Friday, May 30, 2014

Cassandra Clare Book Signing

You guys, I'm not dead. But I may be out of practice regarding posts.

Cassandra Clare's signing was tonight at a middle school in West Chester, Pa.  To the person who asked the question, "Why West Chester?," I couldn't agree more.

Surprisingly, my only problems on the road were traffic, which I can't control, and and getting beeped at for trying to get the E Z pass to work. To my chagrin, I had to pay the toll. FAILURE.

So, I ended up getting there like a half hour early.  In the back I sat with my invisible friends. But really, I couldn't get any friends to go with it being the night before prom.  Because prom is so important...

As the crowd started rolling in, I watched them.  Middle school girls with their poor mothers (If you're one of these people, please thank them for taking you. It was not a short night.), but all I saw were prospective people to whom I could give my books to get signed.  See, there was a 3 books per person limit. I had 5.

If I weren't a girl, I think I may have felt pedophilic.  Nonetheless, I felt old.  There were a few older women who were into the series and even a few males, but for the most part the audience was a group of hyper young girls.  They cheered and giggled at Cassandra's playful remarks. And it was really cute.

Jenny Han, author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series moderated the question session.  Cassandra talked about her current projects, The Dark Artifices and The Magisterium (written with Holly Black), and the typical questions you can find on the FAQ of her website  Then, there was the sillier portion of the session when Jenny asked her to play Kiss, Marry, Kill.  The best round of this game was Jace, Simon, Alec. She would kiss Jace, marry Simon, and have to kill herself before she killed Alec.

About 315 people bought tickets.  I don't know how many showed up, but there were a lot of people there to say it simply.  Thank goodness I don't procrastinate when I want something because the line began with who bought her ticket first:) 

And because I know you're curious, yes I did get all my books signed and now have a complete first edition set of her work because I am so artful.  I got up from my seat and didn't move toward the line until I saw someone with less than 3 books in their hands.  1 strike, but then I found the lovely Maria.  And that is how you make the system work for you.

Cassie spent a surprisingly long amount of time talking with everyone.  Of course, at these things, a long time is, what, thirty seconds? She liked my City of Bones movie tee shirt, asked me if I had already read CoHF ( I admitted I hadn't and had only just finished the fabulous City of Fallen Angels audiobook), and I talked to her about BookCon which I really should be preparing for by going to bed now.  It's going to be a long but fun day.

Overall, I'm really glad I went.  It was much better than the rushed CoB movie mall tour.  I had been associating Cassandra with that disappointing event, and I'm glad that she really is personable.

When school ends, I'm going to destroy the rest of the series.  Though, CoHF is enormous.

No posed pictures were allowed.  Only pictures taken of you talking to her.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Blog Tour: (Excerpt) Fissure Free by Shari J. Ryan

Author Shari J Ryan reunites the colorful cast of friends and family in Book 2 of the Schasm Series with a powerful tribute to the power of the mind and heart in this romantic, suspenseful, and engaging novel.

After nineteen years of suffering with a psychological condition, ethereal Chloe had finally come close to finding her ultimate escape—or, so she thinks on the vibrant streets of Paris.
Finally in a relationship with Alex, a man she fell in love with in Schasm, Chloe thinks life is finally coming together. As she battles her own demons, she attempts to repair the damaged man she’s grown to love. But as his clouded past abruptly crashes into their lives and falls heavily upon their budding romance, Chloe must fight to maintain her relationship.

Although even when the problems begin to subside, she comes to realize certain things cannot be escaped. Franco, her disillusioned, serial-killing uncle has taken up residency in Chloe and Alex’s life. In search for an item that belongs to Chloe, Franco will deceive, connive and conquer until he finds what he is after—that is, unless, Chloe finds a way to beat him at his own game.

Just as Chloe believes she might have sealed the doors of darkness once and for all, new questions, new findings and new inceptions arise. Whether or not Chloe wants to continue forward with the path her life seems to be leading, she quickly learns that any choice she makes will ultimately land her in a place she never knew she was destined to be.


My heart quakes against my sternum. My stomach feels like stone, and my throat is clenching in on itself. I walk to the other bar covered window, completely horrified. I curl my fingers around the damp, ice-cold bars, and I pull myself up, pressing my face against the metal to look out.
The hallway is just as dark and abandoned as this room. The walls are painted a sea green. They’re cracked and peeling, and old rusty handcuffs hang from chains that line the wall. I peer down the other end of the hall, somewhat curious and somewhat petrified as to what I might see. The words “help me” are smeared along the wall in what looks to be blood.
Against my desire, I take in every detail of this deserted passageway, hoping to gain insight on where we might be. But I’m lost and dumfounded. An abandoned institution is the best I can come up with.
Sounds of footsteps arise from the depths of the barren walls, and the dissonance increases with each footstep, warning me that someone is coming. The hallway only has two directions and I don’t see anyone in either.
I’m going crazy.
I could only hope.
The footsteps stop, as does the beating of my heart. I close my eyes and pull in a deep lungful. But I inhale someone else’s warm, stale breath. My eyes snap open, and two large bulging brown eyes stare back at me. My chest caves in. My lungs struggle to move, and I fall backwards.

Shari J. Ryan:
Shari J. Ryan hails from Central Massachusetts where she lives with her hubby and two lively little boys. Writing has become Shari’s great escape from the real world over the past few years. After a bout of postpartum depression with her first child, Shari was determined to occupy her brain enough to eliminate some of the blue moments in life. When she found writing to help as a newfound therapy, she started her first book. Her books brought her out of postpartum depression and helped her overcome it when her second son was born. Shari likes to think writing saves her mind. She even used one of the characters in the book (the main character’s protagonist mother), to veer away from the type of person she refuses to become. Shari has two happy little boys and the Schasm series to show for her unorthodox therapeutic method.


Chloe Valcourt drifts between two worlds: the dark reality of her domineering mother and feeble father and the vivid fantasy of her imagination. With her condition comes the harsh observation of doctors who intend to cure her of it. But a chance encounter with a handsome and vaguely familiar young man in her dream world hints at the possibility of hidden truths—and a life she can’t remember. As her drifts become a greater escape from the cruelty of the real world, Chloe finds herself lost between what is real and what is imagined, questioning her very existence. Can she remain in the lush new imagined landscape to find happiness in a realm of her own invention? Is she doomed to return to the harsh reality of the outside world forever? Or will she become trapped somewhere between the two…unable to return to either?


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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Blog Tour: (Excerpt) Finding Haven by T.A. Foster


Power. Money. Control. Love.
He has all but one.
When movie star, Evan Carlson, discovers his girlfriend’s picture with another man splashed on the cover of gossip magazines, he decides he’s had enough of his fishbowl life and attempts to outrun the media frenzy his relationships have become. Driving until the road stops, he ends up on the remote and quaint Perry Island, where a heartthrob can blend in like the locals and be a beach bum as long as he wants. All that changes when Evan meets Haven Owen, aspiring songwriter and the girl he just can’t get enough of. A summer romance turns into something much deeper and Evan gets tangled in his own web of lies to keep Haven in his life. But when his ex tracks him down, Evan learns there are some things you just can’t outrun.

Is the cost of love, losing all control?


“Hi.” The customer who belonged to the footsteps stood in front of her. His voice was deep.
She flattened the tear-stained apron against the tops of her thighs and pulled her shoulders back.
“Hi. Can I help you?” Hopefully, he would rent a snorkel set and would be out of here in two minutes. She needed a moment alone to regroup. Being blindsided by so much emotion at once left her feeling off-balance.
“As a matter of fact, I was wondering if you have any job openings. I know it’s a long-shot, but I’m here for the summer and could use a little extra spending money.”
Haven looked at the guy. He was vaguely familiar. She thought she remembered him from a couple of weeks ago, but he didn’t have that beard and it was hard to remember all of the customers who walked through the store’s doors.
“You heard all of that, didn’t you?” She didn’t believe him for a second. Her level of embarrassment rose to an all-time high. She hoped he had only caught the end of the disagreement between her and her father.
He adjusted his sunglasses to the top of his head. “All I heard is that you are in charge of hiring, and I am here to be hired.” He smiled, and Haven tried to figure out what the look was in his eyes. They were warm, soft, and a gray-green color that blended in with the water on the horizon.
Yes, she definitely recognized that grin. He had been here before and forgotten a case of beer.
“Do you have a name?” She took in the curious stranger. He had sandy brown hair that probably hadn’t seen a cut in a few weeks. He reminded her a little of Pearce Hudson on the Carolina football team. It was the height and the broad shoulders.
“Jay. What about you?” He searched her apron for a name tag.
“Haven. Haven Owen.” She pointed to the sign behind his head. “Part of the great Owen’s General Store dynasty.”
“That seems like a pretty cool gig. You get to work out here all summer. Not a bad view.”
She noticed his eyes were locked on her and not on the boats in the marina or the waves out in the ocean. It made her neck warm, and she wondered if the color had risen to her cheeks.
“What are you doing here this summer, Jay with-no-last-name? Do you have any retail experience?” If he was truly interested in taking Travis’s position, the least she could do was vet him a little.
He took his time with his words. Nothing about this guy said, “I’m in a hurry.” For someone not from the island, he seemed at ease on the docks.
“I’m a writer. Spending the summer on Perry to—uh—write.” He shoved his hands in his pockets.
Her eyes shot to his. “Writer? You’re an actual writer? What do you write? Books? Are you a journalist?” Bubbles of adrenaline shot through her. “Any chance you write music, because I’m a songwriter.” Haven knew she was pelting him with question with no space between to answer, but this was exciting. An actual writer. It didn’t matter if he wrote menus, he wrote.
“I—uh—I’m working on a book.” He gave her a cautious reply.
Haven tried to picture the scruffy, athletic-looking man buried behind a laptop, or scribbling out words in a notebook. “I can’t believe this. A writer. But if you’re working on a book this summer, why do you want a job here?” She knew this might mean he wasn’t a successful writer.
He shifted in his flip-flops. “Like I said, I need a little extra summer spending cash, and it sounded like you needed some help. I can fill in for a few weeks until you find someone more permanent. That way you can keep those Thursdays.”
Her stomach twisted. He might have heard the entire conversation. How mortifying.
“What about your last name? Would I know any of your books?” How cool would it be if she had actually read something of his?
She could tell he was searching the boat slips behind her, but she didn’t know for what.
“It’s Grady. Jay Grady. And it’s my first book, so you wouldn’t have heard of me. I’m still an unknown.”
That didn’t matter to her. She was an unknown.
“That’s ok. All writers have to start somewhere. So what’s it about?”
“What’s what about?” He tilted his head.
Haven dropped her hands from her hips. “Your book. What’s the story?”
“Is this your standard job interview?” He cocked his eyebrow.
“Right. Sorry.” It was official. She was blushing now. The word “writer” had derailed her line of questioning. She stopped for a second.
“But you haven’t even asked what the pay is or the job. Don’t you want to know what the responsibilities are? Hours? That kind of thing?”
“I’ll take it. Doesn’t matter.”
“Doesn’t matter?”
“I mean, yeah it matters, but it’s temporary.” He leaned on the counter with his elbows and winked. “Does this mean I got the job?”
This was the first job interview Haven had ever conducted, and she wasn’t sure this was the typical protocol for hiring, but she wasn’t going to second-guess herself. For some reason, a flirty writer with a shaggy beard, but undeniably cute smile had appeared out of nowhere—of course he got the job.
“Yes, you’re hired.” She reached a hand toward him. “Welcome to Owen’s General Store.”
“All right. What day do you need me to start?” He shook her hand.
“Right now. Aprons are on the hooks in the employee hallway. Go grab one and meet me back here. I’ll give you the tour. We can start training this morning.” After a crappy morning, things had turned around rather quickly. The sickening pit that had formed in her stomach when Travis quit had been replaced by something that was hard to describe. It was like warm honey soothed her anxiousness every time he smiled.
“Right now? As in you want me to start working today?” His eyebrows arched.
“You do want the job, don’t you?” For someone who was persistent a minute ago, he was certainly backpedaling.
“Yep. I’m on it. Going to get that apron right now.” He smiled, filling her with that soothing feeling again.
She watched as he walked away, his shadow following his long frame on the pier. She bit into her lip, wondering if hiring a total stranger off the docks was the best decision. Something about him felt undeniably right, like the song she had written last night—slow and easy. And with all the tension swirling in her life right now, there was nothing she needed more.


Author Information

T.A. Foster is a Southern girl whose heart and spirit are connected to the beach. She grew up catching rays and chasing waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her adventurous pilot husband, two children and two canine kiddos.

Her long love affair with books started at an early age, and as soon as she was able, she transformed imaginative stories into words on paper. Time Spell is T.A.’s debut novel, and the first in a series about a very adventurous, clever, and magical girl named Ivy.

T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing or planning her next beach trip.

Author Links:

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Blog Tour: (Excerpt) Goddess Born by Kari Edgren

Goddess Born

Pennsylvania, 1730 Selah Kilbrid keeps a dangerous secret: she has the power to heal. A direct descendent of the Celtic goddess Brigid, it's Selah's sacred duty to help those in need. But as the last of the Goddess Born living in the New World, she learned from an early age to keep her supernatural abilities hidden. The Quaker community of Hopewell has always been welcoming, but there's no doubt they would see her hanged if her gift was revealed. When a prominent minister threatens to try her with witchcraft unless she becomes his wife, Selah has only one hope--that her betrothed, a distant cousin from Ireland, arrives as planned. Marrying Samuel would keep her secret safe, preserve her sacred bloodline, and protect her from being charged as a witch. But when news of Samuel's death reaches the Colonies, Selah is truly on her own. Terrified, she faces an impossible choice--forfeit her powers and marry the loathsome Nathan? Or find an imposter to pose as her husband and preserve her birthright? Buy Links: Amazon Barnes and Noble

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Even wounded and fast asleep he was distractingly handsome, and I felt a sudden urge to touch him again, but without the piece of linen beneath my fingers this time. Assuring myself he would be none the wiser in his present state, I traced a finger along the fine angles of his face, around his ear and down along the strong jaw. He stirred, and I yanked my hand away.
His eyes fluttered open, revealing overly dilated pupils. Focusing the best he could on my face, his brows creased in agitation. “There’s been a mistake,” he slurred.
I gave an undignified snort of laughter. “Precisely which one are you referring to?” I asked, torn between vexation and amusement, as our list of mistakes seemed only to be growing today. Did he mean our being attacked by a group of scoundrels or how my dress was covered in blood from two different men? Or maybe that he had been shot in the back and should actually be dead by now rather than traveling on to the next inn? Really, he needed to be more specific.
“It’s my name,” he said, growing more agitated. “I am not Mr. Alan.”
“Of course you are,” I said soothingly. “It’s written right on your contract for indenture.” Henry wasn’t my first patient to suffer delusions. Once he was rested and the shock worn off, he would return to normal—memories and all.
“No,” he said and tried to push up. Barely making it to his elbows, he winced in pain from the effort. “I shouldn’t be here.”
“Lie down before you cause more damage,” I ordered, placing a hand on his chest to make him obey. The initial healing had been exhausting, and I didn’t want to start again anytime soon. It was a wonderful gift, but as with everything great, there was a price. Supper and a good night’s sleep would restore my physical strength. The fire, though, could only be replenished in another world.
Henry lay back down and stared up at me intently. “I’m not who you think I am.”
“So you’re not the King of England?” I teased. “I was hoping to call you Georgie once we got to Brighmor.”
He fell silent, and I thought the fit had passed when he reached over and took my hand. “You are so beautiful,” he said, his green eyes boring into me. “Just like an angel.”
My spine stiffened, and I pulled my hand free. “Shush now,” I said, this time with real urgency. “No more talking.”
I don’t know if it was the tone of my voice or just plain fatigue, but he closed his eyes and fell back to sleep. Overcome by a heavy weariness, I slumped against the bench, feeling as though all my bones had been turned to lead. In his present condition, Henry would retain no memory of the words that now echoed inside my head.
Just like an angel…
This time it had meant nothing.
In the future it could mean my death.

Author photoKari Edgren Bio: Kari Edgren did not dream of becoming a writer. Instead, she dreamed of everything else and was often made to stay inside during kindergarten recess to practice her letters. Despite doting parents and a decent school system, Ms. Edgren managed to make it through elementary school having completed only one book cover to cover – The Box Car Children, which she read approximately forty-seven times. Things improved during high school, but not until she read Gabrielle Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude in college, did she truly understand the power of a book. Ms. Edgren aspires to be a Vulcan, a world-acclaimed opera singer, and two inches taller. She resides in the Pacific NW where she spends a great deal of time torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts. Ms. Edgren hasn’t stopped dreaming, but has finally mastered her letters enough to put the stories on paper. Links: Website Author Goodreads GODDESS BORN Goodreads Carina Press

Friday, May 23, 2014

Blog Tour: Loving Charley by Casey Peeler


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]

Buy Links



When Charley decides to make Dylan famous, she never thought about the repercussions that might occur, and how it would affect everyone around her.
Now that she has followed through with the plan, she is unsure of what the future holds. She has to decide what is more important in life: living her dream, speaking the truth, or keeping quiet.
Charley’s life comes full circle when her freshman year comes to an end. Will Dylan be in her past and Cash in her future? Or will Dylan continue to be an eerie constant in her life?


I hear the first whisper as I pick up my bag to exit the locker room. “You know that’s the girl that got Dylan in trouble.” Closing my eyes, I try to force back the tears and control my emotions. They will not get the best of me.
When I walk past them, they stop talking. I stop and look at them and give them a dose of their own medicine. “Yeah, I am that girl. Got anything else you wanna know?” I say with my bag tossed over my shoulder and my arms crossed.
“We didn’t say anything,” one girl states with an eye roll.
“That’s what I thought.” I make my way back to the stands, placing my bag down and walking toward the pool. Tori and Georgia must see the heat rising in my face because they ask me what the hell just happened as soon as I meet them.
“Some Davidson bitches we’re running their traps already. So, I just asked if they had any more questions.”
Georgia laughs. “They are so in for it! Charley’s gonna kick their ass today in the water.”
“Damn right, I am,” I say as I dip my cap into the pool, place it on my head and add my goggles. It’s time to give them another reason to talk about Charley Anne Rice.

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About the Author

be9dd-caseyauthorpic Casey Peeler grew up and still lives in North Carolina with her husband and daughter. Her first passion is teaching students with special needs. Over the years, she found her way to relax was in a good book. After reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston her senior year of high school and multiple Nicholas Sparks’ novels, she found a hidden love and appreciation for reading. Casey is an avid reader, blogger (Hardcover Therapy,) and now author. Her goal is to one day be an author who is recognized nationwide like Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover, Tiffany King, and Amanda Bennett. When Casey isn’t reading, you can find her listening to country music, spending the day at the lake, being a wife and dance mom, and spending time with friends and family. Her perfect day consists of water, sand between her toes, a cold beverage, and a great book!

Website/ Facebook/ FB Author Group/ Twitter/ Goodreads/ Pinterest/ YouTube


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Blog Tour: (Excerpt) Hidden Treasure by Melody Anne

Brielle Storm inherits a dilapidated ranch in the wilds of Montana and she isn’t happy about her situation in the least. She may be moving to her new home, and she may be planning on doing whatever it takes to make her billionaire father happy, but she certainly won’t be doing it with a smile on her face.

No. Brielle plans on coming to Montana, hiring some ranch hand to do all the work, and then getting out of there before the first winter snow has a chance to hit.

Montana isn’t a state that offers predictable weather and Brielle is going to find out that the land isn’t the only thing she has to fear.

When her hotter than any city boy ever dreams of being, cowboy neighbor shows up on her doorstep, Brielle decides that maybe Montana isn’t so bad after-all.

That is until he laughs openly at her city girl ways. Then, she has something to prove…
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One of the hands already had the Ponderosa Pines fire truck out on the field and was spraying away, but it wouldn’t be enough to contain the blaze. He continued doing what he could as a couple of neighbors arrived and then the trucks soon surrounded the field. Men were jumping out to pull out the hoses and begin pumping thousands of gallons of water onto the blaze, in hopes of keeping it to one field.
      As those trucks began hosing the wheat, even more smoke appeared, and Colt lost sight of Brielle for a few seconds. Shouting her name did him no good, so he ran forward at full speed, making himself just about the only person running into the fire instead of away from it.
      “Get out of there!” Martin Whitman shouted as he sprayed water at the leaping flames less than fifty yards in front of Colt.
      “Can’t. Brielle’s out here,” Colt shouted back. A huge plume of smoke covered his vision again, and Martin disappeared from view. Shouting for Brielle again, he heard another scream and he changed direction.

About Melody Anne: Melody Anne is the author of the popular series, Billionaire Bachelors, and Baby for the Billionaire. She also has a Young Adult Series out; Midnight Fire and Midnight Moon - Rise of the Dark Angel. She's been writing for years and published in 2011. She hold a bachelors degree in business, so she loves to write about strong, powerful, businessmen.

When Melody isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and pets. She lives in a small town that she loves, and is involved in many community projects.

See Melody's Website at: She makes it a point to respond to all her fans. You can also join her on facebook at:, or at twitter: @authmelodyanne.

Goodreads Link:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Blog Tour: (Excerpt) Hold Me Still by LJ Baker

Nothing comes easy in a post-zombie-apocalyptic world and Andi is used to losing the people she cares about. But when Will gets infected so soon after getting him back, she can’t accept the possibility that her life may have to go on without him. She clings to Dan for support through one impossible situation after another, and although there are some bright spots, the darkness just keeps rolling in.

When finally things seem to be settling down, and she thinks she might actually have a shot at a normal life, the unthinkable happens. She struggles with knowing nothing will ever be the same again and moving on to honor the memory of the one person she thought would always be there. But that’s easier said than done, and Andi finds has to fight harder than ever just to hold on.

Dan and I found the parts we needed, a small cache of fuel, and even a few cans of beef stew, just in time for the rain to begin. I was actually used to walking in the rain, but he insisted we hang back a bit and wait for it to slow down. We found an abandoned hardware store to sit in until the big baby decided he wouldn’t melt in the storm.
The store was a mess, shelves knocked over, most of the good items cleaned out, but scattered around in the mess, there were still some usable finds. Dan found a canvas tool bag halfway under one of the fallen shelves and he pried it loose to fill with whatever he found that might be useful. I wasn’t really sure what most of it was, but he seemed to have an idea what he was doing so I left it to him.
In front near one of the large windows, there was a workbench and stool, so I made myself comfortable and sat down to wait. There were names carved into the wooden top of the workbench with dates and little sayings. Some were written in pen, listing the date they were there, and others were carved in with whatever tool they might have had at the time. There were a few dates that were recent, but most of it looked to be from before the outbreak. The kind of thing teenagers did to leave their mark on the world. Back when it seemed like that was so important.
I’d actually been in that particular store a few times with my Dad when I was younger. Even if it was just to run a small errand or pick something up for Mom, he usually brought me with him. I could remember when I got to the age where it was more of a chore than it was cool to hang out with my dad. In another life, I might have been one of those kids carving their name into the work bench, counting the minutes before I could get back home to complain to my friends about the agony of my wasted time.
I pulled out my knife and absently carved my name into the splintered wood. Making a mark on the world was so much more important since the outbreak than ever before, because life was so much more uncertain. Not that carving my name into an old piece of wood would make my existence mean something. It didn’t. But I wanted there to be some evidence in the world that I was there. That I existed. That I mattered.
“Whatcha doing, love?” Dan came up from behind me and peered over my shoulder.
I shrugged and continued carving the last letters of my name. “Making my mark.”
Dan raised an eyebrow and sat down next to me. He looked like he was about to say something, maybe tell me not to worry or that we weren’t all going to die, but instead, he pulled out a screwdriver from his newly collected hoard, and started carving his name in next to mine.
Andi Sheppard and Dan MacNamara. Our names immortalized forever in a useless wooden table.
I looked over the words and pressed my finger to the indentations in the wood. It wasn’t much, but it was something. If the world ever went back to something resembling normal, it was something to let them know we were there. I wanted to do something important. Something that would be remembered.
But what?
“Do you ever think that there is no point to all of this?” I tilted my head up and looked at Dan. He narrowed his eyes and glanced over me like I was a little nuts. “Like… everything we go through… then we die and it’s like we were never even here. We don’t matter.
“Of course we matter. Just as much as we ever did. You think that because there are zombies that everything that was important before, just isn’t anymore?” He turned to face me and trapped my legs between his knees.
“Yeah, don’t you?”
“No, I do not. If we were ever anything more than insignificant blips in time, then we are much more important now, than we ever were. What we do in this life matters, Andi. The people we help, the differences we make, just the fact that we survive at all, is important. You are important. You will be remembered and missed and thought about after you’re gone. The same way you would have been if that virus never took over and the world was exactly how it was two years ago.”
Dan took my hands into his and looked for a long moment into my eyes. “What did you want for your life before the outbreak?”
It was a valid question. I didn’t have a real answer, but it was valid.
“I don’t really know, I guess. To go to college, find a career, get married, have children. The usual stuff.”
“Okay, so you might not get to go to a traditional college and have that whole dorm experience, but tell me why you can’t do every one of those things now?”
“Don’t be insane. I can’t…”
Can’t what? Go to college. But, I’d learned more in the two years since the outbreak than I ever would have at college. Find a career? I’d almost joined the military and after my stint at the infirmary, I knew I had options. Get married… well not legally, but that didn’t even matter since there was no real government and law anymore.
“I don’t know. I mean, I guess that makes sense. It’s just that… I don’t even know.”
Dan smiled and lifted my chin up to look at him. “Sweetheart, you can do anything you want to do. As much as things are different, they’re the same. It’s whatever we make of it. We are the pioneers of this new world. Like Ben Franklin and shit.”
We both laughed at his ridiculousness, but he was right. I was focusing on all the wrong things. If I wanted to leave a mark, there was so much more I could do besides carve my name into a forgotten workbench in a ransacked hardware store. I could find a way to really leave a mark.
About the Author:

L J lives on the Jersey Shore with her husband, four kids, two cats, and an inherited dog from hell (a.k.a. the sewer gremlin). Though writing has always been her first passion, she got a degree in psychological counseling and worked in the mental health field for awhile, which she finds very helpful in dealing with her crazy family. She is a lover of all different types of music and books, switching between genres so wildly it sometimes makes people wonder if she has multiple personalities. She is most likely to be found writing romance stories of all kinds