by Merrie Destefano
Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Fight Club meets Black Swan—Rachel wakes up in a ditch to find she doesn’t remember the last year of her life, and that everything—including herself—is vastly different than she remembers.
Yesterday, Rachel went to sleep listening to Taylor Swift, curled up in her grammy’s quilt, worrying about geometry. Today, she woke up in a ditch, bloodied, bruised, and missing a year of her life.
She doesn’t recognize the person she’s become: she’s popular. She wears nothing but black.
Black to cover the blood.
And she can fight.
Tell no one.
She’s not the only girl to go missing within the last year…but she’s the only girl to come back. She desperately wants to unravel what happened to her, to try and recover the rest of the Lost Girls.
But the more she discovers, the more her memories return. And as much as her new life scares her, it calls to her. Seductively. The good girl gone bad, sex, drugs, and raves, and something darker…something she still craves—the rush of the fight, the thrill of the win—something she can’t resist, that might still get her killed…
The only rule is: There are no rules.
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His Harley was parked at the curb, in a pocket of shadow, blocked from the streetlight and behind one of the flowering trees Dad had planted earlier this year. Dylan started to hand me a helmet, but stopped, as if there was something else more important.
“There’s something I have to do,” he said.
I thought maybe he needed to give me a few pointers on how to ride a motorcycle, that I should lean into the curves, that I should hold onto him, that I shouldn’t be afraid because he was a great driver.
I was wrong.
He slipped one arm around my waist and pulled me close, so close that I couldn’t have gotten away if I wanted to, while his other hand cupped my jaw, thumb just below my mouth, long fingers brushing against my ear. “I’ve wanted to do this since you got back,” he said, his voice a low, hoarse whisper.
I wanted to say, me, too, but I didn’t get a chance.
His lips found mine in the darkness where we could barely see each other, where the heat of his body melted into mine. There were two short, gentle kisses as if he didn’t believe I would be here very long, that I might disappear at any moment, and then after that came the third kiss—
The third kiss stole my heart.
And my soul.
I didn’t remember our first date or what we had in common or who was his favorite band, but I remembered this. I remembered a thousand kisses, a hundred nights, a million stars glittering overhead. We leaned into each other, as if we were each drawing an electric charge from the other, as if we’d been unplugged and powerless but now we were stronger, invincible, immortal. The world stopped spinning and we were all that existed; there were no other people, no cities, no countries; there was only this.
His lips pressed against mine, his scent filling the air, his hands touching me.
And then at last, the kiss ended and we stared into each other’s eyes, me remembering, him knowing, both of us breathless.
“I almost lost you,” he said, his words soft as if he couldn’t say them very loud because it would show how strong the emotion was.
“I’m here, I’m safe.”
He shook his head. “I’m not going to let anything happen to you,” he said. “I haven’t always been”—he hesitated—“a very good person. But I’m going to do everything I can to make sure no one ever hurts you again.”
He had a way of enchanting me with his words, maybe it was the poet in him, maybe this was easy for him, but it didn’t matter. I knew he was telling the truth.
I just didn’t know if I wanted to be safe.
BLOG POST by Merrie Destefano
Title: My Top Ten Favorite Books
There are so many books that I love, but here is a list of my absolute favorite top ten.
1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
2. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
3. The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle
4. Doll Bones by Holly Black
5. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
6. Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor
7. Pines by Black Crouch
8. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
9. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
10. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
About The Author:
CURRENTLY A FULL-TIME NOVELIST and magazine editor, Merrie Destefano’s next novel, LOST GIRLS, releases on January 3, 2017. Her other novels include AFTERLIFE and FEAST, both published by HarperCollins, and FATHOM, which was self-published. The editor of Victorian Homes magazine, she has also been the editor of American Farmhouse Style, Vintage Gardens, and Zombies magazine, and was the founding editor of Cottages & Bungalows magazine.
With 20 years experience in publishing, she worked for a variety of publishing/broadcasting companies that include Focus on the Family, The Word For Today, and PJS Publications (now Primedia). Besides editing and writing, her background includes print buying, writing/producing radio promos, directing photo shoots, developing new products, writing jacket copy for books, creating sales media packets and organizing direct mail campaigns.
Born in the Midwest, she currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two German shepherds, a Siamese cat and the occasional wandering possum. Her favorite hobbies are reading speculative fiction and watching old Star Trek episodes, and her incurable addiction is writing. She loves to camp in the mountains, walk on the beach, watch old movies, listen to alternative music—although rarely all at the same time.
All prizes listed below will be given to one prize winner.
Prizes listed are for a US winner only; if an International winner is chosen, the prize will be a $50 Amazon gift card.
1 – Kindle Fire Tablet, black: 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB, 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, with the Alexa cloud-based voice service—just press and ask.
1 – digital Kindle copy of LOST GIRLS
1 – Pack of 14 vintage-style Swan Lake postcards
1 – pr. Black Swan earrings, handmade by author
1 – “Always” temporary tattoo