Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review 'Answers For Julie' by Cate Beauman Keller relishes the simple things: hot chocolate on winter nights, good friends she calls her family, and her laid-back career as a massage therapist and yoga instructor. Julie is content with her life until Chase Rider returns to Bakersfield.

Bodyguard Chase Rider isn’t thrilled to be back in the town where he spent his childhood summers. His beloved grandmother passed away, leaving him a house in need of major repairs. With a three-week timetable and a lot to do, he doesn’t have time for distractions. Then he bumps into Julie, the one woman he hoped never to see again. Chase tries to pretend Julie doesn’t exist, but ten years hasn’t diminished his attraction to the hazel-eyed stunner.

When a stranger grabs Julie’s arm at the grocery store—a woman who insists Julie’s life isn’t what it seems, Chase can’t help but get involved. Julie and Chase dig into a twenty-five-year-old mystery, unearthing more questions than answers. But the past is closer than they realize, and the consequences of the truth have the potential to be deadly.

The Facts:

Publication Date:
June 18th, 2015
The Bodyguards of L.A. County #9
Contemporary Romance
eBook, Paperback
Available at:

My Review:

‘Answers For Julie’ is the ninth book in the Bodyguards of L.A. County series. In the last year I’ve read the first books in this series and totally fell in love with Cate Beauman’s characters and her writing. So since it had been a while since I read the previous book in the series, it was definitely time to read ‘Answers For Julie’.

Maybe it was because I haven’t read a Cate Beauman book for a while, or maybe this book was just very good, which is the right answer I think, but ‘Anwers For Julie’ really blew my mind. I loved this book! And I just didn’t want to stop reading! I read all 562 pages in only one day and I read till late at night. It really was just so good.

Julie Keller lives a nice and quiet life in the town she grew up in and has so many beautiful memories. What she didn’t expect was to see her best friend, and once love of her life, to walk back into her little hometown after ten years.
Bodyguard Chase Rider has come back to the little town of Bakersfield to sell his grandma’s house. But when he sees Julie, a lot of painful memories come back. Julie and Chase try to ignore each other. But the chemistry and connection they shared all those years ago is still there. And when Julie’s life suddenly turns upside down, Chase can’t help but try to help her out.

Julie and Chase were two amazing characters I loved reading about. From the very first page their chemistry was coming out of the pages. And I just didn’t want to stop reading about them. I loved how ‘Answers For Julie’ was just as great a romance story, as a mystery and a thriller. Just like the characters I was dying to know what was the deal with Julie’s past. And it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.

Although ‘Answers For Julie’ is already the ninth book in this series, I still can’t get enough of this amazing series. Each book is filled with romance and mystery and I just love getting to know all these characters.

‘Anwers For Julie’ is definitely my new favorite Cate Beauman book. And if you haven’t started this series yet, I suggest you’ll start ASAP!

My Rating:

About the Author:

International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015,  ‘Justice For Abby’ was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while ‘Saving Sophie’ took the Silver Medal. ‘Saving Sophie’ was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and ‘Falling For Sarah’ received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards. Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. For information on Cate's new releases, monthly giveaways, and upcoming events, sign up for her newsletter.

For more information about Cate Beauman please visit her website. Or visit her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

My Favorite.. Book Friendship

My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info: My Favorite Meme.

This was a favorite I didn’t have to think about long. I’ve read about some great Book Friendships. But the one I think about immediately when I see the word friendship, is the friendship between Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Hermoine Granger. Yes, I know you probably are thinking I need to stop talking about my Harry Potter favoritism.. but I just can’t help it.

The friendship between Harry, Ron and Hermoine is one I’ve always envied. They are family from their very first year at Hogwarts. And not only are they friends, no they all meet each other’s families and soon it’s just one big happy family. Harry really had no one, but after meeting Ron the Weasleys became his family too. And I loved that.

Harry, Ron and Hermoine are brave, very different from each other and (most of the times) they are really supportive of one another. Not in the beginning off course, when Harry and Ron were a bit nasty to Hermoine. (But then again, she was being a nosy know it all.) Their friendship was definitely something that made the Harry Potter series what it is today. And it doesn’t matter how many times I read the books.. I love reading about these three.

What is your favorite book friendship? And Why?

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Blog Tour 'The Rainbow Player' by David Kerby- Kendall

Today I’m super excited to participate in the Blog Tour of ‘The Rainbow Player’ by David Kerby- Kendall. ‘The Rainbow Player’ is a LGBT novel and shines a spotlight on the issues surrounding homosexuality in professional sport. 
Check out this post for my review and for and excerpt!

About the Book:
England footballer, Sammy Hatchington, has never considered sexuality before. As a teenager, Sammy broke the mould of his youthful peers with his desire to open the door to life’s endless possibilities. He escaped a deprived estate and, with the help of Old Thomas, his surrogate father, Davey, his soul-mate, and Gran, the connoisseur of footballer’s bottoms, launched himself on a path toward his personal and professional goals. Now, several years later, he must make a decision that could destroy everything he has fought for, and create a furious media frenzy………

David Kerby-Kendall’s joyous and witty novel challenges preconceptions about professional sportsmen and love, and is also a delightful and moving story of a young man’s journey to self-knowledge.

The Facts:

Publication Date:
June 20th, 2017
eBook, Paperback
Available at:

My Review:

The thing that grabbed my attention first about ‘The Rainbow Player’ was definitely the cover. I love this cover! It’s just really colorful and grabs your attention. And when I read that ‘The Rainbow Player’ is partly about the issues surrounding homosexuality in professional sport I was even more interested in reading this book. I haven’t read any LGBT books before, not because I have something against it, just because I never came across a book like this and ‘The Rainbow Player’ seemed like a great book to start.

Football is a big sport here in the Netherlands. It’s something I grew up with watching. So reading a book about a guy who becomes a famous England Footballer was definitely interesting to me. And ‘The Rainbow Player’ was definitely a nice book to read. The writing is easy to follow, and the main character Sammy Hatchington has something about him that made me want to keep on reading. Although this book is about a footballer, it’s definitely not a ‘sports’ book. If you don’t like sports, this can definitely still be a nice book for you.

Sammy’s character was one that I enjoyed reading about. Sammy was kind, enjoyed reading and playing football, and he lived with his parents who were terrible to him. Everything seemed to work out perfectly for him. Sammy had a lovely best friend called Davey that supported him through everything. And there were more friends Sammy could count on. 

I definitely enjoyed reading ‘The Rainbow Player’. Reading about how Sammy discovered his homosexuality was different, but interesting and reading about how the football world reacted to his homosexuality was definitely mind-blowing. Although this book is fiction, I can easily imagine people being so simpleminded that they would really react like that, especially in the football world. Disgusting, and it definitely makes you think.

The one part that I didn’t really like about this read, was that it was a little slow at moments. There was more than one moment that I wished this book would go faster. Reading about Sammy’s different relationships, was interesting, but could have been a lot shorter if you ask me. If it wasn’t for Sammy’s character, and my determination to find out what happened I wouldn’t have been able to read all of this book.

But in the end I definitely think ‘The Rainbow Player’ was a nice read that definitely makes you think about the world we live in. 

My Rating:


Sammy and Davey are in a fairground. Davey has asked him to spend the rest of their lives together. Sammy now has to make a decision to admit totally to his love for Davey, and to being gay.

“Would you like an ice-cream?” he says.

Suddenly the world has stopped; all movement frozen in time. And I know what the ice cream signifies. I know that I have to make the decision now.

The moment runs through me like an electric shock and a thousand maybe’s spark another thousand what if’s.

Because I know that if I accept the ice cream, I accept Davey. That I admit this total love. Not just the spiritual, unbreakable, wordless love that has always existed between us, but a sexual love as well. And I know that this will mean an admittance of a sexuality, until recently, unknown to me. That Alex was not just a dalliance, but a precursor to the real thing. Until a year ago I’d never positively wanted to have sex with another man (though, if someone had asked me, who knows what I would have said?). But this would mean changing me. Or would it? Maybe it would just mean using a piece of me I’d never used before; not turning to the last page. I know that I love Davey ultimately because, how do we know what degree of love we feel unless we have something to compare it to. And the thought of lying in bed with him, throwing toast at him, texting him my daily thoughts when we weren’t together, lying in his arms when we were, letting this absolute love flood over me as mine flooded over him, is making me faint, making me happy, making me almost strong enough to leave the fear behind.
And if I don’t accept it? What then? I continue to live, to move forward. I find happiness somewhere else, with someone else. I keep Davey as my friend, he said that; but in a different capacity; because we have come all this way only to go back a step. But I could have a girlfriend, a wife, children, happy convention. And I would be happy. I would make it happen.

But would I be happiest?

In fifty years’ time, sitting in my old chair, watching some ravaged autumn evening turn into night, reliving the smiles and falls of my footballing youth, would Davey appear to me in some wind-blown dream, standing tall and beautiful, like the perfect statue of what could have been.

About the Author:

Originally from Leicester, David Kerby-Kendall now lives in Muswell Hill, North London. He is an actor who began writing in 2007. From the success of his first play, Save Your Kisses For Me, he became the in-house writer for Heartbreak Productions, writing and adapting plays for national tours, including three David Walliam’s novels (Mr Stink, Ratburger and Billionaire Boy) as well as several other novels: Pride And Prejudice, The Secret Garden, Peter Pan and Dracula. His second play, The Moon Is Halfway To Heaven, was produced at Jermyn Street Theatre, London. He has two new plays in the pipeline: 20:40 which deals with depression and Gay Pride And No Prejudice, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s famous novel.

For more information about David Kerby-Kendall please visit his website. Or visit him on Twitter.

I received this book from Authoright in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Sunday Post #57: Slow & Steady

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ Its a chance to share news ~ A Post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


This week was one of those that flew by without me really noticing. Not a lot has happened, other than that I had to work the dayshift Wednesday till Friday, and this weekend I have to work two nightshifts again. 

On Monday I had a free day and went to the office of the ‘Nursing’, a Dutch magazine for nurses. I was asked to help them test their new website, and I must say I really enjoyed doing that. It was fun, and different than my normal job. And as a thank you I got a really gift card. Definitely a nice treat.

Not much to mention about this week really. I had a lot of traffic jams after work again, so I can’t wait for our scooter to arrive. It would be nice to not have to wait in traffic every single day. 

Ow.. and hopefully our wedding album will finally arrive this week. We did receive the pictures online already.. Gorgeous!! I just love watching them!

Books & Reading:

Blogging and reading wise it has been a slow week too. I was really tired this week, so I went to bed early a view evenings which really shortened my reading time. I hope to catch up next week. I did finish the first Harry Potter book, which I’m re-reading for the Wizarding World Book Club and I already re-started the second book. I figured since I read only a chapter or two a day I can start already. 

And not to forget I reviewed a great new book 'Summer's Lease' by Carrie Elks. I loved it!!

Last Week on the Blog:

This Week on the Blog:

  • Blog Tour ‘The Rainbow Player’ by David Kerby-Kendall
  • My Favorite.. Book Friendship
  • Review ‘Answers For Julie’ by Cate Beauman
  • Books I Really Want To Read ASAP 

New Arrivals:

Bought myself for the Emma Watson Book Club

Requested on Netgalley

Random Pic:

I saw this one this week and just had to share!! LOL!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review 'Summer's Lease' by Carrie Elks
Meet the Shakespeare family: four sisters, four stories . . . four ways to find true love

Cesca Shakespeare has hit rock bottom. Six years after the play she wrote bombed at the box office, she's unable to hold down a job, keep an apartment, and worst of all her family have no idea how far she's fallen. So when her fairy Godfather offers her the use of his friend's Italian villa for the summer, she grudgingly agrees to try writing a new play. That's before she finds out the house belongs to her arch-nemesis, Sam Carlton.

When Hollywood heart-throb Sam Carlton sees his name splashed across a gossip rag, all he wants to do is hide. That's how he finds himself traveling to Italy, deciding to spend the summer in his family's empty villa on Lake Como. Except when he arrives it isn't as empty as he'd hoped.

Over the course of the hot Italian summer, Cesca and Sam have to come to terms with their pasts. What begins as a tentative friendship quickly grows into an intense attraction - and then a scorching fling. But they can't hide from reality forever . . . as their different worlds collide, Sam and Cesca face a choice: is this just a summer romance, or could their love weather even the coldest winds?

A brand new series from the bestselling author of Fix You and the Love in London series.

The Facts:

Publication Date:
July 13th, 2017
Shakespeare Sisters #1
Contemporary Romance
eBook, Paperback
Available at:

My Review:

After reading a lot of three star reads lately, I was really in the mood for a book that would blow my mind and I wouldn’t be able to put down. And ever since I saw the beautiful cover of ‘Summer’s Lease’ by Carrie Elks, I knew this was a book I wanted to read. It looked so pretty, and the book description sounded so good.

In ‘Summer’s Lease’ we meet Cesca Shakespeare. Cesca is a twenty year old who is trying to get by on her own in London. Ever since Cesca’s dream ended horribly 6 years ago, Cesca is trying to stay strong and move on. But when she losses yet another job, she starts to think things will never get better. So when her godfather offers Cesca the chance to go to Italy for the summer, to stay in a rich guys house, the choice is easily made. Hoping Cesca will be able to start writing again, Cesca goes into her new adventure with her hopes high. But when the rich guy’s son suddenly decides to get away for the summer too, things get heated very fast.

Well, I can’t say anything else before I tell you guys how much I loved this book! I loooooved it. Not only is ‘Summer’s Lease’ a nice, sweet and very romantic read, I also loved the main characters and their stories. From the moment I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down, and it was exactly what I needed.

The two main characters Cesca and Sam are really great and totally different. Cesca is poor, and trying to get by one meal after another. Sam is a famous Hollywood actor who is followed by paparazzi everywhere. But despite all their differences, they have one thing in common: they both want to get away from their life for a while.
This book was definitely very romantic, but also very funny at times. It really put a smile on my face, and I really felt like I personally knew these characters.  

I love everything about this book. I loved the story, I loved the characters, I loved the scene in Italy and I loved the chemistry between Cesca and Sam. It was just such a great novel I didn’t want it to end.
Although I’ve only been to Milan, Italy ones for work last year, and I didn’t get to see a lot of the country, I always wanted to visit more of this beautiful land. I’ve heard some great things about the beautiful lakes and landscapes in Italy. And this book definitely made me want to grab a bag and go there. It really was that good.

The author did a great job on developing the characters and the scenery. And since Cesca is one out of four sisters, I’m really hoping there will be more books about the Shakespeare sisters. I for one can’t wait to read more!

My Rating:

About the Author:

Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. At the age of twenty-one she left college with a political science degree, a healthy overdraft and a soon-to-be husband. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. When she isn't reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.

For more information about Carrie Elks please visit her website. Or visit her on Facebook and Twitter.

I received this book from the Little, Brown Book Group in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My Favorite.. Music

My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info: My Favorite Meme.

Over the years my music style has stayed pretty much the same. I’m one of those girls who loves all kinds of music. Pop, Country, Rock etc. There are songs from all genres I like. Growing up I was a big Backstreet Boys fan, but I also liked listening to Britney Spears and even some classical music. (You can see My Favorite..Music Growing Up here). 

Nowadays I usually listen to Country artists like Lady Antebellum, Blake Shelton, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, although her music is more Pop at the moment, and Jessie James Decker. Which is funny really, since this isn’t music that’s being played a lot here in the Netherlands. So I listen to my kind of music on Spotify and You Tube. And I buy albums on iTunes. 

Other music that I like to listen to are Movie Soundtracks. At the moment I listen a lot to the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack. And particularly this one… Sigh…

What is your favorite music?

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Review 'Girl Ghosted' by Lucy English
Heartbreak isn’t the only thing she has to survive.

Online dating seems the perfect distraction for Boston social worker Penny Wade as she tries to forget her painful past. After a string of disastrous first dates, she finally meets a man and tumbles into love. But digital dating turns deadly when a killer scans profiles to select his targets. Penny must unravel the secrets lurking behind the men she meets before she’s “ghosted” for good.

She never thought falling in love would mean fleeing from death…

The Facts:

Publication Date:
August 15th, 2017
Penny Wade Mystery #3
Mystery, Thriller
Available at:

My Review:

When I read the book description of ‘Girl Ghosted’ a view weeks ago, I immediately knew this was a book I wanted to read. I love mysteries, and a mystery involving a social worker just sounded so new and interesting that I decided to request a review copy. And I’ve been super lucky to get approved and was able to start reading ‘Girl Ghosted’ soon after.

In ‘Girl Ghosted’ we meet social worker Penny Wade. Penny is working a new case involving a young mother and her two young children. This case is definitely hard for Penny. But Penny is determined to make this case one of her bests, and to get on her boss’s good side. Unfortunately not everyone seems to work with Penny, but thankfully Penny doesn’t give up soon. This also come in handy in her personal life. Next to her work, Penny is trying online dating. After a view bad dates, she now finally has a nice date, followed by a second one and a third one. But soon Penny finds out that online dating is not as save as she thought it was.

When I first started reading ‘Girl Ghosted’ I found myself needing a little time to get used to the main character Penny. She seemed a little off at times and I wondered if I was missing something. But what I didn’t know was that this is the third book in the Penny Wade Mysteries series, and, I probably missed some stuff that was explained in the first two books. For example the reason why Penny has these kind of panic attacks every ones in a while. But since I just found out about this book being part of a series after I finished the book, I can definitely say it can be read as a standalone.

After the first view chapters this book started to get more and more interesting to me and I found myself being intrigued by the characters. Penny was different, and very passionate about her job. Although her boss didn’t think that was a good thing most of the time, I admired her for her passion. The way Penny worked the case of a young mom Ashley and her two young children.. I loved it. I would have like to read more about that case though. In the end I kind of felt like that part of the story ended rather abruptly.

‘Girl Ghosted’ was definitely a fun mystery novel which made me want to read more books by this author. It wasn’t a perfect read, I found the ending a little rushed for example, but this book definitely kept me hooked till the very end.

My Rating:

About the Author:

I’m an intuitive, dreamer and doer. I never slow down until I sleep. My expectations of myself are unrealistic (write three books per year, raise two boys, and have a successful day-career), but I can’t resist the relentless pursuit because I love all the things I do in my life passionately.

I chose to self-publish because I love the democracy of it. Technology has given us so many avenues to share creativity that may never have made it out into the world in the past. My approach to life is that I’ll work my hardest to put good work into the world. I know it won’t be perfect, but I need to push past the vulnerability involved because I have one lifetime and when I die I want to be able to say “I tried really hard to make contributions that were good for the world.”

Technology allows all of us to put our best thoughts and creations out to connect and share with others without gatekeepers. I’ve found fantastic editors who totally get the mission behind what I write. I cherish my ability to keep my work close to my heart and to connect with readers. I also like being able to keep prices low because this is more about celebrating the heroism of social service professionals than about profit.

For more information about Lucy English please visit her website. Or visit her on Facebook and Twitter.

I received this book by Smith Publicity in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Sunday Post #56: Instagramming

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ Its a chance to share news ~ A Post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


This has been a slow week for me. It was a good week, but thinking about it I don’t really have a lot of new stuff to mention. My back pain has gotten much better to handle, I still feel it when I do something like lifting heavy bags with groceries. But I probably just don’t have to do that. LOL!! 

Unfortunately, now my back pain is almost gone I got an bladder infection. Yikes!! But I was able to leave work Tuesday a little early so I could visit my general practitioner and I got a prescription for antibiotics. Thankfully, after three days I almost don’t feel it anymore. But now I’m done with back pains and infections for at least a year! I hope.. LOL! 

Wednesday I helped my mother in law with her groceries for her birthday party today (Saturday). It was a nice morning, and we definitely had a good time.
What do you guys think of my awesome new shirt? :D

Today my husband is cleaning out our storage room downstairs, because there has to stand a scooter in a view weeks. I don’t know about you guys, but we always dump empty boxes and things we need to get rid of but don’t know how down there. It’s a mess. It will be nice to be able to have a nice and clean storage room again. And I’m cleaning our home, and doing some blogging. And later this afternoon we are going to my mother in laws b-day party. 

Books & Blogging: 

Reading wise I don’t feel like I got enough time in. But when do I feel like I read enough? Probably never. Blogging wise I’ve been able to do something every day. It sure feels good! I’ve joined Emma Watson’s book club on Goodreads. I don’t know if it’s really something for me. But I really wanted to try at least one book! We’ll see.  

I'm trying to post more on my Blog’s Instagram page. And I added a preview on my side bar here. I’m loving it! If you don’t follow me on Instagram yet.. Here is my link. ;) 

I hope you guys had a good week! 

Last Week on the Blog:

This Week on the Blog:

  • Review ‘Girl Ghosted’ by Lucy English
  • My Favorite.. Music
  • Review ‘Summer’s Lease’ by Carrie Elks

New Arrivals:

No new arrivals this week. Only the paperback version of ‘The Rainbow Player’, which eBook I got last week and shared with you guys then! :)

Random Pic:

Friday, July 7, 2017

Cover Reveal 'After I Break' by Mandy Peterson

Today is the cover reveal for After I Break by Mandy Peterson. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The cover MSN Art Studio (Maduranga Sampath):
After I break is a direct sequel to the first book Before I Shatter.

About the Book:

On the heels of tragedy, Vita must stay hidden to stay alive.

Gemini’s Director has made a deadly move in his attempt to recover Vita as his second-in-command. Led by her ever-prepared rescuer Evan, Vita jumps headlong into the inner sanctum of the Undocumented — an organization united in their mission to save the chaotic purity of mankind. Allying with former enemies proves difficult, especially when they expect Vita to be the girl the Gemini propaganda created: a visionary leader, terrifying soldier, and advanced human. A girl she simply is not anymore.

When her mother finally reveals the secret of Vita’s origin to her, Vita wonders just how much her intended purpose determines her fate. Questioning her value and humanity, she would just as soon stay a regular person until intelligence uncovers a new mix of Vita 2.0 candidates under the Director’s harsh command — all children.

There’s no other option but to stop the Director:
a madman who has discovered that Vita is broken
and will go to any lengths to make her whole again.

The Facts:

Publication Date:
July 28th, 2017
Science Fiction
Pre-Order at:

And now without further ado the cover of 'After I Break':



            Thick fingers coil around my upper arm, dragging me through the crowd pressing in from all sides. Tall, polished buildings made of stone and glass create a corridor, guiding us. Pop-up kiosks crowd the cement walkways, each table displaying specialty wares from food to fabrics. The rich aroma of coffee teases my nostrils. The happy jostling of this crowd directly contradicts the misery beginning to fill my heart.
            An old man fighting for his life with an ax.
            Losing the fight with a horrifying shot to the head.
            My stomach cannot handle the overload. Evan insistently carries me through to the edge of the crowd, but my feet drag. Bile rises up my throat and spews all over the sidewalk. My rescuer pauses impatiently and yanks me along as soon as I finish, ignoring the disgusted cries of a woman now wearing vomit-spotted white pumps.
“Sorry!” I manage to choke out as he pulls me away. I yank my arm free of his grip and keep pace next to my partner who manages to look relatively calm but hurried. We get some interesting looks as we rush through the streets.
Evan is dressed sensibly in his jeans, t-shirt, flannel, and hiking boots. On the other hand, I am woefully unprepared for a trek through a bustling morning in a metropolis. Still clad in pajamas, wool socks, and bed-head, passersby glance at me as if I might be mentally ill.
Who knows? Maybe I am.
Wherever we are, it is a comfortable temperature out, warmer than the Swedish cabin that we disappeared from. The people sound different here, too. Their language is rounder, and the words run together. The English language is recognizable and gives me some measure of comfort. At least I can speak the language here. I keep my head down and follow Evan through winding streets to a large brick building with two large domed windows and a large clock in the center.
            “What is this place?” I wheeze. My socks slip and slide on this floor, making me work twice as hard to keep up with his brutal pace.
            Unaffected by my plight, Evan’s voice is stiff. “King’s Cross. Train station. They’ve got a place where you can change.”
            My gaze wanders over the modern surfaces within this massive structure. People flow through the entrance and exits, living streams. Evan leads us to a row of lockers and pulls a key from his boot. I raise a questioning eyebrow as he fiddles with the lock.
            “Grandfather and I prepared for this possibility. We’ve got tickets, clothing, money. Everything we need to get to safety.” He flings a gray duffle bag across his body and hands me a matching overnighter. “The ladies room is over there.” He motions behind me. “I’ll be waiting outside. Go get changed.”
            I’m in shock. Slow to think. Even slower to speak. My brows furrow. “What — ?”
            “Not now, Vita.” He cuts me off with a hand in the air. “There will be time for that later. Please, just go get changed.” His eyes plead with me. Just cooperate.
So I do. Surprisingly. I’m not used to taking orders any more, but now is not the time for me attempt to regain my dinged pride. Obviously. I have no idea what is going on, which sadly is a feeling I am starting to become familiar with. Betrayed by my sort-of boyfriend, deceived by my father, and targeted by an assassin in a Gemini jacket. Sure. I can acknowledge that I have zero plans, and doing something is better than the alternative. Even if it’s as simple as getting dressed.
After I slip on a pair of black leggings, black tank top, and gray loose knit sweatshirt, I lace up the pristine running shoes. My feet welcome the soft interior, the protection of real soles. My toes wiggle in appreciation, and I sigh. True to his word, Evan is waiting immediately outside the door for me. In his hands, two large paper cups of coffee, one he hands off to me as we walk. Wordlessly, he locates and boards our train with no issues. All I have to do is follow along.
The exterior of the train reminds me of a very long tram similar to the ones we had in the Lunar Colonies, but the interior could not be more different than those bleak boxes. Individual black leather seats pair off on either side of a center aisle. I run my fingertips along the cold seat backs as we meander toward the middle of the car. Bags jingle as passengers stow them overhead before sliding into their chairs. As I hoist mine overhead, Evan taps my forearm. He shakes his head ever-so-slightly. Do not stow your luggage.
            Instead, we settle in with our bags in our laps. As the train pulls away from the station, I can’t stop myself from examining the changing scenery out the nearest window. Evan speaks to an attendant briefly, but my brain is firing rapidly. I can’t seem to find a single topic to latch onto. Catching my breath from the relentless pace through all of those crowded streets, I feel the heaviness seep in slowly through my pores.
            Scrambled eggs with shards of glass scattered on their fluffy peaks.
            Being knocked to the floor.
Pinned underneath Evan’s weight.
Seeing stars as my head makes contact with the hard wood.
Door crashing in.
Weapons trained on us.
George swinging the ax.
Then suddenly in another town, likely a different country from the way these people speak. Hurtling through swarms of bodies; now speeding through the landscape. No idea where I am or where we are going.
Tears begin pinching the features of my face. My knuckles turn white on the armrests. I blink as fast as I can. My mind grasps for something — anything — to keep these tears from spilling down my cheeks and shrink the lump in my throat. Warm hands peel mine from their strangle hold. They fit so well around mine.
“I need you to hold it together. Just a little longer, okay?” His low voice penetrates my grief.
“How can you be so calm?” My voice doesn’t match his. It wobbles and squeaks.
“Because I have to be. We can deal with this later. For now, we need to get to safety.” His rock solid expression leaves me conflicted. Should I feel glad or horrified that he’s not falling apart after what happened to his grandfather?
My lower lip trembles. The world has betrayed me. Gemini has betrayed me. “I thought we were. Safe.”
His hands squeeze mine. “Only 30 more minutes. Then we get off the train and take a car the rest of the way.”
“Where are we going?”
He leans in closely to whisper in my ear. “It’s a small base with the fa├žade of a storage unit. They’ve agreed to help us if it should ever come to this.”
“They who?”
A sigh heaves his chest. Whatever the answer is, he thinks I won’t want to hear it. “The Undocumented.”
My eyes grow wide. The last time I saw the Undocumented, we were shooting at each other. My favorite teammate had been killed. How many times had they made an attempt on my life and the lives of those I cared for?
Seeing my wild look, Evan grasps my hands harder. “It’s okay. They aren’t what you think they are.”
“How do you know?” I rip my hands away and tuck them into my lap. “This is insanity! We could be walking into a trap!”
He sighs. “It’s not.”
“They could kill us on sight!” They would certainly have every right to. The faces of the three men I shattered nearly two years ago swim in my mind. Someone has to be unhappy about that.
“They won’t.”
“But —”
“Because I’m Undocumented.” Evan declares, matter-of-factly. “They’re the people who are helping us. They’re the contacts who’ve been working tirelessly to give us shelter, identities, security, in case of an emergency. So believe me when I say this is the safest place we could possibly be.”
I clamp my mouth shut and recline my seat.

About 'Before I Shatter' The First Book in the Series:

Vita must make the choice:
Continue risking her life  for a cause she doesn't believe in
or make an unprecedented escape?

Available at Amazon.

About the Author:

Mandy Peterson grew up all over Nebraska and eventually settled down there with a family of her own: husband, daughter, and son.

When she isn't writing about herself in third person, Mandy the high school librarian can be found digging through young adult and new adult lit. An avid reader of all genres (but she secretly told me she loves sci-fi the most), you will usually see her with her nose in a book or face to her Kindle app, iced or blended coffee drink in hand. A former roller girl and roller derby referee, she can also be found watching roller derby online or dragging her family behind her to cheer on teams in person all over their great state.

For more information about Mandy Peterson please visit her website. Or visit her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon. Or sign up for her newsletter.


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