Rules of Rain Spotlight by Leah Scheier

9781492654261-300Title: Rules of Rain
Author: Leah Scheier
Pub Date: December 5, 2017
ISBN: 9781492654261

How far would you go to protect the ones you love?

Rain has taken care of Ethan all of their lives. Before she even knew what autism meant, she was her twin brother’s connection to the world around him. Each day with Ethan is unvarying and predictable, and Rain takes comfort in being the one who holds their family together. It’s nice to be needed—to be the center of someone’s world. If only her longtime crush, Liam, would notice her too…

Then one night, her life is upended by a mistake she can’t undo. Suddenly Rain’s new romance begins to unravel along with her carefully constructed rules. Rain isn’t used to asking for help—and certainly not from Ethan. But the brother she’s always protected is the only one who can help her. And letting go of the past may be the only way for Rain to hold onto her relationships that matter most.

Leah Scheier works as a pediatrician and pens stories of romance and adventure. Her latest novel, Your Voice Is All I Hear, received a Starred Review from Booklist. She lives in Maryland. Learn more at leahscheier.com.

Buy Links:
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GIVEAWAY
2 copies of Rules of Rain
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EXCERPT
From ETHAN’S JOURNAL:
The cholecystectomy was a successful operation. The predicted obstacles were not as difficult to overcome as expected. In the hallways, when the noise level became overwhelming, I utilized the breathing and relaxation exercises Rain taught me. When the surgeon took us to the operating room, it was a relief. The quiet voices, the unblinking light, the predictable, ordered routine. It’s as if the room was designed for me. After Dr. Peters dismissed us, I took a much-needed bathroom break. While I was in the stall, two medical students from our team entered.
Let it go,” the one with the deeper voice said. “I don’t think he was trying to show off.”
Who cares?” High Voice replied. “We’re the ones getting graded. You’d think he’d have realized he needed to shut up. I kept staring him down, but he was ignoring me. What a dick.”
Deep Voice laughed. “That kid sure knew his shit though.”
People like that always know their shit,” High Voice said. “They’re basically walking computers. It sucks for me though. Today’s the end of the rotation, and I got showed up by a teenage robot.”
Deep Voice zipped up his pants and stepped over to the sink. The splashing water obscured the beginning of his reply. All I caught was his final statement: “I’d rather fail the surgery elective than spend a day in that boy’s life. I wonder what it’s like to live without emotions?”
High Voice made a snorting sound. “Whatever. How would he even know what he’s missing?”
On the way home from the hospital, I told Liam what I had heard. He didn’t say anything at first.
Do you think I’m missing something?” I asked him.
He shook his head. “Of course not. Don’t let those morons upset you.”
I’m not upset,” I tell him. “Because I know they’re wrong. I just can’t prove it.”
You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.”
He’s probably right. Still, I think it would be easier for me if I could explain what I was feeling. When I was little, I would just scream until my sister fixed whatever was bothering me. Rain once told me that I keep my emotions in a box, and that no one has the key to the box. I had no idea what that meant. So I said, “Rain, what are you feeling right now?” She started to answer me, and I interrupted her. “No. I want you to describe your emotions. But you have to do it in German.”
Here’s the thing: If she traveled to Germany she would still feel things. But she’d have to use big, weird gestures to show people what she meant because she doesn’t speak German. And no one would understand her, no matter how hard she tried.
After I asked her to describe her emotions in German, Rain was quiet for a little while. Then she wrapped her arms around herself and squeezed. She does that when she wants to give me a hug but can’t.
You’re always in Germany, aren’t you?”

Rules of Rain graphic

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Alone by Cyn Balog Spotlight with Giveaway

9781492655473-PRAlone
By Cyn Balog
Sourcebooks Fire
November 7, 2017
Advance Praise for Alone
“Even careful readers will be caught off guard by twists and unexpected but divine surprises. This first-rate thriller delivers everything a thriller should, and adds more. With a wink and a nod to Stephen King’s The Shining, Balog provides a shocker for the young adult crowd.” –VOYA Magazine, VOYA Perfect 10 Review
“This is the perfect premise for a chilling tale, and Balog fills every inch with classic horror references, red herrings, and uncertain motivations. As Balog gradually builds tension and paranoia, she manipulates reader expectations to set up several possible endings, yet still manages to end with a shocker. This is fantastically creepy psychological horror.” –Booklist
“A bloody, wonderfully creepy scare ride.” –Kirkus Reviews
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33918889-alone?ac=1&from_search=true
Book Info:
This must-read for lovers of Stephen King’s The Shining will leave readers breathless as Seda and her family find themselves at the mercy of a murderer in an isolated and snowbound hotel.
When her mom inherits an old, crumbling mansion, Seda’s almost excited to spend the summer there. The grounds are beautiful and it’s fun to explore the sprawling house with its creepy rooms and secret passages. Except now her mom wants to renovate, rather than sell the estate—which means they’re not going back to the city…or Seda’s friends and school.
As the days grow shorter, Seda is filled with dread. They’re about to be cut off from the outside world, and she’s not sure she can handle the solitude or the darkness it brings out in her.
Then a group of teens get stranded near the mansion during a blizzard. Seda has no choice but to offer them shelter, even though she knows danger lurks in the dilapidated mansion—and in herself. And as the snow continues to fall, what Seda fears most is about to become her reality…

Amazon | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound | Kindle | Nook
Cyn Balog photoCyn Balog is the author of a number of young adult novels. She lives outside Allentown, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters. Visit her online at http://www.cynbalog.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook
Excerpt from Alone:
Sometimes I dream I am drowning.
Sometimes I dream of bloated faces, bobbing on the surface of misty waters.
And then I wake up, often screaming, heart racing, hands clenching fistfuls of my sheets.
I’m in my bed at the top of Bug House. The murky daylight casts dull prisms from my snow globes onto the attic floor. My mom started collecting those pretty winter scenes for me when I was a baby. I gaze at them, lined neatly on the shelf in front of my window. My first order of business every day is hoping they’ll give me a trace of the joy they did when I was a kid.
But either they don’t work that way anymore, or I don’t.
Who am I kidding? It’s definitely me.
I’m insane. Batshit. Nuttier than a fruitcake. Of course, that’s not an official diagnosis. The official word from Dr. Batton, whose swank Copley Square office I visited only once when I was ten, was that I was bright and intelligent and a wonderful young person. He said it’s normal for kids to have imaginary playmates.
But it gets a little sketchy when that young person grows up, and her imaginary friend decides to move in and make himself comfortable.
Not that anyone knows about that. No, these days, I’m good about keeping up appearances.
My second order of business each day is hoping that he won’t leak into my head. That maybe I can go back to being a normal sixteen–year–old girl.
But he always comes.
He’s a part of me, after all. And he’s been coming more and more, invading my thoughts. Of course I’m here, stupid.
Sawyer. His voice in my mind is so loud that it drowns out the moaning and creaking of the walls around me.
“Seda, honey?” my mother calls cheerily. She shifts her weight on the bottom step, making the house creak more. “Up and at ’em, buckaroo!”
I force my brother’s taunts away and call down the spiral staircase, “I am up.” My short temper is because of him, but it ends up directed at her.
She doesn’t notice though. My mother has only one mood now: ecstatically happy. She says it’s the air up here, which always has her taking big, deep, monster breaths as if she’s trying to inhale the entire world into her lungs. But maybe it’s because this is her element; after all, she made a profession out of her love for all things horror. Or maybe she really is better off without my dad, as she always claims she is.
I hear her whistling “My Darlin’ Clementine” as her slippered feet happily scuffle off toward the kitchen. I put on the first clothing I find in my drawer—-sweatpants and my mom’s old Boston College sweatshirt—-then scrape my hair into a ponytail on the top of my head as I look around the room. Mannequin body parts and other macabre props are stored up here. It’s been my bedroom for only a month. I slept in the nursery with the A and Z twins when we first got here because they were afraid of ghosts and our creepy old house. But maybe they—-like Mom—-are getting used to this place?
The thought makes me shudder. I like my attic room because of the privacy. Plus, it’s the only room that isn’t ice cold, since all the heat rises up to me. But I don’t like much else about this old prison of a mansion.
One of the props, Silly Sally, is sitting in the rocker by the door as I leave. She’d be perfect for the ladies’ department at Macy’s if it weren’t for the gaping chest wound in her frilly pink blouse. “I hate you,” I tell her, batting at the other mannequin body parts descending from the rafters like some odd canopy. She smiles as if the feeling is mutual. I give her a kick on the way out.
Despite the morbid stories about this place, I don’t ever worry about ghosts. After all, I have Sawyer, and he is worse.
As I climb down the stairs, listening to the kids chattering in the nursery, I notice the money, accompanied by a slip of paper, on the banister’s square newel post. The car keys sit atop the pile. Before I can ask, Mom calls, “I need you to go to the store for us. OK, Seda, my little kumquat?”
I blink, startled, and it’s not because of the stupid nickname. I don’t have a license, just a learner’s permit. My mom had me driving all over the place when we first came here, but that was back then. Back when this was a simple two–week jaunt to get an old house she’d inherited ready for sale. There wasn’t another car in sight, so she figured, why not? She’s all about giving us kids experiences, about making sure we aren’t slaves to our iPhones, like so many of my friends back home. My mother’s always marching to her own drummer, general consensus be damned, usually to my horror. But back then, I had that thrilling, invincible, first–days–of–summer–vacation feeling that made anything seemed possible. Too bad that was short lived.
We’ve been nestled at Bug House like hermits for months. Well, that’s not totally true. Mom has made weekly trips down the mountain, alone, to get the mail and a gallon of milk and make phone calls to civilization. We were supposed to go back to Boston before school started, but that time came and went, and there’s no way we’re getting off this mountain before the first snow.
Snow.
I peer out the window. The first dainty flakes are falling from the sky.
Snow. Oh God. Snow.

Alone

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway Link for copy of Alone by Cyn Balog (Runs October 26-November 17) U.S. and Canada only:
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I’m Back!!!

I have been extremely busy over the last year with family and work but I’ve finally got the time now to return to my passion. Telling you all about new books that are coming out, new authors, and just what I think about all of it!! Look for my newest entry in just a couple of weeks. I can’t tell you all how glad I am to be back! I look forward for all the new things to come. Ttyl.

Elementals 4:The Portal to Kerberos Cover & Blurb Reveal

Elementals 4: The Portal to Kerberos Cover & Blurb Reveal Kit

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals 4: The Portal to Kerberos, is the latest installment in Michelle Madow’s exciting Elementals series. Follow Nicole and her fellow Elementals as they journey to a new and dangerous world to save one of their own, battling monsters and trying to keep their sanity in a prison dimension designed to make them lose their minds.

Title: Elementals 4: The Portal to Kerberos
Author: Michelle Madow
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Series: Elementals #4
Format: eBook and paperback

Synopsis:

She will venture into hell to save the one she loves.

After being betrayed by one of their own, Nicole watches helplessly as Blake is snatched into the prison world of Kerberos—along with Medusa’s head, which is the one item they need to stop the Titans from rising again. Now Nicole and the other Elementals must enter the portal, find Blake, and bring him and Medusa’s head back to Earth before the deadly monster Typhon returns and wreaks havoc on the world. But there’s one catch—their elemental powers don’t work in Kerberos. In a dimension designed to make those within it lose touch with reality, and that’s filled with dangerous creatures who want to stop them from completing their task, will they make it out alive?

In this penultimate book of Nicole’s story, join the Elementals as they journey through hell to save the world… before it’s too late.

Pre-order: Amazon

Add to Goodreads

The adventure began in the first book in the series, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows. To grab a copy of the first book for free, visit http://www.michellemadow.com.

Giveaway:

Michelle is hosting a giveaway for a Kindle Fire! To enter the giveaway click here!

About the Author:

Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more! She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, traveling, pizza, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship. Visit her website, http://www.michellemadow.com, to get books of Michelle’s for FREE!

Connect with Michelle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra Blog Tour w/Giveaway!

Hydra_TourBadge

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra is the second book in the Elementals series. Join Nicole and the rest of the Elementals on their quest to save the world, or die trying, in this spellbinding sequel that fans of mythology, magic, and adventure will love!

Rafflecopter for Release Week Blitz Giveaway:
Michelle is offering up a fabulous prize during her Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra Virtual Tour event. One (1) lucky winner will receive a signed paperback copy of one of Michelle’s books! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

Direct Link:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YjA1MGVmMjkwYTE2NWQzYWI3ODNiODExNGJiNGU0OjIwNw==/
MichelleMadow_TheBloodOfTheHydra_HR-2About Elementals:  The Blood of the Hydra

Title: Elementals 2: The Blood of the Hydra
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Release Date: April 18, 2016
Series: Elementals #2
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eBook and paperback
ISBN: 9781311296788

A demigod who can kill with a touch. It’s an ability that must be kept secret from everyone, even from those trusted most.

Finding out that she was a witch was strange enough, but now Nicole must face the realization that she has the rare power to kill with just a touch. No one can know her secret—not even Blake, who she’s had undeniable chemistry with since first moving to town.

Now Nicole, Blake, and the three others with elemental powers must stop a series of monsters that they previously believed to be dead from rising once again and destroying the mortal world. The creatures they face on this journey will be more dangerous than anything they’ve encountered yet. Will they all survive the quest? And how long will it be until Nicole is forced to use her ability to kill in front of everyone, revealing the true darkness of her powers?

Find out in The Blood of the Hydra, and join the Elementals on their next journey in their quest to save the world—or die trying.
Buy Links: Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/Elementals-Blood-Hydra-Michelle-Madow-ebook/dp/B01AS6D4N0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1453172832&sr=1-1

Add to your TBR List: Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26876374-the-blood-of-the-hydra?from_search=true&search_version=service

The adventure began in the first book in the series, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! To learn more about the first book, and to read the first four chapters for free, click here! (http://michellemadow.com/books/elementals-2)

The Elementals series is available on Kindle Unlimited, so subscribers can read it for free!


**Excerpt**

“Back up for a moment,” Blake said, and all heads turned to him. “Getting the lotus seeds and the milk from Helios’s cattle sounds crazy, but feasible. But the blood of a slain hydra? I know we’ve been practicing with our powers and weapons for a month—and we’ve gotten pretty good at it, too—but the hydra is one of the most dangerous creatures out there. Slaying it was one of Hercules’s twelve labors. What if one of us gets hurt? Or worse?”

I didn’t know if I was imagining it or not, but I could have sworn that his gaze drifted to mine when he’d said that last part. It was like he was saying that he didn’t want me getting hurt. My cheeks heated at the thought, and I focused on my hands, unable to look at Blake without my feelings for him showing on my face for everyone else to see.

“Hercules was one person,” Chris pointed out. “We’re five.”

“Actually, Hercules didn’t slay the hydra on his own,” Kate said. “He needed help from his nephew.”

“But neither of them had powers like ours.” Chris rubbed his hands together, his confidence not wavering. “We’ve got this.”

“Oh, I know we can slay the hydra.” Blake crossed his arms, as if offended that anyone had thought he’d doubted our abilities. “We just need to make sure that we all get back here alive.”


About Michelle Madow:

Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more!

She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Want to get some of Michelle’s books for FREE? Click here to learn how. (http://michellemadow.com/)

To get instant updates about Michelle’s new books, follow her on Amazon!

Connect with Michelle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

http://www.barclaypublicity.com:

Elementals: The Head of Medusa Cover Reveal & Giveaway

 

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals 3: The Head of Medusa is the latest installment in Michelle Madow’s exciting Elementals series. Follow Nicole and her fellow Elementals as they journey to the end of the world, unsure of who to trust, and facing choices that will put their lives and the entire world at risk. Will they all survive the mission? And if they don’t, will the ones who do be able to find the strength to continue?

MichelleMadow_TheHeadofMedusa_HRTitle: Elementals 3: The Head of Medusa
Author: Michelle Madow
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: June 29, 2016
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Series: Elementals #3
Format: eBook and paperback
Synopsis:

THE EPIC JOURNEY CONTINUES IN THE THIRD BOOK OF THE ELEMENTALS SERIES.

Moving to a new town wasn’t supposed to be easy. But for Nicole Cassidy, it meant discovering she was a witch with never before seen elemental powers. Mysteriously given a mission that could help save the world, Nicole and four other gifted classmates journeyed to Greece, where they battled ancient monsters and barely escaped with their lives.

Now Nicole and the Elementals have returned home, and while her relationship with Blake—the fire Elemental—is finally heating up, she can’t rid herself of the guilt that she’s responsible for the death of one of their own in Greece. But she must remain focused, because the portal to the prison world of Kerberos is weakening, and Typhon, one of Earth’s deadliest creatures, has escaped. Now the Elementals must retrieve the only object in the world that can destroy this dangerous monster—the head of Medusa herself.

Follow the Elementals as they journey to the end of the world, unsure of who to trust, and facing choices that will put their lives and the entire world at risk. Will they all survive the mission? And if they don’t, will the ones who do be able to find the strength to continue?

Find out in the riveting third book in the Elementals series, The Head of Medusa.

Pre-order: Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/Elementals-3-Medusa-Michelle-Madow-ebook/dp/B01DQD7OBA

Add to Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28176867-the-head-of-medusa


The adventure began in the first book in the series, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! To learn more about the first book, and to read the first four chapters for free, click here! (http://michellemadow.com/books/elementals-2)

The Elementals series is available on Kindle Unlimited, so subscribers can read it for free!
Rafflecopter for Cover & Blurb Giveaway:
Michelle is offering five (5) lucky winners an eCopy of Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

 

Direct Link:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YjA1MGVmMjkwYTE2NWQzYWI3ODNiODExNGJiNGU0OjIwNA==/


About the Author:

Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more!

She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Want all three parts of the Transcend Time Saga—Michelle’s first YA romance series—for FREE? Click here to learn about the series and claim your books! (http://michellemadow.com/)

To get instant updates about Michelle’s new books, follow her on Amazon! (http://www.amazon.com/Michelle-Madow/e/B005GA8KA6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1)

Connect with Michelle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads
http://www.barclaypublicity.com:

Did I Mention I Need You? Spotlight Tour with Giveaway

 

 

9781492632184-PRDid I Mention I Need You?

By Estelle Maskame

March 1, 2016; ISBN 9781492632184

 Book Info:

Title: Did I Mention I Need You?

Author: Estelle Maskame

Release Date: March 1, 2016

Publishers: Sourcebooks Fire

 

Praise for Did I Mention I Love You? Series

 

[A] juicy romance…the star-crossed love affair of Eden Munro and Tyler Bruce is a global sensation!” Justine Magazine on the DIMILY series

 

“Maskame pays close attention to detail and, as a teen herself, clearly understands her audience… Many teens will relate to the emotional turmoil of blended families, child abuse, addiction, first love, jealousy, messy breakups, and generally, growing up.” –School Library Journal on Did I Mention I Need You?

 

“Readers will root for them, like they would with Edward and Bella—the mutual attraction and need for one another is palpable. It rings of passion, excitement, and first love.” –VOYA Magazine onDid I Mention I Love You?

 

“An edgy young adult romance with dark layers” –The Examineron Did I Mention I Love You?

 

“A believable coming-of-age story and an unconventional romance, set against a present-day California summer… . The fallout of divorce, the insidiousness of substance abuse and family secrets, and especially the pangs of first love drive this emotionally resonant tale.” – Publishers Weekly on Did I Mention I Love You?

 

“Written in first person, Maskame’s trilogy opener is an excellent portrayal of a teenage girl’s life in the 21st century. Eden has to adjust to her blended family, try to feel pretty, be body conscious, and make friends, all while falling in love for the first time. She is someone all young people can relate to…Romance fans will be captivated by Eden and her journey to finding herself and true love.” –School Library Journal on Did I Mention I Love You?

 

Summary:

 

Love has no rules.

 

It’s been a year since Eden Munro last saw Tyler Bruce: her stepbrother…and secret love. Although they swore to ignore their feelings and put their family first, Eden can’t help but feel excited when Tyler invites her to join him in New York City for the summer.

 

But it’s not like anything is going to happen. Eden is happy with her boyfriend Dean, and she knows gorgeous, green-eyed Tyler must have moved on as well. But as they spend the long, hot summer in the city that never sleeps, it becomes obvious that those old feelings are still there…simmering beneath the surface. Will Tyler and Eden be able to resist temptation?

 

Did I Mention I Need You? Is book two in Wattpad sensation Estelle Maskame’s DIMILY trilogy: three unforgettable summers of secrets, heartbreak and forbidden romance.

 

Goodreads Link:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27015414-did-i-mention-i-need-you?from_search=true&search_version=service

 

Buy Links:

Amazon- http://ow.ly/VkkwY

Apple- http://ow.ly/VkkSO

Barnes&Noble-  http://ow.ly/Vkldc

BooksAMillion- http://ow.ly/Vklph

!ndigo- http://ow.ly/VklIC

Indiebound- http://ow.ly/VklTu

 

Estelle 24About the Author:

 

Estelle Maskame started writing at the age of thirteen and completed the Did I Mention I Love You?  trilogy when she was sixteen. She has built an extensive fan-base for her writing by serializing her work on Wattpad. Fitting book writing between work, Estelle has amassed followers from all over the world. She lives in Scotland. For more visit estellemaskame.com

 

Social Media Links:

 DIMILY Landing Page: http://books.sourcebooks.com/dimily/

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/EstelleMaskame

 

Did I Mention I Need You?  Excerpt:

 

My heart skips a beat as my eyes scan the information signs above me. I should stop and figure out where I’m supposed to go, but there’s no way I can delay this any longer. I just want to see him already, so I sling my backpack over my shoulder and follow the people who have gotten off the same flight as me. But with each step, the more nauseous I feel. The more I realize I shouldn’t have come here. The more I believe this is a bad idea.

Of course it’s a bad idea, I think.

As if I’ll get over him by spending time alone with him. If anything, this is going to make it worse, harder. It’s easy for him. He’s probably long over me, and he’s most likely dating some cute girl with a New York accent. And then there’s me, the idiot who’s spent an entire year still thinking about him. I know that when I see him, everything I felt will come rushing back at once. I can feel it already. I can feel that same nervous feeling in my stomach that I always did whenever he smiled at me, and I can feel my pulse racing at the same speed it always did whenever his eyes met mine.

I wonder if it’s too late to turn around.

The group I’ve been following heads down an escalator, but I hesitate at the top and step to the side, lingering for a moment. Maybe this won’t be so bad. I am excited to see him, even if my nerves are outweighing my excitement, and I’ve been waiting so long for this that it’s stupid to be having second thoughts.

I’m just confused and my head’s a mess, but I’m here now. It’s time to see him for the first time in a year.

My grip tightens around the strap of my backpack as I step onto the escalator, and my heart is quite literally thumping against my rib cage. I wonder if the people around me can hear it. It feels like I’m having a heart attack, like I’ll collapse any moment now from an anxiety overload. My legs feel stiff, but somehow I manage to keep moving, somehow manage to get off the escalator and advance across the arrivals level.

I’m half looking for the baggage carousels and half looking for a pair of green eyes. Around me, I can see people hesitating, looking. People in suits holding signs. Families searching the crowds flowing off the escalator. I know exactly who I’m looking for. For a moment, I think I see him. Black hair, tall. But just as my heart’s about to stop, he draws a woman into his arms and I realize that it isn’t him at all.

My eyes return to roaming the concourse as I make my way toward baggage claim, still forcing my feet to move, however numb my legs feel. I’m stealing glances at the line of placards as I pass, taking in the last names and wondering why all those people are traveling to New York. My thoughts don’t last long though, because suddenly one placard in particular catches my eye. It draws my attention, of course, because I see my name scrawled on it in black Sharpie, each letter slightly out of alignment with the next one.

And that’s when I see him.

Tyler.

He’s slowly lowered the placard to reveal his face, and his grin and his jaw and the color of his eyes and the way one eyebrow slowly arches reminds me of some of the many things I used to adore about him. Perhaps I still do love these things, because now my feet are moving again. And fast. I make my way straight over to him, gaining speed with each step, my eyes locked on him and nothing else. My beeline forces the people around me to move out of my way, and now I’m running. The moment I reach him, I throw myself into his arms.

 

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