#NewRelease “Love’s Courage” by Emem Bassey

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Years after a harrowing marriage of convenience, Tim is still struggling to live life without the shackles of her past. Encouraged by her brother and his book gift on her twenty-fifth birthday, she decides to try doing things differently. Making a list that included, but not limited to a mind-blowing sexual encounter, Tim sets out to start with the simplest tasks – trying something new and making friends. However, the night ends explosively when she meets Dave.

After a day of some disappointments, Dave – an associate professor who just got transferred to a new university, simply wants to relax with a bottle of lager. What he discovers is the woman of his dreams. Fortune has them spending the night together and he’s convinced he has found the one. Except, Tim slips away, and Dave has no way of getting in touch with her. Thinking he had lost her, he is however shocked to find her in his first class, on his first day at the university.

1.99 at all online digital retailers!

Amazon

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#BookBlitz “Shifting to Freedom” by Marlene F. Cheng

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Literary Fiction, Autofiction, Contemporary Women’s Fiction

 

 

Published: July 2021

In the literary, auto fiction about contemporary women, Shifting to Freedom, Tess, a medical doctor, to escape from fear, pain, horrendous manic depressive mood swings, and hallucinations, dissociates, crossing invisible barriers to become ‘alter’nate personalities.

Her life, heartrending in sadness, constantly threatens to become unraveled.

Her tenuous hope for recovery is as fragile as her emotions.

Shattering” is her constant fear.

We hear her cry from the darkness, tears we cannot stop, but we hold on to what we can—hope.

 

What people are saying about Shifting to Freedom:

Marlene writes with great facility. Her writing is intelligent; her prose is poetic. In my practice, I’ve treated patients with Multiple-Personality Disorder. It would be unprofessional of me to give a definitive diagnosis without interviewing Tess and the “alters.” However, there is no doubt that Tess has dissociative episodes. To survive the horrific traumas of childhood, she would have had to develop an escape mechanism, and dissociating was probably, the only way.”— Dr. David Yeung MBBS, FRCPC.

I can’t help but think, because of the explicit detail, that this story is, at least in part, autofiction. Or else, the author must have known Tess, intimately. Her story is painfully acute, deeply sad, riveting, and all engrossing. It brings awareness to Multiple-Personality Disorder that I could never have imagined. To help rid the stigma that surrounds mental illness, Tess’s story needs to reach a broad audience.”—ML from Vancouver, BC., a beta reader and severe critic during the early throes of Tess’s story becoming a book.

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About the Author

I ran barefoot on the Canadian prairies in the dust that settled after the 2nd World War. That makes me an octogenarian, an oldie.

Thrust from the infinity of wheat fields into the warp of the Rockies, Selkirk and Purcell mountains, the light that defined a frightful, but interesting, high school life challenged me.

Our neighbours were all Italian—migrants to Canadian mining towns. With his Welsh-born farmers’ busyness, my father found strange their art of dolce far niente—that is, the sweetness of doing nothing. They practised it, “Come in. Come in. Sit down. Taste my homemade vino.” My father adapted. The family adapted.

And the flames of railway trestles burning and women parading nude colored life. Doukhobors (a sect that had fled persecution in Russia) settled in the Kootenays. They protested having to send their children to public schools.

Wearing a babushka and twirling spaghetti, not only did I survive those years, but I thrived.

Vancouver, the big city, where I discovered traffic lights and city buses, claimed me for medical lab training, and I worked the night shift in the blood bank to put myself through university.

I’ve worked in cancer research, taught at tech schools, become a registered massage therapist, taken up energy schooling in NY., married and raised two kids, and, at 73, published A Many Layered Skirt, a biography about a young Chinese girl trying to keep one frightening step ahead of the soldiers, during the Japanese occupation.

My husband, of 56 years, was Chinese. Our mixed marriage was intriguing, and happiness was ours. Interests in people, cultures and places took us around the world. Many of those adventures find their way into my writing. He passed away, throwing my life into chaos. Now, I’ve picked up the pen, again. I wonder what it will write.

Contact Links

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#BookSale “Girl Having A Ball (Smart Girls)” by Rhoda Baxter

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Sometimes being an event planner can be a load of balls

Twenty two year old Stevie needs to prove to everyone that she’s a grown up. So she throws herself into her dream of becoming an event planner by agreeing to organise a fundraising ball in Oxford. Add a rambling house, a committee that can’t agree and budget that’s far too small, Stevie thinks things can’t get worse. Until her childhood crush, her big brother’s old housemate, turns up.

Tom is working hard to be the success his mother wants him to be. When he realises that the ball his mum and her friends are organising will be run by his friend’s baby sister ‘poor, needy Stevie’, he steps in to avoid disaster. But Stevie is no longer a teenager, she’s a disturbingly attractive young woman … and she’s not about to let anyone get in her way.

Shortlisted for the 2017 Romantic Comedy Award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Girl Having a Ball is the second standalone novel in Rhoda Baxter’s Smart Girls series. Ideal for fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Sue Moorcroft.

99c for a limited time!

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#AudioRelease “A Virtual Affair” by Tracie Podger

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A Virtual Affair: An Inspirational Story of Love and Loss

by Tracie Podger

Available in Audio 🎧

*Blurb*

Jayne was mid-40s when she experienced the worst and the best times of her life.

She fell in love, so desperately in love.

She lost everything overnight.

No matter how bad life gets, how far down that dark tunnel you are, there is always a glimmer of hope.

From her dream house in Kent, via the “nuthouse”, and eventually to a cottage in Cornwall, Jayne takes a journey that is to wound, to destroy, and eventually heal her.

This is a story of one woman’s quest to find herself and learn to love herself again.

Is this a story about affairs? No. It’s about depression and loss, love, and laughter. Tracie Podger opens her heart and bares her soul in this inspirational story based on a real event. This is a story about women to women.

Contemporary Romance for listeners over the age of 18.

Buy Links

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2ClqDwg

Amazon US: https://bit.ly/AVAAudioUS

All countries: mybook.to/AVAAudio

Also available in eBook and with #KindleUnlimited!

#OneClick: books2read.com/u/4E8OMm

#AVA #TraciePodger #AudioBook #ContemporaryRomance

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#FREE “Finding Faith (The Finding Home Series Book 1)” by B.E. Baker

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“Despite the complexities [of] this tale, Finding Faith reads like the honeymoon stage of a relationship. It’s filled with laughter, an idealized reality, and an endless craving for the story to continue. Luke’s and Mary’s love offers a temporary euphoria that shows romance is sometimes found where it is least expected.” –Publisher’s Weekly

★ Like mother, like daughter? Mary sure hopes not. ★

Two decades ago, Mary’s mom walked out. A few days later, her dad started drinking. He never stopped. Mary swore off alcohol. She also decided she’d never have kids, just in case she took after her parents.

A year ago, Mary’s boyfriend dumped her because she didn’t want to have any children.

Yesterday, for the first time in a year, Mary met someone. Someone hunky. Someone smart. Someone who made her goofy smile. Someone who sent a shiver up her spine.

Tomorrow she’s going on a first date.

She won’t find out he’s a widower with two kids for at least two more days. Can she overcome her fear and find the faith to trust someone else. . .and herself?

**Author’s Note: Titles are really hard! I struggled to find a good one for this book, and I’ve discovered that some readers think this book is Christian fiction. It’s free of bad language and adult content, but it’s not religious in nature. Make your choices accordingly.

FREE at all online digital retailers for a limited time!

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#AuthorInterview Shawne Steiger, author of “Games We Played”

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Shawne Steiger wrote her first story when she was seven. Over the years, she has been a pizza maker, dressage teacher, house cleaner, and therapist. The one constant in her life has been her writing, which is why, after years working as a trauma therapist, she applied to Vermont College of Fine Arts and completed an MFA in Fiction writing. After learning that she’s happiest when writing, Shawne published short stories and essays in several literary journals. Supporting her writing habit with her social work degree, Shawne frequently incorporates her understanding of how trauma affects people into her fiction. When not writing or working, she enjoys going to the theater, reading and travel. Luckily her love of travel stops her from fully realizing her aspirations to enter the realm of mad cat woman, since she’s yet to find the perfect suitcase that will fit both her cats and still be light enough to carry.

Shawne Steiger | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | BookBub

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Thanks for spending time with us on the blog today, Shawne.

Games We Played covers timely issues unfortunately found in our real-world society. What was the motivation behind the book?

 I started writing this book when I entered the Vermont College MFA program. I actually did grow up in Carlsbad and I was one of only three Jewish kids in my class.  When I was around five or six, I played war with a neighborhood boy and we always played Nazis and Jews.  He did claim his Grandfather had fought for Hitler and there was an attic with a gun collection. That was always the germ of the story and the memoir piece I built the fiction around. I originally planned to tell just the childhood story from that child’s point of view, but when I started my MFA, my first advisor urged me to write from an adult’s point of view and focus on short stories.  By the time I graduated, I had done all this research on white supremacy and I had all sorts of material that had transformed the novel I had envisioned. I took a break for a while, because I got a new job that consumed a lot of time and I didn’t know what to do with all those pieces.  By the time I had a draft organized, 2016 happened and I realized my novel had suddenly become much more relevant than I had anticipated.  I rewrote some of it after the election. 

I’m particularly interested in intergenerational trauma.  How does all the trauma my Jewish grandparents and great grandparents experienced in Europe affect me?  How will the trauma we’ve all lived through this past few years affect the children, the next generation of children etc?  Children absorb so much from the adults around them, a lot of it unconscious.  One thing I know from my background as a trauma therapist is that sometimes people respond to trauma by becoming very rigid in their thinking and in how they see the world. We start to see everything in black and white and develop an us and them mentality in order to feel safe. It feels safer to “other” those who don’t look or think or behave like we do.   I think when people read my novel, they might get angry at Rachel and feel impatient with her at times. They might sympathize with and even like Stephen.  I want people to experience that discomfort, because I want to challenge us all to start seeing each other as full complex human beings. 

Do you have a favorite character in the story?

I’m particularly fond of Stephen.  He’s so broken, but he wants things and he wants to be good. He’s just really confused about how he defines good.  He has a lot to overcome, but he’s very driven to try to make things better. Rachel needs external events to get her moving, but Stephen creates those external events for himself. 

What is your work schedule like when writing a book?

I wake up at 5am, make coffee and write till 7, when it’s time to get ready for work. I try to write at least a little on the weekend, but I am most productive when I have long chunks of time.  Once a year, I get together with some friends at Cape Cod and we all just write all day every day for a week.  I generally get hundreds of pages out of that week. I will say COVID has affected my writing. I’ve mostly been teleworking, which theoretically gives me more time to write, but somehow I’m writing less.  I tell myself I have extra time and turn the alarm off and then wake up too late.  Luckily, the Cape Cod week is going to happen this summer, after a very long year of COVID lockdown. I’m counting on that week to get me back in the groove. 

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

I’m published under Red Adept Publishing.  They’re an indie publisher and have been truly great to work with. I really could not have asked for a better experience. Everyone has been so helpful and supportive.

Do you write full time, or do you also work outside the home? 

I wish I wrote full time.  I’m a clinical social worker with a mental health background, primarily focused on treating PTSD. Currently my job is more administrative than clinical. My retirement plan is to do a little part time therapy and write. 

What do you do when you’re not writing? 

So many of these questions seem to require pre-COVID and COVID answers.  Pre-COVID, I read, watched movies, traveled, went to theater, went out to eat, went to the gym, took walks with friends.  COVID time has been a little quieter. I still read and I’m a bit of a TV addict (Handmaid’s Tale FINALLY returned).  I take walks with people and have one or two people over for outside gatherings (now that we’re all getting vaccinated).  I’m quite addicted to Pilates and my big investment this past year was a good quality Pilates reformer. 

Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?

Teddy and Seymour. Yes, they are named from J D Salinger short stories. Phoebe is 16 and not so photogenic, and Holden passed away.

 

As a child, What did you want to do when you grew up? 

First I wanted to be a veterinarian. Then I found out science was involved.  I was into theater in high school, so I briefly wanted to act, but I couldn’t match pitch and I couldn’t dance very well.  At the time those deficits seemed like giant barriers.  I was also deeply into horses and I had a brief career training Dressage horses and teaching Dressage lessons before I went to grad school for my MSW.

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?

Totally addicted to Twitter.  I love the challenge of trying to say things in as few words as possible.  I could live without Facebook.  I’m pretty introverted and Facebook sometimes feels like all the social pressure that I struggle with in real life. 

What’s your next project?

I’m working on a psychological thriller. I’m really excited about it. 

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Reading is the best way to learn to write. Also, learn to separate your sense of self-worth from your writing. The best way to develop your craft and improve your writing is to get honest critiques from skilled writers. I’ve noticed some new writers react to critiques as if they are being judged or criticized. I’ve seen writers get defensive, because the critique made them feel bad about themselves.  Critiques are about helping you develop craft skills and make your story or novel even better. You can ignore critiques that don’t resonate for you, but if you find yourself ignoring all the feedback you get, you might be preventing yourself from growing as a writer. 

Please share an excerpt (extract) with us from one of your favorite scenes.

I think I’m not alone in saving hundreds of pages of “darlings” that I ultimately cut from the novel.  I thought, rather than a specific excerpt from the novel, I’d share an excerpt from a piece I wrote that ultimately made it into the novel in bits and pieces and not in its original form. The entire piece is 11 pages, but here’s a bit of it. This is an excerpt from a letter I imagined Rachel writing, but not sending her grandmother: 

I do think of you Grandma.  I do.  But I don’t visit.  I think of the way you invaded our house, your black suitcases heavy with kitchen supplies enshrouded in bubble wrap and newspaper.  Mother taut shouldered, chapping her hands in the sink while you purged our cupboards, dumping plates, bowls, silverware in black garbage bags, and I carefully organized the new forks and spoons in their separate kosher drawers with masking tape labels for meat and dairy.  Father hiding in his study surrounded by magic books and boxes full of hidden compartments.  I think of you at the kitchen table with my mother, inhaling curls of steam from decaffeinated Lipton tea and explaining exactly why we must honor the kosher rules.  “Do you understand, Rose?  We are in a covenant with God.  The Jews were chosen by God to be pioneers of religion and morality; that is our purpose.  You must understand this, and you must raise your children as religious Jews.”  Mother nodding, sipping, nodding.  Emptying our cupboards that day, you removed the big rose colored serving platter and my mother flung her arms out, spraying water all over the floor and surrounding countertops.  She snatched that plate out of your hands.

“I’ll keep this,” she said.  “It was a wedding gift from my mother.”

You squeezed your lips and crossed your arms.  “Well, I won’t have it in a kosher kitchen. It’s probably had meat and cheese on it at the same time.”  Your tone implied my mother must have murdered somebody and served the body parts on that platter.  My mother hugged it to her chest and crept out of the room like a dog just caught in the garbage.  You patted my head and said, “No Rachel, that fork goes in the meat drawer.  See, it was on the right side of the tablecloth.”  You pointed to the shiny array of silverware on the floor, carefully organized on right and left sides of our picnic tablecloth, glinting like treasure against the faded yellow flowers.  

I want to blame you and I want to hate you. I remember the day you came – us waiting at the gate, me clutching Guarder in one hand and my mother’s clammy fingers in the other, staring at my father’s back, hair curling darkly around the collar of his white polo shirt.  Streams of passengers rushed past us in twos and threes, hugging waiting friends and family members, crying, chattering about lousy food and nearly missed changeovers in Atlanta, the new clothes they found in Florida. We were a tableau, a still life in the middle of it all. You walked out alone in your gray skirt, white button down blouse and gray jacket. Your pantyhose bunched around your ankles. People stepped aside to let you through.  When I picture you coming off that airplane I think of the cactuses I once saw on a drive through Arizona – all determined sharp edges, able to survive on the occasional rain, sucking every droplet of water from the air around them.  You looked down and said, “Hello Rachel.”  None of the singsong voice usually reserved for children or the elderly.  I felt like when I played house with Stephen -him announcing, “I’m home, honey,” and me wobbling precariously over to him in my mother’s heels, touching my lips to his cheek, tingling with the fear and excitement of being a wife at six years old. 

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Games-We-Played-500x800-Cover-Reveal-and-PromotionalGames We Played

Publication Date: October 17th, 2020

Genre: Literary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction/ Thriller

When actress Rachel Goldberg shares her personal views on a local radio show, she becomes a target for online harassment. Things go too far when someone paints a swastika on her front door, not only terrifying her but also dredging up some painful childhood memories. Rachel escapes to her hometown of Carlsbad. To avoid upsetting her parents, she tells them she’s there to visit her Orthodox Jewish grandmother, even though that’s the last thing she wants to do. But trouble may have followed her.Stephen Drescher is home from Iraq, but his dishonorable discharge contaminates his transition back to civilian life. His old skinhead friends, the ones who urged him to enlist so he could learn to make better bombs, have disappeared, and he can’t even afford to adopt a dog. Thinking to reconnect with his childhood friend, he googles Rachel’s name and is stunned to see the comments on her Facebook page. He summons the courage to contact her, Rachel and Stephen, who have vastly different feelings about the games they played and what might come of their reunion, must come to terms with their pasts before they can work toward their futures.

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#ReleaseBlitz “Dance With Me (Big Sky Dreamers, Book 3)” by Nan Dixon

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Big Sky Dreamers, Book 3

Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release Date: June 29, 2021

 

A journey of healing, hope and love.

SEAN

He loves running his family pub and the expansion into brewing is his contribution to the family legacy. But he hates seeing sad women in his pub, so he flirts, charms smiles out of the unhappy ones, and his Irish accent might be a little stronger as he teaches them a jig. Sad women remind of the terrible mistake he made. When Nicole walks in, pain radiates off her. He tries to coax a smile and even gets her to dance.

NICOLE

Eight months ago her world went up in flames. Once she was a dancer and a mother. Then her husband and daughter died in a fiery crash. Now she’s a mother without a child and a ballerina who cannot dance. Grief and guilt crush her. She retraces her daughter’s and philandering husband’s last day. Her final stop—O’Dair’s Pub. Her husband had been drinking with another woman before Nicole called and begged him to pick up their daughter.

Sean makes her smile. Makes her feel alive again. Maybe there is hope…

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Other books in the Big Sky Dreamers series:

Invest In Me

Big Sky Dreamers, Book One

Sienna D’Amico took the biggest risk of her life and slept with Tanner, a guy she barely knew. Then he ghosts her. No last name. No phone number.

An enemies to lovers tale that will keep you turning the pages!

Stained Glass Hearts

Big Sky Dreamers, Book Two

Both homes and hearts can be restored.

This story is an emotional rollercoaster ride to healing and love.

Amazon

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About the Author

Award winning author of the BIG SKY DREAMERS and FITZGERALD HOUSE series, Nan Dixon spent her formative years as an actress, singer, dancer and competitive golfer. But the need to eat had her studying accounting in college. Unfortunately, being a successful financial executive didn’t feed her passion to perform. When the pharmaceutical company she worked for was purchased, Nan got the chance of a lifetime—the opportunity to pursue a writing career. She’s a five-time Golden Heart® finalist and lives in the Midwest. She has five children, three sons-in-law, three granddaughters, two grandsons and one neurotic cat.

 

Contact Links

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Newsletter

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Purchase Links

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“Posh Frocks & Peacocks” is ** LIVE **

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** Now Live **

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Posh Frocks & Peacocks,

the third and final part of Lizzie’s humorous journey,

by Tracie Podger

*Blurb*

What better to accompany Colleen the Llama, Gerald the goat, and Piggy the pig with rickets than two rescue peacocks?

In true Lizzie and Ronan style, however, these aren’t just any old peacocks.

Life for Lizzie and Ronan has been hectic. With a thriving holiday destination set up in the castle grounds, the naked artists still…naked, and the use of the castle as a film location, it’s time to plan the next development in their relationship.

However, a promise to an elderly neighbour means the introduction of two new pets to the menagerie of misfits that free roam the estate causing all sorts of trouble.

With a wedding in the planning, the prospect of swingers meeting naturists for the first time, Lizzie and Ronan have their work cut out for them!

But will it all go to plan?

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#OneClick: mybook.to/PFP

Haven’t read Lizzie’s story yet?

Start with Limp Dicks & Saggy Tits: mybook.to/LDST

#RomCom #Romance #TraciePodger #MustRead #Humorous

#FollowLizzieOnHerJourneyOfSelfDiscovery

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#BookBlitz “Media Queen” by Michelle Prak

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HollyAnna, Book 2

Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Chick-lit

Published: June 2020

Publisher: Independently Published

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Jordyn Fairweather has worked hard to reach the top of the magazine world,
but now she’s in trouble.

Younger stars are scrambling to steal her crown, and media companies are
collapsing around her in the face of a new threat – the internet.

She’s come a long way from small town Beddo, where she obsessed over
teen glossies until pushing her way into an internship with Sixteen
magazine. But if Jordyn’s empire is going to survive, she needs to
move fast and keep reinventing herself.

Spanning the late 90s and 2000s, Media Queen is a compulsive read with an
outrageous main character. It comes with the essential ingredient that
Jordyn demands of all her stories: juice!

Book No 2 in the #HollyAnna series – following Goodbye Newsroom
– Media Queen can also be enjoyed as a standalone novel.

Purchase Links

Amazon

B&N

Kobo

IndieBound

 

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

 

Jordyn Fairweather knew one thing for sure. She never wanted to clean
another toilet in her life.

She shouldered open the door to the stall and dumped the tin pail onto the
floor. Warm air rushed in from the toilet block windows above, really just
rectangular gaps in the red brick building. She could hear girls calling out
goodbyes to each other, and car doors slamming. The tennis squad was going
home after practice. Jordyn wished she could go home, too.

‘Still here?’ a voice sang out, followed by a giggle.

Jordyn didn’t respond. She didn’t even bother looking around.
She knew who her interrogator was. She wiped the toilet cistern with an old
blue cloth, secretly wishing she could shove it down someone’s
throat.

Tina appeared in the doorway behind her.

‘I don’t know how you do this job,’ she said.

Jordyn splashed detergent into the bowl, flushed, and backed out of the
stall, hoping to crash into Tina and slop bucket water over her.

No such luck. Her tormentor moved away to lean against the row of
sinks.

Tina Goodman was a head taller than Jordyn, even though she was a grade
lower in high school. Her dark hair was tied in a high ponytail and her
short skirt barely covered her golden legs. She was a gladiator and this
toilet was one of her many arenas.

‘Goody wants to know if you want a lift home,’ Tina said.

Jordyn scowled. ‘I’m getting a lift home with my mum – he
should know that.’

Tina shrugged slowly, as if wearing a heavy fur coat. ‘That’s
what I told him, but he wanted to check.’

Jordyn watched Tina appraise herself in the mirrors – her tanned face
free of any teen blemishes. Her vicious, vacant eyes.

‘If you’re hangin’ around, it must mean you wanna take
over the cleaning …’ Jordyn said.

Tina tipped her head back to laugh. ‘No way! I’m never gonna
clean a toilet.’

With a speed propelled by fury, Jordyn grabbed the mop propped in a corner
and thrust its handle beneath Tina’s chin. The girl froze, her eyes
round.

‘Are you crazy?’ Tina croaked. ‘We’re not in
prison!’

‘Start mopping,’ Jordyn hissed.

Tina shoved her and used the newfound space to wriggle away and flee
through the toilet block door.

‘Cow!’ she shouted.

Jordyn laughed, clutching the mop like an old friend. She wished Tina had
struggled for a little longer; she was in the mood for a fight. She often
felt like that these days.

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About the Author

Michelle Prak is an indie author and university teacher who runs her own PR
agency. She loves creating energetic and ambitious characters who will make
you laugh and inspire you at the same time.

 

 

 

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#Featured “Linden Hills: A Novel” by Gloria Naylor

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The National Book Award–winning author of The Women of Brewster Place explores the secrets of an affluent black community.

For its wealthy African American residents, the exclusive neighborhood of Linden Hills is a symbol of “making it.” The ultimate achievement: a home on prestigious Tupelo Drive. Making your way downhill to Tupelo is irrefutable proof of your worth. But the farther down the hill you go, the emptier you become . . .

Using the descent of Dante’s Inferno as a model, this bold, haunting novel follows two young men as they attempt to find work amid the circles of the well-off community. Exploring a microcosm of race and social class, author Gloria Naylor reveals the true cost of success for the lost souls of Linden Hills—an existence trapped in a nightmare of their own making.

AMAZON

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