Catina Haverlock worked her way through college as a TV reporter and a dating game show host. She’s a sucker for Young Adult romance stories (both real and make-believe). She has a panache for match-making and loves that many of her “set-ups” have resulted in marriages.
After spending most of her adult life in Las Vegas, Catina traded in tumbleweeds for earthquakes and now lives with her husband and four children near San Diego, California. If she’s not home, chances are you can find her at the beach, Disneyland or In-N-Out Burger.
Angela Larkin writes clean teen romance and is a big fan of kissing (in life and in books). She’s been a gold miner, a pool cleaner, a mannequin dresser, and a teacher. She’s lived a true romance: meeting her husband in a case of mistaken identity. They recently moved with their four children from the sparkling city of Las Vegas to the shade of the North Carolina Pines. Chances are, she’s reading past bedtime.
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~ Catina’s Facebook ~ Angela’s Facebook ~
She could be so close to finding out who I really am, and I don’t want to think about how badly that could damage her. If I have any conscience, I’ll turn and run. But I can’t let her go.”
Presley Hale has no idea the guy she just told off in the school parking lot died in a drowning accident four months ago. Why would she? It’s not like she knows she can see the dead. Stunned by Presley’s sixth sense, Landon Blackwood rethinks his planned departure and begins tracking her to find answers to their mysterious connection.
When their complicated relationship turns dangerous, they learn that tampering with the boundaries of death comes with consequences. Can Landon save Presley from the insidious spirits who have marked her for death, or was their love doomed from the beginning?
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~ Deseret Book ~
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“Seriously? Eggs?” I’d meant that to remain a private rant. Oops.
Several nearby classmates watched me appraise my Jeep, which I could see even from across the parking lot, dripped with yellow slime. This was just the latest slap in the face of my first week at Truckee High.
My first day of school, someone was kind enough to smear a roast beef hoagie on my windshield. It took five bucks in quarters at the do-it-yourself car wash to clean off the mayo haze.
Day three. After P.E., my clothes disappeared from the girls’ locker room forcing me to finish out the day in my uniform. These small-town punks made it hard to fly under the radar. I just wanted to get my senior year done and get out of this place.
Most people would be furious at these anonymous jerks. But I was madder at my mom for moving Chase and me two weeks before my senior year started.
“It’s a great opportunity, Pres,” she’d said. For who? I could live with the change, but this was going to be hard on Chase.
It wasn’t that Truckee, California didn’t have its perks. At the very least it was different from Vegas. Towering Ponderosa pines covered the mountains and enveloped every structure in town. Like they gave permission for each building to exist, but they loomed, threatening to reclaim the real estate. I’d smiled at the first of many baby pine trees I’d noticed growing like weeds in the cracks of the sidewalks.
Truckee was pretty quiet with school back in session, but I could tell by the rows of ski rental shops and paddle board stores that winter and summer would be a different story. Lake Tahoe, with its freakishly clear blue water, was a pleasant surprise, as I’d spent the last two years in the Mojave Desert where the only nearby lake was a carp-filled stink hole. Cool town. Not-so-cool people.
Taking a deep breath and pulling my shoulders back, I walked to my Jeep. The tell-tale sting of tears betrayed me as eggshells crunched under my shoes. Trying to appear casual and composed, I pulled a hair band from my wrist and gathered my uncooperative curls into a top knot. I turned my back on a group of eager spectators and hefted my bag onto an egg-free patch of hood to dig for my keys. My phone vibrated. I ignored it.
Of course my keys were lost in the black abyss of my backpack. I felt unwelcomed eyes on me as I searched. Finally, with keys in hand I opened the door and hurled my bag onto the passenger seat.
Then, I caught sight of a face I hadn’t seen before.
A good eight to ten cars away, he stood at the edge of the parking lot in the shade of the pines, arms folded across his chest, and studied me like some nightclub bouncer who was handed a fake I.D. (If bouncers looked like raven-haired H&M models.) The boy was shameless. He stared, unabashedly, and the longer he looked at me, the more flattered I felt.
That is, until I realized what he was probably looking for a reaction to my messed-up Jeep. Wasn’t that what the girls behind me were smugly discussing? Wasn’t that why those freshman boys avoided eye contact when I walked by?
My cheeks flamed, and I surprised myself by yelling across the lot at him, “What? What are you looking at?”
He flinched and unfolded his arms. His eyes locked onto mine and I matched him.
“Yeah, you!” I jabbed my chin in the air. Bring it dude.
His eyes narrowed, and then he started toward me. An older man I hadn’t noticed before quickly grabbed his shoulder and tried to pull him back. The boy became upset and jerked free. They argued. The man put both palms up in a gesture of pleading. The boy turned and glared at me once more, then charged toward me in strong, quick strides.
My gut seized at his fierce gaze and swift approach. A split decision of fight or flight. Flight. Definitely flight.
His gait quickened. I nearly dropped the keys uttering a couple of son-of-a’s, before I got the key into the ignition. The engine growled.
I slammed the lock down with my palm and hazarded a look. With only a pane of glass dividing us, his gaze bored through me. But behind his intense stare I thought I detected more. Confusion? Distress?
Surprisingly, an arrow of sympathy pierced me. My hand gripped the shifter – frozen, unable it seemed to pull it into reverse.
His eyes held me, almost . . . imploring?
I wavered, but finally tore my eyes from his and accidentally hit the gas before pulling the shifter into gear. The tires squealed as I ripped out of my parking spot. A slouched boy yanked his friend’s shirt back as I narrowly missed them. As I burned through the rows of parked cars, a few bystanders shouted something to the effect of, “Watch it, psycho!”
I looked for my pursuer in the rear-view mirror, and saw his figure, distorted by the dribbles of dried egg on my back window. He stood there, the only still figure in a swarm of activity, and watched me drive away.
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