Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Day 4 - Astraea Press Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Difference of a Year by MJ Wilson
Contemporary Romance
Length: 104 Pages
ISBN: 9781621352457

Blurb: The day after graduation is considered the beginning of adulthood. Jenny Hammond is embracing her newfound independence by moving into a new apartment with her best friend after securing her first job. Life is perfect, that is until it gets hard. An unexpected tragedy will push her to an emotional edge. Conflicts at work could end up costing her the job she loves driving her closer to that edge. As she struggles to hang on she finds that the hand reaching out to her belongs to the one person she never would have expected to lean on.

Discovering that becoming an adult brings with it hope and despair, love and loss, and weakness and strength. Will she be able to navigate through all the challenges blocking her path before all is lost? Will she find a way to move past her insecurities to allow in the one person who might be able to help heal her heart and find a way to start living again. Can she come to terms with all the changes a year can bring.

Chapter One

Suddenly, a tremendous wave of terror ripped through her. Clutching at the pain in her chest, she couldn’t breathe. Chills racked her body, causing her to shiver as she wiped the sweat beading on her upper lip with her fingertips. Her heart was racing, her shallow breaths coming fast. I’m dying, she thought and fought with the darkness wanting to encompass her. Forcing her eyes away from the mass of packed boxes surrounding her, she fell back on her bed, feeling the puff of air as her back hit the naked mattress. She managed to stretch her petite frame over the length of her bed, concentrating only on slowing her breathing down. She studied the ceiling with such intensity her eyes burned, but the battle was turning in her favor, and salvation was hers.
Jenny Hammond knew she wasn’t currently dying, or so she told herself. But as close as that panic attack came to shoving her over the edge, she started to fear this time it was the real thing. She would have a heart attack, leaving her body to be found when the new tenants took possession next semester. So what if her roommate thought she was being melodramatic; things were happening faster than she’d ever imagined, and it frightened her. Interlacing her fingers behind her head, she emptied her lungs of the air she had been holding. Refusing to look at the boxes again, she confined her gaze to the ceiling as though her life depended on it. “Twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six…”
“Twenty what?” Sherry Williams asked as she burst into the dorm room.
“You said twenty something… what about twenty?”
“Twenty-four… no wait! Twenty-seven… no…” The heel of Jenny’s hand tapped her forehead. “Crap. I have no idea where I was. Now I need to start again. One…”
“What in the world are you talking about?” Sherry asked as she craned her neck to look up at the ceiling following Jenny’s gaze. The small bed creaked under the added weight from Sherry, and Jenny scooted over to make room while swatting Sherry’s long blond hair out of her own face in the process. “Please don’t tell me you’re counting ceiling tiles.”
“Well, I was until you messed me up,” Jenny snapped.
“Oh, honey… tell me what’s wrong,” she asked, patting Jenny’s leg.
“What makes you think something is wrong?”
“Really? You’re going to go there?” Sherry sighed. “Besides the fact you’re counting tiles, you look like you’re going to vomit.”
Observant, because her stomach innards were rolling around like a ten-foot swell. “This campus has been my safe place for four years, and now they are kicking me out,” she said, folding her forearm over her eyes.
“They aren’t kicking you out, drama queen. You graduated.”
“Way to be a Debbie Downer.”
Sherry once again deposited herself beside Jenny. “You are about to start the first day of the rest of your life. This is exciting.”
Jenny propped up onto one elbow with a grimace on her face. “You sound just like my mom, and it annoyed me when she said it.”
“But it was poignant when it came from me… right?” Sherry grinned, still looking at the ceiling.
“No. I wanted to slug you too,” Jenny said straight-faced, and Sherry laughed while pushing herself up to sit on the side of the bed. Jenny joined her and leaned, gently bumping Sherry’s arm. “Why am I so scared?”
“Because you are starting a new chapter in your life, and milestones are always scary. You are now responsible for yourself. Health insurance, rent, renters’ insurance, car payment, utilities, food…”
Jenny held up her hand. “Not helping.” She felt the panic attack she had been fighting begin to surface again. She fanned herself with her hands before dropping her face into them.
Sherry nudged her. “I can still see you.”
“Shut up.”
“Hey, you’re not doing this alone. I’ll be there with you. I mean, we are renting the apartment together. It will be great, and I for one am excited.”
Since the day they met, Sherry’s outgoing personality had captivated Jenny and had sealed their lifetime friendship. After Jenny’s mom had left her alone in her dorm room she’d huddled on her bed, shell-shocked, near tears, and afraid to leave the room. She’d already been homesick when Sherry had burst through the door, making the windows rattle, and had greeted her with a “Hey, sexy” while doing the Macarena. Once she’d reached “Hey, Macarena!” she’d thrown her arms around Jenny, squeezing tight. She’d talked to her like they had been friends all their lives, and she hadn’t stopped talking since. Okay, an exaggeration, but not by much. Her personality had saved Jenny from a solitary college experience. She’d included her in any plans she’d made, and since Sherry had never met a stranger, those had been plentiful. They’d become fast friends in a polar-opposite kind of way.
Jenny positioned a pillow over her head in hopes she might suffocate.
“Tough-love time,” Sherry announced. “Put your big girl panties on, and let’s get this stuff loaded in the truck. Our new beginning awaits.”
Jenny scrunched up her face.
“Get up!” Sherry ordered.
“I never liked you much,” she mumbled.
“You love me — now move.” Sherry smacked her butt as she stood. Jenny glared over her shoulder and stuck her tongue out, letting a noisy raspberry loose.

Astraea Press Book Club

The Astraea Press Book Club on Face Book is a great way for readers to try new books and authors...for FREE! Each month one Astraea Presstitle is offered up for free to readers to read and enjoy. At the end of the month we have a chat with the author and a random drawing for an AP Swag Pack. Fun for all.

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