Monday, May 21, 2018

Only the Beginning by Daphne Dubois





Only the Beginning
Daphne Dubois

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication: 25 April 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5092-2034-2
ASIN: 978-1-5092-2035-9

Number of pages: 264
Word Count: 63,300

Tagline: Taking your best friend’s place on a blind date to let the guy down easy was the plan, taking him to bed wasn’t!

Book Description:

After a heartbreaking betrayal, Melissa Legacy shuns romance. So when her best friend joins the Lovers Oasis website and fears her fiancé will find out, Melissa agrees to meet the anonymous Romeo, prepared to explain her friend’s change of heart—then she sees him.

Failing restaurant entrepreneur, Craig Wheaton hasn’t been home since his mother’s tragic death. Now he’s back to confront his demons and stand beside his brother as best man. Dreading the reunion, he agrees to meet his avatar lover, but at the last moment he reconsiders the arrangement—until he lays eyes on her.

When Craig assumes Melissa is his online consort, she impulsively plays along, resulting in an afternoon of unexpected intimacy. But with Melissa using her friend’s identity and Craig dealing with a family fallout, is a future together impossible, or will they discover that love at first sight is Only the Beginning?


Excerpt:

Melissa blinked a few times, trying to remember the dream. A sense of bliss made her smile into the pillow. She was warm and the bed covers were tucked around her like a cocoon. It must be Saturday, she thought.
There was a shift in the bed behind her, followed by a low sigh.
She froze. In a series of flashing images, it all came back.
The pub. Craig. The intense stare of his eyes. The way he’d kissed her as he unzipped the back of her skirt. He made her feel like she was the most desirable woman on the planet, that there was nothing he wouldn’t do to keep touching her.
And she’d reciprocated, opening up to him, losing all her inhibitions. She imagined this was what Lovers’ Oasis was like. The anonymity combined with the fantasy created a freedom Melissa had never experienced before, not ever.
But now reality set in. She’d woken naked, next to a man she barely knew and the earlier courage she’d felt—the reckless delirious abandonment that augmented her physical enjoyment of the afternoon encounter—had morphed into terrified embarrassment.
There was only one choice—she had to leave before he woke. Slowly, she slipped one leg out, her foot searching for the floor. Then she inched her way to the edge of the bed, carefully making sure not to jostle the mattress.
She stood, completely naked, looking down at Craig. He was on his back, one hand was on his chest gently rising and falling as he slept. The sheets pooled at his waist. His face was completely relaxed, his mouth opened slightly, lips parted.
A warmth began to stir inside her, remembering how those lips felt. He’d memorized each of her breasts with his tongue as his fingers slipped down her belly then nestled between her thighs. She’d come for him, then. So quickly…so easily.
Her purse buzzed from the floor making Melissa jump. It sounded like a marching band had exploded through the door. She crouched down and lunged for the purse, grabbing the phone and silencing it. Melissa waited, but there was no movement from the bed. A quiet breath eased through her pursed lips. She read her phone; there were multiple messages from Brooke. The last one was marked “urgent.”
—Where are you?—



About the Author:

Daphne Dubois writes contemporary romance and believes the right book at the right time can make all the difference. When she's not putting her characters in compromising positions (ahem), she works as a registered nurse. A member of the Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia, she lives in Eastern Canada, the most romantic place in the world.


Twitter: @br_myers




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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cover Reveal Texting Prince Charming by Patty Carothers and Amy Brewer





TEXTING PRINCE CHARMING
PRINCE CHARMING Series
Book One
Patty Carothers and Amy Brewer

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Omnific (Simon and Schuster Partner)

Date of Publication: 05/29/2018

ISBN: 978-1-623422-62-2 (eBook)  
ISBN: 978-1-623422-61-5 (Print)
ASIN: B07CRQPSRB

Number of pages: 235
Word Count: 78,573

Cover Artist: Amy Brokaw

Tagline: Is this your Prince Charming?

Book Description:

After a tragic accident leaves Shelby Ryan permanently injured, she gives up all hope in happily-ever-afters. Shelby puts on a brave face while hiding her pain, but once she returns to school, everything changes. She starts receiving anonymous corny messages from a mysterious Prince Charming, and her nemesis, basketball star and bad boy, Sebastian, shows sudden interest in her.

Hilarity ensues as Shelby tries to uncover Prince Charming's real identity and come to terms with her true feelings for the last boy on Earth she ever thought she'd fall for: Sebastian Freaking Birch.
              
Will she be able to cope with the allure of the texting prince, or will Sebastian be the real-life prince in Shelby's fairytale?

About the Authors:


Patty Carothers has been in love with stories for as long as she can remember. She is a certified copy editor and an Oxford comma fangirl. Her adoration of all things comic book related and YA has morphed into her co-writing the Texting Prince Charming series. Engaging and realistic characters that bounce off the pages through witty and thought-provoking dialogue are a thrill for her to read. Although, most days the real question lies with a simple: Is she team Marvel or team D.C.?



Amy Brewer has been an avid reader and lover of literature her whole life. She is a graduate of Culver-Stockton College with a theater degree because drama, romance, and angst are her lifelong passions. She is the co-writer of the Texting Prince Charming series and continues to be enthralled with the art of writing.





Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Interview - Everything Under the Sun by Jessica Redmerski



What inspired you to write EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN?

Daryl and Beth on the television show The Walking Dead - If Beth had been just a little older, a relationship between them, forced by survival and the post-apocalyptic world they lived in, would have been sweet. But because that could never happen, I made it my duty to tell the love story inspired by them, that grew in my heart.

It took you a long time to write this book; were there any aspects of the story that changed as you wrote?

Yes, definitely. I started this novel long before the 2016 election, so, let’s just say that I had the perfect opportunity to address many things that have deeply affected me since then. This type of book is perfect to show what couldand likely wouldhappen if society ever broke down and a dystopian world emerged as a result. Aside from all that though, EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN, more than anything, is a story about love.

Do you personally relate to either of the main characters in the book?

I think so, yes. Thais and I want the same things in this world, so through her I’m expressing them the only way I know how.

It seems EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN isn’t a standalone; tell us about WINDS OF THE IRON FEATHER. Is this going to be a series?


It was going to be a standalone when I started, but there is way too much to tell in only one book – but it will definitely not be a series. EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN by itself is like two books in one. There was no possible way to split it up into two books, and there definitely wasn’t a way to wrap everything up by the end. So, halfway through I realized it was going to be at least two enormous books long. It will end up either as a duology or a trilogy, but there certainly shouldn’t be more than three. I’m hoping I can end it in the second book, WINDS OF THE IRON FEATHER. In that book, Thais will become a great figure, and a leader, who through everything she has learned and everything she stands for will begin to change the world. This story as a whole is ambitious, I admit, but it’s in my heart and I desperately need to tell it.

Everything Under the Sun
Jessica Redmerski

Genre: Dystopian YA/NA Crossover


Date of Publication: August 28, 2017

ISBN: 1546413081
ASIN: B074W372G6

Number of pages: 657
Word Count: 203K

Cover Image by Perrywinkle Photography
Cover Design by Okay Creations

Tagline: Can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?

Book Description:

Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.

Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?


Kindle     Paperback



“Thais,” I said, “I do think you’re beautiful. I just—.” I couldn’t force myself to say the things I really wanted: I want you to want this kiss, not because I’m the only man here to give it to you. But her heartfelt speech about todays and yesterdays and tomorrows and the very real possibility that there might not be another one, didn’t alleviate that thought—it only reinforced it.
In the end, after fighting with myself, all that mattered to me was what Thais wanted, what Thais needed. And if it was simply a kiss she asked of me, then I would do it. For her. Not for myself, though as much as I, too, wanted it, as much as I knew it would only make my own needs and wants more unbearable, I would endure the impending ache if it would ease hers.
I leaned toward her slowly; my eyes swept the curvature of her lips, the tiny hollow beneath her nose, and I touched the left corner of her mouth with my own.
The right corner.
The center.
The impending ache…


  
About the Author:

Jessica Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, international bestseller, and award winner, who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. Her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, has been optioned for television in the United States by actor and model William Levy, and a film exclusive to the Dominican Republic.

She also writes as J.A. Redmerski.



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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Talking Tarot with Abigail Drake


Tarot cards. Just the idea conjures up images of things like crystal balls, and fortune tellers in caravans. But is that accurate? Where and how did tarot cards originate, and are they inherently evil or fairly innocuous?

The tarot is a pack of playing cards first used in the mid-15th century in Europe to play games such as the Italian "tarocchini" and the French "tarot". It wasn't until the late 18th century that it began to be used for divination - in the form of tarotology and cartomancy.


One of the characters in my newest book, "The Enchanted Garden Cafe," is Madame Lucinda. She owns The Hocus Pocus Magic Shoppe (also the title of what will be the second book in my series), and she is a reader of tarot cards. My main character, Fiona, scoffs at the idea, until something strange happens, and several of Madame Lucinda's predictions seem to come true.


So are tarot cards really a means to see into the future, or are they connected with something darker and more sinister? According to an article I found by Theresa Reed, "The Tarot Lady," the cards themselves are neutral. She goes on to say it might be possible that the intent of the user could be negative, but even that doesn't make tarot cards inherently bad, and "... if we go by that theory, then a kitchen knife should be evil because someone MIGHT do something harmful with one."

Most people use tarot to help them find direction, and as a tool for problem solving and decision making. Most professional tarot card readers start doing it because they want to help people. That doesn't sound very evil, does it?


Perhaps the fear associated with tarot, is more the fear of the unknown, or the feeling it violates closely held religious or spiritual beliefs. In response to this, Ms. Reed says, "For the people who assume that tarot is against their religious beliefs, then it is best to respect that and leave it be. You don’t need to be converting anyone. Do not take their opinion personally. Instead be a model of mutual respect – honor their beliefs and do not ridicule nor argue – and encourage them to do the same when it comes to your tarot lovin’ ways. We can coexist even if we disagree!"



Oh. I love that. I may to get that on a bumper sticker. Seriously. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone had that same world view?

Ms. Reed also says, "Tarot is a wonderful guide in life’s journey but it’s not for everyone. And you know what? That’s okay."

I think I love Ms. Reed. She seems awesome. And I think I want to learn more about tarot. If nothing else, just for the experience, and because the cards are so pretty.



This one is called "The Lovers," and let me just say, it does pop up in my book. (wink, wink, nod, nod). And it's so much more pleasant than the other card that comes up...."The Devil."

EEK!!


To find out what happens, you'll just have to read "The Enchanted Garden Cafe," available now on Amazon

The Enchanted Garden Café
South Side Stories
Book One
Abigail Drake

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Kindle Press

Date of Publication: May 1, 2018

ASIN: B079ST8JW1

Number of pages: 272
Word Count: 89,000

Cover Artist: Najla Qamber

Tagline: Something magical is happening in the garden.

Book Description:

For her sixth birthday, Fiona Campbell’s mother, Claire, made her a peace sign piñata filled with wishes for a better planet instead of candy. When she got her period, her mother held a womanhood ceremony at their café and invited the neighborhood. On her sixteenth birthday, they celebrated with a drum circle.

Fiona grew up trying to keep the impulsive Claire in check, and their struggling café afloat. She plans to move out, but first must find a way to stop a big corporation from tearing down their business and destroying her mother’s livelihood.

Claire thinks karma will solve their financial and legal problems. Fiona prefers a spreadsheet and a solid business plan. The last thing she has time for is Matthew Monroe, a handsome complication who walks through their door with a guitar on his back and a naughty gleam in his eye. But when disaster strikes, and Fiona’s forced to turn to him for help, will she learn to open her heart and find she can believe in something magical after all?



Excerpt:

Falling in love is like baking.
Results may vary with experience.
~Aunt Francesca~

Chapter One

            I opened the box and stepped back, tripping over a pile of Himalayan wind chimes I’d left lying behind me on the floor of the shop. They clanked in a discordant melody as I untangled them from my feet.
            “What the heck?” I asked, ignoring the chimes and focusing on the parcel that had arrived in the mail earlier that morning. Tiny stone phalluses in various shades of gray filled the container to the brim. Checking the return address, I noticed the shipping cost and wanted to cry. Most of our inventory budget for the entire month had been used to mail this one small box halfway around the world.
            “Mom, what exactly did you order from Inuyama, Japan?”
            My mother popped her head around the corner, a bright smile on her face. “Did they finally arrive, Fiona? I’ve been waiting for ages.”
“For stone penises?”
Why was I even surprised? This wasn’t the first time something like this had happened, and it probably wouldn’t be the last. My mother, Claire de Lune Campbell, had never been the master of impulse control, and she had a history of making very poor decisions. She’d been born Claire Campbell and added the “de Lune” in, what I can only guess, was a moment of pot-induced inspiration. The pot no longer played a part in her life, but the total inability to make common-sense decisions remained.
            Mom picked up one of the stone penises, a happy twinkle in her eye. “Aren’t they lovely?”
On the outside, Mom and I looked alike. The same blonde hair, the same blue eyes, the same stubborn tilt to our chins, but there the resemblance ended. Mom was as happy and bright as a butterfly landing on a flower, and she had the same level of fiscal responsibility. I stressed about everything, especially money, but I had good cause.
My mom owned and operated the Enchanted Garden Café, where we served food, coffee, and specially blended teas and sold unusual items in our small gift shop. Nestled in the middle of the South Side, the funky hippie district of Pittsburgh, it was the perfect spot for my mom but a constant source of anxiety for me.
I wiped sweat from my face and brushed off my clothing. Dust covered my T-shirt and shorts, and some kind of stone powder had fallen out of the box from Inuyama onto my tennis shoes. Mom, glowing in a dress made from recycled saris, didn’t have a speck of dust on her, but she hadn’t handled the phalluses.
Kate, the girl who worked behind the counter, came over to us, her blue eyes alight with curiosity. “I want to see them,” she said. Mom handed her one, and she studied it closely, peering at it through the thick black frames of her retro hipster glasses. Her ebony hair was pulled off to the side in a low ponytail, and her colorful tattoos peeked through the crocheted black cardigan covering her pale skin. “At least they are anatomically correct. Look at those veins.”
            My cheeks grew warm, and Mom smiled, putting a cool hand against my face. “Aww, Fiona is blushing.”
            “No, I’m not. It’s hot in here.”
            “Of course it is,” she said, making me feel twelve instead of twenty-five, but it was hot for early June, and the air-conditioning was broken. Again. Even with all the windows open, it still felt stuffy.
            I ignored her and picked up a penis. “What are these things anyway?”
            She beamed at me with pure, unfiltered happiness. “Fertility charms from a little shrine in the mountains of Japan. They have a big festival there every year. I went once.”
            She sighed, most likely remembering happy times at the fertility festival, and went back to the kitchen. I looked at Kate and rolled my eyes, making her snicker, before getting back to work. The fertility charms came in all sizes and seemed handmade. I just wasn’t sure how to sell them or where to display them in our shop.
            A Victorian eyesore, the café was painted on the outside in what once had been a mix of bright pink and various shades of green. The pink had faded to a dull rose, and the green looked like the color of old limes just before they rotted. It needed work and a fresh coat of paint, but instead of doing so, we spent our money on phalluses from Japan. That was how things worked with my mother. No planning. No rhyme or reason. No logic. No rational thought.
            The bell above the door tinkled, and I turned, a penis in each hand, as a stranger walked into the shop. I couldn’t see his face at first because the sun was at his back, but he carried a guitar case. A sure sign of trouble.
            “Hello,” he said as he came closer.
He had straight dark hair that brushed his shoulders, brown eyes, and a goatee. He reminded me of a sexy, naughty French pirate, and I knew his kind well. Close to my age, he was definitely one of the artsy, flighty types who always hung out around my mom. I could spot them a mile away.

            “Holy guacamole, if he were any hotter, I’d need new underwear,” whispered Kate, taking off to the back of the shop and leaving me alone to greet the stranger.

About the Author:

Abigail Drake is the award-winning author of twelve novels, including three young adult books under the name Wende Dikec. She has spent her life traveling the world, and collecting stories wherever she visited. She majored in Japanese and International Economics in college and worked in import/export and as an ESL teacher before she committed herself full time to writing. She writes in several romance genres, and her books are quirky, light, and fun.

Abigail is a trekkie, a book hoarder, the master of the Nespresso machine, a red wine addict, and the mother of three boys (probably the main reason for her red wine addiction). A puppy named Capone is the most recent addition to her family, and she blogs about him as a way of maintaining what little sanity she has left.
She is a member of Pennwriters, RWA, Three Rivers Romance Writers, Mindful Writers, Women's Fiction Writers, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She teaches writing to children, and her non-fiction article about the life of a child in Istanbul was published in Faces Magazine (an imprint of Cricket Magazine) in February 2016.






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Book Cover Designs Guest Blog - ARK by Jesse Miller



Greetings!  My name is Jesse Miller and I am the author of two novels, both available from Common Deer Press.  If you’re like me, you’ve been nearly bludgeoned to death by the old adage to avoid judging a book by its cover.  However, it’s pretty hard not to—it’s the first thing that catches our eye and it makes an impression long before we dip into the actual-factual content of the book.  This is to say, much like an album (back when albums were regarded as an important unit of art!), the cover transmits something artistically important (and immediately) to a reader.  The cover matters, and it most certainly matters to the writer as well. 

Today then, I’d like to share what could be thought of as concept art—sketches, iterations—in the evolution of the book art for my two novels.

I’d like to present EXHIBIT A!  This is the first idea I had for my novel Unwrap Your Candy.  For this to make sense, a little about the book from our fine friends at the publicity department at Common Deer Press:

Thom’s life has a soundtrack. Unseen glass phalluses—thousands of them—whirring softly along conveyer belts on the other side of the factory wall. The snap and splash of eggs against plaster. The scratch-fizz-tang of cigarette lighters being flipped again and again. A thousand throats swallowing a thousand swigs of beer; a thousand sets of lungs choking on a thousand French inhales. Hard fists sinking into soft flesh; soft chunks dropping onto hard sidewalks. Plop-flush-drain repeat. And moonsong, high above, forever calling and calling, “Stud, rub 'er with the Stud Rubber.” If only it were so simple.

Got it?  Our protag Thom works in a condom factory and boy howdy does it drive him to snap!  Now, check out the original idea I had for the cover. Notice the condom there front-and-center—I was thinking, like, it needs to be a bunch of condoms from a box, connected; and notice the lettering of the brand kind of melting into the presentation of the title and the author of the novel (that’s me!):







And then check out the full cover, jacket I think is the term—it had to be a dance party of sorts, the movement of the language of the book, and I was thinking, well, I was thinking this needs to just get buckwild, so I want phalluses parading around is the thing, which is…uh…quite something to behold:




Ellie, the undisputed book art champion of the world, came back with this breathtaking cover below.  I mean, it makes my pupils dilate and gives me the same kind of feeling as the chromatic trinity of a White Stripes album cover. Check it:








Next, the full wrapper.  Whatever cool new saying is synonymous with “mic drop,” please apply that here:





Ok, now for the book I’m currently promoting.  Like UYC, it’s important to have a little sense of the book’s content before we, I guess, judge the cover by the book??  So, here is more fine work from the publicity department at Common Deer Press about my current novel ARK:

Imagine the son of Cinderella and Noah. That's Alabaster Ash, professional window washer and amateur foot fetishist, thrall to his three physically fit, brutally aggressive stepsisters. After polishing foot after foot of glass in the gingerbread city of Candyland and cleaning up after the “wicked stairmasters,” he haunts the bars and streets looking for love and appreciation–or a really nice pair of feet. Like it or not, Alabaster finds himself reliving and reimagining his parents' lives as he roams from bar to bar, from thrill ride to stunt show in the linguistic funland that is ARK.


As I was working on ARK, I kept imagining two covers, and at some point when I finally found a publisher, I presented each idea for approval.  Idea one had a decidedly conceptual rock album feel:





While idea one captures the big-ticket artifacts from the stories shaping my novel, idea two  distills the soul of the story a bit more I think, and there’s a playfulness, a punning—the no signal blackout tv screen concept.  It gets at the hope-inspiring rainbow from old Noah, but it fractures and reassembles it within the framework of a blackout drunk befitting our bumbling protagonist Alabaster:






Now for a wrinkle: Like so many starter marriages these days, ARK was involved with a prior publisher, and this was the cover for the first release.  I loved it when it came out, and even though I lost my mind and went catatonic for a while after the original publisher folded, I still have a great fondness for this ALL CAPS! bold cover:




Thankfully, after the release of UYC, the fine people at Common Deer Press took an interest in ARK.  And now the book lives on, maybe even reaching a wider and more interested audience (YOU could BE that audience!!)  And I have come to think of the new cover as just about the most astoundingly perfect artwork for the book—this is a fully realized form, Jack.  Most things are really, truly terrible, but this fills me with what I can only describe as pure joy.  I love you Common Deer Press, and I’m so very freaking thrilled to share the artwork for my sorta-kinda-new novel:




Goddamn, that’s beautiful.  And then the full wrap:





And now for you!  You like things, I’m sure of it!  So, all of this casting back in time and deep meditation on artwork has me thinking about some of my favorite iconic art from other (more famous) literary works.  So, what’s your favorite book cover and why?





ARK
Jesse Miller

Genre: Literary Fiction

Publisher: Common Deer Press

Date of Publication: May 15, 2018

ISBN: Hardcover ISBN: 978-988761-08-4
Paperback: ISBN: 978-1-988761-07-7
E-Book ISBN: 978-1-988761-09-1

Number of pages: 162
Word Count: 45k

Cover Artist: Ellie Sipila

Book Description:

Imagine the son of Cinderella and Noah. That's Alabaster Ash, professional window washer and amateur foot fetishist, thrall to his three physically fit, brutally aggressive stepsisters.

After polishing foot after foot of glass in the gingerbread city of Candyland and cleaning up after the “wicked stairmasters,” he haunts the bars and streets looking for love and appreciation -or a really nice pair of feet.

Like it or not, Alabaster finds himself reliving and reimagining his parents' lives as he roams from bar to bar, from thrill ride to stunt show in the linguistic funland that is ARK.

Excerpt:

Ground squirmed past the windows, shuffling racks of bones and skulls under the soptoil as clouds crept along the horizon. On the bus, all the windows let in cold air and hung like a racked row of ice cubes in a tray, but I barely cracked the bottle.
Out I poured when the doors opened, unable to feel my legs, unable to see the ocean, but I could smell the salty marsh marching wet blue harridans, swiping and batting the spit, pushing the blood and saltboxing up fatjuices into my sinuses.

Jammed a kwata in the belly box and engaged the line.

–Hello?
–I’ve arrived. I’m here.
–That’s great. I bet a little walk will feel like a little slice of heaven, eh?
–I suppose.
–Well, I’ll leave the light on for you, Buddy.

I slid on my gloves and tried not to flinch at the sudden mustering of prickly discs skipping to my face. I leaned in hard and clacked through town, blackened and boarded and unblinking, barely wicklit. Smatter rooms to let. Ingrown hairs. Offseason. Unseasoned in the savorless in and out drag of the tonguetide. I dashed through a carless parking lot and into an astralamped glass meadow jotting down quivering blue starlight ink- puddles into suckshifts of snowhunchbanks humpbacking the outermost stretch of tideland. To the left, a skit of cloven unguals stirred it seemed, crunchy, but I only got half an ear worth and couldn’t noctoscop the goings-on of could be caribou or elk or deer bowing their head, bowing their head before the almighty peering down hard and in, like the retractable Polton and Crane lamp in the dentist’s office that hangs my mouth open.
Inside the blackness, the stickiting, ricketing pickets of thickets wiggle on their dicot studs without me seeing, while they shot out the other side and stitched a black curtain against the edge of the rest of the world. I clacked another mile stretch as brine wafers tickled my ears and swizzled my nos- trils while Lawrence Welk drift popping jollyjawdropping orbs uncorked across my field of vichy.
Estrella’s was a lighthouse, though not the vertical variety. But it glowed.
Light hung out over the glass and flabbed fat, hotwhite dough out the sides as I took up her street. This was another gingerbread house, hundreds of miles from home, though this one in earshot of the beach. I rang and rang and rang and then just opened the door.

About the Author:

Jesse Miller is the author of Unwrap Your Candy and the forthcoming ARK, both available from Common Deer Press. He is a Visiting Assistant Lecturer in English at the University of New England.  He lives in the great city of Portland, Maine with his wife, two cats, and dog. Jesse roots for the Red Sox.



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