Thrifty Thursday

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Let You Leave
(novella included in this special edition of Keep Me Still)

Layla Flaherty had the perfect life, or close to it. Until a stranger gunned her parents down right in front of her, leaving her with seizure inducing PTSD. After years of trying to pass as normal and failing miserably, she resigns herself to being invisible. But new to town Landen O’Brien sees her, and he likes what he sees. Much to Layla’s surprise, he doesn’t freak out when she has a seizure in front of him. He does the exact opposite, calming her until the tremors subside. But Landen has secrets of his own. Secrets that will either bind them together or tear them apart.

Keep Me Still

Scarred by loss, Layla leaves her hometown of Hope Springs, Georgia, hoping to put her painful past behind her and start over in college in California. When she runs into Landen at freshmen orientation, she has a choice to make. Reinforce those steel walls she's built up around herself or give the only boy who can keep her still a second chance.

Landen’s more than ready to tear down those walls, but this time when they come crashing down, they might bury her.
My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all.

We're neighbors, and once, we were best friends. But then, one summer, he turned on me and has made it his mission to screw up my life at every opportunity. I've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to hide from him. I worried about what was around every corner and behind every door.

So I left.

I spent a year studying abroad and bathed in the freedom of life without Jared. Now I'm back to finish up high school and get the hell out of here forever. I'm hoping that after a year of breathing room, he's moved on and forgotten all about me.

But even if he hasn't changed, I have. I'm not interested in avoiding him or turning the other cheek anymore. We're going to go head to head, because neither of us wants to back down.
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I'm not your typical girl. I've been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness...until Wes Michals offered to be my light.

I didn't know that time wasn't my ally -- that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer--each moment as it came--but it would never be enough.

Sometimes when you think it's the end, it's only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn't--I wouldn't ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.
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If you believe your life is the sum total of your choices, what do you do when things just don’t add up? You are about to find out. It won’t be pretty. It won’t be dull. And surely, it won’t be safe. In fact, making just one wrong choice could put evil at your bedside watching you sleep.

And so it is with Kate Simmons, a young woman who, by choosing to regain her life, actually puts it at risk by the very choices she makes. After unimaginable heartbreak stops her world on a dime, Kate falls into a three-year blackness of self blame that brings her to the edge of life, itself. As time finally brings light back through tiny cracks of renewed desire, Kate moves out of the prison she made for herself in her mother’s home to find a new reality, rooming with her best girlfriend, Charlie.

Yet, to be free is to be vulnerable, and Kate’s choices more than ever mark a splattered line between being happy and being dead.

Care to choose? Here’s your menu:
A strangely alluring building manager so possessed with wanting you for his own, he’ll bury more than the fact he has a girlfriend; a buff college student for whom you are clearly hot, as are all the other girls on campus; a pushy lawyer who is as handsome as he is intoxicated with conquest, who doesn’t take no for an answer, who gets what he wants — always.

Sometimes, it’s whom you choose. Sometimes, it’s who chooses you. If you’re Kate, it’s both, and it puts you on a perilous road where good looks and humor are the thin masks of jealous delusion and utter violence.

You’re in trouble when the sum total of your choices is written in blood red.
 
How tragic it is when a caged spirit finally finds its freedom and — entranced in its ecstasy — is invited by that freedom into a cloaked dance with danger.

In Book One of this three-part epic, Kate Simmons — young and alluring, and finally out of her cage of grief — attracts more than attention. Intoxicated by her newfound independence, a blithe Kate is on her way to finding out that around the corners of life, some life-changing eye-openers await. As the story continues in Book Two and she begins to churn a dangerously turbulent trail, it is Kate who now has to snap to, to react, to outrun, or become yet another tortured victim who vanishes down the path of wrong choice.

Having already roiled the risky waters of jealousy, Kate moves in with Neil while Roger — an enamored oddity — visits his son in Germany. Upon his return and finding Kate gone, Roger’s predator mind becomes unhitched, and then unleashed, on the hunt of a lifetime. But whose life?

Step by creeping step, even as Kate’s future closes in on her, she attends — obliviously — to her new life, working through the challenges of fresh relationships, losing family members both to death and to deceit, questioning the depth of love.
Every path offers a choice. Every choice offers a consequence. And every consequence summons its due. As emotions swirl across fateful days and nights, some in Kate’s life will reach out to touch happiness in warm embraces, others to sever ties in bloody traces.

The stains of passion are frequently mistaken. The question here is who will be taken?
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Every moment possesses its own kind of magic...

Aimee Spencer learned the hard way that for some moments, there are no take-backs, no rewinds, no do-overs. A year ago her world imploded and Aimee has been running ever since. She doesn't want to feel. She doesn't want to remember. To bury the ghosts that haunt her, she is living a life that has become unrecognizable.

Cole Everly is a golden boy with a cocky smile and an attitude to match. He's grown accustomed to girls throwing themselves at his feet, but when Aimee trips and literally lands in his lap one afternoon, she's not at all what he expects. Difficult, damaged, closed-off. If Cole needed to make a list of qualities to avoid in a girl, Aimee would probably match up with every single one of them. He knows that he should stay away but he's drawn to her in a way that he can't exactly explain.

In this honest and absorbing story, Aimee and Cole struggle to sort out the thin spaces between loss and love. Ultimately, they will need to learn how to navigate through the pieces of the past if they want to hold on to the future and each other.
~~~Free~~~
I'm Scarlett Ryan.

Yes, THAT Scarlett Ryan.

I live an extraordinary life: millionaire rock star, owner of exotic cars, pictures of me in every magazine, millions of fans, and a name that is recognized world wide. It's supposed to be my dream come true. But, my life IS a fantasy, and I want real. I want exciting. I want... NORMAL. So, I moved from California to Florida, hoping to obtain some normalcy. Instead I find...

Stephan Montgomery.

He's an arrogant jerk. Seriously, I hate him. I swear if he tells me one more blonde joke, I will punch him... again... Unfortunately I can't stop thinking about him, or his gorgeous green eyes. Trust me, I know that he's bad for me. If only my heart would listen.

I also find out that my parents have kept a LIFE CHANGING secret from me. I need to know the truth.

The harder I strive for normal, the stranger things seem to get.
**Mature Content Warning** 17+ for language and sexual content.
(A re-imagining of my young adult book, The Fallen Star, told as a New Adult Paranormal)

For twenty-one year-old Gemma, life has never been normal. She knows nothing about her past and has been haunted by the same monsters in her nightmares for the last few months. Unemotional and numb to life, she feels disconnected from everyone. Until the very first day she cries. After that, nothing in her life is the same.
Her emotions slowly surface and she starts experiencing love, happiness, and anger, feelings she never knew existed. But they leave her confused and she doesn’t know whether to embrace them or run away from them.
Her life only gets more complicated when she meets Alex. Sexy, arrogant, and secretive, Alex can get under Gemma’s skin like no one can. Yet she’s drawn to him by an invisible connection she has no control over. She’s also seen him before. In her nightmares.
Every part of Gemma’s mind is screaming at her to stay away from Alex, but every other part of her is begging to get close to him. But the closer she gets, the more she realizes Alex knows more about her than he originally let on.
As secrets about her past unravel, Gemma’s life becomes threatened. She needs to figure out what’s going on, before she winds up dead. But the only person she can turn to for answers is the one person she isn’t sure she can trust.
Abby Lewis never pictured herself on the survival game show, Endurance Island. She's just not the 'survival' type. But when her boss offers her a spot on the show and the opportunity of a lifetime, she packs her bags and heads to the tropics to be a contestant.

Once in the game, it's clear that Abby's in over her head. The game itself is full of competitive, aggressive people, and no one's more aggressive than sexy, delicious - and arrogant - Dean Woodall. Sure he's clever, strong, good at challenges, and has a body that makes her mouth water. He also hates Abby just as much as she hates him. That's fine with her; she'll just ignore the jerk.

But the rules of Endurance Island are working against them. Abby and Dean are teamed up - alone - on the beach. It's either work together, or go home. Stuck with no one else's company but their own, they learn they do make a good team after all.

And that with just a little bit of kindling, the flames of hate can quickly turn to flames of passion. This book features enemies, lovers, enemies who become lovers, and lots and lots of tropical heat...
Martin is a content twenty-four year old single guy whose peace is disturbed when he receives a wedding invitation from his ex-girlfriend with whom he still pines for.

Does he go?

He considers that if he doesn't go to the wedding, he will be perceived as a sadsack loser.

If he goes alone he'll be perceived as an even worse loser.

However, if he attends the wedding with a drop-dead gorgeous bombshell who looks like she's crazy about him, then it's his ex-girlfriend that's going to look like the loser.

Problem is he's not dating a drop-dead gorgeous bombshell.

He's got three weeks.

After many disastrous online initiated dates, he finally does get to meet a gorgeous bombshell who agrees to attend the wedding with him.

Problem is, not only is she fourteen years his senior, but she's all about putting Zen into relationship, which involves every guy's worst nightmare: talking about your feelings, being conscious of your thoughts and above all, unabashed, honest communication at all times.

Martin has no idea what he is getting himself into and the sharp learning curve that's required of him when all he wants is sex and she wants Zen.

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