Posted in Adult Contemporary Romance, Book Blitz, Contemporary, Love, Romance, Romantic Suspense

Beyond the Pine

Title: Beyond the Pine
Author: Kate Benson
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Designer: SBenson Designs
Blurb:
Watch and pray that you may not enter temptation…
What if in one moment, you find out your life-your entire existence was a lie?
When rogue, nomad biker Asher Reed finds himself on the side of the road injured from an accident, he assumes he’s taken his final ride. Waking days later in an infirmary located within a secret, religious compound, his first impulse is to run. His church had always been the road, and he, the last man who should be among the faithful. When his raven-haired caretaker appears, his instincts and everything he once believed in diminishes, leaving only temptation.
The spirit indeed is willing…
Riley Chapman had long ago resigned herself to a life of order, reverence, and duty. Her coveted role as assistant to the Reverend should be enough to keep her happy, content with her life. Her whole life she wondered about what was on the other side of the tree line she’d always been told would keep her safe.
What if she wasn’t safe anymore?
But the flesh is weak.
When a chance encounter pulls Asher and Riley together and temptation is too much to resist, how can they keep their dangerous secret?
In a place where secrets are sins and the trustworthy can’t be trusted, who will they turn to in search of salvation?

Kate Benson was raised in Texas and currently resides in central Florida with her husband and their growing army of fur minions.

She learned to read at the age of four and has been hooked ever since. She credits her passion for literature to her mother, her love of story-telling to her father and her unwavering faith in happily-ever-after’s to her husband, Sean.

Some of her favorite things include rainy days, loud music, superhero movies, hot tea and of course, lazy afternoons with a great book.

To find out more about Kate, her work or to just say hello, she loves hearing from her readers and can be found on social media.

Author Links:
Benson’s Book Babes (Fan Club/Readers Group): https://www.facebook.com/groups/PromiseSeriesSupportGroup/
Buy Links:
 
Advertisements
Posted in #paranormal romance, Adult Paranormal, Blog Tour, Mystery, Paranormal, Paranormal Mystery, Paranormal Thriller, Thriller

Awaken the Darkness

 


Awaken the Darkness 
(Immortal Guardians #8)
by Dianne Duvall 
Kindle Edition, 414 pages
Publication: July 10th 2018 by Dianne Duvall

Return to the “utterly addictive” (RT Book Reviews), “fast-paced and humorous” (Publishers Weekly) world of New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall’s Immortal Guardians.  

He awakens encapsulated in dirt with no knowledge of how he came to be there. Riddled with injuries, he can remember neither his past nor who he is. Nor can he remember what he is. But surely no mortal man could survive being buried deep beneath the earth. All he knows with certainty is that the soothing voice and presence of the woman moving around above enables him to endure the agony of his wounds. And he will do whatever it takes to be with her.

When Susan first sees the old two-story house for sale, such warmth and longing fill her that—against all reason—she makes an offer. It will take years of hard work and money she frankly doesn’t have to fix up the place. So she can’t explain why she bought it. She also can’t explain what compels her to spend hours one night, digging in the basement until she unearths a man. A man who still lives and breathes despite having been buried alive. A man whose intense brown eyes glow amber with pain, declaring him far more than ordinary. Susan knows she should keep her distance. He has no memory and possesses gifts that would make most fear him. But as the two work together to unravel the mystery of his past, she finds herself drawn in by his teasing nature and tender touch. So much so that she loses her heart to him even as they find themselves hunted by unknown enemies who are ruthless in their quest to capture them.

 Don’t miss a heart-pounding moment of Dianne Duvall’s “utterly addictive” Immortal Guardians series!

Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians series and The Gifted Ones series. Reviewers have called Dianne’s books “fast-paced and humorous” (Publishers Weekly), “utterly addictive” (RT Book Reviews), “extraordinary” (Long and Short Reviews), and”wonderfully imaginative” (The Romance Reviews). Her books have twice been nominated for RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and are routinely deemed Top Picks by RT Book Reviews, The Romance Reviews,and/or Night Owl Reviews.
Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn’t writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and has even appeared on-screen, crawling out of a moonlit grave and wielding a machete like some of the vampires she creates in her books.
For the latest news on upcoming releases, contests, and more, please visit DianneDuvall.com. You can also find Dianne online . . .

 

(1) $50 Amazon Gift Card
(1) $25 Amazon Gift Card
(1) Immortal Guardians Prize pack

Continue reading “Awaken the Darkness”

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Blitz, Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction, Young Adult Romance

This Stormy Love

36872539_2125971850961144_2487090715004239872_n.jpg

❃ ❃ BLOG TOUR ❃ ❃

This Stormy Love by Tia Lee

Ice Party (1).png

https://amzn.to/2uj2iQE

BLURB

Rachel is starting her sophomore year at Oklahoma State. She meets a friendly engineer student, Asher, but he his soon overshadowed by Liam. Liam is a man Rachel is sure stepped right out of her dreams. The more Rachel gets to know Liam the more she realizes she might be in over her head and she may need some help from Asher.

GRAB YOUR COPY FROM SWOON READS

About Swoon Reads: Swoon Reads is for YA and NA readers and authors. Authors upload manuscripts and readers help find their favorite stories to get published. It is free for all and fun to earn badges and find great reads. Readers can read, leave reviews and hearts, and use the swoon index to be more specific in what they saw in the book.

EXCERPT

Rachel is starting her sophomore year at Oklahoma State. She meets a friendly engineer student, Asher, but he his soon overshadowed by Liam. Liam is a man Rachel is sure stepped right out of her dreams. The more Rachel gets to know Liam the more she realizes she might be in over her head and she may need some help from Asher.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

WORDPRESS authortialee.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/tialee1869/

This Blog Tour was hosted by Lexis Infinitum PR

26219596_557427387924611_9113051266640452613_n

Posted in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Love, New, New Release, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Series

Warning Part Three

Title: Warning Part Three
Author: A.D. Justice
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Editor: Silently Correcting Your Grammar
Cover Designer: Designs by Dana
Publication Date: June 28th, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
 
Blurb:Just when I thought I had everything figured out, life blew up in my face without warning. The missing pieces of the puzzle weren’t clear, and the stakes were too high to merely hope for the best.
Absolute facts I’d believed my entire life turned out to be lies and the truth was harder to accept than the family ever realized. Protecting my loved ones was my only priority. Any threat had to be eliminated—no matter the consequences.
How deep did the treachery go? Only one way to find out.
A.D. Justice is the USA Today bestselling author of the Steele Security Series (Wicked Games, Wicked Ties, Wicked Nights, Wicked Intentions, Wicked Shadows), the Crazy Series (Crazy Maybe, Crazy Baby), the Dominic Powers series (Her Dom, Her Dom’s Lesson), the Immortal Obsessions series (Immortal Envy) and a few stand-alone romance novels, such as Completely Captivated, Just One Summer, Envy, and Intent.
When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her own alpha male character in their North Georgia mountain home. She is also an avid reader of romance novels, a master at procrastination, a chocolate sommelier, a twister of words, and speaks fluent sarcasm. An avid animal lover, A.D. Justice has three horses, one dog, and two cats.
While the primary focus of her books has been romantic suspense, she has expanded into different sub-genres of romance. Stay tuned to read what she has in store for you!
Author Links:
Buy Links:
Warning Part 1: http://amzn.to/2pbawYQ
Warning Part 2: https://amzn.to/2J1Afv8
Warning Part 3: https://amzn.to/2ttHJ3F

 
Posted in Adult Fiction, New, New Release, Series, Suspense, Thriller

Deadly Discovery

DEADLY DISCOVERY

Nova Ladies Adventures, Book Three

by Alathia Paris Morgan

 

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Julie, while recovering from wounds sustained in the line of duty, discovers she isn’t who she believed herself to be. Her journey into the past, leads her on the path to her future, but there are those who would prefer the past not to resurface. Determined to find out the truth about her family, Julie is in a race to sift through years of secrets before the past has a chance to silence her for good.

“Well, you said you needed to talk, so spill. I’ve got hours to listen, drink coffee, and eat pie.” Allie grinned as she took a sip of her coffee.

“You really should be a cop.” Julie shook her head at Allie’s intuition, and relayed the conversation with her grandmother from earlier in the day.

“I’m very confused. What do I do about this situation?” Julie concluded.

“Do you want to go to Georgia and meet your grandmother?” Allie watched Julie’s face closely.

“Yes, but I feel like I’m betraying Grams. I mean, she’s the one that wants me to go, but doesn’t meeting Mimi Millie lessen all the things she’s done for me over the years?” Julie grimaced in frustration.

“Absolutely not,” Allie exclaimed vehemently. “She will always be your grandmother, and she knew this day would come eventually. It would be good for you to expand your horizons and meet more of your family. Admit it, you might find a handsome man to fall in love with, ’cause Lord knows, you won’t find one here.”

“Allie, I can’t meet a man there. He might be my cousin or uncle, or something weird. There are no men knocking down my door, but I haven’t been overly friendly with guys either.” Julie looked disgusted.

“Julie.” Allie laid a hand on her arm. “There are plenty of men in the entire state of Georgia that aren’t related to you. You just have to be willing to open up and let them get to know the real you.”

“I can’t. As soon as they find out that I carry a gun and run toward danger, guys run in the opposite direction. Besides, if I went out there, it would be to meet my family, not a guy. My life is here,” Julie finished, firmly running out of reasons she couldn’t date a guy.

“Really, your life is here? Where you grew up and know about everyone and their dating histories? Unless you know someplace where they have mail order grooms that don’t need a green card, then you could just order the perfect man,” Allie joked.

“See? This is why I called. I knew it was crazy to go across the country and meet people who might be criminals themselves.”

“Nope, not what I said. Besides, we have serial killers right here. You helped to take one down that you’ve known your whole life, so at least give these new people in your life the benefit of the doubt, okay? They can’t be any worse than the people here in this town.”

“Crap. Why did you have to bring up sensible reasons when I was looking for excuses?” Julie pouted.

“So are you going to tell them you’re coming, or just show up on Mimi Millie’s doorstep?” Allie asked practically.

“I’m going to wait until Grams leaves for church in the morning. She won’t know until she gets home what I’m doing.” Julie pulled out the key to the cedar chest. “I’m going to read through sixty years’ worth of letters before I go traipsing about. I might get all the answers I need and not have to go anywhere.”

“Uh-huh, keep telling yourself that. I’ll just explain it to Justin that you needed to go on an epic adventure and destroy a ring at the top of a mountain.” Allie laughed at the bewildered expression on Julie’s face. “Justin made me watch this movie about a Hobbit who goes on an adventure. He said my movie education was sadly lacking.”

“Oh, I get it now. Haha.” Julie gave her a tight smile.

“All right, that’s it. Get up.” Allie stood abruptly.

“Wait, where are we going?”

“To get you packed for your journey.” Allie collected the trash to dispose of it as they left.

“But I’m not sure if I’m going yet,” Julie protested.

“Julie, do I need to call Megan on her honeymoon?” Allie was referring to their friend who had been chased by a serial killer and poisoned. She was now recovering with her new husband, and wouldn’t want to be disturbed, but the threat of calling her would be enough guilt for Julie to comply.

“No,” Julie whined. “Let’s go.”

Ding-Dong—Is She Dead

AmazonGoodreads

After witnessing a Mob murder in NYC, Allie Foster is placed in the witness protection program. Starting a new life in Texas is hard enough—but finding a front door hanging on its hinges while delivering Nova beauty products makes it even more difficult. A grisly trail of blood leads her to a terrifying discover… a body. After a heart-stopping moment of fear, Allie realizes her friend is still alive, although badly beaten. When she rushes Megan to the hospital, it puts Allie right back where she doesn’t need to be—embroiled in yet another mystery.

Allie offers to help her friend protect her daughter, even as a second attempt on Megan’s life reveals her husband will stop at nothing to prove he’s above the law. When it fails again, Megan’s abuser decides to take his anger out on Allie instead. With the help of a handsome stranger, Allie escapes, but now both women are in danger. Justin Greenley, the gallant protector, offers them a safe haven until the would-be murderer is caught. His family’s ranch seems the idyllic choice, but Allie isn’t sure if she should trust Justin with her life… even if her heart tells her she should.

Death by Poison

AmazonGoodreads

After surviving an abusive husband, Megan Butts wants nothing more than a fresh start with her daughter Sally. She’s grateful for their home at the ranch, pitching in whenever she’s not working on her new Nova business. When she offers to clean out a cabin on the property, she uncovers more than she bargained for in a stack of old diaries.

Her tentative relationship with Mark Greenley takes a nosedive when Megan starts to investigate his mother’s death by supposed suicide, uncovering a trail of hidden money and blackmail twenty-five years in the making. Mark doesn’t want to dredge up the past, but Megan is determined to dig deeper, despite her overwhelming urge to give into her inclinations to obey men, a lesson her ex tried to beat into her. When the mystery starts to endanger not only her life, but the life of her daughter, Megan must decide if her new love and life are worth the pursuit of justice.

Alathia is known to those around her for having an a long time love affair/obsession with Dr. Pepper, she has asked to be buried with a can so that it never runs out in the after life. Always bossy, she uses her mothering instincts to help others and share awareness of abuse in child and domestic situations.

A B.S. in History and English gave wings to her vivid imagination in book form. A supportive and loving husband has given her the chance to make her dreams a reality. Their three daughters and three dogs keep her busy while writing is a great way for her to wind down and destress.

AmazonWebsiteFacebookGoodreadsTwitter

Posted in Adult Fiction, Book Covers, Contemporary, Cover design, Cover Reveal, New, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense

Warning Part Three

Title: Warning Part Three
Author: A.D. Justice
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Editor: Silently Correcting Your Grammar
Cover Designer: Designs by Dana
Publication Date: June 28th, 2018
 
Blurb:
Just when I thought I had everything figured out, life blew up in my face without warning. The missing pieces of the puzzle weren’t clear, and the stakes were too high to merely hope for the best.
Absolute facts I’d believed my entire life turned out to be lies and the truth was harder to accept than the family ever realized. Protecting my loved ones was my only priority. Any threat had to be eliminated—no matter the consequences.
How deep did the treachery go? Only one way to find out.
A.D. Justice is the USA Today bestselling author of the Steele Security Series (Wicked Games, Wicked Ties, Wicked Nights, Wicked Intentions, Wicked Shadows), the Crazy Series (Crazy Maybe, Crazy Baby), the Dominic Powers series (Her Dom, Her Dom’s Lesson), the Immortal Obsessions series (Immortal Envy) and a few stand-alone romance novels, such as Completely Captivated, Just One Summer, Envy, and Intent.
When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her own alpha male character in their North Georgia mountain home. She is also an avid reader of romance novels, a master at procrastination, a chocolate sommelier, a twister of words, and speaks fluent sarcasm. An avid animal lover, A.D. Justice has three horses, one dog, and two cats.
While the primary focus of her books has been romantic suspense, she has expanded into different sub-genres of romance. Stay tuned to read what she has in store for you!
Author Links:
Buy Links:
Warning Part 1: http://amzn.to/2pbawYQ
Warning Part 2: https://amzn.to/2J1Afv8
 
Posted in Book Covers, Contemporary, Cover design, Cover Reveal, New, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Romantic Suspense Elements, Suspense, Young Adult, Young Adult Romance

Groupie

Title: Groupie
Author: Denise Jaden
Genre: YA Contemporary (with romantic suspense elements)
Publication Date: July 16th, 2018
Blurb:
Kass, never in a million years, would have pictured herself as someone’s groupie, but when Eli and his band score a spot on the hot new reality TV show, Hold That Note, she decides to surprise him in L.A… and hopefully win back his heart.

Denise Jaden’s novels have been shortlisted or received awards through the Romance Writers of America, Inspy, and SCBWI. The first draft of her debut novel, Losing Faith, was written in 21 days during NaNoWriMo 2007 and she loves talking with writers and students alike about her Just-Get-To-The-End fast-drafting process.

Jaden’s other young adult novels include Never Enough, Foreign Exchange, A Christmas Kerril,  and Avalanche. Her non-fiction books for writers include, Writing with a Heavy Heart, Fast Fiction, and Story Sparks.

In her spare time, she homeschools her son, acts with the Vancouver film industry, and dances with a Polynesian dance troupe. Find out more at denisejaden.com.

Author Links:
Buy Links:
Groupie (Pre-Order): https://amzn.to/2l86M81
Posted in Contemporary, New, New Release, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Romantic Suspense Elements, Young Adult, Young Adult Romance

Pusher

Title: Pusher
Author: Denise Jaden
Genre: YA Contemporary (with romantic suspense elements)
Publication Date: May 18th, 2018
Blurb:
She’s not trustworthy.
Kass returns from touring with Eli’s band willing to do whatever it takes to repay the band for her mistakes, even if it means playing with the lines of legality. Soon enough it will all be over. Kass can repay the band and move back home, where she’ll stay at Eli’s side and finally push herself to open up to someone.
That is, as long as her illegal cohorts keep their end of the bargain and Eli doesn’t find out.
Pusher features dangerous secrets, complicated romance, and unforgettable characters.  Perfect for fans of Kasie West and Jordan Ford. You’ll love the latest installment in Denise Jaden’s Living Out Loud Series.

Denise Jaden’s novels have been shortlisted or received awards through the Romance Writers of America, Inspy, and SCBWI. The first draft of her debut novel, Losing Faith, was written in 21 days during NaNoWriMo 2007 and she loves talking with writers and students alike about her Just-Get-To-The-End fast-drafting process.
Jaden’s other young adult novels include Never Enough, Foreign Exchange, A Christmas Kerril,  and Avalanche. Her non-fiction books for writers include, Writing with a Heavy Heart, Fast Fiction, and Story Sparks.
In her spare time, she homeschools her son, acts with the Vancouver film industry, and dances with a Polynesian dance troupe. Find out more at denisejaden.com.

Author Links:
We have band practice this afternoon, our first official one since the guys have been back. I’m in no mood to socialize, but I figure playing will do me some good. And at least I can just head upstairs from Sebastian’s garage to sleep off this mood when we’re done.
“…every fucking time,” Steve is saying as I push through the door into Sebastian’s garage. I didn’t catch the first bit, but it’s enough to know he’s in a mood too. This should be a fantastic practice.
“Hey,” I say to no one in particular, keeping my eyes down and heading for my amp. It’s in a pile of equipment near the door, unloaded from the van, but obviously not put back into place yet. Steve’s drum kit is already set, but it’s noticeably empty looking in here without the cymbals. Might be why he’s in such a shitty mood.
“Dad got us a gig at Poncho’s on the twenty-ninth,” Sebastian says. Poncho’s is a local Mexican restaurant—not at all suited to our band. I’m not sure if he’s telling me, or all of us, but a second later I look up from hooking up my amp to see they’re all staring at me.
I can get into playing. I probably need to be playing. But playing for people right now? I’m not so sure about that.
“Can we take a breather for a bit?” I say, finally.
“Ptfh.” Steve throws his drumsticks in the general vicinity of his drums.
I honestly figured the guys would have a little more patience and compassion for me at a time like this. Jeff is sneering, looking just as pissed off. Sebastian sits behind our small soundboard, looking unfazed. Which is probably what makes me clue in. Sebastian hasn’t told them about my mom. They have no idea what I’ve been going through.
The thing is, I don’t think I have it in me to tell them now. I’d been so worried about losing them, so convinced that they were my family, but looking around at them now, I feel completely detached.
“Listen, I’m out,” I say. I back up from my amp and grab for my guitar. Obviously I’m not going to march up the stairs to Sebastian’s bedroom after making this statement, and so I avoid looking at all of their faces and head for the outside door. “Hope you can find a replacement before the twenty-ninth.”
It’s not sarcastic. I truly hope they can.
Posted in Adult Contemporary Romance, Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary, New, New Release, Romance, Romantic Suspense

Tightrope

 

Presents
 
Release Blitz
 
Tightrope
by Maddie Wade
 
 
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
 
 

 

 
My husband is not the man I married. The man I remembered loving was warm, kind, sensual. This man is cold, distant, and cruel. The doctors say he’ll get better and I want to believe them. But I’m losing faith with every hate filled word past his lips.
 
I miss the man I married. I miss the woman I was.
 
Until I’m hit by a blue-eyed storm and now my life is shattered. When I lock eyes with the sexy stranger at the bar, he makes me remember the carefree woman I was. Lost after that single night of passion, I thought it couldn’t get worse. I was wrong.
 
Torn between the vows I promised to a man who is cruel and distant and the all-consuming lust for a stranger I can never have, I walk the tightrope between desire and duty and hope that I don’t fall and destroy us all.
 

 

 
Follow the Author
 
 
 

 

Hosted by
 
RRR Promotion
 
Read Review Repeat

 

 
Posted in Romance, Romantic Suspense Elements, Suspense, Young Adult, Young Adult Romance

Outcast

Title: Outcast
Author: Denise Jaden
Genre: YA Contemporary (with romantic suspense elements)
Publication Date: April 20th, 2018
Blurb:

She’s not crazy.

Kass Bateman may be a lot of things, but she swears she’s not crazy—even when she wakes up strapped to a wheelchair in a psychiatric hospital and can’t remember how she got there.
When Kass’s family members go missing one by one, she enlists the smartest guy she knows to help find them. Unfortunately for her, underneath his brains and indifference are some dark secrets and a whole lot of distracting sexy.
Can Kass keep her head together long enough to rescue her family members from their captors—the truly dangerous and crazy ones?
Gritty, steamy, and rife with secrecy, Outcast is the first book in a new upper YA/NA crossover series for fans of Gayle Forman and Rainbow Rowell.

Denise Jaden’s novels have been shortlisted or received awards through the Romance Writers of America, Inspy, and SCBWI. The first draft of her debut novel, Losing Faith, was written in 21 days during NaNoWriMo 2007 and she loves talking with writers and students alike about her Just-Get-To-The-End fast-drafting process.
Jaden’s other young adult novels include Never Enough, Foreign Exchange, A Christmas Kerril,  and Avalanche. Her non-fiction books for writers include, Writing with a Heavy Heart, Fast Fiction, and Story Sparks.
In her spare time, she homeschools her son, acts with the Vancouver film industry, and dances with a Polynesian dance troupe. Find out more at denisejaden.com.

Author Links:
Buy Links:
Runner (Pre-Order): https://amzn.to/2IiU2Z7
His lips kiss me back, angrily. He’s so forceful, it hurts my mouth, but I won’t stop, and I slide my tongue through his lips to shock him. His mouth opens and his tongue reaches for mine, reaches past mine, and I don’t know if it’s angry or…hungry.
I fight for my balance. My hand is still on the back of his head and I grip the ends of his short hair. He moves toward me until I’m backed into the trunk of the nearest tree. The bark scratches through my cotton shirt, but I can barely feel it. The heat of his chest against mine is extraordinary—his hips shift against mine, his lips and tongue and whole face devour my mouth, my face, my ear, my neck.
And the worst part? I don’t want him to stop. I desperately don’t want him to stop.
But I need control here.
My free hand slides around his waist, gripping his shirt. Both of his hands reach into my hair. He grasps it at the roots and lets out a breathy groan as he turns his face to a new angle on my neck. He’s done this before. He’s probably done this many times before. The whole length of his body pushes me harder against the bark of the tree. It’s all I can do to keep breathing, to not slide my hands all over him. I ball my fist behind his head and notice how totally still I’ve become. He’s devouring me and I can’t stop him. I’m his paralyzed prey, and it freaks the shit out of me.
All at once, I pull back, put all my power behind my right arm, and knock my fist into the side of his jaw. Being so close, I hardly have any force behind it, but it still hurts like hell and I shake out my hand angrily.
“What the hell was that?” he says, stumbling back from me, and then leaning forward and cupping his jaw. He clears his throat harshly.
In that second one thing is clear: He still has complete control over himself. He’s not caught up in this at all, though, by the looks of things, I at least put him in a little bit of pain.
He tilts his head up so we can look at each other. Except he doesn’t look at me, and I wonder if that’s another power move. He scowls, looking into the distance like he’s thinking it over and his hand moves from his jaw to his lips. He clears his throat again. It occurs to me maybe that wasn’t his first beer. Maybe he’s messed up. Did he even know what he was doing or how he was talking to me? What do they call it—liquid courage?
Welcome back, Control. Sorry I let you go for a few minutes there, but it won’t happen again.
Eli’s eyes widen, and at first I think I’ve said the words out loud. But his hand moves down to his throat, grips around it, and something looks wrong.
“I didn’t hit you that hard,” I say.
He clears his throat yet again and grips harder like he’s choking.
“Are you…OK?” It’s not like I’ve done a whole lot of drinking or drugs, and I’ve certainly never OD’d or anything, but the dude wasn’t even slurring. I look from side to side, and no one is within yelling distance, especially over the loud music.
Eli’s free hand fumbles to his belt, to that navy blue pencil case. I stand there looking at it. If he wants to show me what kind of drugs he’s on, I still won’t know how to help him.
He fumbles with the zipper, and finally it rips open and a cylinder of some sort springs out into the overgrown grass and oak leaves. He falls to his knees and rummages frantically with his hands.
“What? What do you need?” I yell at him.
He whimpers and says something I can’t hear. I drop down to get closer. “Nuts. Peanuts,” he chokes out, and I can still taste the remnant of my peanut butter cup in the back of my teeth.
I stare at him and all of a sudden the pieces click into place.
No way. Nobody’s this allergic to peanuts. Are they?