Title: Never Forgotten
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: YA/NA Paranormal Romance
How can one day go so very wrong? One minute Meara Quinn is making plans for how she will spend the summer before her senior year and the next she’s finding out that her mother’s cancer has returned and they are moving away from the only home she’s ever known.
Now every day is a struggle as Meara is trying to cope with her mother’s illness, being forced to move to another country to live with grandparents—whom she thought disowned her mother—and having weird visions of a father who was absent her entire life. Top it all off with one whopping secret that everyone seems bent on keeping from her, and Meara has the perfect ingredients for a major melt down.
The only things keeping her from coming unglued are some new friends and Evan—the son of her mother’s childhood friend—who seems to know Meara almost better than she knows herself.
Together with Evan and her friends, Meara embarks on a new journey to unlock the secrets that will not only tell Meara who she is, but what she is.
~ Excerpt ~
Evan held out his hand to help me into the boat. I took it and climbed in carefully. My sea legs were far from developed. I’d only been on a boat twice, and both times were with Kim’s family. The summer before eighth grade, they invited me to their cabin in Minocqua, Wisconsin. They vacationed there every summer. That week I got violently sick both times I was on the boat. I was miserable. Kim and her family were sympathetic, but they never invited me back.
“You just couldn’t stay away from all this, could you?” Evan teased, gesturing to himself. I rolled my eyes and laughed. He rewarded me with a dimpled grin before turning to pick something up from his pile of tools. It looked like a small, wooden block.
“How are your sanding skills?” he asked.
“Nonexistent?” I answered, adding, “I’ve never done it, but how hard can it be?”
“It’s not,” he said, handing me the tool, “but there is a definite technique.
Here, I’ll show you.” He wrapped his fingers around my wrist and guided me down until we were kneeling side by side in front of the board he just installed. He covered my hand with his and said, “You want to maintain an even pressure and move with the grain, not against it.”
I moved the block back and forth a few times, my hand under his. My blood pounded in my ear, so loud he could probably hear it. His hand was warm and firm on mine. Stay cool, I told myself. I looked over at him and asked, “Like this?”
His eyes fixed on mine. He didn’t move his hand. “Perfect,” he said, as his gaze moved to my lips. I swallowed.
“How’s she doing?” Grandpa Jamie called from the boat next to ours. We jerked apart.
“Fine,” Evan called back, getting to his feet. To me, he said, “I’ll go and get the paint.”
Sanding was kind of relaxing. I took comfort in the repetitive nature of it. The sun was hot on my back, but it felt good. I always soaked it up in the summer, knowing that I would be wishing for some of its warmth in the dead of winter.
Icy cold water dripped on my shoulder and made me jump. I looked up to the source and saw Evan holding out a water bottle. “Sorry for startling you,” he said. “I thought you might be thirsty.”
“Thanks.” I opened the cap and downed half the bottle. I didn’t realize how thirsty I had gotten. “Did you get the paint?”
Evan held up one gallon of paint and two brushes in response. “Is the sanding done?”
“Almost.” I pointed to the last board. “I just have that one to finish.”
“Okay.” Evan set the paint supplies down near the boards I’d already sanded. “I’ll get started then, and you can join me when you’re done.”
I finished sanding as fast as I could, and then went over by Evan. He smiled and handed me a paintbrush. “You’ve painted before, right?”
“A little.” Mom and I had painted the kitchen in our old house. I didn’t tell him about the mess we made in the process. We were covered in paint, but laughing when we were done.
“Why’d you come here today?” Evan asked.
I shrugged and dipped my brush in the paint.
“Just a little,” Evan cautioned as he watched me.
“I just wanted to hang with my grandfather a bit, I guess.”
“Is it hard?”
“Getting to know them?”
“No… yes… I don’t know. It’s weird. I don’t understand why we never visited them or why they didn’t come see us.”
“Yeah. That’s a little strange, although I can guess why they didn’t come see you.”
I looked at Evan and waited for his answer. His eyes took in the boats surrounding us before he gestured with his paintbrush. “This takes year round dedication. Your grandfather can’t leave.”
“Sounds hard,” I said. Evan returned his brush to the paint bucket. In his haste, droplets of paint flew, and one landed on my nose. Evan started laughing before brushing it off with the sleeve of his shirt.
“Sorry about that.” He grinned at me, but it soon faltered. Once again, I was locked in his gaze. We leaned toward each other. He brushed a strand of hair back from my face and tucked it behind my ear. “Meara?”
“Do you want to go to dinner?”
“With you?” I asked, realizing that was an incredibly stupid thing to ask.
Evan grinned again. “Yeah. That would be the general idea.”
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Kelly Risser knew at a young age what she wanted to be when she grew up. Unfortunately, Fairytale Princess was not a lucrative career. Leaving the castle and wand behind, she entered the world of creative business writing where she worked in advertising, marketing, and training at various companies. Currently, she works full time as an eLearning Instructional Designer, fitting her creative writing into the evenings and weekends.
She’s often found lamenting, “It’s hard to write when there are so many good books to read!” So, when she’s not immersed in the middle of someone else’s fantasy world, she’s busy creating one of her own. This world is introduced in her first novel, Never Forgotten, and visited further in her second novel, Current Impressions. The third and final book in Meara’s story, Always Remembered, releases on May 19, 2015.
Kelly lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two children. They share their home with Clyde the Whoodle and a school of fish.