About the book:Twenty-three-year-old Karlie is in the type of rut some people never escape from. With few friends, no boyfriend, and no plans to graduate from college any time in the immediate future, Karlie is as stuck in her ways as the elderly neighbor she spends all her time with.
When her world is invaded by two surly twins bound for criminal court, a too-good-to-be-true love interest, and a cute cop who keeps showing up at the most inopportune moments, Karlie can either fight against the changes in her life, or embrace them.
Excerpt from Better Than PerfectThe sun is coming up before I finally crash into sleep. When the ringing of the telephone startles me into a sitting position, I struggle for a moment to remember where I am. Three, four, five times, the phone rings, a noise from the past, from a time before cell phones all but obliterated the need for a land line.
Who’s calling this early? How early is it? Maybe it’s the hospital. Oh, my God! Maybe it’s Sharron. I bolt from the sofa. My feet tangle in the blanket, nearly sending me crashing face first into the coffee table. I right myself and skitter to the kitchen, yanking the olive-colored plastic handset from the wall phone. “Hello,” I gasp breathlessly.
“Karlie, honey? Everything okay?”
“Hi, Marita. Everything’s fine,” I lie. “How are you feeling?”
“I’m a little weak, but I’m feeling better. Just worried about my boys. Are they awake yet? Are you coming over to the hospital?”
The clock on the microwave blinks 9:35. I’d overslept and missed my Colonial Lit class. Two days in a row of missed classes. Way to go, Karlie.
“I’ll get them up soon and we’ll be over after breakfast. Have you seen the doctor yet? What’s going on?”
“Doctor Evans was here this morning and wants to run some more tests. I’m supposed to see a heart doctor this afternoon. Tomorrow morning, I’m having an EEG. They think I might have had a small stroke last night...”
My head begins to pound. Tomorrow morning? What does that mean? “When are you coming home?” I ask, interrupting her list of tests and medications.
“That’s one of the things I need to talk to you about,” she replies sounding tremulous. “The doctor said I’ll be here for at least a couple of days. I can’t impose upon you to watch the boys that long. You’ve got a life to live—a job, and school...” she trails off, hesitating. “Have you been able to get in touch with Sharron?”
“Not yet. Her phone isn’t working, but I’ll keep trying.” Then trying to sound casual and non-judgmental, I ask, “When is the last time you talked to her?”
“Hmmm, let’s see. I talked to her when I picked the boys up from the airport. Did I talk to her after that? No. Yes. I might have talked to her once, but it was a while ago.”
Oh my God. Sharron has disappeared off the face of the earth and I’m going to be stuck with the boys forever.
I hyperventilate just thinking about what I’ll do if I have to deal with those twins another day, much less another week...or more. Even if Marita gets out of the hospital tomorrow, that still leaves today to worry about. I’ve already missed two days of school, including today, so I can’t miss any more.
There has to be someone to take these demon children off my hands, but who? Darla? She has a sick husband to care for and isn’t in the best of health. She probably isn’t the best option, but what choice do I have? It’s not like the boys are babies. They’re practically grown. Of course, with the visits from the police and their tendencies to wander off, they probably need more looking after than toddlers.
“Karlie, are you still there?”
“Yes ma’am. Sorry. What were you saying?”
“Darla promised to stop by today before chemo. She said she would take the boys if she was able, but she can’t because she’s having a procedure done on Friday. I was supposed to help her, but now it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to.”
“Well, that can’t be helped,” I say instinctively trying to soothe her while still worrying about my own difficult position.
“Keep trying to get in touch with Sharron.”
“I will. I asked the boys if they could think of any other numbers where she could be reached, but they weren’t any help. I’ll keep trying, though. She’s bound to call to check on the boys eventually.”
“Of course.” She doesn’t sound very sure. I can’t blame her for doubting her daughter. What sort of parent doesn’t call to check on her kids? What kind of parent doesn’t make sure the person responsible for her children has an emergency number? If something happens to one of the boys...
No. I can’t let myself think about that. I have to think positive. In all likelihood, Marita will get out of the hospital in a day or two. Things will be back to normal before too long. How hard can it be to take care of two fourteen-year-old boys? I just have to sit them down and reason with them.
“The boys and I will be there soon,” I assure her. “Do you need anything?”
She rattles off a list of personal items before I hang up. Hopefully she won’t be in the hospital long enough to use all the things she’d asked for. I try calling Sharron’s number again and nearly cry in frustration. Where the heck is she?
My heavy, tired feet trudge up the stairs and down the hallway to the boys’ room. I knock several times before a disheveled twin opens the door.
“Do you want to go see your grandma?”
“In an hour.”
“So am I,” I snap. “I’ll make breakfast.”
“We’ll get ready.”
Food is a useful bargaining tool with the twins, I’ve realized. I’ll have to remember to use their stomachs against them in the future. I go back downstairs and sort through the fridge, pulling out a few items for breakfast. The smell of frying bacon and eggs fills the kitchen and it isn’t long before the boys shuffle down the stairs. They look like zombies—stiff arms, uneven gait, a look of mindless hunger on their faces.
While they feed, I run across the yard to my own house. I’ve never been so happy to see it in my life. I revel in a warm bath and get lost in luxurious, sudsy solitude until my guilt reminds me it’s time to get moving. Marita is waiting.
Other books by Tricia:
The Alexanders have always kept their secrets hidden...When sixteen-year-old Jace Alexander moves to the small town of Oaktree, Georgia, he attracts the attention of every girl in school. Shy, introverted Alisa Cole immediately casts Jace in the leading role of her latest fantasy, but she assumes he'll never return her interest. After she saves Jace from a Hunter, everything changes. Her accidental discovery of Jace's secret propels her into a world of magic and danger. Alisa's newfound courage is put to the test when Jace introduces her to his intimidating older brother, Bryce, and she decides she would rather battle a Hunter than endure another moment under Bryce's intense scrutiny. Jace and Bryce aren't the only ones with secrets... Rachel Stevens is the girl who has it all. She's beautiful, popular, and in possession of an ancient power which endangers not only her, but those sent to protect her. Jace is drawn to Rachel-and he isn't the only one. The Demon Re'Vel will do anything to claim her-even if it means waging a war with the entire Alexander family. As layers of secrets are peeled away, revealing the truth of her heritage and her family's betrayal, Rachel struggles to resist an immortal suitor who stalks her in her dreams. With the Alexanders fighting to protect her, can Rachel escape the power of the Demon and his Claiming Words?
Alex's survival depends upon her ability to lock memories of her troubled childhood deep inside her mind, but an unhealthy relationship with Sean causes dark visions of her past to rise to the surface. Sean's obsession and Alex's complacency collide, resulting in tragedy.
Together, Sean and Alex live in a hell of their own making. One will escape at the expense of the other. Both will discover why Dante chose to condemn the Wrathful and the Sullen in the Fifth Circle of Hell.
Abby has always been fascinated by the paranormal, but after an ill-fated séance, she discovers not all Spirits are benign. A dark entity unleashed during the summoning sets out to destroy Abby, and within days, she loses her best friend, incurs the wrath of her parents, and becomes a prisoner in her own home. With time quickly running out, she assembles an unlikely group of helpers: the most hated guy in school, a retired psychic, and the cute clerk from her favorite bookstore. Unless the demon is defeated, Abby and her new baby brother won’t stand a chance.
The Séance, a Dark Summons Novel, is a full-length Paranormal book for teens and young adults. Join Abby as she navigates the complexities of ninth grade, tackles the supernatural, and even finds a bit of romance along the way.
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