New Books || January 30, 2016 || Surf Shop Sisters

"Double Take" by Laura KennedySurf Shop Sisters

Coral Cove #1

by Laura Kennedy

I guess everyone wants something in life. It was easy figuring out what each of my BFFs wanted the beginning of our Junior Year at Coral Cove High. For brainy Sudsy it was to get skinny; for upwardly mobile Tamara to get more stuff, and problem child Maria to be treated like she was older than ten.

Who knew that bigger problems lurked in the swampy bayous of Coral Cove, like redheaded Paris Breck, threatening to take me, Brooke Bentley, down like a clump of stinky seaweed in the Gulf of Mexico.

* NOTE: The Coral Cove series consists of standalone novels following the life of Brooke Bentley. The books can be read in any order.


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Read the first chapter below!

Chapter One

I guess everyone wants something. It was easy figuring out what each of my three BFFs wanted at the beginning of our Junior Year at Coral Cove High. For brainy Sudsy, it was to get skinny and have a boyfriend; for gorgeous Maria, to have her parents treat her like she was older than ten; for upwardly mobile Tamara, to get more stuff.

When it came to me, all I wanted was to be taken more seriously. For some reason when you’re reasonably cute, no one thinks you’re very smart. Other than geometry, my grades were okay, so why was I always getting the dumb, almost-blonde treatment?

Who’d have guessed bigger problems were lurking around the bayous of Coral Cove in the form of my soon-to-be nemesis Paris Breck? But first I have to tell you about Maria and how I always seemed to get tangled up in her problems, like a clump of stinky seaweed in the Gulf of Mexico.

It was a lazy Sunday morning and I’d just glided the Green Lady (my darling convertible) through the wrought iron gates of our Mediterranean onto the brick streets to my killer job at Surf’s Up. Top down, (the convertible’s, not mine), I was playing a rerun of my date with Tyler the night before, wondering if being forced to defend my virginity on a weekly basis was worth the hassle of having a boyfriend.

The reggae sound of The Expendables met me at the door. The Sisters, aka BFFs Sudsy, Tamara and Maria, didn’t seem to notice I was late. But instead of getting the evil eye from my old hippie boss, Dave, like you usually do from a grownup when you screw up, I got a sad, reassuring smile. The kind your parents give when you just broke your arm rollerblading.

I raced to a rack of bikinis and began to madly rearrange them, sneaking peeks at Sudsy and Tamara refolding a stack of Rip Curl T-shirts. Sudsy shot me a look from behind wire-rimmed Beatles glasses and shook her head. I was trying to figure out what she meant when Maria passed by carrying a box of sunblock. The crybaby of our group, tears from her big brown eyes threatened to spill down her cheeks like she was in a soap opera on Telemundo.

“What’s wrong with Maria?” I whispered to Sudsy.

“She’s bummed because her father told her she can’t go to Homecoming with Anthony,” Sudsy whispered back.

“So that’s a surprise?”

“No, but she just found out Anthony will be leaving for Army boot camp after Thanksgiving. Who knows what could happen to him?”

I glanced at Maria where she stood lining up amber bottles of sunblock and gave her a little wave. But instead of a smile, she just bit her Angelina Jolie look-a-like lip.

“Leave her alone,” Tamara advised. “She’s just going to have to deal with it.”

The morning flew by. In an attempt to pump swimwear sales, Dave coaxed me into a hot white Juicy Couture ruffled bikini (the killer suit I’d die for), to parade around the shop. I felt like an idiot, especially when two girls from school came in, but Dave was the boss.

Around one, Dave ordered a ham and pineapple pizza from Zeno’s Greek Pizza Parlor. We’d just finished devouring it when a well-dressed redhead and a skinny, youngish blonde sauntered in. Sporting Kate Spade, Prada, and real jewelry, they looked like they’d be good for a couple of hundred easy. The older one, who was around fifty, reminded me of an actress I’d seen on TV reruns.

“May I help you?” I asked.

A sneer crossed the redhead’s Pekinese face; the same kind of look you make when you’ve just spotted a big, fat cockroach.

“Tiffany wants to try on some suits. She’s a seven.”

“The sevens are on the rack against the wall,” I said, and with a wave herded them like a sheep dog to the back.

After a few minutes of mangling the merchandise, Tiffany held up a hot turquoise T-back. “What do you think, Mommy?”

She’s like thirty and still calls her mother Mommy? It was all I could do not to barf.

“Try it on. It’s cute.”

While Baby Cakes trotted off to the dressing room, I knocked myself out showing Mommy everything in the store. Twenty minutes later, BC reappeared with a sea foam green baby doll dress, two L-Spaces, and my to-die-for Juicy Couture bikini. She headed for the cash register, her mother trailing behind. Bingo!

“I’d kill for that suit,” I said. “It’s the hottest ever.” Mommy handed me her American Express card and I ran it through the machine. “Paris Breck, what a pretty name. Did anyone ever tell you that you’re an eponym?”

“I’m a what?” She raised one radically plucked brow.

“An eponym. When something’s named after a person it’s called an eponym. Of course, you’re named after a person and a city too.”

She looked annoyed. “Oh, really? How interesting.”

“It just happens to be one of my vocabulary words from last week.”

Dave high-fived me when they left. “Killer job, Brookesie. Have another piece of pizza.”

“No thanks. My ass is big enough as it is.”

“Your ass is perfect and you know it,” Sudsy said, whisking by with the broom. But for once I wasn’t worrying about the way I looked. I was worrying about Maria.

It wasn’t until things slowed down and the four of us took a break at the beat up picnic table out back that we were able to talk.

“Okay, Maria, what’s the scoop?” I asked.

“It’s the same old thing. My dad thinks Anthony’s too old and a sleezeball loser, so he won’t let me date him.”

Tamara wrinkled her perfectly sculptured nose. “But you do anyway, right?”

“Well, yes. But I hate sneaking around! I want to go to Homecoming and wear a pretty dress just like everyone else. It’s the least I can do before he’s shipped off to the Middle East.” A fat tear streamed down her face.

I patted her hand. As usual I felt all protective and mushy. Just like in pre-school when she’d screwed up the CD player and I took the blame. “Now, don’t worry, honey. We’ll figure out something.”

Sudsy slid a neatly typed sheet of paper to me across the table. “Well, while everyone’s ruminating, here’s your new vocabulary list.”

I looked down. “Monday. Masticate.”

“It means to chew,” Sudsy explained.

“Then why the hell not just say chew?” Tamara demanded. She was not in a good mood.

Sudsy adjusted her glasses. “Because any moron can say chew, T. That’s why.”

Tamara rolled her eyes. “Well, it sounds like something a lot more exciting than just eating.”

Sudsy and I giggled while Maria just looked bewildered.

“So why not say you’re going to the dance in a group and then just sleep over at my house?” I suggested.

The Sisters nodded.

A shadow of a smile crossed Maria’s face. “Do you think it will work?

“No problem. I’ll run it by my mother. I’m sure she’ll be okay with it.”

“See, Maria, all fixed,” I said. But as soon as the words left my lips I was left with a bad feeling in my stomach, like I’d just eaten a raw oyster in a month spelled without an R.

The next day at school I spent half of geometry class figuring out the logistics of my scheme to get Maria to Homecoming with Anthony by drawing little isosceles triangles on my paper. Hmm. If one corner was Maria, another Anthony, and the last corner Maria’s dad… My math teacher, Mr. Humphrey, claims side angle side equals side angle side, but in this case I had the feeling it equaled trouble.

It was Wednesday after school and I was sprawled out on an obnoxious green alligator raft in our heated pool, wondering how we were going to pull off Maria’s secret date. Hopefully Maria’s family would be preoccupied with making that incredible chicken with yellow rice I love, or the black bean soup I adore even more, and wouldn’t notice her sneaking out her dress. My stomach growled. God, I wished I had some chicken and yellow rice.

I hopped out of the pool and wrapped myself in a huge fluffy towel. Would my mother be cooking something on that new blue European gas stove of hers, or would she just be polishing the stainless steel?

“What’s for dinner?” I asked, dripping into the kitchen.

My mother blew a lock of blonde hair off her forehead. “Roast chicken with lemon, brown rice with pecans and mushrooms, and ratatouille.”

“You know, I really love you.”

“Yes. By the way, Sudsy called, but I didn’t want to take the phone to you in the pool.”

“Mom, you can’t get electrocuted on a cordless phone. It runs on batteries.”

“Well, it just makes me nervous.” She took off her Kiss-the-Cook apron. “How’s Sudsy coming with her romance novel?”

“Almost finished, but she won’t let anyone read it.”

“Doesn’t she need someone to edit? Maybe I could help since I am a lit major.”

“Forget it. Sudsy says it’s an absolute masterpiece already.”

There’s an old cornball song my Grandma Donnie sings. Something about life not being easy—I beg your pardon. I never promised you a rose garden. I don’t know who’s begging whose pardon, but they were sure right about life not being a bed of flowers. I mean, I was just trying to help Maria and already I was the bad guy. At least according to Tyler.

After school the next day, Tyler and I parked the Green Lady at the Cove for the purpose of my telling him our plans had changed. Having an abundance of testosterone surging through his scrawny bod, I’m sure he thought we’d driven to the Cove to make out. So once I’d turned off the engine, I gave him a juicy kiss to get him in a good mood. Kissing Tyler was really quite delicious, because, scrawny or not, he was one of the hottest guys at Coral Cove High. But when I pushed him away and blurted out that he’d have to meet me at Homecoming because I’d be going to the dance in a group date with Sudsy, Tamara, and Maria, he was not happy.

“But I thought Maria was going with that Anthony dude?”

“She is. But her father can’t stand him, so she has to pretend she’s going with us girls and then sleep over at my house.”

“You must be friggin’ kidding,” he croaked. Sometimes when Tyler gets excited his voice still goes up and down like the Scorpion ride at Busch Gardens.

“No, I’m not kidding, Tyler. This dance is like extremely crucial to Maria. I can’t let her down.”

“But it’s all right to let me down.”

“I don’t see what the big deal is. We can still be at the dance together.”

“So does that mean we won’t be hanging out after?”

I looked at him and smiled, realizing that hanging out meant making out in the back seat of my convertible.

“There’ll be plenty of other times for that. Think of it this way. Helping Anthony and Maria go to Homecoming is sort of like your patriotic duty. I mean, Anthony could get killed when he’s in the army. It’s the least you can do.”

A scowl crossed his handsome face. “You know, Brooke, I’m really sick of the way you always manipulate me.”

“With the exception of now, when have I manipulated you?”

“All the time. You constantly have some kind of scheme.”

“Tyler, that’s not true. Besides, in business they call that entrepreneurship.”

“Right.”

We drove back to school in silence; Tyler turned away from me like my cat does on the way home from the vet. I stopped at the bike rack where he got out of the Green Lady and slammed the door.

“You don’t have to take it out on my car,” I said.

He turned and glared. “I wish you worried half as much about me as you do about your damn car. Well, you won’t have to worry about it anymore.”

“So does that meaning you’re breaking up with me?”

“What do you think?” he snapped and with that unlocked his bike and pedaled off in a cloud of dust.

New Books || January 9, 2016 || Fantasy & More Fantasy!

Welcome to 2016!

We at Fire and Ice hope you’re enjoying the new year!

Check out our great new releases below. Also be sure to CLICK HERE to enter to win one of five awesome fantasy novels.


The Sapphire Legend
Part II

by E. L. Tenenbaum

Sapere has always been different.

It’s been months since the destruction of Sapere’s village forced the survivors to flee into the Wild, where her secret was discovered and her Council struggles to keep the remains of her tribe alive. Surviving the attack, the flood, the Wild itself is proof that they have grown stronger as a people. Even in their new campsite they feel safe and comfortable… too comfortable.

Certain they must find the last of the Oro tribes and warn them about the impending Pliz danger before it’s too late, Sapere and Venatore take to scouring the Wild for the Great Blue Waters. Finding them, however, may not be the end of their trials, but only the beginning. For Sapere, this means facing antagonism toward her gift and her position on Council, an unprecedented break from tradition that their sister tribe won’t accept. For the rest of the tribe, this means adjusting to a new way of life with values and traditions very different from their current, and even former, one.

But something else is bothering Sapere, as she soon wonders if leaving the familiarity of the Wild leads to more harm than good. Should the survivors seek refuge with their sister tribe if they’ll arrive just in time for war? What if those who lived through the first attack don’t survive the second?

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A Day Without A Night

DARK AS NIGHT #2

by JT Adeline

A SECRET REVEALED

Rove, Roam and Rune are back with their best friend Maya, in the second book of the Dark As Night Trilogy.

The Evil Sorceress, Kya, wants entrance into the Enchanted Realm, but in order to do that she needs a magical book and key. Can the Gustavo brothers save Merlin from her clutches before finding what she wants, or will girls distract them from what must be done?

A SECRET REVEALED
Born of a Goddess and a mortal,
These sisters will be deemed the Sisters of the Realm.
One as bright as the sun,
One the flame of the horizon,
And one as dark as midnight.
They are the only magical beings who can open and close the gateway at will
To grant access to those who are deserving,
And banish those who are not.

A CASTLE BREACHED

A magical castle unable to be penetrated by any other magical being, until Merlin finds himself bound to his very own kitchen chair in his very own dungeon.

A CHALLENGE TO FACE

The Sorceress Kya has found a way to make an indestructible army. Can the Triplet Gustavo brothers, Maya Stewart and their new friends stop her and save Merlin?

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Fantasy Spotlight + Giveaway

Fire and Ice is proud to be a stop on the Young Adult Faeries & Fantasy Giveaway Hop, sponsored by the blogs I Am A Reader, Not a Writer & Bookhounds.

We’re going to feature some of our Fantasy books and give you an opportunity to WIN your choice of ANY of the books listed below.

When you’re done with that, click the links at the bottom of the page to visit the next blog on the hop!


 

"Whisper of the Woodsquot; by D. G. Driver

Whisper of the Woods

A Juniper Sawfeather Novel #2

by D. G. Driver

 Juniper Sawfeather seems to have a talent for finding mythological creatures. Or maybe the creatures are finding her.

The mermaids she saved from the oil spill are long gone. There’s no evidence of them, and she’s been branded as a liar and a fake in the media and at school. Her environmental activist parents have moved on to a protest to save Old Growth trees from being chopped down. June isn’t particularly concerned with this cause, but that changes when she falls asleep at the base of a giant tree and wakes to find herself 40 feet in the air on one of its branches!

From this point on she becomes obsessed with the tree, and it appears the tree is becoming obsessed with her, too. Soon, she is trapped 170 feet above the ground, and the magical spirit that resides in the tree isn’t interested in letting her go free or allowing anyone else to save her. Is the tree spirit good or evil? Will Juniper’s feet ever touch the ground again?

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"The Forest of Welkan by Valerie KylesThe Forest of Welkan

by Valerie Kyles

Shape shifters died out in Teladorn long ago. With the making of the Stone — a reservoir of magical power — those who protect the land became lesser magicians. Lana, a young village woman, finds herself unexpectedly chosen as apprentice to the most powerful present-day mage. She follows him to the Forest of Welkan far to the north where she discovers that Teladorn is under threat and will soon realize the depth of its loss in no longer having shape shifters.

In the course of her adventures, Lana discovers that she herself has unknown powers while two other shape shifters miraculously appear on the scene. Can their united strength be enough to save Teladorn from the evil that threatens on every side?

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"The Sapphire Legend Part 1" by E. L. TenenbaumThe Sapphire Legend
Part I

by E. L. Tenenbaum

Sapere has always been different.

In her tribe, select families are blessed with a gift that is passed through the generations from father to son. But something went wrong when Sapere was born, because she has her family’s gift and she shouldn’t.

When Sapere’s village is attacked the night of her wedding, the survivors flee to the Wild in hopes of finding refuge in a dangerous place filled with deadly predators. Now, Sapere feels like an outsider on the precipice of two worlds, unable to fit into the old way, unaccepted by the new, and terrified of being shunned by both.

Through the survivors’ fight for survival, Sapere learns that she can be a victim of circumstance or master of fate. Can she rise above the nature of her birth and mold her own future? Can she be herself and earn the villagers’ respect in their new world? Or will she forever be shackled by the anomaly that makes her different?

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"The Great Forest of Shee" by Patricia GilkersonThe Great Forest of Shee

by Patricia Gilkerson

 “Find Arizopal!”

With those words from his desperately ill father, fifteen year-old Griffin begins his journey to the Great Forest of Shee, a mystical place, and difficult to navigate.

The Great Forest is Faerie itself and during his quest, Griffin will meet many magical and sometimes fearsome dwellers there. Befriended by some, challenged by others, Griffin finds he is not the person he thought he was. But who is he?

He has to use his wits and call on new friends to figure out first, how to save his father, next, how to rescue his mother and a beautiful half-elf named Indigo. And finally, how will he keep the Great Forest itself from being destroyed?

 

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"Into the Deep" by Missy FlemingInto the Deep

by Missy Fleming

 No one understands the fury of the ocean like Zoey.

Ten years ago, she lost her leg in a freak shark attack. The night after her sixteenth birthday, she has yet to accept her awkward prosthetic limb or the fact she will always be different. Wary of the sea, and its hidden threats, she ventures to a bonfire at the beach. She’s mesmerized by its awesome power, wondering what she ever had to fear, until a rogue wave sweeps her into the cool, salty water.

Zoey believed mermaids were creatures of legend, characters in silly children’s stories, but it’s hard to ignore the captivating tail that’s suddenly appeared, or the sense of finally being whole. She abandons her life on land in search of answers about who she really is and where she came from.

What she discovers is a kingdom full of intrigue and danger, as well as a royal father she never knew existed. Settling into her role as a mermaid princess, she learns her family is under attack, both on land and in the water. Raging storms swell up, threatening coastal cities, and sea levels rise practically overnight, endangering the lives of everyone she loves. Determined to stop the strange phenomena, Zoey becomes caught up in the race to track down what, or who, is responsible for the catastrophic events.

But, Zoey possesses another secret, one born of legend and more powerful than any mer or human can imagine.

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