Perusing

Princesses

Secrets.
Everyone has one.
Some are bigger than others.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical.

She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remain

s happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side)

. Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted.

She’s also never believed in love.

So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college

in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects

is to fall in love with Keller Banks.

 

But they each have a reason to fight it.
They each have a secret.

And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

 

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Seventeen-year-old VERONICA SMITH has it all:

a loving family, a funky car named Jezebel,

and a plan to go to college after graduation.

 

On the first day of senior year, she meets DIMITRI GLENN–

a mysterious transfer student with gray eyes

and a mischievous smile who seems determined

to win her heart.

 

But there’s something odd about Dimitri,

leading Veronica to wonder

if there’s more to him than meets the eye.

 

Before long she finds herself in a whirlwind romance

that seems too good to be true–

until a series of devastating events

leaves her questioning everything.

 

It’s not until she chooses to think with her heart

instead of her mind

that she can rise from the ashes

to learn the truth of their connection.

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Kim

Holden

Some of my favorite things:

Reading (YA or New Adult), writing (especially on a productive day), the two coolest guys on the planet (my husband and son),

my bicycle (hand built by my husband),

Facebook (it’s an addiction at this point),

iced coffee (hazelnut from McDonalds),

and music (LOVE Sunset Sons, the 1975, Dredg, the xx, Balance

and Composure, Teenage Bottlerocket, Manchester Orchestra,

and 30 Seconds to Mars).

 

I also love dreaming. Big. Writing a few years ago was an elusive dream until I grabbed a hold of it with both hands

and refused to let go. Keep chasing YOUR dreams …

 

Connect with Kim

 

An Excerpt from

BRIGHT SIDE

By

Kim Holden

 

 

Tuesday, August 30

(Keller)

The bell rings and it’s instinct to look. It’s not so much a trained reaction as it is involuntary curiosity. Since Romero had an appointment early this morning, I’m working the coffee bar solo until he returns.

The first thing I notice about her is how utterly tiny she is. Then I notice her clothes, her whole look; she’s not from around here. The third is the scowl on her face, pointed at the bell hanging from the door. I get the feeling she has history with this bell. She’s the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time. The kind of cute that makes you smile, even if you don’t want to. As she approaches the counter, the scowl vanishes, replaced by the most genuine, sincere smile. Smiles aren’t always happy, but hers is. It’s open, content, and confident. She looks friendly in the most literal sense of the word, like you’d swear you’ve known her for years and she knows all your secrets. And still likes you in spite of them.

After what I realize is an exaggerated pause on my part, I smile and offer my standard greeting, “Welcome to Grounds. What can I get for ya?” I realize that I sound much more excited than usual, and I clear my throat.

Her smile deepens, like she knows this is out-of-character for me, and when it hits her eyes they smile, too. They’re the palest shade of jade and tell a story all their own. Then it hits me how beautiful this woman is. Like a freight train it hits me; from her eyes, to her smile, to her wavy sunshine-blond hair, to her petite but exceptionally well proportioned body. Everything about her is beautiful.

Her magical eyes and mouth are still smiling at me. “Good morning.”

Her voice is so sexy. I can’t explain the sound, but it lands somewhere deep inside me and takes root. It’s the kind of voice you don’t hear as much as you feel. And as soon as I feel it, I want to feel it again … and again. I find myself trying to match her smile. The right corner of my mouth pulls up. “Good morning to you.” I may be losing my mind, but I don’t want this time with her to end too fast. So I flirt. Which I haven’t done in such a long time. “Let me guess, caramel cappuccino, soy, no whip?”

Her brows crease a little and her head delicately tilts slightly to one side, but her smile doesn’t fade. “So are you pretty good at this? Guessing people’s orders I mean?”

I can’t help this feeling. I want to be closer to this woman standing four feet from me on the other side of the counter. So I lean forward, lace my fingers together, and rest my elbows on the counter. Mission accomplished: I’m another foot closer. She has a faint dusting of freckles on her nose. They’re beautiful, too. “Usually.” Which is a lie. I’ve never done this.

She scratches her head like she’s thinking over what I’ve said. When she pulls her hand away from her hair, it’s even messier than before. That’s not a bad thing. At all. She challenges me. “So I’m a caramel whatcha-ma-call-it kind of girl? Damn, I don’t know how to take that.”

I keep my elbows and hands resting on the counter. I’d worry I just offended her if her smile wasn’t back in place. But she seems feisty. “That’s my best guess.”

“Wow,” she replies. “To tell you truth, I feel a little slighted by your presumptuous assessment, but I’m gonna let it slide. I always thought I wore my passion for coffee on my sleeve, kind of like a badge of honor. Large cup of coffee, house blend … black, please.”

 

An Excerpt From

All of It 

 

 

Dimitri’s face is peaceful and angelic as he rises to help me put my coat on. “Thanks for coming over tonight, Ronnie. You don’t know what it meant to me. I feel like this is the first time I’ve been able to breathe in months.” He lifts his hand, but hesitantly stops just short of brushing my cheek. He smiles and lowers it. “Can I walk you to your car?”

My heart is soaring and my palms are sweaty. “I’d like that.”

We walk slowly down the long driveway, our bodies so close that our arms brush against each other. I think back to the first day of school and smile; personal space is so overrated.

He opens the driver side door and stands behind it at a safe distance so as not to make the situation awkward. I throw my bag through onto the passenger seat and stand with one hand on the door and the other on the steering wheel. When I look up at him he’s staring down at me. His eyes glitter in the streetlight.

It’s at that moment that my life comes into focus, like flipping a switch. The entire world tilts back onto its axis. Call it an epiphany; the rare type of realization that changes your life absolutely. I need this man in my life. I need him like I need air and water. He is part of me—my past and my future. Since the day we met I’ve given my heart to him ... piece by piece. And it’s at this exact moment that I realize he has all of it. My heart is no longer mine; it belongs to him and always will.

I can’t help but smile.

He returns the smile—his beautiful smile. “What?” he asks softly.

“Thank you for being you, Dimitri.”

Not much escapes him and I know from the look in his eyes that he understands. He nods humbly. “You’re welcome.”

I duck down into the driver’s seat and look back up at him. “Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow.” I don’t know if it’s a question or a declaration, but it’s hopeful.

He winks. “You can count on it.”

Slowly he shuts the door and moves to the sidewalk. I wave and pull away, watching him in my rearview mirror as he begins to fade into the distance. He stands there glowing under the streetlight like an angelic statue. When I turn the corner, he’s gone.

Life is sometimes … an epiphany.

 

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Perusing Princesses
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