Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.
-by Mary Shelley. Born 30 August 1797, died 1 February 1851
Time and again I get asked regarding the preparations I did when I took the dreaded University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) twenty years ago (goodness, had it been that long already?). The answer is: nothing much, really. I followed the instructions and showed up and that’s it.
1) I had a checklist. I made sure I had my:
i) test permit and my school ID. I would not have made it inside the testing room if I didn’t have these;
ii) erasers, sharpeners, pencils. Notice these are in plural. I made sure to bring more than what I needed. I didn’t want to risk sharpening my pencil when I could have been actually answering the exam itself. That, and I thought I should have an extra set in case some examinee needed them;
iii) snacks, water, and juices in tetra pack, and a sweatshirt just in case the venue is air-conditioned.
Because I’m absent-minded and highly likely to miss important stuff, I asked my sister to pack these things for me. She double checked it the night before we left the island for the exam and I did, too, the night before the exam.
Call me obsessive but these are exam tools. They are important.
2) Scour the exam area.
The day before the exam, my best friend Mhy and I left our island (in Alabat) and traveled to the capital of Quezon Province, Lucena, the exam venue.
When we arrived in Lucena, we settled at her aunt’s house first. Ate, dumped our luggage, and ran outside to look for the school where we’d be taking the exam. Well, not really ran, ran. But we wandered through town. Our exam was scheduled in twelve noon the next day, but did we really want to spend our morning under the blazing sun looking for the school?
And this is where we had our adventure. Mhy and I both didn’t want to ask for directions so I suggested: Maybe we should follow that student, see where she’s going. Which is, of course, a stupid suggestion because the student was going home. We noticed we were retracing our steps back to where we came from. Lol. 😀
We ended up asking for directions. We asked several people for good measure (just to make sure we were pointed to the right school) and we took note of the landmarks, the signboard on the jeepney, etc. etc. Once in school, we searched for the classroom where we’d be taking the exam.
3) Sleep. Rest.
Don’t review. Sleep instead.
Yes, we missed a day in school so we could have a decent sleep. It was a wise decision.
We already decided we’d be taking the exam, why not go the distance? Missing a day in school is nothing. Resting is part of the preparation.
We could have left the island the day of the exam itself but did we really want to do the two-hour travel (one hour by sea, the sea is rough during this time of year making for a nauseous and unpleasant travel), and then look for the venue, and THEN take the exam all on the same day?
Possible. Doable. But by then, I’d have been tired and grumpy and smelly and possibly suffering from an extreme headache.
4) Show up.
Ahead of time, and with full stomach if I may add (my father said examinees tend to concentrate and perform better compared to students who have a full stomach but the pangs of hunger never failed to distract me. To each his own, I guess). It won’t do if you arrived late and miss half the test, would it? Also, in your most comfortable (but appropriate) clothes.
I think Mhy and I arrived early enough to take the first batch of exam. I couldn’t exactly remember what we did anymore while waiting but I remember us talking a bit. We also did people watching, observing the students who arrived complete with their entire family.
5) Focus, keep calm, take the test, and eat your snacks.
I took the test as calmly as I would with any of my periodical tests.
To be fair, at the time, I had been in the dark. Had I known I was taking the purported “hardest” entrance exam in the country that made examinees vomit, faint, and goodness knows what else, I might have been vomiting alongside the others instead of eating while answering the questions. AND I would be committing mistakes while I was at it. Yep, I did this during quiz bees every goddamned time. I’ve been known to giving the wrong answers to easy questions because I was nervous, panicking, second-guessing myself, and could not concentrate.
Focus and you’ll realize you know the answers all along. In my case, the first answer that came to mind is always the correct one. I don’t also check the choices unless I already have the answer at the ready. I read the question first, answer it, and then search for my answer among the choices.
Don’t agonize over an unanswered question. I skip it and return to it once done with the rest.
This should not be said, but I’m saying it anyway. Yes, eat, but be inconspicuous about it. No need to let the entire room know you are eating. Be mindful of any ripping sound the wrapper of your food might make, or any cracking sound the food itself might make. Be mindful of the odor it will give off.
My sister packed me biscuits and chocolate raisins. I ate the chocolate raisins and drank my fruit juice. 🙂
We didn’t have mobile phones in our time. Now everyone has it. It goes without saying this one should be turned off.
6) Double-check answers.
Done answering the English test? Then you have extra time. Check your answers. Check the pages. Maybe you missed to answer a page or two? Yes, this has been known to happen, too.
In our school, only two of us passed the UPCAT and then I was offered a scholarship [offered only to seventeen other students that year. The scholarship exam (an entirely different story), harder than the UPCAT by the way, I took when I was only in third year].
No, I didn’t review before taking the UPCAT. The things above were the only preparations I made, but then again, being a reader since I was four helped me breeze through the exams. Oh, and having a father who did academic lectures at the lunch and dinner table daily helped a lot, too. Lol. 🙂 Actually listening to the teachers and reading my textbooks didn’t hurt as well. Some of the questions were lifted from our textbooks (I came from a public school).
Trying to cram information a month or a week before or a night before won’t help.
Good luck, UPCAT takers! ❤ When you think about it, everything you’ve done in school has prepared you for this and those are years and years of preparation, isn’t it? ❤ So be confident, it will go a long way! 🙂
Title: Surrender to the Chase
Author: Amanda J. Greene
Genre: Paranormal Romance
A year after the tragic death of his close friend and fellow assassin, Ethan Halstead is ready to take up his sniper rifle once more. But his first assignment is nothing he ever expected. Ethan must hunt and retrieve a beautiful, spirited, alluring werewolf.
Knowing no other way to escape an arranged marriage, Fraya flees from her pack. As she contemplates slipping across the border and heading to South America, she is captured by a dangerously seductive vampire who plans on escorting her back to her family. Even as Fraya vows to make Ethan’s mission as difficult as possible, she can’t resist the riotous desire he sparks within her.
But Ethan isn’t the only predator that peruses Fraya. A powerful rival pack’s alpha wants to make her his mate. Will Ethan be able to keep Fraya safe and return her to her pack? Or will he surrender to temptation and claim Fraya as his own?
Amanda J. Greene is a paranormal romance author. When she is not writing, she can be found playing the role of a university student who also works full time. She lives in Southern California with her very supportive husband and their two dogs, a sweet cocker spaniel and a rambunctious blackmouth cur mix. Doing all the above and being a military wife is not easy, but rewarding! Of course, she accomplishes everything with a strong cup of coffee in her hand.
All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-surrendertothechase-1815051-348.html
Lightning splintered the sky. Thunder shook the earth beneath his feet. Damp heat thickened the air. Any moment, the winds would kick up and the red hued clouds would release a torrent of rain.
Ethan loved summer storms and treasured Arizona for its monsoon season. It was only during the madness of the storm that he found peace. In those rare, precious moments, the world reflected the chaos that roiled inside him and he felt… as if he belonged.
Closing his eyes, he took in a deep breath and savored the soothing scent of the desert. To his disappointment, he would not be able to appreciate the beauty of nature’s fury. Clearing his mind, Ethan unleashed his senses. His mark was close. He could feel her. Crossing the street, he headed for the quaint coffee shop he frequently sped past. She was here, which meant he could call an end to this pointless job.
Ethan was an assassin, not a damn babysitter. He was an expert tracker and sniper, yet the Under Realm Syndicate had him chasing after a spoiled little she-wolf. He had been tasked with fetching the runaway and returning her to her pack – a complete waste of his time and talents. He couldn’t believe he had let Cole talk him into this. The fact was this case should’ve never made the list. Why the Syndicate decided to get involved was beyond his understanding. This wasn’t a kidnapping or a hostage situation. The female wasn’t a criminal. She wasn’t a threat to the human world or Under Realm society.
His annoyed growl blended with the booming thunder. Cole had insisted Ethan accept this assignment, “You should be grateful the Syndicate is willing to give you a second chance. You’ve been out of practice.”
Who could argue with that logic? Ethan had been off the map for a year. Most within the Syndicate believed he had been killed on his last mission.
I should have been. Shaking his head, he dispelled the thought. He refused to take sober trips down memory lane. He needed to focus on his task.
The aroma of freshly ground coffee was overwhelming. Ethan reigned in his supernatural senses as he stepped inside the shop. The door closed and the torrential rain began to fall. He did a quick, nonchalant sweep of the café, careful not to meet anyone’s gaze. Eye contact encouraged conversation, and he was here on business not pleasure. He would grab the werewolf, take her back home, and detain her until he could make arrangements with her father. Simple.
Ethan walked to the counter. After the blonde and brunette baristas finished arguing over who would help him, he ordered and received a black coffee. The cup had both girl’s names and numbers written on it. He thanked them with a smile. They batted their lashes and insisted he stop by a college party later that night.
Ethan’s shoulders shook with a light laugh. Naïve mortals.
Turning, he headed up the winding iron staircase that led to the second floor loft area. The walls were made almost entirely of glass, providing a glorious view of the storm. Students sat at the tables working on their laptops while groups lounged on the sofas discussing the world of social media.
The delicate scent of wildflowers drifted through the air, drawing his sharp gaze to the far corner. There was nothing remarkable about her presence. She appeared to fit in perfectly with the scene, as if she were just another co-ed. She wore a pair of skinny jeans and a crimson sweatshirt. She sat with her feet tucked under her crisscrossed. Leaning over the table, her long dark brown hair tumbled forward, blocking his view of her face. Ethan noted the worn, tattered condition of the book she read. Her frame was small. She seemed fragile, but he knew better. She was strong, fast, and intelligent. His mark appeared to be ‘normal’ by human standards, but she was the wolf he was looking for.
Hoping everything would go smoothly, he advanced. This was a delicate situation. The female could freak out on him. She could cause a scene, and he loathed drama just as much as he loathed this particular job. It was not a search and rescue mission. No, it was a track-down-a-spoiled-brat-and-take-her-home mission. A simpleton could do it. Why it had to be done was beyond him. At twenty-four, she was an adult. She had a degree in biology and was a werewolf; she was more than capable of taking care of herself.
Who cares? Grab the girl and go.
Ethan quickly reminded himself of the two basic rules: never become personally involved with your mark and strike first, ask questions later – if you cared about asking question at all.
As he approached the woman, he felt a slight tremor in the air. A warning? A threat? Someone was watching them. He set his senses loose once more, scanning the café for the source of the violent energy, but it had vanished just as quickly as it had arrived.
The girl must have felt the glimmer of danger. Her gaze snapped up and met his. Her warm, honey colored eyes were round with surprise. Her tempting red lips parted with a silent gasp. Ethan froze. She was… more than beautiful.
She blinked up at him. Her gaze innocently seductive, her mouth violently tempting, and her wild flower scent was overwhelming. His body reacted instantly. It had been years since he’d felt such a strong, instant attraction.
He watched her lick her lips; lust shot through him like a lightning strike. Oh, yes. The wolf was alluring and, to his surprise, he was disappointed that she was his mark.
“Hi,” she said with a nervous lilt to her voice.
Ethan mentally shook himself and crossed over to stand at the chair opposite her. “Hi,” he replied.
Thunder rumbled; the force shook the glass walls. The girl flinched and her gaze fell from his. For a soundless moment, she sat with her hands clasped in her lap, her head tilted down. The mortals gasped and laughed as another boom shook the windows.
“You may sit,” she said, her voice low, barely audible.
Ethan could smell the fear that sparked within her. Was she frightened of the storm, or what possibly lurked outside? An overwhelming sense of protectiveness settled over him and he frowned. He didn’t like it. He wasn’t the protective type. He was a killer not a savior.
Focus and get this over with.
“Not a fan of thunderstorms?” he asked as he claimed the chair.
She straightened and fixed her gaze on him once more. Her expression was bland, her cute stubborn chin titled up, her shoulders back. She looked regal and refined. Every bit the aristocrat she was.
“I’m accustomed to snow storms.”
“Really? Where are you from?”
“Minnesota,” she answered with a hint of hesitation.
He smiled and was shocked he didn’t have to fake it. “You’re a long way from home.”
She shrugged and returned her attention to her book.
Ethan took a sip of the surprisingly good coffee and relaxed in his seat. He picked up a golf magazine, which rested on the table beside them, and began flipping through the pages. He wasn’t at all interested in golf. Being a vampire, he preferred keeping out of the sun. Although, contrary to popular lore, he wouldn’t burst into flame or turn to ash. He could work on his tan, he just preferred not to.
He casually glanced over at the werewolf and inwardly groaned. She was reading a list of the top ten hot spots in Chile. It appeared she was interested in sunbathing and he couldn’t stop the image of her in a bikini from cropping up in his mind even if he’d wanted to. And he certainly did not want to erase the image.
She sighed, closed the book, and tucked it away in her backpack, which hung off the back of her chair. She took up her latte and settled her gaze on him. Her lips turned up with a sweet smile.
“You don’t strike me as the golfing type.”
He raised a brow and tossed the magazine down on the table between them. “No?”
She shook her head, her long dark curls waving around her shoulders. “Not at all. You look like you’d rather go to a shooting range than work on your golf swing.”
Ethan couldn’t argue with that. He’d had his basement converted into an indoor gun range.
“Very observant,” he said. “What about you? What’s your hobby?”
She bit her bottom lip as she contemplated. Ethan wanted to bite it for her. “Traveling. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. You know, see the world, and experience different cultures.”
“Is that what your trip to Arizona is all about?” he asked.
“More or less,” she answered with a shrug.
“Well, South America is beautiful.”
Her eyes grew wide. She leaned forward, placing her hands on the table. Excitement laced her voice, “You’ve been?”
Ethan shifted closer and reached for her hand. The air trembled with another flicker of danger just before the lights went out. Darkness flooded the café.
His mark shoved away from the table, snatched her backpack, and darted toward the stairs. Ethan was right behind her. The mortals grumbled complaints, some laughed, while others stumbled through the dark.
She was about to reach the exit when the door flew open, crashing against the wall. Humans screamed and shouted in alarm. The girl froze, and Ethan cursed. Clearly, he hadn’t been the only one searching for her. He could sense the alpha’s presence and, judging by his target’s reaction, so could she.
Ethan grabbed her wrist. She swung around. Her fist raised, her honey colored eyes glowed, and her fangs bared. Shadows of a wolf’s fierce visage flickered over the fine features of her face. Her fierce growl vibrated her entire body. Ethan ignored the warning and tugged on her arm, pulling her toward the emergency exit at the back of the coffee shop.
He pushed the door open. His mark tried to twist free of his hold, but he held her firm.
“Let go of me,” she demanded, her voice roughened by her partial transformation.
“Not a chance, sweetheart.”
She growled and fought harder. He wasn’t surprised by her strength and knew she was still holding back. So was he.
Pushing her now soaked and tangled hair from her face, she snarled, “What’s going on?”
“I thought it was obvious,” he said.
“That you’re attempting to kidnap me?”
Ethan shook his head. “No. That you have an alpha hunting your ass.”
Her stare was one of confusion, awe, and horror. She stopped, and he paused. Literally dragging her across the street would draw unwanted attention. He reluctantly released her wrist. She was soft and warm while he was hard and cold. A frown creased his brow when the sharp sense of loss pricked his long dead heart. On some level, he’d enjoyed the feel of her.
She blinked up at him. Her large, honey eyes sparkled with fear. “W-what did you say?”
His chest rose and fell with a heavy sigh. “I’ll explain. For now, come with me.”
She shook her head.
Ethan glanced over his shoulder, scanning the parking lot for any sign of the alpha. He could sense the wolf was close.
“We don’t have much time. We need to go.”
The woman fell back a step and Ethan’s body tensed. His instincts flared. She retreated another step. Would she run? A part of him wished she would. He loved the chase. The hunt. His heart began to pound, his pupils dilated, and his fangs began to sharpen, all in anticipation.
“Don’t,” he warned.
About the Book
Author: Cherrie Mack
Genre: Romance / Fantasy
When Prince Charming comes looking for the woman who stole his heart at a Manhattan shoe store, he instead finds her stepsister, Allie. Allie doesn’t leave the best impression with the handsome Zach Brady, who quickly dismisses her as the maid. But an unusual fairy godmother with bulging biceps, long hair, and a cool demeanor has plans for her. Can Allie keep herself from falling for the wrong man and convince him to help her snag Zach? This duo quickly learns that sometimes if the shoe fits, the pair could be all wrong.
Cherrie Mack is a multi-published romance author who grew up in Flushing Queens NY, the youngest child of six. The city’s diversity gave her a great appreciation for many different cultures and lifestyles. After love finally claimed the girl from the city and dragged her to the suburban madness of Long Island, she settled into a quiet life with her new husband. Two children and one mini-van later, the family found themselves moving towards the sunny skies of Florida where they currently reside.
Cherrie is happiest sitting behind a keyboard doing the one thing she loves most—writing. However, when she isn’t writing, she is struggling to man her website, promote her books, keep up with social media and run a household. She loves to hang out with her 12 and 10 year old kids and spend time with her smart, sexy, fun loving husband. She struggles to master the art of meditation but with so many people living inside her head, demanding a story of their own, the task is daunting. She takes time to relax by playing with her best friends–Bailey and Simba.
Cherrie continues to flourish, writing contemporary erotic romance, romantic comedy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance and her latest venture into sci-fi. Her ability to cross genre’s fuels her imagination and gives her the desire to continue to push her boundaries and branch out as a writer. Although she hasn’t settled into any given sub-genre, she is confident her ability will lead her down the right path.
A member of Romance Writers of America, Cherrie is slowly spreading her wings as a romance author. Look for her books at all digital bookstores such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookstrand, ITunes, Nook, Kobo and many more.
Author facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/CherrieMack
Google email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My copy of The Year We Became Invincible by Mae Coyiuto which I won from Mina V. Esguerra (thank you, Mina! Yay! :D) arrived yesterday in spite of the raging storm. My husband (who received the package on my behalf) and I were amazed by the man who delivered it. Talk about dedication. I mean I would not have minded if LBC waited for a day or two. Book lover or not, the thought that someone was out there delivering my stuff in that wind and rain made me feel guilty but I guess that’s life for you. I wish I were able to talk to him and thank him in person though. So, to you Kuya, who delivered my book, thank you so much! ❤
With that out of the way, I wanted to talk about the books I won these past months.
About the book:
Dear Future Reader,
If you’re reading this book, it’s either:
1. You’re my future partner
2. I’m famous and my writings have been immortalized
3. You’ve violated my privacy and these are not meant for you
Let’s hope it’s not the last one. Before this year, I had my life all planned out. This book contains the story of the year that changed my life (well, my life so far). It’s the year I learned how to be invincible. That wasn’t really specific, but I guess you have to read on to see what I’m talking about.
My package from Mina included a signed copy of Mae’s book, as well as note that said:
Enjoy the book! Yay fast fingers.
Well, over a week ago I opened my email and saw one from her. I merely opened it, read it, and replied. Lol. The first one who replies gets the book, you see. Apparently I did it in three minutes. I wasn’t really expecting to win but there you go, I got the book! ❤ ❤
The package also has a synopsis from Mina’s book Playing Autumn and two stickers: the other merely enumerating the male characters in Mina’s books while the other said “Team Robbie” which made me happy because Mina remembered I was rooting for Robbie in her Interim Goddess of Love series.
And the Interim Goddess of Love series here:
Check out this title here:
About the book:
The Death of Summer was an award-winning novel that powerfully dissects the anatomy of romantic, delusional love. Its protagonist, Victor, a firm believer in carpe diem, discovers that once the heat of passion has waned, the only thing that matters is family. The novel spans several decades—from the heyday of the carnival in the 1920s, to the horror of the Pacific War, until the great unrest of the postwar years.
Last June I also won an ebook copy of Josh Lanyon’s Winter Kill.
About the book:
Clever and ambitious, Special Agent Adam Darling (yeah, he’s heard all the jokes before) was on the fast track to promotion and success until his mishandling of a high profile operation left one person dead and Adam “On the Beach.” Now he’s got a new partner, a new case, and a new chance to resurrect his career, hunting a legendary serial killer known as The Crow in a remote mountain resort in Oregon.
Deputy Sheriff Robert Haskell may seem laid-back, but he’s a tough and efficient cop — and he’s none too thrilled to see feebs on his turf — even when one of the agents is smart, handsome, and probably gay. But a butchered body in a Native American museum is out of his small town department’s league. For that matter, icy, uptight Adam Darling is out of Rob’s league, but that doesn’t mean Rob won’t take his best shot.
When I held The Year We Became Invincible in my hands yesterday, it made me want to finish my own book—the memoir I’ve been talking about in my previous posts. I mean, I’m only five-six chapters away, how hard can that be? After all I did manage to write fifteen others before that. But I’ve been staring in my screen for these past few days to no avail and I try not to stress about it because it gives me fever and / or headache whenever I do.
I really hope I finish it by the end of this month so I can catch up on my reading. It’s really piling up. And I really, really want to reread Winter Kill. ❤
Thank you again, to everyone who gifted me with these books.
Here’s to reading, and writing! Cheers! ❤
About the Book
Title: Cherry Lips
Author: Lacey Dearie
Cerise is not a witch. She’s an apprentice herbalist whose father is a wannabe warlock and fairy godmother is a madame. But Cerise has a closely guarded secret – the cherry lip-stain she manufactures and sells to the richest and most powerful women in the land is a potent aphrodisiac that makes the wearer irresistible. Of course, with such power comes responsibility, something Cerise did not consider while she was testing each batch of the product on the men of her home town.
Soon, word of the magical make-up reaches the childless Queen Merewald, and she becomes determined to uncover the secrets of the lip-stain herself and use them to seduce her ageing, impotent husband, King Palen. Her best chance is to send her feline brother-in-law, Blaxton, to befriend Cerise and spy on her. What the Queen didn’t count on was her nephew falling for Cerise without the use of magic or her niece using their jester as bait to uncover the secrets before she did.
Cherry Lips is a chick-lit fairytale about a medieval amateur cosmetologist, a nymphomaniac witch, a kinky jester, an unconventionally handsome prince, a wizard with magical healing powers, a castle made of sand and crystals, magical lip-stain that makes the wearer irresistible and cats. Lots and lots of cats.
Lacey Dearie is the creator of the best-selling Leger – Cat Sleuth Mysteries Series about a talking Glaswegian cat detective. She loves observing cats and their idiosyncrasies and has a particular fondness for black cats with amber eyes or pretty calicos. She would own a house full of pets if her allergies allowed it.
She is also the author of chick-lit novel and Amazon UK Top 100 best-seller, The Tangled Web (currently available only on Createspace), chick-lit fairytale Cherry Lips, two nonsensical short stories about amorous foods and the soon to be released Candlelight Lane Mysteries which blend culinary cozies and magical realism.
In her spare time she loves to travel and is a regular visitor to Cyprus – a place that has influenced almost every story she writes as much as her home country, Scotland. She has a personal blog dedicated to lingerie and fragrances, studies perfumery and is a tiny bit obsessed with cute stationery and ska.
Lacey loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted on Twitter as @laceydearie (please be aware of adult content) or on her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/laceydearie (family friendly).
My E-Store where you can purchase a signed copy with author swag included in the price: laceydearie.storenvy.com
My Facebook page: www.facebook.com/laceydearie
Sign up form for my mailing list: http://blogspot.us3.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=6b0a06034a03e494255db21c0&id=7209c6cd78
Her cheeks flushed. She had embarrassed herself. Not only had she divulged how poor and hungry she was but she also remembered the hem of her dress had been sitting up at her thighs, no doubt giving him an indecent view of her legs.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a snap followed by furious rustling above her. Just as her head lifted, she saw the branch of the ash tree break and the well-dressed man thudded onto the grass. Cerise couldn’t help but cackle.
He stood, rubbing his ribs and wincing. ‘Well, at least that eased the tension a little.’
‘Not for that poor tree,’ Cerise shook her head. ‘Don’t you know trees are alive? Plants are as alive as we are and you’ve just done irreparable damage to that one!’
The man looked over his shoulder at the tree, which was obviously motionless and looked pretty much inanimate to him.
‘I’ll send it a bouquet of roses by way of an apology,’ he shrugged, brushing himself clean.
Cerise’s eyes widened with anger but she held her tongue.
‘So, did you want some of this bread or not?’ he offered, retrieving the loaf from next to the trunk and brushing off a few crumbs of earth.
She wanted to say no but the way she subconsciously smacked her lips and swallowed at the sight of the bread betrayed her. The crust was crumbling in his hands and she could even smell the enticing yeasty aroma from where she stood. The man held it out to her but she shook her head.
‘I don’t accept charity, but thank you,’ she said, looking round for the cheese he had mentioned. A chunk of cheese would have been welcomed right now. She’d make an exception on her, “no charity,” rule for cheese.
The man edged closer, taking tiny steps, drawing out the tension. Her chest rose and fell as her breathing quickened. Every rational thought in her mind told her to run. He was not local to the village and could easily be a pervert planning to kidnap her or do something vile and leave her for dead but there was something about him that willed her to stay.
He grabbed her hand, placed the small loaf into her grip and pushed it towards her torso.
‘It’s not charity. You’re going to earn it,’ he advised.
Cerise was almost scared to look him in the eye. It wasn’t like her to be so timid but being this close to him made her head spin. She allowed herself a moment to be timorous before she ground her teeth and lifted her chin. She almost lost her nerve again when she looked at his twinkling hazel eyes and silly grin. He was actually amused and if she wasn’t mistaken, his eyes kept darting to her lips.
‘No, sir. I am grateful for the offer but I will not be providing any services in exchange for food.’
He rolled his eyes. ‘Oh, pipe down, woman. All I wanted was a kiss.’
Cerise recoiled, her face flushing, imagining having to kiss his most intimate body parts.
‘Where?’ she gasped.
‘Here, under the tree,’ he nodded, squinting at her in confusion.
‘No, I mean…’ she paused. ‘Never mind. I suppose a kiss isn’t too bad an exchange.’
Join the giveaway by clicking the Rafflecopter image below for a chance to win a paperback copy of Cherry Lips and swag. Good luck! ❤
About the Book
Author: Lorraine O’Byrne
Genre: Children’s Books
Eight-year-old Jenny Connolly skips school to visit her friends in an enchanted wood. When she arrives, it’s a scene of total devastation. The creatures of the wood cower in terror. There is a cruel magic at hand here. She goes by the name of Marigold Dimple, a feisty, ten-year-old witch from Elderwood. Marigold is a witch with a vengeance, determined to have her own way and create havoc wherever she goes. When Jenny and Marigold’s paths collide, nothing will ever be the same again…
Lorraine O’Byrne was born in county Limerick, Ireland. Following two and a half years in Dublin on a City & Guilds course in photography, she went on to teach English in Colombia then spent a further six months in France as part of her European Studies degree. Lorraine loved writing at a very young age and felt that this was where her true passion lay. She underwent an intensive creative writing course before embarking on her first novel “The Wrath of Voodoo” (adult fiction) published in 2004 but since then has turned to writing children’s books. Her love of children’s stories comes from the active imagination she had as a child, Walt Disney Movies and the animals on her farm.