Book Tour for Cherokee Summer by Susan Antony

Cherokee Summer
by Susan Antony
Genre: YA Romance
Release Date: January 2019
The Wild Rose Press

Summary:

When Ace leaves home to spend the summer in Cherokee, North Carolina the last thing she expects to find is a boyfriend until she meets Cherokee Tribe member John Spears. As Ace and John’s friendship blossoms, they find their life experiences mirror each other and they fall in love. Despite hurdles thrown by well-meaning family members and jealous frenemies, the star-crossed lovers remain committed to their mutual belief that the universe has drawn them together. However, when Ace sends John a strange text and then suddenly disappears, the two must rely on their trust in each other to save both their lives and their love.

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About the Author

Susan Antony is an IT by day, hip-shaker and writer by night, artist whenever possible, and an internet addict. She lives in the sunny south with her teenage son and two Cairn Terriers.
Author Links: Twitter www.twitter.com/susanantonycs

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SusanAntonyCS/?modal=admin_todo_tour\

Amazon  amazon.com/author/susanantony

Website SusanAntony.com

bookbub  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/susan-antony

YA Bound Book Tours

Book Tour and Author Interview for Lucid by Kristy Fairlamb

Tour Date:

April 24-May 1

(Please note that tour posts must be up by 08:00 hours EST)

Link to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42902280-lucid

Purchase Links:

BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | TBD  

Link to Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-lucid-by-kristy-fairlamb/

Giveaway Details:

  • Mini Cadbury’s English Wicker Hamper
Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js Link to Giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba02fc2a14/?

Lucid (Lucid #1) by Kristy Fairlamb

Publication Date:  April 23, 2019
Publisher:  Lakewater Press

A terrifying power. A horrifying curse. 

Lucy Piper lives a lonely existence on the precipice between life and death. She possesses the horrifying ability to resurrect real-life tragic events in her nightmares, reliving over and over, as if she were there, the last few moments before the victim takes their final breath. Car accidents, drownings, plane crashes – Lucy has seen it all. No one understands what it’s like living death by night and fearing sleep by day.

When Tyler Sims and his family move to town to escape past traumas, Lucy is drawn to him. The two of them are linked through their dreams, and with Tyler’s trust and friendship, hope for a brighter future returns to Lucy’s world. But Tyler’s presence awakens something else in Lucy, and with this new knowledge, she will be forced to make impossible decisions. Decisions that will change history, and the future.

Chilling, haunting and compelling, this novel is the first in a two-part series for fans of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and The Hidden Memory of Objects that will leave you breathless for days.

Author Interview

1. Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?

When I wrote my first book, Lucid, I didn’t know what I was doing, or even if I could write a book. So, I just took it as it came, and it took me a year to write. The following two novels I wrote, the sequel to Lucid and a stand alone, were both written during NaNoWriMo, or at least started, I never finished them within a month, but I came close. I aimed for around 2000 words each day, sometimes getting a bit more, other days falling short. I change my schedule during the first draft writing stage. I wake at 5am and before I’ve even had a coffee, I sit and write. That way, most days, I have a good chunk written before my family wake up.

Editing is less structured, I pretty much fit it in where I can.


2. What gave you the inspiration for your book (and the series)?

I think it all started when I would talk about my dreams with my daughter each morning. And wondering what it’d be like to live with nightmares that were way more serious than anyone else could truly understand? And what if they were more than just nightmares. From that surfaced a character and one thing led to another until eventually LUCID was born.


3. What sort of research did you do for this book?

Not much to begin with. I like to write first, edit later. Eventually my research for this book involved a strange mix of things; what it’s like to die a certain way, concussion, certain medication side effects, causes for a plane to realistically crash, specifics on Queen Victoria, and how Jet is made.
When things got serious, I called in the experts. A doctor friend of mine helped make a particular series of events more believable, and a contact through a writer’s group was an expert on aeroplanes so he came in very handy.


4. Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?

Mostly plotter. I plot out most of the book and create the characters enough that I know who they are and why they might act a certain way. But I get to about ¾ of the way through the plan and then I just want to write. I usually know the ending but not those last scenes that get me there. But this works really well, because as I write, the story often changes, especially as I near the end. This allows me to know what’s going on at the same time as having the freedom to go where the story takes me.


5. Do you prefer a certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?

I like both. Sometimes I accidently write a tonne of words and only when I’m done do I realise it’s been complete silence the whole time. But I do love music too. I have a writing playlist I’ve created on Spotify

It’s a mix of all sorts of songs that I like but have no lyrics.  

6. What book(s) are you reading now?

I’ve just started The Year After You by Nina de Pass. It’s set in a Swiss boarding school and is about a young girl who’s struggling to come to terms with the loss of her friend 9 months earlier. I’m enjoying it so far.
I’m also about half way through A Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzie Lee. I loved A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and couldn’t wait for this one to come out about Monty’s sister.


7. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?

I don’t watch a lot of T.V. but there are certain series that I stop life for. Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and Outlander are my current loves.

And I love going to the movies. I recently saw Five Feet Apart with my daughter. I may have shed a few tears.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristy Fairlamb is an Australian author of the Young Adult Lucid series coming out in 2019.

She spends her days drinking coffee and torturing her characters with loads of tension – both love related and the nail biting kind.

Long before her days of writing began she spent half her childhood in a make believe world; daydreaming about growing up, falling in love, and travelling the world.

She’s worked as a nanny in country England, a junior matron in a boy’s boarding school south of London, a governess in East Timor, and made coffees and cleared tables in the New South Wales snow fields.

She lives with her husband, teenage daughter, and two sons in the beautiful Adelaide Hills where they’re lucky enough to get occasional visits from the local koalas.

She’s terrible at gardening, likes her bookshelves sorted by colour, and recently checked off a lifelong dream of jumping from a plane.

When she’s not writing or daydreaming about her stories you’ll find her reading, cooking for her family, or doing anything to avoid the housework.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • Goodreads

Blog Tour and Author Interview for Tudor Rose by W.H. Doyle

TudorRoseTour

Tudor Rose

In 16th-century England, two teenage best friends find themselves on an exciting journey from the country to the Queen’s court in the hope of being named ladies-in-waiting. But Sybille and Rose soon discover they aren’t the only girls who have their sights set on attending Her Majesty.  The girls must compete against worldly and cunning opponents, among them mean-girl Avis and her entourage of back-stabbing co-horts, tipping the balance in their already-tenuous friendship.

Soon, the grand hall is more like the hallway of a prestigious finishing school, with girls fighting for the attention of a dashing, young earl, amid parties fueled by drinking and indiscriminate dalliances. As the tension between Sybille and Avis heats up, the focus on Rose wanes, allowing her to turn her attention to more important matters – like getting close enough to the Queen to learn her secrets.

But being close to the Queen is not without its challenges. And when rumors of Rose’s influence make their way around the castle, no one, not even the Queen, will be safe.

Buy on Amazon | Barnes and Noble

 Giveaway Info:

 One (1) winner will win a Starbucks Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link to Giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c08c9e8e752/?

Link to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32173384-tudor-rose   

 Purchase Links:

 BAMChaptersIndiesAmazonB&NKoboTBD

 Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-tudor-rose-by-w-h-doyle/

Interview with the Author

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?

I’m a word count guy. If I get caught up in the “scene or two a day” mentality, I can lull myself into a false sense of accomplishment…and that’s an easy way to fall behind deadline, which is something I pride myself on (almost) never doing. You know what I  mean? Say I just wrote a quick scene that’s only a couple paragraphs long…does that get me off the hook for the day? No way. The same is true for page count…when you know all you have to do is get through the next page to meet your quota, your subconscious can step in and start some pretty creative paragraph breaking and tab action. Word count sees through all the tricks.

  1. What gave you the inspiration for your book (and the series)?

When my sister was planning an after prom party with two friends, things went supremely sour and the trio went their separate ways…continuing to plan their own individual parties. Drama ensued, to say the least. I know it feels done and like an 80s movie, but once I combined it with my love all of the things Tudor it seemed to truly crackle. I couldn’t resist.

  1. What sort of research did you do for this book?

Reading, reading, and more reading. I have two shelves filled with books. I also have a friend who’s a college professor, and her area of expertise overlaps with the world of my book. She was an invaluable resource and advisor.  

  1. Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?

Ha! I’m so sad I’ve never heard the term “pantser” till now. Where’s it been all my life? Yes, I’m a bit of both. Of course, I have a picture of what the end might be. But as I’m writing I try not to jam the characters into the scenes…when you do that, you can damage them or misshape them…and no one wants that. I try to be as flexible as I can with this middle story-telling territory and with my image of the ending. All the while keeping my characters/plot on track and staying true to the major dramatic question.

  1. Do you prefer at certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?

Music! I was big into Vivaldi with TUDOR ROSE.

  1. What book(s) are you reading now?

I just finished a Joe Hill book and have started THE DRY by Jane Harper.

  1. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked) recently?

Loved: SEX EDUCATION, BETTER CALL SAUL, and REIGN.

About the Author

W.H. Doyle

Author Bill Doyle was born in Michigan, and wrote his first mystery at the age of eight. He has gone on to write critically acclaimed and bestselling children’s books, including stories of real-life war heroes in “Behind Enemy Lines: True Stories of Amazing Courage”; the pick-your-own-adventure “Worst Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure: Everest”; the historical fiction mystery series Crime Through Time; the Henry & Keats series including “Attack of the Shark-Headed Zombie”; the Scream Team series about Bad News Bears-type monsters playing sports; and soon-to-be released series “The Prizewinners of Piedmont Place.”

Additionally, Bill has served as editor at Sesame Workshop, TIME for Kids and SI Kids. He’s written for LeapFrog, Weekly Reader, Rolling Stone, Comedy Central, National Geographic Kids, and the American Museum of Natural History. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the film school at New York University where he was taught by the likes of Arthur Miller and David Mamet.

Bill lives with two dachshund-headed canines in New York City, and you can visit him online at www.BillDoyleBooks.com.

Website

Chapter-by-Chapter-blog-tour-button

Book Tour for Right Girl, Wrong Timing (Offsides Book Three) by Natalie Decker

Right Girl Wrong Timing by Natalie Decker
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Publisher: Swoon Romance

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Adaline Frost’s life officially sucks. Now that her BFF has found her true love, Addy is constantly stuck being the third wheel. On top of that, she hasn’t started her junior project yet, so her advisor pairs her up with what could only be described as the “Reject Breakfast Club.” Instead of the weirdo and the troublemaker, Addy is forced to work with two stoners, a popular girl, and her crush, Austin Reed, the jock who broke her heart.
Austin Reed is sick of being labeled “dumb jock.” If he doesn’t get an A on this project, he can kiss his future goodbye. Austin thought he’d gotten lucky being partners with the very nerdy Adaline Frost, but boy was he wrong. Addy jumps down his throat about his being late and calls him names like “manwhore” on the daily. She has no idea Austin works before and after school in order to help his mom with the bills. Yeah, he’s made mistakes and has had lots of girlfriends, but he doesn’t need Adaline Frost to remind him of it every time he sees her.
Can Austin and Addy ever be a thing?
Right Girl Wrong Timing is book 3 in the Offsides series by Natalie Decker.

Link to Goodreads:

Purchase Links:

BAM | Indies | Amazon | TBD

About the Author

natalie-decker-230x300Natalie Decker is the Author of Rival Love. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn’t her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She’s a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she’s not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she’s off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

Giveaway

One winner will receive a Starbucks gift card.

Link to giveaway

 

Blog Tour for End of the Lie by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

eotltour

Link to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43054965-end-of-the-lie  

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Link to Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-end-of-the-lie-by-diana-rodriguez-wallach/  

end-of-the-lie-by-diana-rodriguez-wallach

End of the Lie (Anastasia Phoenix #3) by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Publication Date: March 4, 2019

Publisher: Entangled Teen

With her harrowing tale of espionage and near death experiences finally out in the open, Anastasia Phoenix thought things would be better. That she and her friends had outsmarted Department D, the criminal empire her parents helped create.

She thought wrong.

Former friends have turned to enemies, causing more innocent lives to get swept up into the dangerous world her parents created. Now it’s up to Anastasia to stop the damage before anyone else gets hurt—or worse. She embarks on a treacherous trail from Poland to Prague, and old rivals emerge at every turn. But when the final confrontation occurs, will she be too late to protect the ones she loves… or even herself?

Excerpt

KEIRA IRENE PHOENIX [Looking directly into the camera. Footage released by Phillip Stone Media, Inc.]

“Hi. My name is Keira Phoenix, and I am the daughter of international criminals. In May, I was kidnapped by a man named Craig Bernard who, at the time, I thought was my boyfriend. We had met weeks before at a bar in Boston. The anniversary of my parents’ death had just passed, so I was upset when he showed up, acting nice. [She scoffs, rolling her eyes.] I invited him to a party I was hosting, then later that night he drugged me and took me from my home.

“I don’t remember the abduction—one minute I was in my bed, the next I’m waking up on an airplane, my head pounding and my hands bound together with plastic cable ties. [She rubs her wrists.] I was held captive in Italy for months, by armed guards, and I had no idea why. Eventually, I learned that Craig Bernard and all of the men involved in my kidnapping used to work for my parents. Only not as engineers for the Dresden Chemical Corporation. They were spies. All of them, especially my mom and dad. It turns out that my parents, along with Randolph Urban, CEO of Dresden, conspired to create a criminal enterprise known as Department D, which stretches back long before I was born. We have photographic proof that my parents were involved in the assassination of Italy’s Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978, and we have a journal, in my father’s handwriting, and eyewitness testimony that proves he was involved in the fake terrorist plot that defamed nearly a half dozen Islamic women in London two years ago along with the reporter who covered the story, Julian Stone.

“I believe I was taken by enemies of my parents as payback for their past criminal activity. Evidence of my time in captivity is undeniable. [For the camera, Phoenix holds up a proof of life photo with a church bulletin, and a posed photo of her body in the trunk of a car.] I was rescued by my sister, Anastasia, and her friends, who acted alone, because the Boston P.D. refused to listen to them, for reasons none of us understand. After my rescue, my sister, her friends, and I made statements to Italian law enforcement and the CIA, and I was instructed to stay in hiding for my own protection. But I was never safe. No one around us is safe. Tyson Westbrook, a seventeen-year-old friend of my sister’s, was murdered recently as a way to get to us, to lure me and Anastasia out of hiding. When that didn’t work, when we continued to fight, these people poisoned one us—Marcus Rey, son of Dresden executives Carlos and Rosario Rey.

“They’re picking us off one by one, and we don’t know how high up the corruption goes. Our parents were hired by world leaders to create propaganda for decades. Now these same people are covering up their crimes against us—including kidnapping, poisoning, and murder. They’re trying to silence us, take us out, and prevent us from exposing the truth behind Department D and its shell corporation, Dresden Chemical.

“We won’t stay silent anymore.

“We won’t stay in hiding.

“And we won’t trust law enforcement to act on our behalf.

“That’s why I’m coming forward now. I’m telling my story, in my own words. I need the world to know what’s going on, so hopefully no one else gets hurt.

“I’ve learned a lot about my parents recently, and you will, too, over the coming weeks. They did a lot of bad things. I know that. And they might even still be alive. [She cocks her head.] I’ve heard the rumors, like you, but I swear, if they are, I haven’t seen them.

“However, I am certain that the only way my sister and I will ever be safe is if we bring down the Dresden Chemical Corporation and its corrupt underbelly, Department D. We need to take back our lives and stop paying for crimes we didn’t commit.

“My name is Keira Phoenix and I survived Department D. But will you?”

Other Books in the Series

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Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/series/168771

About the Author

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Diana Rodriguez Wallach is the author of the Anastasia Phoenix series, three YA spy thrillers set to debut beginning in March 2017 (Entangled Publishing). She is also the author of three award-winning young adult novels: Amor and Summer Secrets, Amigas and School Scandals, and Adios to All The Drama (Kensington Books); as well as a YA short-story collection based on the Narcissus myth, entitled Mirror, Mirror (Buzz Books, 2013). In 2011, she published a highly regarded essay in Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperCollins). It was the only essay chosen from the anthology by Scholastic to be used in its classroom materials. Diana is featured in the anthology, Latina Authors and Their Muses (Twilight Times Books, 2015), and she is currently on staff as a featured blogger for Quirk Books. In 2010 Diana was named one of the Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch by LatinoStories.com, and she placed second in the International Latino Book Awards. She is an advisory board member for the Philly Spells Writing Center, and is a Creative Writing instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia.

Website • Twitter •  Instagram • Goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-blog-tour-button

Book Tour and Author Interview for King Beatrice by Evangeline


King Beatrice

By Evangeline

Genre: Mature YA Fiction, Coming-to-age

 

About the Book

 

KING BEATRICE is a coming-to-age novella that’s after your heart!

 

Alex is a young boy interested in his experiments, his dog, family, and little else. He lives a life of seclusion until the day his dog leads him on a wild goose chase through the forest and he comes across Beatrice, a crazy girl with leaves in her hair and the fierce belief that she is a king.

 

After many attempts of trying to avoid Beatrice, Alex realizes he’s stuck with her. As the years continue and a true friendship grows, he finds that perhaps she isn’t so bad, even if she constantly bests him in their duels. But life isn’t so simple, as the real world—a world of bullies and death and temptation—invades their make-believe, will it be too much for Beatrice? Will Alex make it to her in time?

Author Interview

1. What is your writing process? Do you aim for a word count daily or maybe just a scene? 

I made a goal to write for at least 30 minutes a day. It was good to start small because I usually sat down with that 30-minute interval in mind, but then ended up writing for much longer (didn’t help my sleep schedule some days, but I wrote the book)! When I have trouble with writer’s block, though, I skip to scenes that thrill me. Sometimes I’ll have parts of the beginning and end written, but absolute zilch in the middle.

2. What sort of research did you do for this book? 
I did some science research for Alex. That short scene with them building the rocket all came from hours of reading so I wouldn’t get anything wrong! I also took A LOT of time researching drugs and the particular drug Beatrice chose to know how it would affect her. 
3. What are you working on now? Any chance of a sequel? 
I’m working on an anthology right now. It’s a whole lot of beautiful, deep poems paired with photography and it’s been a lot of fun! 

Unfortunately, King Beatrice ends with “And you were mine”. I hope readers all see a different and amazing future of their own for Alex and Beatrice! I’ve loved hearing people’s different takes on how the story would continue.

4. How did you come up for the idea of your book? 

I don’t remember when I first scribbled down the original plot; it was so many years ago. However, I remember when I first started writing. I was sitting in a park on a perfectly warm day, the sun was going down, and I was watching people play with their dogs, families running around, and the sun reflecting off the Austin skyline. I had such a good feeling swelling in my chest that I wanted to incorporate into the book. Next thing I knew, I was scribbling down the first chapter!

5. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently? 

 Oddly enough, I’ve become completely obsessed with this Japanese reality TV show called Terrace House (thank you Netflix!). It’s been a little while, but the last movie I saw in theaters was Crimes of Grindelwald. I am loving this new wizarding world! And can we talk about those graphics? Wow!

About the Author

Evangeline was a hyper-active child and was forced outside to give her family a 5-minute break which helped water her already wild imagination. You can find her kayaking on the river in Austin, Tx, gazing at a bottle of White Zinfandel, or studying, but mostly keeping herself busy and in desperate need of a nap. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/booksevangeline/

Twitter: https://bit.ly/2zI2mMx

Instagram: https://bit.ly/2QBXkeh

 

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2SnVoDi

On Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2UgyboG

B&N: https://bit.ly/2QxW6kh

 Excerpt: Chapter One

  

 

Phantasmagoria

 

(n.) a shifting series of phantasms, illusions, or deceptive appearances, as in a dream or as created by the imagination

 

                                                                                                                                                            

            You’ll find yourself surrounded by the unlikeliest of people.

            The boy, Alex, thought he had heard that somewhere before.

            You’ll need who you least expect.

            What a load of garbage. Alex glared at the television screen, or, more accurately, through the screen, past the actors, around the set, and straight to the directors and writers who oversaw the romanticization of that trash. He should have changed the channel an episode ago when he first stumbled upon the show, yet the poor boy found himself staring at the screen as if he were witnessing a car wreck.

            Lilian, the gorgeous teen who was made “nerdy” by sticking on a pair of thick glasses, was too smart for her new adventurous and, as far as Alex was concerned, annoying band of misfits this character decided to call friends. It was all to get back at her parents, which seemed incredibly irrational considering Lillian apparently had a 4.0 GPA, suggesting that she had some sort of notable intelligence. But what did Alex know? He was only twelve and on his second episode.

            It caused physical discomfort to the boy watching as Lillian got herself into all sorts of trouble, but he continued to follow her story, muttering I-told-you-so’s under his breath every twenty minutes. She should have stuck to solitude, Alex thought with an exaggerated sigh. Look at what those idiots got you into this time. . .

            “Alex. Alex, honey?” The boy’s mother, Marianne,looked down at her son and pursed her lips. She hated when he slipped into a daze, utterly oblivious to all around him as he focused so intently on the television. “Alex,” Marianne repeated, and finally, he turned and faced her, his face showing a puzzled expression. “Honey, the summer is almost over.”

            “I know.” He frowned and stared out the window. It was almost the end of summer and she wanted him to go outside, but he wished to stay inside where it was cool, quiet, and far from everyone else.

            “Why don’t you go outside? Find some friends? Mm?” 

            Friends. He almost laughed. Alex didn’t want friends. What he wanted was peace and that was certainly not what he got his first year of middle school. Alex hadn’t the faintest idea as to why his mother found the prospect of him attaining friends so enticing. 

            “The ladies from church are coming today. You can stay and have tea with us or . . .”

            His eyes grew wide. 

            It was Sunday afternoon and the old ladies always came on Sunday at four o’clock. They smelled like stale perfume and raisins, and they never missed an opportunity to pinch his cheeks and tell him how handsome he was becoming.

            “I’ll go,” he said quickly, turning off the television and heading for the door. He called for the dog who came gallivanting with a wide, silly grin on his face.

            “Be back before dark!” his mother called, though she had no doubt that her son would be home long before then.

            Grimacing, he closed the door behind him and clasped the leash onto Rex’s collar. Eternally grateful, the yellow lab barked. There was nothing Rex loved more than a walk with Alex, even if it was in the blazing summer heat.

            “Come on.” Alex didn’t have to pull very hard on the leash to get Rex to go. Alex took the same route every walk, so the dog already knew the path as well as he knew his own home. “You’re more excited than I am.”

            Alex had never cared much for the outdoors; there were always too many people, and talkative people at that, especially whenever he dragged Rex along, and it was always too hot or too cold. But if he ever did have to go outside, Alex preferred it to be because he was walking Rex, his only friend.

            They stopped at an intersection with shade where Alex took the opportunity to wipe the sweat from his forehead. To the left was the route they always took. It went into more residential housing and there was a shortcut to get home sooner should they both tire of the walk early, which Alex was already planning on taking. To the right was a way he’d never traveled.