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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Blog Tour: Brink of Dawn

You don’t have to do this, Jules.” Troy cocks his head to the side a little, the way he does when he’s worried about me.

 

The warm expression in his eyes melts my heart. What would I do without him?

 

He’s always looking out for me. I used to get into fights, but even when they were my fault, he’d always stand up for me. Now I need him more then ever. The fate of the world is at stake, and he’s still here beside me, standing up for me. He’ll die to protect me if he has to, but I don’t need him to protect me anymore. I need him close, to wrap his friendship around me like a blanket, to connect, to feel human.

 

Lately I’ve had a hard time feeling human without him.

 

When was the last time I did something I didn’t want?” I smirk, but my words ring hollow, untrue—at least for me. I’m always stuck doing chores for other people, and now there’s an entire destiny to fulfill that’s been thrust upon me. I’d rather be normal and have nothing to do with this future, but we don’t get a chance to pick our destiny. At least I didn’t.

 

What’s your mom going to say when she finds out?”

 

Since when are you worried about my mom? You’ve been getting me in trouble since we were in kindergarten. Your name has been etched at the top of her Undesirable List since we were six. I’ve seen it. She keeps it posted on the refrigerator.”

 

Troy arches his eyebrows. “Hey, your mom loves me! I’m the other child she’s never had.”

 

Are you serious?” I shoot him a half smile so he knows I’m joking.

 

Everybody loves Troy. Still, he’s not on the college track, and Mom wants me to go to one of the best colleges so I can make tons of money and become a big shot lawyer, like her or some other Master of the Universe that has no fun and works way too hard.

 

Mom’s back home and we’re here. She doesn’t get a vote.”

 

He frowns. “It’s just that... once you do this, you can’t undo it. It’s forever.”

 

Really. That’s the point.” I shove him lightly in the chest. I’m old enough to make up my own mind, but he’s just trying to protect me, so I can’t get too angry with him.

 

What are your classmates at that fancy private school going to think when they find out?”

 

I pause for a second and look at him. I mean, really look at him, and peer past the handsome exterior: the almond-colored eyes, the chiseled chin, and the long raven hair that falls past his broad shoulders in a tight braid.

 

Beyond his confident shell, deep in his soul, he harbors doubts that trouble him—doubts he’ll never share with me. He’s making believe life will go back to normal once I fulfill this destiny—if I fulfill this destiny—but that’s not possible. Normal has become a bad joke, but I won’t shatter the illusion for him. He needs to sort events into a pattern he understands and imagine a time when life returns to what it was for us. It’s how he’s coping with the situation. I need to be strong for him. I can’t weaken his defenses, even if fears riddle my mind at every turn.

 

I straighten my back. “You know I don’t care about what they think at Bartens. I want to do this. I need to do it.” The wind kicks up, and the cool night air sweeps against my skin, leaving an army of goose bumps in its wake.

 

The almost full moon lights the cloudless sky. We inch toward the store and hesitate at the door. A red neon sign reads Lost Souls Tattoos in the front window. I take a deep breath and shove the door open, and a bell jingles above us.

 

No one’s in sight. Pictures of various tattoos line the walls of the small rectangular shop.

 

Toward the front left is a glass case with a cash register on top, and farther in the back are a massage table, some bright lights, and a chair with wheels on the legs.

 

A woman strolls from a back room. She’s in her twenties, gaunt with sharp features, smoky gray eyes, short hair, one nose ring, and small hoops that circle the edges of her ears. She holds a half-eaten wrap as she ambles toward us. “What do you guys want?”

 

She wears a loose gray T-shirt and tight jeans. Brightly colored tats cover her left arm, mostly eagles and hawks, and on the left side of her neck is a teardrop the size of my palm.

 

I want a tattoo,” I say casually, as if ordering a cheeseburger at McDonalds.

 

She points to a sign taped on the cash register. “You’ve got to be eighteen for me to give you a tattoo, and there’s no way you’re eighteen.”

 

I’m almost sixteen. In the right light I could pass for eighteen, but she probably has a lot of experience with underage teenagers asking for tattoos. Still, I feel a lot older than eighteen and that should count for something.

 

No one else is here. It’s late and this tattoo is really important to me.” My voice whines slightly at the end. I wish it hadn’t.

 

Why?” She crosses her arms against her chest and arches her eyebrows upward. Two gold rings, one in each eyebrow, bob up and down.

 

An invisible door creaks open. I’ll only get one chance to persuade her to give me the ink. Her teardrop tattoo stands out and must be important. Grief dulls the sparkle in her eyes and shows in the muscles that tighten her jaw. She’ll relate to my story, if it’s truthful.

 

I need to remember someone who died recently. He was really important to me.”

 

Who?”

 

My grandfather. I called him Sicheii, and he raised me like a father. He died to protect me.” Tears moisten my eyes. The tears are real, as Sicheii’s death is a fresh wound. People tell me the pain will get better with time, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. They mean well, but this hurt will always be fresh. He’ll always be gone, and it’s my fault. The woman’s face softens. “Just for the sake of discussion, what’re you looking for?”

 

Troy drops the satchel looped over his shoulder, smiles, lifts his T-shirt, and reveals his well-muscled chest and copper skin. Across his heart is a blue tat of two twisted arrows in a circle. Each arrow features different feathers and arrowheads.

 

The woman glides toward him and examines the ink on his chest. It’s beautiful in its simplicity and symmetry. She clearly admires it and perhaps wouldn’t mind trying to copy it.

 

Her eyes widen as she lingers over the details. “What does it mean?”

 

I hesitate. What am I going to tell her, the truth? That the symbol represents the ancient Order of the Twisted Arrows? Or that my grandfather unwittingly injected me at birth with alien DNA, which has changed me forever? Or that I’m one of four Chosen thrust into a battle for our world against a powerful enemy called from a different planet?

 

None of those explanations will get me a tattoo. She’d probably chase us from the store. I settle for something bland. “It represents an old society he belonged to. It meant everything to him. It was kind of a... club.”

 

At least it’s not a lie. She’s probably used to people lying to her and would catch a whiff of one right away.

 

She traces the circle with her finger. “Is it some weird Native American thing?”

 

You could say that.” Native Americans use tattoos generally to identify with certain tribes or to honor their animal spirit guide. I’m half Native American on my mom’s side, and Sicheii was her father. I have long black hair, an oval face, coffee-colored eyes that are round but not quite round enough to be beautiful, and a long, pointy nose I inherited from my Irish father. I look Native American except for the ghastly nose.

 

The tattoo artist leaves Troy and slides in front of me. She stands close, no more than a foot away, and traces of vegetable wrap linger on her breath. I’m taller than the average person and stand at least three inches higher than she does.

 

She studies my face for a long moment; perhaps she’s trying to see if I’m serious. “What’s your name?”

 

Juliet Wildfire Stone.” I never used to tell people my middle name. It embarrassed me. Now I realize it’s who I am, part of my identity.

 

Wildfire, huh? I can see that. Where do you want the tattoo?”

 

I roll up the right sleeve of my T-shirt. “My shoulder would be great.”

 

She nods. “It’ll cost you two hundred cash, and you can’t tell anyone you got it here.”

 

Done.” I hand her four fifty-dollar bills.

She locks the door to the shop, guides me to the table in the back, and places a pillow on one end. “You want it the same color?”

 

I jump on the table. “Yep.”

 

She gestures for Troy to come close. “Keep your shirt up. I want to get it just right.”

 

Two hours later, she wipes my arm with a towel. “That’s so weird.”

 

What’s wrong?” My heart jumps. Did she just totally mess up my arm and leave me with some ugly circle thing?

 

Troy’s smiling, so how bad of a job could she have done?

 

Usually it takes a couple weeks for the tat to heal. It always bleeds a little or gets puffy, but your arm already looks perfect, as if the ink had been on it forever.”

 

She hands me a mirror, and I smile. My tattoo is exactly the same as Troy’s. Exactly the same as Sicheii’s had been.

 

I shrug and hop from the table. “I’ve always been a fast healer.”

 

My DNA’s been changed, so my body can regenerate itself almost instantly. I didn’t know that before. It’s just another one of my abilities, as Sicheii would say. I’ve started to think of them as aberrations.

 

I have five so far: I can hear other people’s thoughts and read their emotions; I can possess animals for a short period of time; I have increased strength and speed; can move things with my mind; and heal instantly. There will probably be more, but they scare me. With each new one, I become less human.

 

We’d better head out.”

 

I step toward the door, and she grabs my wrist. “Wait. I want to take a picture of the ink for the wall.”

 

You can’t.” I yank my arm away from her.

 

I won’t take your face. Just the ink.”

 

Tough.” She scowls at me, but I ignore her and march outside.

 

When we leave the store a sharp pain stabs through my head, as though someone has taken an axe to my skull and cleaved it in two. A wild rage burns through me, and all of a sudden I’m inside a villa next to a piano. 

 

Breath catches in my throat, all the strength saps from my body, and I plummet to the ground.


Monday, 12 October 2015

Fire colour one by Jenny Valentine

I got sent Fire colour one by Jenny Valentine a while ago and I have finally finished the review.
 
Iris' father, Ernest, is at the end of his life and she hasn't even met him.
Her best friend, Thurston is somewhere on the other side of the world.
Everything she thought she knew is up in flames.
Now her mother has declared war and means to get her hands on Earnest's priceless art collection. But Earnest has other ideas.
There are things he wants Iris to know after he's gone.
And the truth has more than one way of coming to light...
 
From the blurb of this book I was interested and although it was a good book with a great plot, I didn't really enjoy the writing style of this book. I felt like there was to much flipping back and forth from the past to the present that I got confused. Another thing was that it was a bit slow to get into. And also a lot of the characters were annoying. Earnest and Thurston were the only truly nice and genuine characters and yet we don't really see much o them apart from the ending.
 
Despite this I did enjoy some of the book as the descriptions were wonderful. I am glad this was a short book as I don't think I would have been able to read it if it wasn't.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir

So there's this small film coming out soon called The Martian. Heard of it? Well unless you are living on Mars, you probably have. Well today I am here to review the book for you.

So basically I've seen this book on Bookstagram for a while and then thanks to my grandparents, I got it for my birthday. I hadn't got around to reading it and I knew the film was coming out soon and after I saw that one of my IRL friends was reading it and he told me it was amazing, I had to pick it up ASAP.

It took me around 5 days to read the book and holy cow it was awesome! If you don't know what the story is about, there is this astronaut called Mark Watney who has been abandoned by his crew (becuse they thought he was dead) on their Mars mission. (This book is set in the future so of course there is a way to get to Mars.) The book is told from 3 areas. Mark Watneys perspective on Mars, employees of NASA and Watneys crew mates. 

Through the 369 pages of this book Watney must figure out a way to survive on Mars for 4 years (the time it'll take for the next mission to reach him) and a way to contact NASA (so they can bring him home and so they'll know he is still alive). 

This book is so enjoyable and even if you are not science minded, it is full of witty humour and sarcasm, action and adventure, so I'm sure most people will love this book. 

I cannot wait to see the movie and I am so glad Matt Damon is playing Watney becuse I couldn't imagine anyone else doing it. I hope if you do read the book and see the movie, that you enjoy them. 

Monday, 10 August 2015

Blog Tour: The Demon Gabriella REVIEW

Surviving an onslaught of dark forces took talent and strength—and allowing the Demon Abraxas into the world. Now Sabel Young’s order wants her to answer for her actions. All Sabel wants is the freedom to love the woman she rescued, Ana Khoury. 

Nearly killed—and worse—in a world of magic she didn’t know existed, Ana is nursing new scars and old. Her brother wants to journey to South Dakota to confront their shared past before that opportunity is lost forever. The centuries-old feud between demons and witches isn’t going to stop Ana from going with him. 

Sabel knows there’s nowhere that Ana can go that evil won’t follow. She fears their newest ally, the Demon Gabriella, is a more profound danger than their enemies.

I was very sceptical when starting this book as it is the second one in the series, but you are provided with enough information in the first couple of chapters that it does not matter. 

I really wanted to read this book as I loved it's tour mate, Song of Secrets, but I didn't really enjoy this book. The plot was great and it probably would've been really fun, if it hadn't of taken me ages to get into the book. 

Unlike its tour mate, The Demon Gabriella didn't pull me in from the first few pages. It took me around 60 pages to pull me in and by that point I had been reading it for over a week and I was just bored. From then on I skim read the book just so I would understand the just of the story so I could review it. 

The book is about Ana and her girlfriend Sabel, who go traveling across the country with family and friends, and try to stop a powerful demon at the same time. It was a really interesting concept but unfortunately I didn't enjoy reading it. It was only the fact that it took so long to grip me that I didn't enjoy the story.

Although I didn't really enjoy the book, I want to thank http://www.novelpublicity.com for sending me this book to review it.

Check out my previous posts to find more out about the author and where to find them and to read my review on the books tour mate. 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Blog Tour: The demon Gabriella by Rachel Calish

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as two new titles from Rachel Calish--we're calling them the Calish Couple—tour the blogosphere in a way that just can't be ignored. And, hey, we've got prizes!

About the prizes:
Who doesn't love prizes? You could win either a $50 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of The demon Gabriella by Rachel Calish, or an autographed copy of its tour mate, Song of Secrets by Tate Hallaway and Rachel Calish  Here's what you need to do...
Enter the Rafflecopter contest
Leave a comment on my blog

That's it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win--the full list of participating bloggers can be found http://www.novelpublicity.com/calish/ HERE
The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on http://www.novelpublicity.com/calish/ 
the official Calish Couple tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: 
Surviving an onslaught of dark forces took talent, strength—and allowing the Demon Abraxas into the world. Now Sabel Young’s order wants her to answer for her actions. All Sabel wants is the freedom to love the woman she rescued, Ana Khoury.
Nearly killed—and worse—in a world of magic she didn’t know existed, Ana is nursing new scars and old. Her brother wants to journey to South Dakota to confront their shared past before that opportunity is lost forever. The centuries-old feud between the demons and witches isn’t going to stop Ana from going with him.
Sabel knows there’s nowhere that Ana can go that evil won’t follow and she fears their newest ally, the Demon Gabriella, is a more profound danger than their enemies.

Get The Demon Gabriella through http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Gabriella-Rachel-Calish/dp/1594934436 Amazon

About the Authour:
Rachel Calish lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota because it’s so cold you just have to sit inside and write novels. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts in Writing degree by writing stories about sexy demons. A fan of games of all kinds, you can find her playing anything from the lat- est video game releases to Checkers with half the pieces missing. Under the name Rachel Gold, she writes LBGTQ Young Adult fiction.
Connect with Rachel on her www.rachelcalish.com website
https://www.facebook.com/rachel.calishFacebook
https://twitter.com/RachelCalish Twitter
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6908034.Rachel_Calish GoodReads


Learn more about The demon Gabriella's tour mate http://www.novelpublicity.com/calish/ HERE

Blog tour: Song of Secrets REVIEW

Sing a song of secrets … 
A shape-shifter with a penchant for breaking and entering …
A homeless boy struggling with hallucinations that could turn out to be all too real …
A monster in need of a rescue …
And a mathematical genius with a real demon of a mother …
Fate draws Theo, Gabe, Erin and Kitty to a place they jokingly call “The School for Wayward Demons.” There they learn that sinister forces threaten to invate the city of San Francisco and plot to overthrow the powers that be. Now they must choose whom to trust: the witches, the demon, or the Shaitans. Or each other.

This book is set in the point of views of four young adults who are different from your average person.
Theo Young;  A shape shifter with a passion for breaking and entering,
Gabriel 'Gabe' Herrera;  A homeless boy who has the Sight
Erin; A 'monster' in need of rescuing and
Kitty; A genius with a demon for a mother, who seems to have it all.

At the start of the book the four characters seem to have nothing to do with each other, minus the part where they all belong to the unseen world. Each person is introduced and the reader is told a little about their background and their story. As the book progresses, more information on the characters and their abilities are brought to life. The deeper the story gets the more connected and intertwined the characters fate's get, and the closer they become. Theo, Gabe and Kitty are finally united when they get sent to 'The school for wayward Demons'. They get taught how to control their abilities and how the unseen world works. More characters are introduced until the final event takes place, rescuing the monster. 

At the end of the book the monster, aka Erin, seems like she could be bad news for the group of unlikely friends but I guess we'll have to wait until the second book to find out.

I'm really exited to read the next book, hoping there will be one, (fingers crossed) because I really want to  read more into Gabe's past as for me he was the most interesting character. I'm also looking forward to reading the books' tour mate, The demon Gabriella, as to find more out about Theo's sister Sabel and her girlfriend Ana.

All in all I really enjoyed this book and I want to thank http://www.novelpublicity.com for sending me this book to review it.

Check out my previous post to find more out about the authors and where to find them.

Blog Tour: Song of Secrets by Tate Hallaway and Rachel Calish

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as two new titles from Rachel Calish--we're calling them the Calish Couple—tour the blogosphere in a way that just can't be ignored. And, hey, we've got prizes!

About the prizes:
Who doesn't love prizes? You could win either a $50 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of Song of Secrets by Tate Hallaway and Rachel Calish, or an autographed copy of its tour mate, The Demon Gabriella by Rachel Calish. Here's what you need to do...
Enter the Rafflecopter contest
Leave a comment on my blog

That's it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win--the full list of participating bloggers can be found http://www.novelpublicity.com/calish/ HERE
The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on http://www.novelpublicity.com/calish/ 
the official Calish Couple tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: 
Sing a song of secrets … 
A shape-shifter with a penchant for breaking and entering …
A homeless boy struggling with hallucinations that could turn out to be all too real …
A monster in need of a rescue …
And a mathematical genius with a real demon of a mother …
Fate draws Theo, Gabe, Erin and Kitty to a place they jokingly call “The School for Wayward Demons.” There they learn that sinister forces threaten to invate the city of San Francisco and plot to overthrow the powers that be. Now they must choose whom to trust: the witches, the demon, or the Shaitans. Or each other.

Get Song of Secrets through http://www.amazon.com/Song-Secrets-School-Wayward-Demons-ebook/dp/B00UM0VI5O

About the authors: 
Tate Hallaway leads a double life. By day, she’s Lyda Morehouse, a mild-mannered science fiction author of the Shamus and Philip K. Dick award-winning AngeLINK series. By night, she’s the bestselling para- normal romance and urban fantasy writer, Tate Hallaway. She’s written and published over a dozen novels (five as Lyda and nine as Tate), and together her two identities have over a decade of professional publishing experience.
Connect with Tate on her www.tatehallaway.com website 
https://twitter.com/tatehallaway
Twitter
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/379444.Tate_Hallaway GoodReads

Rachel Calish lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota because it’s so cold you just have to sit inside and write novels. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts in Writing degree by writing stories about sexy demons. A fan of games of all kinds, you can find her playing anything from the lat- est video game releases to Checkers with half the pieces missing. Under the name Rachel Gold, she writes LBGTQ Young Adult fiction.
Connect with Rachel on her www.rachelcalish.com website
https://www.facebook.com/rachel.calishFacebook
https://twitter.com/RachelCalish Twitter
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6908034.Rachel_Calish GoodReads


Learn more about Song of Secrets' tour mate http://www.novelpublicity.com/calish/ HERE

Sunday, 21 June 2015

BLOG TOUR!

Did you like the excerpts of the book?
 If you did you can buy the book here:

Title: The Secrets of Yashire

Author: Diamante Lavendar

Genre: YA Fantasy
 
Thanks to http://www.enchantedbookpromotions.com for letting me host this tour, sorry I couldn't review the book

And thanks to all the pageviews I have!

The Secrets of Yashire Blog Tour


Excerpt Three:

“Good morning!” Libban entered the hall, her hair flowing like locks of gold down her shoulders, her eyes glinting like a sapphire fire. “Now that you are refreshed, please come and sit with me. There is much for us to talk about.”

She led Brianna back to the room with the large table where they had eaten the night before. Libban motioned for Brianna to sit down and then gracefully slipped into a chair next to her.

“I know that this is going to be hard for you to believe, but I know who you are and why you are here.” She sighed and touched Brianna’s hand. “You are the promised one—the one who The Spirit of Truth sent to heal the land.”

The Secrets of Yashire Blog Tour


Excerpt Two:

 

Opening her eyes, Brianna gazed into a clear blue sky illuminated by warm, hazy rays of sunlight. She slowly turned her head to look around. She was lying on a carpet of soft, green grass. All around her she heard the sweet, cheerful songs of birds as a playful breeze rumpled her long black hair.

Where am I?

She tried to raise her head but a hot, sharp pain shot through it.

Ow! I have one heck of a headache!

Gently, she lay her head back down. As she stretched into a more comfortable position, she noticed the clothes she was wearing; a white, ruffled blouse and a long, purple skirt. She was vaguely confused but couldn’t figure out why. Suddenly a strong urge to sleep overcame her. Closing her eyes, she listened to the birds and felt the warm sun soaking into her skin. The soft breeze caressed her cheeks and pressed the tendrils of her hair against her forehead. Gently, she was lulled back to sleep.

Brianna was awakened by a swishing sound nearby.

What was that?

She turned her head to see a woman with long, blonde hair and a robe the color of fresh, pink rose petals walking through the grass with two little blue gnarled creatures at her side. She tried to jump up, to run away, but another hot flash of pain in her head quickly halted her efforts.

Oh God! What are those things?

In terror, she watched as the woman looked over at her.

“Oh my goodness! My dear, are you ill? Where did you come from?” The woman walked over to Brianna and bent down, her brow knit with concern. “You needn’t be afraid, dear. I am Libban.”

The two little blue creatures hopped around Brianna, sniffing and snorting as they nudged her arms and legs.

“Stop! Please!” She begged. “Where…where am I?

Libban spoke sharply to the little blue creatures and they ran to her side, looking at Brianna from behind her skirt.

“Who are you?” Brianna said, her voice shaking.

“I am Libban, Keeper of the Land.”

“Keeper of what land? Where am I?” Brianna managed to whisper.

“Why, you are in Yashire!” Libban crouched next to Brianna.

“What is Yashire?” Brianna asked, tears stinging her eyes.

“You must have had a hard fall, my dear. Do you remember how you got here? What is your name?” Libban surveyed her intently with crystalline blue eyes.

“I…I’m not sure!” Brianna answered.

What is my name? Oh, God! What is happening?

“Here, let me help you. Would you like to come to my home? Maybe you will remember as we walk.” Libban stood and offered her hand to help Brianna up.

Carefully, Brianna obliged, inching herself up slowly because of the throbbing in her head.

They walked through the meadow and up a small hill to a large mansion. The two little blue creatures chased each other through the meadow ahead of Brianna and Libban and disappeared into the mansion. The windows in the mansion were open and plump white doves perched on the sills amongst brilliant red, white and orange flowing vines that climbed the stone walls.

This place is huge! It looks like a castle or something!

Brianna gazed at the huge leafy trees all over the grounds. Roses bloomed among the deep purple violets growing thick in the flower gardens in front of the mansion.

I’ve never seen anything like this in my life! Wait…how do I know that? Where am I? What is this place? Am I hallucinating?

Brianna stopped walking, her thoughts racing.

Who am I? How can I not know who I am?

Panic gripped her.

“What is this place called?” she asked, her throat tightening.

“This land is called Yashire. Please come in and sit down. Maybe you will begin to remember if you relax a bit.” Libban answered, motioning for her to follow through the arched front doorway.

The Secrets of Yashire Blog Tour

Due to some circumstances, I couldn't review the book but I do have some excerpts for you.


Excerpt One:

 

Brianna started her car and turned on the radio as she pulled out of the driveway.

I’m happy I’m feeling better today. Yesterday sucked.

She drove down the street with her radio blasting, singing along loudly as she headed toward Angie’s house.

Yeah! A free day to do anything we want! Today’s gonna be a blast!

She pulled in to Angie’s driveway and honked. She didn’t want to have to talk to Angie’s parents; they were too nosey and would ask too many questions. Angie came running out of the house and jumped in the car.

“So what are we gonna do today?” Angie asked as she threw her purse and schoolbag by her feet.

“I don’t know. We gotta write the notes though and go to first hour. Say that I have to leave for a doctor’s appointment and you have an appointment with that counselor that you saw before. Then we’ll ditch school and I’ll meet you in the parking lot after first hour. Do you want to write them or should I?”

“Just drive. I want to leave before my parents come outside. I’ll just write them.”

Brianna took off and headed to school. When they got there, she turned to Angie. “Ok. I’ll meet you here after first hour.”

“Ok. See ya,” Angie replied as they both headed in.

An hour later they were back in the parking lot, ready to have some fun.

“So where are we going?” Angie asked.

“Let’s go shopping. I have some money. And I need cigarettes. Do you have any money?”

“Not much. Maybe just enough to get something to eat,” Angie looked over at her as they drove away. “So what are you going to do about John?”

“I don’t know. Everyone’s talking about it and staring at me in the hallway.” She sighed heavily. “I’m so sick of doing this stupid stuff all the time. I think I should stop going out so much.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Angie replied. “But what are you going to say to everyone?”

“I got too drunk. What else can I say? And who cares anyway? Everyone drinks and does stupid shit. I’m not the only one. John’s a big boy. He knew what he was doing. It’s as much his fault as mine,” Brianna said as she lit up a cigarette.

“True.” Angie reached for Brianna’s pack of cigarettes and lit one up also.

“Maybe if there was a decent guy out there that wouldn’t be so willing to screw around it would be a different story. I’ve never met one though. None of them seem to give a shit. All they want is a booty call. They never take anything seriously. So why should I? I’m young. I want to have fun just like everyone else.”

“I know, right?” Angie agreed.

“I don’t think I’m ever going to get married. I’m sixteen and I’ve gone out with tons of guys. None of them want to get serious, and if they do, they cheat on you anyway. You can’t win. Why the heck should I even try? And look at my parents. If you do get married, it’s probably going to end up like crap anyway. What’s the point?” She took a drag of her cigarette.

“Let’s go shop there!” Suddenly distracted, Brianna pointed at a place on her right and swerved across a lane of traffic and into the parking lot.

“Dang Bri!” Angie yelled as she grabbed hold of her door handle. “Quit driving like a maniac!”

Brianna just laughed and parked the car.

***

Hours later, they were both sick of shopping.

“Let’s go eat,” Angie suggested after they had gotten back in the car and were driving out of the parking lot.

“Sounds good to me. Where do you wanna go?”

“I don’t know. How about someplace downtown?” Angie snapped her gum.

“Sure.” Brianna headed downtown. “What about Stan’s? Right over there?” She pointed as they went toward Main Avenue.

“Yeah. That looks good.” Angie nodded.

“Alright! Hurry up, you idiot!” Brianna stepped on the gas and passed a car directly in front of them. Then she swerved ahead of it, veering to the right, and pulled into a parking space directly across the street from the restaurant. “Here we are!”

The car honked its horn as it drove by.

“Dang! Quit being so reckless!” Angie laughed as they both got out. She ran around the front of the car as Brianna locked the doors. They both began crossing the street when Brianna dropped her keys. Angie continued across the street as Brianna bent down to pick them up.

“Hurry up!” Angie turned and yelled behind her. “I’m hungry!”

Just as Brianna grabbed her keys, Angie started screaming. A car horn blared loudly. Seconds later she felt a car hit her and she was thrown through the air like a rag doll, landing with a thud. Her arms and legs crumpled beneath her. She heard voices around her and a heavy motionless feeling spread through her whole body as the sounds drifted farther and farther away. As the daylight began to fade, the buzzing in her ears got louder. Then blackness.