Saturday, December 20, 2014

Melissa Foster's New Street Team & A Giveaway

Melissa Foster’s New Street Team

& a Giveaway!

Huge Giveaway from NYT & USA TODAY Bestselling Author, 
Melissa Foster

To help celebrate the release of her newest Romance, bestselling author, Melissa Foster, has created a fun Street Team for readers of her books and lovers of the Romance genre. As part of this launch, she will be giving away lots of prizes—and I mean lots. From chocolate gift baskets to autographed books to super swag, she will be giving away more than 20 prizes, and as many as 520!

If the Street Team reaches 500 members by Monday, December 22, every single member will score an Advance Review Copy of her upcoming novel, Seaside Secrets. That means that you can enjoy the newly released Seaside Sunsets and then immediately read the next installment in the series. Pretty cool, huh?

Not in the mood to join the team? Not a problem! You can still enter the Rafflecopter contest for your chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card and autographed book.

Now that I know you’re excited, read on to learn more about Melissa’s Street Team and her newest release, Seaside Sunsets.

About Melissa’s Street Team

Do you LOVE Melissa Foster’s hunky heroes and smart, sexy heroines? Want to tell others about her books and help spread the word while gaining exclusive peeks at upcoming releases? Join Melissa’s Street Team, and become one of her most trusted fans!

Fab fan benefits:  Personal interaction with Melissa, lively discussions with other super fans and romance junkies, sneak peeks into future publications, exciting challenges with great prizes/swag, and fancy badges for your website, blog, and social media profiles.

About Melissa’s Newest Release


For the first time since developing the second largest search engine in the world, billionaire Jamie Reed is taking the summer off. He plans to work from the Cape and spend time with his elderly grandmother--and falling in love is not in his plans.

From the moment Jamie and Jessica meet, the attraction is white-hot. Once-overly-focused Jamie can think of little else than sensual, smart, and alluring Jessica, and Jessica discovers a side of herself she never knew existed. But when Jamie's business encounters trouble and his attorney and best friend intervenes, he proves that the blond beauty is too distracting for Jamie. To make matters worse, it appears that Jessica might not be who she says she is, turning Jamie's life--and his heart--upside down.

In a world where personal information is always one click away, Jamie must decide if he should trust his heart or watch the woman he loves walk away

Recommended for readers aged 18+

Get Seaside Sunsets on AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesKobo, or Google Play!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway for A More Perfect Union, Books 1 & 2 by Bette Bolte

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Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Bewitching Book Tours, for A More Perfect Union, Books 1 & 2 by Bette Bolte.  Please leave a comment or question for Bette to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveawayby filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can follow the rest of her tour by clicking on the tour banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.  Emily's Vow is currently $.99 (99 Cents) at all eBook Retailers.  

Emily’s Vow
A More Perfect Union, Book 1
Betty Bolté

Publisher: ePublishing Works!
Date of Publication: October 4, 2014
Genre:  Historical Romance
Ebook: 978-1-61417-654-1
Paperback: 978-1-61417-655-8
ASIN: B00O7601NY
Number of pages: 247

Cover Artist: ePublishing Works!

Available at    Amazon    BN    Kobo   iBooks  Google Books

About the book:

Emily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Then she’s thrown in a loyalist prison for her privateering father’s raids on the British, and her accuser--a former beau--promises to recant if she will marry him.

Frank Thomson always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns of Emily’s plight, he challenges her accuser to a duel.

Freed from prison, Emily ponders returning the affections of her rescuer--the only man she's ever loved and who married her twin to save the Sullivan family's reputation. But Frank cannot afford to be discovered. For the sake of young America, he must deliver his secrets.

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Emily hurried down the sandy road beside her friend, noting the waning sunshine draping shadows across the street. The slap of the waves at the distant convergence of the Cooper and Ashley Rivers beat a syncopated rhythm against the array of ship hulls, large and small, in the protected harbor. Many of the masts bobbing against the darkening sky sported the hated British flag.

The losing army had resorted to sanctioned looting of the beautiful homes—those still standing after two years of British occupation as well as fires and bombardments—as booty for the officers and soldiers before they withdrew. She hoped they would leave soon, but nobody knew exactly when the British ships planned to depart. They'd already sent the bells to London along with other pilfered items. In fact, the British officers sought retaliation for the threat posed by the patriots, who had hidden their true allegiance, against the loyalists living in the city. The officers encouraged harassment of the American citizens, which translated into her father, a leading merchant in town, fearing for her safety more than ever. Until the British actually evacuated, uncertainty and fear blanketed the town.

Dragging in a deep breath, unease settled over Emily's frayed nerves at the thought of Frank's return. "I cannot believe Father insists I marry him after all that man has done. Surely Americans have matured enough they wouldn't force a woman to marry. It's 1782, after all. I'm not a child. Why doesn't he understand?"

A seagull glided past, its laughing call bringing a smile to her face. Her enjoyment didn't last long, though. The occupation of the town created fear and disquiet throughout the citizenry. Add in the horror of her sister Elizabeth's fiancé Jedediah dying, leaving her pregnant and in need of a husband. Then Jedediah's brother Frank, the man Emily had secretly cared for, married her sister to keep the child from being a bastard. Emily survived the misery of watching Frank marry Elizabeth only to suffer much more when Elizabeth died in childbirth with Frank away at war. Emily had come to terms with the prospect of raising her nephew, but being forced into marriage with Frank, too? How could life turn and twist with such disregard for her future goals and plans?

Frank's imminent arrival now distressed her as much as the three hundred British ships crowding the harbor. The rumor about town suggested the ships stood poised to carry away the defeated enemy troops along with any loyalists wanting to flee the town. Many slaves would likely take the chance on freedom offered by the British, despite the American protests. The constant motion of the water for once failed to soothe her troubled thoughts.

"Have you told your father how you feel?" Samantha matched Emily's stride easily despite her slight limp and the basket she carried.

Sharing her feelings with her father had once enjoyed an easy place in Emily's heart. Now his demands for her to cloister within the theoretic safety of the town house, joined with his desire that she marry to secure her future, made confiding in him difficult. His concern stemmed from her advancing age with few appropriate prospects for marriage due to America's fight for its independence from an overbearing mother country, which seemed to be winding down. She longed for those carefree days, years before, filled with friendly banter and heartfelt discussions with her father.

Emily wrinkled her nose. "I haven't spoken with him, not that I think he'll care. He's more concerned with my supposed need for a protector while he's away." What a pickle. Did he have to choose Frank to serve as both bodyguard and suitor?

The thought created ripples of fear along her spine. Marrying a man, any man, meant losing her individuality, a fate she dreaded. The vows included obeying and honoring him, which translated into having his children. She shivered, recalling her twin sister on her deathbed mere days after delivering her son. Emily held her hand as Elizabeth's life departed, her fingers falling limp within Emily's clutching grasp. Just like their mother before her.

So many young women across the country feared pregnancy and being brought to bed for that very reason. Elizabeth, like many of those women, had written out her will when she discovered she carried a child. At least the document detailed her wishes for her son. And her surrogate husband, Frank Thomson. Elizabeth was to wed Jedediah, the betrothal announced and celebrated, before Elizabeth revealed she was with child. The banns had been read twice when his militia duty arose and he'd left to fight. If Jedediah hadn't been killed, Frank would not have felt obligated to do his duty as Jedediah's brother to wed Elizabeth and give the unborn child a father and thus avoid bastardy.

Emily used to think of him as her Frank, until he told her his decision to wed Elizabeth. Her heart had hurt for months as she struggled to understand and accept the reality that she could never have him. But once Elizabeth died in similar circumstances as their mother, Emily's fear of dying as a result of childbirth eclipsed any naive desire to marry.

No, better to pursue her dreams of opening her ladies' accessories shop. She squared her shoulders, ready to face the astonishment of the ladies in town as well as plan a strategy for the battle when her father voiced his objections.

Amy’s Choice
A More Perfect Union, Book 2
Betty Bolté

Publisher: ePublishing Works!
Date of Publication: October 5, 2014
Genre: Historical Romance
Ebook: 978-1-61417-659-6
Paperback: 978-1-61417-660-2
ASIN: B00O7984P8
Number of pages: 231

Available at   Amazon    BN    Kobo   iBooks  Google Books

Book Description:

Without a goodbye, Amy Abernathy's childhood sweetheart, Benjamin Hanson, leaves to fight in the American War for Independence.

Amy chooses to pick up the pieces of her heart and leave Charles Town to help her sister who is with child.

Benjamin knows he hurt Amy, but he plans to make it up to her after his mission is completed. Then he learns that Amy has been captured by renegade soldiers. Now Benjamin faces his own choice: free the sassy yet obstinate woman he's never stopped loving or protect Charles Town from vengeful British occupation.

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"Benjamin, what brings you out here so early this morning?" Walter slathered yellow butter on yet another slice of bread.
Amy kept her eyes on her plate, but her movements slowed, indicating she listened intently.

"Colonel Scarsdale made an important announcement last week, one that increases the chance of violent retaliation and looting by the British troops as they prepare to evacuate the city." Benjamin kept his eyes on Walter but watched Amy's actions at the side of his vision.

"Is the war finally over then?" Walter laid down his knife, eyes intent on Benjamin.

"It appears to be, all but the acts of signing the peace treaty and evacuating His Majesty's troops."

"When might that happen?" Emily fisted her napkin and gazed at him with hopeful eyes.

"As soon as conditions allow them to leave the harbor. But between now and then they will scavenge for any items of value they can lay their hands upon." He willed Amy to look at him, and finally she rewarded him by lifting her eyes to meet his. The force of her gaze sent a shock racing through him, stirring a reaction below his belt. Shifting to be more comfortable, he held her stare for a moment.

"But how does that impact us out here?" Amy regarded him, one hand poised above her plate, a bite of ham waiting. "Surely the Britons will not harm us so far from town. They'll be busy preparing to evacuate."

"Clearly you do not fathom the reality of the matter." When Amy merely stared at him, realization dawned as to the extent of the situation before him. He nearly let out a loud breath in annoyance. He checked the reflex. He needed to address the fact that Amy wasn't the only one in danger. Ideas popped into his head and he dismissed several before nodding. A simple solution. "I have come to take the girls back to town where I can keep them safe."\

A startled silence followed his pronouncement.

"We are safe here." Samantha strode into the room and made straight for the sideboard.  Benjamin rose to greet her, and she waved him back into his seat. As he resettled himself, he noted Walter had not moved from where he sat crunching on a slice of apple.

"Yes, more so than we'd be in town at any rate." Emily looked from one person to another. "So many soldiers still roam the streets, after all."

"Besides, we cannot move Evelyn." Amy held knife and fork poised to slice through the ham. "I won't leave her here alone. She needs help until the baby arrives, and for a span after."

"She has me." Walter laid his hands flat on the table at either side of his plate. "I can take care of her."

Why did Walter brace himself as he spoke about his wife? Benjamin recognized the defensive nature, an insecurity, exemplified in Walter's behavior.

Amy darted a glance at Walter, then returned her gaze to Benjamin. "That's my fear."

Her mouth formed a stubborn pout as her eyes reflected her concern. What had occurred here to provoke such a statement? Amy glanced at Walter with unease plain in her expression, her distrust of the man evident. Despite himself, Benjamin tensed at the idea of Amy living under the same roof as Walter.

"I know how to defend myself, so I'll stay." Samantha placed her napkin in her lap. "More to the point, Evelyn will deliver any day now, and she'll need me."
Walter looked like he wanted to say something but held his thoughts in check. His brow lowered as he dipped his bread into his coffee. Walter did not act as refined in character as his appearance first suggested. More pieces to the puzzle fell into place, but still some holes remained before Benjamin formed an opinion of him.

"You'll need help with running this place." Emily laid her napkin on the table, her eyes steady on Samantha. "I'm accomplished at that, so I will stay to assist."

Seeing where this was leading, Benjamin made an effort to change the conversation's course. "In the event, Miss Amy stays with me." He spoke with less conviction than earlier as his resolve wilted under the arguments put forth by the women surrounding him. "I can't stay away from town long, not only because Captain Sullivan expects me to ensure the museum collection is not touched, but also because Amy's father requested I bring my fiancée back posthaste."

A feminine gasp drew his eyes to Amy's startled expression. Damnation. Too late, he realized his error as, in rhythm with three blinks, her stubborn expression shifted to surprise, then anger.

"Pardon me?" Her eyebrows arched over wide eyes. "You are engaged? To whom, pray tell?"

The set of her jaw dared him to say what he must in order to tell the truth of the matter. An attack of cotton mouth forced him to try to swallow as he searched for the proper response. How crass could he be, blurting out his bald intent? His carefully prepared speech blown apart by his own foolish words. Again, words had tripped him up and left him floundering. Yet, his mother would be proud of him for sticking to the facts, even if they created an awkward moment. He heaved a sigh. Nothing for it but the bare truth. "I spoke with your parents a few days ago, and they agreed..."

"Stop." Amy, face red, held up a hand as though warding off a blow. "Pray, don't tell me my parents actually negotiated with you for my hand?"

About the Author:

Betty Bolté writes both historical and contemporary stories featuring strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. In addition to her romantic fiction, she’s the author of several nonfiction books and earned a Master’s in English in 2008. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and the Authors Guild. Get to know her at


Twitter: @BettyBolte

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blurb Blitz Tour & Giveaway for Forgotten No More by Christina McKnight

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Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Blurb Blitz Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Forgotten No More by Christina McKnight.  Please leave a comment or question for Christina to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway, where Christina will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner, and a $15 Amazon GC to another winner, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can follow the rest of her tour by clicking on the tour banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.

Forgotten No More
By Christina McKnight
A Lady Forsaken, Book 2

Publisher:  La Loma Elite Publishing
Release Date:  November 20, 2014
Genre: Historical Romance
Length:  368 Pages
ISBN:  978-0988261747

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About the book: 

A lady forgotten by all...

Ruby St. Augustin must find the truth of her past to determine what her future holds. She only has a short time in London to uncover the identity of her real father and the secrets behind her birth. If anyone learns of her mission, she will disgrace everyone she holds dear. What she doesn’t expect is to draw the attention of a man who doesn’t care about his reputation or her past.

A man mesmerized by one...

Harold Jakeston is a man without wealth or title. Resigned to a life he loathes, Harold has the chance at a few weeks of freedom before being trapped in a future he wants no part of. When he’s drawn into the mysterious quest of a woman from his past, he embraces the opportunity to forget the life that awaits him. What he never anticipated is falling in love with a woman who ignites his desire to create a new future for himself and for her. 

A love neither can abandon...


 London, England
 January 1816

 Ruby took a deep breath before trying the final drawer that could hold all the answers to her  past, her true heritage. Her lungs expanded; she held the air inside. She didn’t exhale until it  burned. With trembling fingers, she reached for the last drawer and pulled.

 Her nicely trimmed nails nearly snapped when her grasp on the handle slipped from the  force of her tug. The drawer hadn’t budged.


 “Oh, poppy cocks!” she hissed. Moving her hands to the folds of her evening gown, Ruby  procured a small pouch tucked neatly into a hidden pocket. Setting it on the desk, she  pulled out her array of lock-picking devices, really only hairpins and small wires she’d  collected since her first night—and her first failed attempt at breaking into a desk—to help  her disengage the drawer.

 She had to know what secrets this lord held. Would she find an envelope inside labelled  ‘Abandoned Daughter,’ or a report from the Bow Street Runners with details about herself  —her hair color, the particular green shade of her eyes, places she’d been, perhaps the  details of her activities over the course of her life?

 Nothing worth finding was that simply ascertained.

 No man, married or not, would leave record of their nefarious past. It was more likely her  father had not spared her, or her mother, a second thought after throwing his pregnant  mistress from his townhouse in the middle of the night with no coat and no means to get  home.

 Ruby was anything but a fool, but she found herself continuing to search regardless. She  didn’t need a signed confession—she just needed that letter opener. 

 Picks in hand, she knelt before the locked drawer and eyed the keyhole, blowing a wayward  strand of hair that had fallen across her face. She’d been unsuccessful more often than not  when attempting to open locked drawers. But luck may have been on her side this evening.  She’d entered the ball with little fuss, shortly after the host and hostess had quit the  receiving line. It was surprising how similar the layout of most London townhouses were.  Ruby had navigated the halls of the second floor and found the room she sought fairly  quickly, encountering not a soul. 

 The pins slipped into the lock and her tongue darted out of her mouth to lick her lips as she  concentrated on moving them exactly right to click the lock over. She fought to keep her  hands steady when sweat broke out across her forehead. She was running out of time. 

 Ruby applied a bit too much pressure and the pin snapped, falling uselessly into the locked drawer. “Damn you to hell, mother!” she cursed and sat back, wiping her slick brow. 

 She’d always viewed herself as a sensible girl, a dutiful daughter, and an honest friend. She  could only imagine the horror on Vi’s face if she saw her now. A common thief. A  midnight prowler. A defiler of privacy. 

 Although, it could not be helped. 

 She sought answers and at the moment all she had was an endless list of questions. 

 Gaining her feet once more, she bundled her kit and slipped it back into her pocket. She  turned her attention to the long table against the wall behind the desk. Leaning over, she ran  her hand along the underside of the ornately carved piece, feeling for hidden compartments  or—if her luck returned—a forgotten folder of papers. 

 “Sherry, Miss Ruby?” an oddly familiar voice asked behind her..”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since. Currently, she focuses on Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

Follow her on Twitter: @CMcKnightWriter

Keep up to date on her releases:

Like Christina’s FB Author page: ChristinaMcKnightWriter

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book Tour & Giveaway for Benchmark by Georgie Hanlin and Shannon Swann

Georgie Hanlin and Shannon Swann

Release: December 12, 2014 from Evernight Teen
55K/ contemporary/romance/minor fantasy element

Editor's Pick

Harper Kingsley has the perfect life until her brother, Braydon, commits suicide.  After his death, Harper returns to North Star, a sailing camp on Whidbey Island where she and Braydon spent eight summers together.  Joining her are her three best friends who are ready to rule Senior Hill. Harper just wants to escape to the only place she feels is truly magical.

At North Star, Harper tries to forget her reality, but it’s impossible because she comes face-to-face with her brother at a hidden bench in the garden.  Is it really him or just her imagination?  She knows Braydon is dead. Why is appearing in front of her? Scared at first, Harper rejects his presence, but once he explains that she is the one who brought him back, she wants to hear him out.

Harper chooses to keep these encounters to herself. Who would believe her anyway?  It’s Jeremy Miller, the camp’s ultimate heartthrob and Piper’s ex, to whom she will eventually reveal her secret. And he has a secret of his own.  Their camp romance turns Harper’s friends against her, giving her one more thing to juggle this summer at North Star. 

Buy Links:    Evernight Teen    Amazon    Print


“Seriously, Harp,” she began, “if you and Jeremy like each other, you should just be honest about it.” It was obvious to me that the three of them had been talking about this behind my back.

“That’s not even the point, Anna,” I barked defensively.  “We don’t, I mean, I… he… look, Jeremy’s a nice guy and he was friends with my brother.” I felt short of breath trying to explain myself.  “But that’s all irrelevant. The point is: everything in this world can’t always be about Piper.  At school, at camp, wherever we are, it’s always about Piper and her boyfriends or her exes or her soccer or her clothes or her life or whatever. I am so tired of her.” Those were my honest feelings right at that moment, but deep, deep down, I knew I was just jealous of her uninterrupted life. 

“Look, I know you’ve gone through a lot, this year Harp,” she whispered sympathetically, undoubtedly trying to calm me down before we started to draw a bigger crowd. 

There was the pity. I hated being pitied.  I could feel my eyes start to well up so I began to blink frantically to stop tears from falling down my face. I was so sick of crying. 

“Thanks anyway, Anna, but you actually have no idea.” Anna had been nothing but a friend to me, and I knew my words had hurt her. “One year ago, my life was normal. It was happy and calm and predictable.  I was up here having fun with my brother and you guys, loving it all, probably just like you are this summer.  But, for me, it’s different now. Everything’s different. And it won’t ever be the same again.” I was barely able to finish my sentence, but I could see through my teary eyes that Anna looked uncomfortable, like she didn’t know what to do with me.  We had inched our way from the center to the edge of the art shed, far enough from other people’s earshot, but close enough for anyone paying attention to clue in on all the drama.  I had to get out of there. People were starting to stare.

Friendships as teenagers can be fabulous, but they can be tricky too. Have you ever felt like the odd man out? In fact, writing some of those "mean girl" scenes flashed us right back to our own teen years. When you're a part of a group of friends, at some point, inevitably, someone will feel left out -- which is exactly what happened to Harper when she discovered her three best friends were in a cabin at camp without her.

Anna was walking at a very fast pace toward a group of campers who were

clumped together on the other side of the lawn. Keeping my eyes on her, I followed her

path steadily. I didn’t want to lose her in the crowd. She walked directly toward Piper

and Charlie, who were waving eagerly as she got closer to them. All at once, the three of

them launched into a huge bear hug, which they held for a solid minute. Unable to look

any longer, I turned away with a big lump in my throat. Was it really true? Were my

three best friends in a cabin together this summer?

During those teen years, emotions always seemed to be on the highest imagine how complex Harper's emotions were while balancing the suicide of her beloved brother in addition to living her regular teenage life. Her friends couldn't ever truly identify with her pain and the suicide was something that Harper didn't want be pitied for or talk about -- but it was also a reality she couldn't escape.

“Look, I know you’ve gone through a lot, this year Harp,” she whispered

sympathetically, undoubtedly trying to calm me down before we started to draw a bigger

There was the pity. I hated being pitied. I could feel my eyes start to well up so I began

to blink frantically to stop tears from falling down my face. I was so sick of crying.

“Thanks anyway, Anna, but you actually have no idea.” Anna had been nothing

but a friend to me, and I knew my words had hurt her. “One year ago, my life was

normal. It was happy and calm and predictable. I was up here having fun with my

brother and you guys, loving it all, probably just like you are this summer. But, for me,

it’s different now. Everything’s different. And it won’t ever be the same again.” I was

barely able to finish my sentence, but I could see through my teary eyes that Anna looked

uncomfortable, like she didn’t know what to do with me.

Then, of course, there's the ripple effect of dating your best friend's ex:

“What made you decide that because you went out with Jeremy last summer, you

have to hate anyone else who goes out with him?” I snapped harshly from across the

Piper looked up, startled, clutching onto her pot and sponge.

“What are you talking about?”

I could tell by her tone, it was about to get ugly.

“Is it just that you want everyone’s attention or is that you still like him?”

“Shut up, Harper. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Maybe it’s that you don’t want to see me happy with Jeremy?”

It’s like I had no control over the words coming from my mouth.

“Are you serious, Harper?” she yelled.

“Are you serious?” I yelled back.

“What the hell is your problem?”

Still wading in the water, I angrily dragged my feet along the sandy floor and

inched closer to her.

“What’s my problem?” I replied bitterly. “Maybe my problem is that I just had

the worst year of my entire life and something good is finally happening to me and you

can’t let me have it.”

“Have what? My ex-boyfriend?” She stomped toward the beach. “I don’t like

Jeremy like that, but that doesn’t make it right for my supposed best friend to like him

one year later.”

“Why, Piper?” I shouted. “Because last time I checked, we’re fifteen, not twenty-

five and by the way, don’t you have your own boyfriend?” I knew that my tone had

crossed the line. I was purposely trying to be rude. I didn’t care about her feelings

anymore. “Remember Mark? The guy you’ve professed your eternal love for? Why does

Jeremy matter to you anyway? You’re the one who kept going on about how you

couldn’t even stand the sight of him.”

Then, against my every intention, I started to cry. It felt like I had hit a brick wall and that

she’d never see my perspective. I never tried to intentionally hurt or betray her.

I dragged myself closer to her. She was standing on top of a large, flat rock on the

“You know what? I’m sick and tired of walking on eggshells around you just because

your brother died. I’m sorry that he killed himself, but that doesn’t give you the right to

ignore the most basic rules of friendship. Life goes on,” she scolded.

But when you're a teenager, just as when you're an adult, friendship really and truly matter. Like that old song goes: make new friends but keep the old, some are silver and the other gold. When it's all said and done, Harper and Piper will be friends forever.

Piper was the last to speak. As she took the pin from Anna’s hand, she said that

sharing just one memory was too hard since we had fifteen years of them. She said I was

the most special friend she’s ever had and that I always would matter what.

Moved by everyone’s unexpected sentiments, I felt a few teardrops seep out of the corner

of my eyes. For once they weren’t sad tears. Piper opened her fist to reveal the pin. It

shined against the light of the fire. I stared down at my new piece of jewelry in her hand.

“Who planned this?” I asked, my voice a little shaky.

“Braydon planned it,” Piper replied, reaching over to gently touch the pin with

her index finger.

“Braydon? What do you mean Braydon planned it?” I whispered. That didn’t

make any sense.

“I mean...Braydon planned this ceremony. Last summer, on the plane ride back

to San Francisco. Remember, I sat next to him? He told me that you deserved your North

Star pin since it would be your last summer as a camper. He said he was given his pin his

last summer as a camper and he wanted the same for you. We all know that you’d live up

here if you could. You embody everything that North Star stands for, Harper. So, on that

plane ride, I promised Braydon we’d plan your ceremony together. But,

was his idea, and we all agreed it was a great one. I was just the one who carried out the

plan,” her voice trailed off.

I brushed my finger over my new pin. I could feel Braydon.

“Thank you,” I whispered, overcome with emotion. “Thank you so much. You

have no idea what this means to me.”

Georgie and Shannon have been friends for 14 years.

 About the Authors:

Georgie Hanlin
Georgie Hanlin grew up in San Francisco. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Scripps College in French and History and spent her Junior Year abroad studying in Paris. Georgie has Master of Arts degree in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.  Her writing has been featured in The New York Times/International Herald TribuneThe Washington PostThe Christian Science Monitor, The San Francisco Chronicle and NPR.  Georgie is a teacher in Mill Valley and lives in San Francisco.

Shannon Swann
Shannon Swann was born in Honolulu, but moved to New Jersey as a child. She has a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, San Francisco in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on Speech Communication. For close to a decade, she worked in the fashion industry for some of most well-known retail giants (GAP, Coach, Reebok) in San Francisco, New York and Boston doing Product Development. She currently owns her own small business, MooseCouture, and resides in Chicago where she is an avid animal rights supporter (PAWS Chicago).

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