Contemporary YA Books



PIECES of LOVE

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Sixteen year-old Alexis Hartman wants nothing more than to smoke pot and play guitar. Getting high and escaping into her music seems the perfect solution when her world is shattered by her sister’s death. But when she’s arrested for possession a second time, life couldn’t get any more complicated. Her mother’s breakdown is the final straw that forces Lexi to spend the summer on the West Coast with her grandmother, Maddie. When Lexi steps over the line one too many times, she’s certain her life is over and that she’s destined for juvenile detention—until Maddie decides that desperate measures are called for. A three week Mediterranean cruise—for seniors.

Eighteen year-old Ethan Kaswell, the poster child for good sons, is stranded on the cruise when his father, a famous heart surgeon, is called away. With his own life perfectly mapped out, Ethan finds Lexi’s unpredictability irresistible. Although he’s smart enough to see that there is no future in falling for a “vacation crush,” Lexi’s edgy dark side draws him like an anchor to the bottom of the sea. As the two embark on the journey of a lifetime, will Lexi mess this up too? Or will she finally learn to love someone—even when she has to let them go?

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e-book ISBN: 978-0-9856072-7-2

Print ISBN:978-0-9856072-8-9

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Here’s an Excerpt     

 Six hours, three barf-bags, and a lay-over in Denver later, I stumbled off the plane and retrieved my suitcase from the baggage claim carousel. From the odd looks I was getting, my face must have been a pasty shade of green. If it meant hitchhiking all the way home, I would do it, but I never wanted to get on another plane again. I called my grandmother who told me to meet her out front in ten minutes. Following the signs to the drop-off and pick-up zone I plunked down onto a nearby bench and half-heartedly browsed through the Architectural Digest I’d confiscated from the plane.

The air was warm with a nice breeze, and palm trees swayed in a line across the road. People passed by, ignoring me and rushing off to their next destination. A lady with too much perfume sat beside me. My stomach rolled. Since breakfast had left me hours ago and the food on the plane had sent me running for the stinky closet they called a bathroom, my stomach growled from hunger. The strong floral fragrance assaulted my nose, and I knew from experience dry heaves were next. I got up and moved away, clearly doomed no matter what I did.

Pacing, I waited until a dark blue Mercedes pulled up to the curb and my grandmother stepped out, a broad smile on her face. I recognized the red hair and jewelry as her trademark style, but I’d forgotten how much she looked like the pictures I had of my father. She had his sharp nose and bright blue eyes. Even the shape of her lips as she smiled reminded me of him. She rounded the front of the car and threw her arms around me. “There’s my little Ali Cat.” She drew back. “My goodness how you’ve grown.”

“It’s just Ali, now.” I turned away, recalling our last visit and shuddering at her use of the nickname Ali Cat, a name only my father and Amanda had used. I threw my bags in the back seat and climbed into the front of the swank luxury sports car, the tan leather cool from the air conditioning. Not for the first time, I wished I had been able to bring my guitar. I felt totally lost without it.

“Of course. You’ve probably outgrown that silly name, haven’t you? We’ll have to come up with a new one. Ali is so plain.” Snapping her seatbelt into place, she had a revelation. “I know. I’ll call you Lexi. That’s much more suitable for a young woman.” She fixed her hair in the mirror and pulled into traffic. The tires squealed.

I sighed, tightening the seatbelt across my shoulder. This was going to be a long summer.

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HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES

        2011 MOLLY Finalist

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Smart and athletic seventeen year-old Jordie Dunn has a bright future planned, but when tragedy turns her life upside down, she begins to question not only her future, but the facts surrounding her brother’s death in Iraq. The military’s account that his best friend and fellow Marine, Alex Cooper, is at fault, is a notion she refuses to believe. Alex was the careful one–the shy, protective, computer geek she’s had a crush on since the ninth grade, and she knows better than anyone that her troubled brother had a dark and reckless side—a secret she’s kept for far too long.

With no memory of the incident that killed his best friend, nineteen year-old Alex Cooper returns home, shattered and facing a difficult recovery. Determined to go it alone, he pushes Jordie away. No longer the freckle-faced tom-boy who followed him and Levi around as a kid, she has become a beautiful and stubborn young woman who believes in him far more than he deserves.

 

 

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Also available on Audio Book at Audible.com, Amazon.com, and i-Tunes

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e-book ISBN: 978-0-9856072-2-7  

print ISBN: 978-1463569549

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       ON THIN ICE

        2011 FAB-Five Finalist

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Seventeen year old figure skater Penny Trudeau has secrets. She’s not perfect, as hard as she tries to be. With a mother who is dying and a father who treats her like she’s invisible, Penny has every reason to lie. To escape the life that is spinning out of control, she falls into the arms of an older boy. But when she lies about her age and he finds out the truth, Penny loses the one good thing that has happened in a long time.

Carter McCray is the hockey hunk she falls for, but Carter has his own family drama, and he’s not looking for trouble. Penny proves to be the exception, until the truth comes out and he can’t get past the betrayal—or her father’s threats.

Can Penny find her way back into Carter’s heart, or will she have to face the harsh realities of life on her own? Penny’s choices lead her down a dangerous road and the secrets she’s keeping will change her world forever.

 

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e-book ISBN: 978-0-9856072-3-4

Print book ISBN: 978-0-9856072-3-4

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SAVAGE CINDERELLA

Winner of 2012 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award

Winner of the 2013 Holt Medallion Award for outstanding literary fictionholtimage 

 

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Eighteen year-old Brinn Hathaway has survived alone in an abandoned cabin in the High Country of North Georgia since she was a child. If her life is lonely and less than complete, at least she is safe from the man who kidnapped her, held her captive, and left her for dead in a shallow grave in the mountains. She believes that her parents are dead, the police are her enemy, and that if she returns to the world, her tormentor will find her. With the help of some unlikely friends, she has what she needs to survive, but is surviving enough?

Life takes a turn when a young nature photographer, Justin Spencer—in pursuit of the fabled Wild Child—captures her on film. While chasing the story of a lifetime, Justin is injured and Brinn comes to his rescue. The two build a tentative friendship, but with his own violent past, an abusive alcoholic father, and a mother he couldn’t protect, he must decide if proving himself is worth betraying the trust of the girl he has vowed to help.

Trust is a commodity that Brinn has been unable to afford. Can the kindness and gentle touch of a stranger break through the wall she has built around her heart? After half a lifetime of living in isolation and fear, Brinn must decide if leaving the safety of her remote cabin is worth the hope—and danger—that may await her.

 

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Buy Print version at CreateSpace

e-book ISBN: 978-0-98569549

Print book ISBN: 13-978-1468179576

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