.  I can barely look at you right now without vomiting all over the floor.  You cheated on me and you lied about it!  You spat on everything that I thought was true about our relationship.  Five years, Rayne.  Five!  You have no respect for anyone or anything and believe me if I could kick you out right now I would.  I would not hesitate for a moment.”
At that point I was done.  I didn’t feel like she’d had enough, but I was done listening to her sobbing, because it was all self-serving.  If she had cared she wouldn’t have done it.  If it was a one-time affair I might have believed she was sorry, but they had been screwing for months, and she had been hiding and lying and there was no excuse.  There was no forgiveness for that.
I turned and went to my room, shutting the door and wishing desperately that we had a working lock.  She gave me some space until around ten that night when she knocked timidly asking for her things.  I grabbed a handful of clothes, not paying attention to what I had in my hands, and her pillow, and shoved them at her.  I didn’t look at her and didn’t give her a second to speak.
I shut the door again and flopped down on the bed, letting out a heavy sigh.  I wanted out so badly, but I was stuck.  I didn’t know how to make it work so she could be gone and that was the part that was killing me.
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Author Blog-in Day 2: Lethal Inheritance by Tahlia Newland

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