Blog Reveal Giveaway

Hello everyone! The time has finally come to celebrate our new banner for The Page Unbound. We’ve been working on some changes to our website which you’ll soon be able to explore. Plus some great updates later this month!!

What better way to celebrate than a giveaway! See below for the exclusive items a lucky winner will win on Halloween.


Giveaway items:

The hand made bag  is signed by the following authors: Stephanie Perkins, Julie Buxbaum, E. Lockhart, S.J. Kincaid, Erin Bowman, Lisa Maxwell, Renee Watson, Corrie Wang, Cindy Pon, Amy Tintera, Ashely Poston, Adam Silvera, and Ryan Graudin

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Unbound Book Tours Sign Up


Hey everyone! Haley and I have been working hard on our new site for Unbound Book Tours. Soon we will be able to reveal what all our new site will have to offer.  We will also have a huge reveal for our page logo and banner soon too. Haley’s been working hard on it, and it’s amazing! I can’t wait to share it with all of you. In the mean time we are collecting as many bloggers as we can to sign up as tour hosts. If you think you may be interested in signing up, please do so. Or, if you think a friend may be interested, please share. Unbound Book Tours is going to be a little different than other blog tour sites. I can’t share it all with you yet, but I promise it’s going to be very exciting and we’ll definitely be sharing all that information with everyone soon!

What does signing up with us mean? It means you’ll be on our master emailing list when authors have requested a tour with us. We will email you a sign up form, and if it’s a book you would be interested in you will be able to use the form to sign up and specify what kind of post (review, interview, guest post, or excerpt) and which days you would be available for the tour. It does not mean you have to sign up for a book tour, only that you are willing to receive these emails from us. We will also send out emails for cover reveals, book trailers, and blitzes, which will all be optional on if you want to sign up for them or not. We will also have a rafflecopter giveaway each month for our participating bloggers. This means you will get an opportunity to win books, signed books, amazon gift cards, and books swag. If this sounds like something you are interested in, please sign up below!

For questions you can email me directly at

Be sure to like Unbound Book Tours on facebook and twitter!

Stay tuned for our Unbound Book Tours website! It should be launching soon! 🙂

My Author Website

Hey everyone! Just wanted to share my new author site. There isn’t much on there yet, but I’ll be blogging from time to time, including tips on writing for other authors, and random posts about my day. I’ll also be sharing any news I have on the progress of my novels. Please check it out and follow!

Much Appreciated!

Author Website:

Looking for Bloggers!

Hey there friends,

Haley and I are a few months away from launching our blog tour services website for authors. We are currently recruiting bloggers that may be interested in hosting for YA and NA novels (we may branch out a little too). If any of you are interested in hosting with us please feel free to sign up!


Girl of Myth and Legend Trailer Reveal

Girl of Myth and Legend
Release Date: 12/29/15

Summary from Goodreads:


A girl with a past she tries to forget, and a future she can’t even imagine.

Leonie Woodville wants to live an unremarkable life. She wants routine, she wants repetition, she wants predictability. So when she explodes in a blaze of light one morning on the way to her college, it’s enough to put a real crimp in her day.

And things only get weirder…

Leonie learns from her father that she is last of the Pulsar, a phenomenally powerful member of a magical species called the Chosen. It will be her sole duty to protect the Imperium, a governing hierarchy, from all enemies, and to exceed the reputation of the Pulsar before her. So – no pressure there, then.

Leonie is swept away from her rigorous normality and taken to a world of magic. There, she is forced into a ceremony to join her soul to a guardian, Korren, who is both incredibly handsome and intensely troubled, a relationship for which ‘it’s complicated’ just really doesn’t cut it.

But Leonie is soon to learn that this ancient world is no paradise. With violent dissidents intent to overthrow the Imperium, and dark entities with their own agenda, she and Korren find themselves caught in a war where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to survive.

Dare to dream. Dare to hope. Dare to be a legend.

Book One in The Chosen Saga

Giselle Simlett was born in England. She has studied Creative Writing at both Gloucestershire University and the Open University. She has a diploma in Creative Writing, Language and Literature and will soon complete her BA Hons Open Degree.She does not as yet have a degree in the power and responsible use of magic, but she does have a young son, which amounts to the same thing.She currently lives in Australia with her husband and son.
Author Links:

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Fall Books Preview


M9B-Friday-Reveal Banner

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are sharing the

Month9Books Fall Books Preview!

Check out these amazing titles coming from Month9Books this Fall!.
They look amazing!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


SERPENTINE is a sweeping fantasy set in the ancient Kingdom of Xia and inspired by the rich history of Chinese mythology.

Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell.

When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self – even as she falls in love for the first time.

“Vivid worldbuilding, incendiary romance, heart-pounding action, and characters that will win you over–I highly recommend Serpentine.” Cinda Williams Chima, best-selling author of the Seven Realms and Heir Chronicles fantasy novels

“Serpentine is unique and surprising, with a beautifully-drawn fantasy world that sucked me right in! I love Skybright’s transformative power, and how she learns to take charge of it.” ~Kristin Cashore, NYT Bestseller of the Graceling Realm Series

“Serpentine’s world oozes with lush details and rich lore, and the characters crackle with life. This is one story that you’ll want to lose yourself in.” ~ Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of Legend and The Young Elites

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Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix (Greenwillow, 2009), which was named one of the Top Ten Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Youth by the American Library Association’s Booklist, and one of 2009′s best Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror by VOYA. The sequel to Silver Phoenix, titled Fury of the Phoenix, was released in April 2011. Serpentine, the first title in her next Xia duology, will be published by Month9Books in September 2015. She is the co-founder of Diversity in YA with Malinda Lo and on the advisory board of We Need Diverse Books. Cindy is also a Chinese brush painting student of over a decade. Visit her website at

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Goodreads


Four clans have been at war for centuries: the Kodiak, the Raven, the Wolf and the Ram. Through brutal war tactics, the Ram have dominated the region, inflicting death and destruction on their neighbors.

Seventeen-year-old Zo is a Wolf and a Healer who volunteers to infiltrate the Ram as a spy on behalf of the allied clans. She offers herself as a Ram slave, joining the people who are called the “nameless.” Hers is a suicide mission – Zo’s despair after losing her parents in a Ram raid has left her seeking both revenge and an end to her own misery. But after her younger sister follows her into Rams Gate, Zo must find a way to survive her dangerous mission and keep her sister safe.

What she doesn’t expect to find is the friendship of a young Ram whose life she saves, the confusing feelings she develops for a Ram soldier, and an underground nameless insurrection. Zo learns that revenge, loyalty and love are more complicated than she ever imagined in the first installment of this two-book series.

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Jenkins brings edge-of-your-seat adventure to this intriguing new world. I can’t wait to read more!”~ New York Times bestselling author Jessica Day George

Wow….WOW, WOW, WOW! I have no words to describe how much I love this book. Jenkins writes characters who are just so easy to love, and when you love a character it makes the book so much better. And I loved all the characters. Zo, Tess, Joshua and Gryphon. Gryphon is definitely my favorite – but who wouldn’t love Gryphon? Of course I do have a soft spot for our heroine, Zo.” ~Bri, Blogger @ Once Upon A Twilight

Nameless destroyed me in the best way possible. The romance was subtle, but written beautifully. The plot was very intriguing and the pacing was spot on. I loved the entire cast of characters, every single one of them added to the story. Trust me when I say you should preorder it, add it to your TBR, request it from your library, do whatever you have to do to get this book in your hands because if you are a YA fantasy fan like me you need this book in your life!” ~Bridget, Blogger @ Dark Faerie Tales

NAMELESS is epic storytelling at its best. My mind is still reeling from the world that I have just been immersed in and I don’t want to leave it. Can I please have the sequel NOW? Because I need to know what happens next but in the meantime I’m just going to re-read it again and again. Is it that good, you may ask? Hell yes!!! And you will think so too. Trust me.” Nancy, Blogger @ Tales of A Ravenous Reader

To say that I love this book is an understatement. It completely blew me away! I am so happy that I took a chance on it. NAMELESS is one book that you can re-read over and over again and it will still feel fresh! I cannot wait for the world to read it and fall under the NAMELESS spell. Because that’s what I feel like I am under, a spell that has me trapped in Zo’s world and won’t let me out! I don’t want out!“~Damaris, Blogger @ Good Choice Reading


Jennifer Jenkins

With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington and appreciate the finer points of ancient battle stratagem. (Seriously, she’s obsessed with ancient warfare.) However, life had different plans in store when the writing began. As a proud member of Writers Cubed, and a co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, she feels blessed to be able to fulfill both her ambition to work with teens as well as write Young Adult fiction.

Jennifer has three children who are experts at naming her characters, one loving, supportive husband, a dog with little-man syndrome, and three chickens (of whom she is secretly afraid).

Visit her online at

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest |Instagram


“Where shall I start?” asked Minotaur.

Ovid made an expansive gesture with both hands. “Where else but the beginning of course.”

Minotaur nodded his huge head. “Yes,” he said. “Yes,” his eyes already glazing over with the weight of thousand year old memories. And then he began.

So begins the story of Asterion, later known as Minotaur, the supposed half bull creature of Greek legend. Recorded by the famous Roman poet, Ovid, Asterion tells of his boyhood in Crete under the cruel hand of his stepfather Minos, his adventures with his friend, Theseus, and his growing love for the beautiful Phaedra.And of course what really happened in the labyrinth.

This is the true story of the Minotaur.

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Lovers of mythology will enjoy this coming-of-age adventure and be surprised by the believable, “true story” of the Minotaur.”~ School Library Journal


Phillip W Simpson

Phillip W. Simpson is the author of many novels, chapter books and other stories for children. His publishers include Macmillan, Penguin, Pearson, Cengage, Raintree and Oxford University Press.
He received both his undergraduate degree in Ancient History and Archaeology and his Masters (Hons) degree in Archaeology from the University of Auckland.
Before embarking on his writing career, he joined the army as an officer cadet, owned a comic shop and worked in recruitment in both the UK and Australia.
His first young adult novel, Rapture (Rapture Trilogy #1), was shortlisted for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards for best Youth novel in 2012.

He is represented by Vicki Marsdon at Wordlink literary agency.

When not writing, he works as a school teacher.
Phillip lives and writes in Auckland, New Zealand with his wife Rose, their son, Jack and their two border terriers, Whiskey and Raffles. He loves fishing, reading, movies, football (soccer) and single malt Whiskeys.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads




Fields of Elysium Free Today!

Fields of Elysium
by A.B. Whelan
Best seller in Teen & Young Adult Fantasy
4.3 stars on 86 reviews
Price: $0.00 Save $14.35

Award-Winning Author

Small town girl, Molly Bennett, moves to Los Angeles where she becomes an outsider while attending Beverly Hills High School. It seems life cannot be any more dreadful.
Then one day after school, something magical happens. On a secluded hike in the Hollywood Hills, Molly chases her disobedient mutt and only friend into a hidden cavern. She stumbles upon a strange glimmering gateway that transports her to Arkana, a planet that is the cradle of an advanced human race. There, teenagers navigate amazing flying vehicles, compete in perilous games for glory, and possess supernatural powers.
While Molly tries to wrap her mind around this unbelievable discovery, she meets the alluring and mysterious Victor Sorren. He is a Sentinel Apprentice, whose hatred toward people from Earth is beyond understanding. Yet every time Victor unpredictably saves Molly’s life, his heart draws closer to hers, no matter how much he tries to fight against it. It further complicates things that their growing friendship is strictly forbidden. Earth people are prohibited in Arkana, yet Molly continues to cross through the portal to Arkana to see Victor.
Torn between their double lives, they go down a dangerous path, from where there is no return and multiple endings.
Would you fight to be with the one you truly love? What cost would you be willing to sacrifice for that love?
Fields of Elysium Dream Cast
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After reading this story you will find your heart racing whenever you enter a cave.

Under the Winter Sun Release Day!!!

UTWSRDBBannerHappy Release Day to Carrigan Richards for Under the Winter Sun, book three in the Elemental Enchanters series!

Ava never knew the extent of torture.

When the previous battle leaves all of the Enchanters powerless and broken, Ava distances herself from everyone. Her closest friends have been kidnapped and she feels useless. All she can feel from Peter is guilt because he could not protect the coven so Ava learns to hide her emotions in order to keep her thoughts at bay. It’s taking more time than she expected for her strength and powers to return and she sinks deeper into a depression.

Once Ava and her coven gain their powers back they start their journey to Caprington to defeat Havok and save their friends. She must choose her allegiance or risk losing everyone she loves.

Add to your Goodreads TBR List

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About Carrigan Richards:

Carrigan was born in Cullman, Alabama, but grew up in Birmingham, and moved to Atlanta at 18. She earned her BA in English at Kennesaw State University. For as long as she can remember, she was always making up stories and characters inside her head, sometimes using her dolls to act out the scenes.

When she’s not writing (which is rare), she’s spending time with her fiance, family, and friends, listening to music, playing with her sometimes psychotic puppy, or cheering on her Atlanta Braves.


Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold: Book Promo and Givaway


Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1)

by Iain Reading (Goodreads Author)

Book Synopsis(Goodreads):

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure – flying around the world!

There are currently four books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series available for sale on Amazon:  Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold, Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost, Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue, and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

Back Where The Entire Adventure Began
As soon as the engine began to sputter, I knew that I was in real trouble. Up until then, I had somehow managed to convince myself that there was just something wrong with the fuel gauges. After all, how could I possibly have burnt through my remaining fuel as quickly as the gauges seemed to indicate? It simply wasn’t possible. But with the engine choking and gasping, clinging to life on the last fumes of aviation fuel, it was clear that when the fuel gauges read, “Empty,” they weren’t kidding around.
The lightning strike that took out my radio and direction-finding gear hadn’t worried me all that much. (Okay, I admit it worried me a little bit.) It wasn’t the first time that this had happened to me, and besides, I still had my compasses to direct me to where I was going. But I did get a little bit concerned when I found nothing but open ocean as far my eyes could see at precisely the location where I fully expected to find tiny Howland Island—and its supply of fuel for the next leg of my journey—waiting for me. The rapidly descending needles on my fuel gauges made me even more nervous as I continued to scout for the island, but only when the engine began to die did I realize that I really had a serious problem on my hands.
The mystery of the disappearing fuel.
The enigma of the missing island.
The conundrum of what do I do now?
“Exactly,” the little voice inside my head said to me in one of those annoying ‘I-told-you-so’ kind of voices. “What do you do now?”
“First, I am going to stay calm,” I replied. “And think this through.”
“You’d better think fast,” the little voice said, and I could almost hear it tapping on the face of a tiny wristwatch somewhere up there in my psyche. “If you want to make it to your twentieth birthday, that is. Don’t forget that you’re almost out of fuel.”
“Thanks a lot,” I replied. “You’re a big help.”
Easing forward with the control wheel I pushed my trusty De Havilland Beaver into a nosedive. Residual fuel from the custom-made fuel tanks at the back of the passenger cabin dutifully followed the laws of gravity and spilled forward, accumulating at the front and allowing the fuel pumps to transfer the last remaining drops of fuel into the main forward belly tank. This maneuver breathed life back into the engine and bought me a few more precious minutes to ponder my situation.
“Mayday, mayday, mayday,” I said, keying my radio transmitter as I leveled my flight path out again. “This is aircraft Charlie Foxtrot Kilo Tango Yankee, calling any ground station or vessel hearing this message, over.”
I keyed the mic off and listened intently for a reply. Any reply. Please? But there was nothing. There was barely even static. My radio was definitely fried.
It was hard to believe that it would all come down to this. After the months of preparation and training. After all the adventures that I’d had, the friends I’d made, the beauty I’d experienced, the differences and similarities I’d discovered from one culture to the next and from one human being to the next. All of this in the course of my epic flight around the entire world.
Or I should say, “my epic flight almost around the entire world,” in light of my current situation.
And the irony of it was absolutely incredible. Three-quarters of a century earlier the most famous female pilot of them all had disappeared over this exact same endless patch of Pacific Ocean on her own quest to circle the globe. And she had disappeared while searching for precisely the same island that was also eluding me as I scanned the horizon with increasing desperation.
“Okay,” I thought to myself. “Just be cool and take this one step at a time to think the situation through.” I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing, slowing it down and reining in the impulse to panic. Inside my head, I quickly and methodically replayed every flight that I’d ever flown. Every emergency I’d ever faced. Every grain of experience that I had accumulated along the long road that had led me to this very moment. Somewhere in there was a detail that was the solution to my current predicament. I was sure of it. And all I had to do was find it.
Maybe the answer to my current situation lay somewhere among the ancient temples of Angkor in Cambodia? Or in the steamy jungles of east Africa? Or inside the towering pyramids of Giza? Or among the soaring minarets of Sarajevo? Or on the emerald rolling hills and cliffs of western Ireland? Or on the harsh and rocky lava fields of Iceland?
Wherever the answer was, it was going to have to materialize quickly, or another female pilot (me) would run the risk of being as well-known throughout the world as Amelia Earhart. And for exactly the same reason.
“It’s been a good run at least,” the little voice inside my head observed, turning oddly philosophical as the fuel supplies ran critically low. “You’ve had more experiences on this journey around the world than some people do in their entire lifetime.”
“That’s it!” I thought.
Maybe the answer to all this lies even further back in time? All the way back to the summer that had inspired me to undertake this epic journey in the first place. All the way back to where North America meets the Pacific Ocean—the islands and glaciers and whales of Alaska.
All the way back to where this entire adventure began.

About the Author:

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing.  He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.  He has published 4 books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series.

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Vision Book Blitz



by Lisa Amowitz 

Release Date: 09/09/14

Spencer Hill Press

Summary from Goodreads:

The light is darker than you think…High school student Bobby Pendell already has his hands full—he works almost every night to support his disabled-vet father and gifted little brother. Then he meets the beautiful new girl in town, who just happens to be his boss’s daughter. Bobby has rules about that kind of thing. Nothing matters more than keeping his job.When Bobby starts to get blinding migraines that come with scary, violent hallucinations, his livelihood is on the line. Soon, he must face the stunning possibility that the visions of murder are actually real. With his world going dark, Bobby is set on the trail of the serial killer terrorizing his small town. With everyone else convinced he’s the prime suspect, Bobby realizes that he, or the girl he loves, might be killer’s next victim.

Available from:

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo Books * The Book Depository

About the Author

Lisa has been a professor of Graphic Design at her beloved Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly seventeen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children.

BREAKING GLASS which will be released in July, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series will be released in 2014, along with an unnamed sequel in the following year. LIFE AND BETH will also be released in the near future, along with graphic novel style art. 

Author Links:



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Check out this excerpt from the book!

She limped toward him, waving frantically. “Hey! Wait! Over here!”

“What the heck were you doing in there?” The annoyed words tumbled out and Bobby regretted them instantly. As she hobbled closer, he could see her white teeth and red-gold hair that gleamed like a coin in the sun.

“I was running. I wrenched my ankle.” The girl extended a hand. “I’m Gabe.”

Bobby took the girl’s hand and shook. “Gabe?” he stammered, his face gone hot.

“It’s short for Gabriella.”

Bobby dared a longer look at the girl. She was tall, only a few inches shorter than him, leanly muscled, with freckled-all-over milky skin that looked like it couldn’t withstand very much sun. Just the same, the fragile skin was stretched over sinewy muscle, an athlete sculpted from a bar of Ivory soap. This girl, Bobby decided, was durable. She didn’t look like she’d break too easily. His heart picked up speed of its own accord and he had to struggle to keep the tremor out of his voice. “You shouldn’t be talking to strangers.”

The girl laughed and shielded her light eyes against the sun. “You don’t look all that strange.”

Bobby shrugged. “You can’t always tell.”

“Well, tell me your name and then you won’t be just a tall, handsome stranger who picked me up on the side of the road.”

Bobby felt himself blush. She had called him handsome. But words came easily to this girl, words she probably didn’t mean, while for him finding the right words was like panning for gold. “Bobby. Bobby Pendell.”

“Short for Robert?”

“Uh, yeah. But no one calls me that. Except my dad when he gets pissed off.”

“Well, Bobby Robert Pendell, right now I have no choice but to rely on the kindness of tall, handsome strangers. My cell gets no reception out here and if I’m not back at the restaurant for dinner my dad’s going to kill me.”

Bobby peered at the girl from under his trucker’s cap. Definitely a weekender. She was too buffed and polished to be anything else. “Which restaurant? There’re three in town.”

Gabe snickered. “That many, huh?”

Bobby stuck his hands in his pockets and looked down at his scuffed work boots. It was a waste of time worrying what this girl thought of him. She was clearly way out of his league. And he had more important things to think about. “Look, I, uh—I got to get somewhere. I’ll give you a ride, if you want. But I got to hurry.”

“Where are you going?”

“My brother’s Little League game. Which is probably over by now.”

“Isn’t that the ball park right up the road?”

Bobby nodded. “Yep. That’s why we got to hurry if you want me to drop you at your restaurant. Would help if you just told me which one.”

“Why don’t I come with you?”

The girl was beginning to irk him. Maybe, like the cat that toyed with its injured prey before it pounced for the kill, she sensed her power. Like the girls at school. His high school was located in the bigger town of Waterbury, and the girls there all looked down on the so-called “hicks” from the more rural towns like Graxton and Fernville.

“To the game? Thought you were in a big hurry. I don’t mind driving you to the restaurant, though, if you’d just tell me which one.”

“I love baseball.”

“It’s just a Little League game.”

“I love kids.” She leaned down to pet Pete, who’d been circling her, wagging his tail. “I love dogs, too. I have plenty of time, if you’re giving me a ride.”

“Insistent, aren’t you?”

“I just got up here for the summer and I don’t know a soul. Basically, I’m lonely and bored. Besides, I throw a mean curve ball.”

The girl’s face broke into a wide smile and Bobby’s knees buckled a little. She was pretty. Really pretty. And she seemed a little desperate for company. He supposed it couldn’t hurt to let her join him.

“It’s not even summer yet. Don’t you have school?”

For a flash of a second, Gabe looked fidgety. Then she straightened and tossed her hair behind her shoulders. “My school’s out for the summer.”

“What kind of school gets done in May?”

Gabe looked him square in the eye. “The kind of school I go to.”

“What kind of sch—?”

She brushed past and, interrupting him, said, “C’mon, then. Get in the truck.”

He watched Gabe through the smeared glass of the truck windows. As she opened the door, Pete leapt past her and took his place on the seat next to Bobby.

She laughed and climbed in. “Looks like someone is used to having you all to himself.”

“Guess so.” Bobby started the truck, wishing he weren’t so damned tongue-tied all the time. He cleared his throat and forced out words, hating how gruff his voice sounded. He wished Coco were here. He would know how to talk to a girl like this. Coco could talk to anyone. “What restaurant were you going to?”

The girl smiled and patted Pete on the head. “The Graxton Grill, of course.”

“The Catskill House is where all the weekenders go.”

“Are you implying I’m a weekender?”

“You’re not from here. So that means you’re a weekender.”

The girl rubbed her ankle, then turned back to Bobby. “I’m here for the whole summer. So that makes me more than a weekender.”

“Why the Graxton Grill?”

“What are you, the local food columnist?”

Bobby’s mouth quirked up in a half-smile. “I think I have the right to know, since I saved you from the corn stalks.”

“My dad owns it.”

The air rushed out of Bobby’s lungs. “Your dad? Your dad is Max Friend?”

“That’s me. Gabe Friend. Sadly, also known as Gabby Friend. Welcome to my nightmare.”

“Gabby Friend?” Bobby stifled a snort. “That’s harsh.”

Gabe fixed him with a wry smile. “Imagine my life in middle school. Especially since I was too shy to utter a peep.”

Bobby didn’t talk much at school, either, but he couldn’t imagine this girl ever being bashful and shy.

“I work at the Graxton Grill,” he said finally. “Your dad is my boss.”

“Is that so?”

Bobby stole a glance at her, but she just stared out the window, suddenly disinterested. Had he offended her? He really had no idea how to talk to this girl. And, though he was pretty sure it was a bad idea, he really wanted to. Max Friend had a policy against employee dating—knives, fire, and romance are a bad combo, he had told them all the day the restaurant reopened. His daughter would be off-limits for sure. “Um, how’s your ankle?”

“Better. It was just a twist.”

It only took a minute to get to the ball field where Aaron’s Little League game was at the end of the sixth inning. Aaron was pitching a shutout, and in minutes the game ended. His team erupted in a roar, ran to the mound and mobbed the triumphant pitcher, but Aaron had already spotted Bobby watching from the sidelines and broke away from the tangle of bodies. Picking up speed, he barreled into Bobby’s arms, a bundle of sweaty hair, grime, and sparkling blue eyes.

“Dude! We won! We won! We made it to the playoffs!”

“I know. I saw!”

Aaron pulled away, noticing the stranger in their midst. “Who are you?”

“She’s,” Bobby stammered, “…a friend.”

Gabe smiled, all freckles and sunshine, and extended a hand. Bobby’s heart revved up inside his chest, but he kept his expression placid and flat, like the waters of Scratch Lake—before the weird turbulence earlier that morning.

“Literally. I’m Gabe Friend,” she said.

Frowning, Aaron looked from her hand to her face. “I never saw you before.”

“No, you haven’t,” Gabe said. “But I’ll bet I can hit any kind of pitch you can throw at me.”

Pete had picked up a stray ball and hunkered down, gnawing contentedly at it on the grass. Barely limping, Gabe strolled over to a bat that had been flung aside in the chaos. “We could go up on that hill and have a practice.” She gestured toward a sloping tract of mown grass that flattened at the top.

“Thought you were in a big hurry,” Bobby said.

“There’s always time for baseball.” Gabe glanced at her watch. “Besides, I still have time, if you’re giving me a ride. It’s only two-thirty and I don’t actually have to be at the restaurant until four for the dinner rush.”

Bobby glanced at Aaron. “It’s laundry night, but I guess it’s okay.”

Pensive, Aaron’s upper lip quivered into a sneer. Bobby laughed under his breath. Aaron never could walk away from a challenge or a fight. Which was why Bobby needed to show up from time to time at Aaron’s school playground at recess. “Bet you can’t.” Aaron wrestled the slimy ball from Pete’s jaws. “Give me that, Pete.”

Gabe gathered her hair into a hasty ponytail, revealing the sloping curve of her pale neck. Bobby tried to ignore the corresponding shiver that rushed from his thighs to his throat. “We shall see, won’t we, Little Pendell?” she said, hefting the bat over her shoulder.

“My name is Aaron,” his brother said emphatically.

Bobby chuckled as they trudged up to the hill, Aaron and Gabe in the lead. Aaron had no problem dealing with Gabe. Sometimes Bobby wished he were eleven again. In his memories, with Mom still around, those were golden times. But, then again, Aaron was much tougher than him, struggling with things eleven-year-old Bobby had never dreamed of.

Pete straggled behind, investigating the tall grass and weeds that marked the boundary between the neatly mown grass and the woods. The clearing at the top of the hill was bordered on three sides by state land, woods that stretched for endless miles to the east, and ended at the reservoir to the west.

“Go easy on her, A-man,” Bobby said when they’d reached the top of the hill.

“No need.” Gabe was already crouched in a batter’s stance, tapping the ground with the tip of the bat.

“You asked for it,” Aaron said, and let loose a fast, low-riding pitch. Gabe stepped quickly out of the way as it whizzed past.

“What are you, scared?” Aaron called out, laughing.

“That would have been a ball,” Gabe said, back in position, bat slung over her shoulder. “A little higher next time. I’m seventeen, not eleven.”

“Nice and easy, Aaron,” Bobby cautioned. All he needed was for the boss’ daughter to get hurt.

Gabe laughed and blew a stray strand of hair out of her eyes. “Oh, c’mon. I’m not made of glass and fluffy stuff. I play softball.”

Focusing, Aaron drew his pitching arm back and hurled the ball hard. It sailed cleanly toward Gabe at waist level and Bobby cringed, imagining it slamming into her stomach. But Gabe took a fierce swing. The bat connected with a loud crack and soared above Aaron’s head, clear into the woods.

“Hey! That was our only ball!”

“Pete’ll find it,” Bobby said. “He’s a hunting dog. Get it, boy! Go get the ball!”

The dog tore through the weeds into the woods, the three of them bounding after him. Gabe, apparently recovered from her strained ankle, was right on Aaron’s heels as they crunched between the towering oaks through the underbrush after Pete.

Pete had already stopped, sniffing at the ball, which had come to rest at the base of a large tree, when a strange tightness in his skull tugged Bobby in the opposite direction. His gaze fell on a faded strip of material snagged in the bark of a dead tree trunk. Drawn inexplicably toward it, he crunched through the ferns and dried leaves, the sounds of laughter and Pete’s barking muted, drowned out by the thump of his heart in his ears.

Standing at the base of the tree, his boots rooted to the forest floor, the back of Bobby’s head had begun to throb.

Not this again.

He reached for the strip of cloth as if sticking his hand into fire, and…saw the vague form of someone running wildly, breathing hard…

Crashing through the woods. Heart speeding, each beat like the swing of an axe. Can’t do it. Can’t run anymore. Have to stop. To stop.

Bobby yanked back his hand from the bit of cloth as though it had burned him. The vision still fluttered in front of his eyes like the final images from a broken movie projector. It was as if he were that person, hearing fragments of their frantic thoughts, yet he could see them as though he were watching from a distance.

It was like a memory. A vividly terrifying memory.

But it wasn’t his memory.

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