Coming Soon: Closer by Mary Elizabeth

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This book? I can’t even… Mary has wrecked me once again and I suspect it’s going to last for months. If you love Dusty, watch out for Teller Reddy. He’s more than wrecked. He loves.
When I can pick up my pieces, I’ll write a better review.
ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL RELEASE DAY
 Gabriella Mason is damaged.

Teller Reddy is wrecked.

Misery loves company, and that’s exactly what Ella gets the afternoon her path crosses with Teller’s: the misunderstood premed student who instantly becomes her lifeline when she moves to Los Angeles, an attempt at escaping her heartbreaking past.

In the beginning, Lonely and Defensive complete each other. But in the end, their relationship is like broken glass—cutthroat and jagged.

Calling it off before they kill each other, Ella and Teller decide to “just be friends” despite the intensity that binds them together. It’s a delicate foundation rocked by tragedy, effectively destroying the illusion they’ve so carefully built.

Unable to deny what’s between them any longer, this is what happens when wrecked and damaged collide and close is still not close enough.

 


Closer by Mary Elizabeth
 

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Review: Low by Mary Elizabeth

Low_Mary Elizabeth

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Summary:

It’s hard living on the wrong side of the tracks.

Lowen Seely has a criminal record to prove it. Determined not to follow in his father’s footsteps, he fights instinct and tries honesty. But hunger becomes painful, and bills are due. Forced to choose between what is right and wrong, the boy from the hood learns abiding by the rules is nearly impossible when corruption is in your blood.

Falling for an outlaw has changed everything.

Poesy Ashby is the definition of ride or die, even when it means turning her back on freedom. The girl from the suburbs gives conformity the middle finger. Bonnie and Clyde have nothing on her love story.

On the run with consequences in the rearview mirror, Lowen and Poesy accept the truth: they are the bad guys.

But can they get away with their crimes?

 

My Review:

Mary Elizabeth’s prose is always a treat to read.

This story was difficult for me. As someone who’s hosted a foster teen, I just wanted somebody decent to tuck Lowen under his or her wing and rescue him from this horrible existence. Over and over, he tries to be good and gets kicked in the teeth–usually without just cause. Most of the time, he’s judged the second someone finds out his name, thanks to having a parent in prison.

While this is true to life, I found it hard to get through. There were so many times that opportunity knocked and some “decent” person turned him away. And the sad thing is, that’s life for many people.

I truly liked Lowen. He had some excellent qualities and ended up making bad choices for understandable reasons. However, I strongly wanted to urge him away from Poe. I thought she was a bad influence on him.

This story puts the reader right into the shoes of a boy who’s struggling to support his family. I liked the Robin Hood quality of the characters. Four stars.

About the Author:

Capture Mary ElizabethMary Elizabeth is an up and coming author who finds words in chaos, writing stories about the skeletons hanging in your closets.

Known as The Realist, Mary was born and raised in Southern California. She is a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She’s a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, new adult author by night. Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until it’s perfect. She discovered her talent for tale-telling accidentally, but literature is in her chokehold. And she’s not letting go until every story is told.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”–Jeremiah 17:9

 

Review: True Love Way by Mary Elizabeth

TRUELOVEWAY
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SYNOPSIS
Some days are brighter than others, but Penelope Finnel has been taught she can be invisible behind the colored lenses of her heart-shaped sunglasses.
Her mind is her worst enemy, and simply waking up in the morning is risky. For a kid like her, staying in bed is easier, especially when the day has come to start school in a new town with new kids who don’t understand that the clouds are not the only reason everything is so gloomy.
Dillon Decker is a typical boy from a typical small town who radiates light and happiness. Under the hovering glare from her father, Dillon leads Penelope around on his bicycle’s handlebars, hoping he is the cure to her madness.
But when friend turns to lover, and lover turns to caretaker, how much can either of them tolerate before they’re swallowed whole?
A story about moving trucks and rollerblades, candy for smiles, and notes across lawns.
First loves and the struggle to keep it sane.
The true love way.
EXCERPT
My dad stares at me like I just told him there’s a dental theories’ seminar for nerd dentists like himself he wasn’t invited to.
No, better than that.
His face reminds me of that time he realized a grown man had stolen his lucky molar spreader from his office after an extraction and was forced to buy a new, unlucky one.
“Are you sure you’re ready?” Dad clears his throat, shutting the door so that Mom doesn’t hear our conversation.
Sex is natural, it happens, and it’s a part of becoming a man. Dad told me all of this when he was naming parts on a plastic uterus, and now he wants to know if I’m ready. I wasn’t ready for hair to grow on my balls, but that happened.
I wonder how many M&M’s Coach Finnel will give me if I make Pen smile during sex.
Those should count as double.
“Considering Penelope’s condition, Dillon, committing to a physical relationship with her isn’t very wise.”
“She’s sad sometimes,” I say, swallowing my anger. “Not dying.”
Pulling the rolling chair out from behind his desk, he sits and takes his glasses off. Dad pinches the bridge of his nose before continuing. “There’s more to it than that, Dillon. Especially in children, and that’s exactly what the two of you are.”
Excerpt Two:
We’re tangled limbs and naked skin, breathing heavily and touching curiously. My bare back stings under the summer sun, and her pale, undressed chest practically glows. A cage of stark white bone, red blood and muscle, and blue veins protect the fragile beating heart beneath. I brush my lips over the diamond-shaped collection of freckles at the base of her throat and push my knees up, opening hers around me.
She’s tired-wild and lifeless-living.
The dense wall of trees around us protects her from being seen, and the blanket over the grass keeps her comfortable. Far enough out into the woods, only the wildlife will hear her screams.
She’s all that matters and safe with me.
Sliding my hands up her thin stomach and over her round chest, my girl tilts her head back, and her brown eyes move under her translucent lids. Chapped lips part, and a sound so small escapes I don’t know if I heard it and question my own sanity.
“Are you sure this is what you want?” I ask, unbuttoning my shorts.
Penelope’s long lashes flutter, and she opens her eyes against sun rays so strong red blotches slowly appear on her outstretched arms. She has green blades of grass in her grip, holding on to Earth so she doesn’t fly away as I slowly push my fingers into her warmest spot.
My girl circles her hips over my hand, and I shove deeper, like either one of us knows what this really means.
Leaning over her small body, I kiss the length of Pen’s neck and pull her earlobe between my teeth.
“We can stop whenever you want,” I say, licking the single tear that bleeds from the side of her eye.
“I don’t want to,” insistence answers with a breathless voice.

REVIEW

If you read through reviews of Mary Elizabeth’s work, the descriptor you will find over and over again is “very talented.” Mary has a way of picking apart characters and subtly revealing what makes them tick.

The thing about mental illness is, nobody quite knows what to do about it. Loved ones want to be supportive, but they have their own ideas about what is and isn’t an acceptable treatment. And they don’t want conflict, so they let things drift. And they drift. And they get worse. And everyone suffers.

Why is Pen so tortured? I kept waiting to see if something had happened to her in early childhood, but apparently, all her troubles are genetic. Her parents love her fiercely, but inconsistently. I liked them, but each had moments when they were so fed up that they parented poorly. Their frustration was real but they seemed to have no guidance. They consulted many professionals, but nothing ever seemed to come of it. Personally, I’m a terrier. I would not be able to go on for years and years watching a child implode and live with the status quo. While reading this, I did not feel like there was any sort of intervention or routine to apply when Pen went through her depressive episodes. Every time Pen was on the verge of getting an effective treatment, the chance was pulled away from her. At any time an option for treatment was presented, the parents took a step back. That frustrated me. Some cognitive behavioural therapy might have worked wonders.

Mary Elizabeth is fond of quoting Jeremiah 17:9 in her works: The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. (NIV) Well, Pen is a fortunate girl to attract a heart that becomes permanently lovesick. At the age of 12, she moves next door to a boy who takes one look at her and sees forever. And what a boy!

Dillon is intelligent, ambitious, hard-working and not hard on the eyes. Pen can’t quite understand why Dillon thinks so much of her, but she’s very fortunate that he does. His love is so big that it plucks away Pen’s flaws and reveals the diamond underneath. Really, for many years, he’s the only person, aside from her parents, who values her. His love is extremely sacrificial, which is both noble and hard to sustain.

 

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Dillon becomes the special person in Pen’s life who can coax her out of bed to attend to her responsibilities. She wants to be healthy, and be a good friend (and eventually soulmate) for his sake. Sadly, a wish to love affectionately can lead to coddling. Dillon becomes more of a caregiver than a partner for a while, and in taking this great task on his young shoulders, he fails to meet his own goals and develops unhealthy habits. It’s not until he reacts badly to something petty that the blinders come off and he begins to put things into a better perspective.

When faced with losing Dillon, Pen makes gains for the first time. She starts to integrate with society.

This is a story about taking the dirt out of your own eye before trying to take it out of that of someone else. And there’s another sobering but calming fact to be gleaned here: nobody can control the behaviour of another person, one can only manage oneself. And I mean this in the best of ways: we all want the best for our significant others, but how they behave is ultimately up to them. To realize this is to free oneself from paralyzing guilt. It also frees us from dependency.

I’d recommend this book to people suffering from depression and panic attacks, and those who love them. And I’d like to point out a verse that suggests a healthy way to which we can aspire to love: 1 John 3:18, Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (NIV)

I’m not going to tell you how this ends. The book is well worth your time. Four stars.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Mary Elizabeth is an up and coming author who finds words in chaos, writing stories about the skeletons hanging in your closets.
Known as The Realist, Mary was born and raised in Southern California. She is a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She’s a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, new adult author by night. Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until it’s perfect. She discovered her talent for tale-telling accidentally, but literature is in her chokehold. And she’s not letting go until every story is told.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”–Jeremiah 17:9
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Elizabeth/e/B00MW8Z81Y/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1428388549&sr=8-1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7496678.Mary_Elizabeth
Website:
http://www.maryelizabethlit.com/
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Elizabeth-Author/1431640340382
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/teamsmella23

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New Release: Dusty: Delinquents by The Elizabeths

Capture DelinquentsOctober 23, 2014

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SYNOPSIS:

The innocent girl with a delinquent heart has to live with her bad choices. Secret hope and hurt feel like falling while she learns how to breathe again, but there’s still freedom in trouble.

The runaway with blacked-out eyes is losing his grip. Crushing two hearts in one fist, his addiction bends rules and breaks deals, but the boy born for bliss isn’t going anywhere without a fight.

Love is knowing they should stay away, but love is illogical at best.

She’s afraid to let go.

He won’t let her.

This is how silliness and foolishness grow up.

Here, forever is a lie.

 

EXCERPT:

I stand silent, breathing in through my nose and out my mouth. Tonight’s argument is years of frustration stacked and hidden, too tall to push away anymore. A little trigger is all it takes, and we end up like this, saying things we don’t mean, taking our aggravation out on each other.

My heart pumps misguided love.

“This isn’t how it’s supposed to be,” it beats. “But that’s your boy—aimless and crazy for you.”

Knowing that I had a role on his spiral to the bottom kills me. As his parents continue to fail him, I should be the one that steps forward and says, “This is wrong.”

But to do so at this point in his madness would be betrayal, and I have to handle his trust with care.

Inhaling an uneven breath, I watch him under the moon’s glow washing out his already pale complexion. Icy wind blows my boy’s white tee against his slender body under his unzipped hoodie, and his hands shake at his sides.

 

MY REVIEW:

The sequel to Dusty: Innocents is not for the faint-hearted. Bliss watches her first love, Dusty, descend into the hell of addiction. Dusty isn’t the only person to suffer in this book.

The crux: will our antihero save himself or die? Will Bliss crash and burn? Can love save them?

The parents attempt to take charge. Both sets stage a rescue of their child. All kids make choices that grieve parents. These parents don’t handle issues well and their kids rebel.

As I’ve said before, this is not a comfortable read. I think every parent should have to read it. This isn’t really written for teens although it would doubtless invite lively discussions with young adults. I suspect that young people and their parents would each come away with a very different view of the story.

I love these kids but their futures are foggy. Five stars to the very daring authors for writing a truly thought-provoking work. Five stars.

AUTHOR BIOS:

Capture Mary Elizabeth Mary Elizabeth is an up and coming author who finds words in chaos, writing stories about the skeletons hanging in your closets. Known as The Realist, she is one half of The Elizabeths–a duo brave enough to never hide the truth.

Mary was born and raised in Southern California. She is a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She’s a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, new adult author by night. Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until it’s perfect. She discovered her talent for tale-telling accidentally, but literature is in her chokehold. And she’s not letting go until every story is told.

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”–Jeremiah 17:9

 

Capture Sarah ElizabethA soft spoken revolutionary, love’s listener was born on Bastille Day. she dance-walks under the stars and prefers to write while the sun wakes up. her blood marks State Avenue. her roots are darker than trouble’s eyes, and her favorite colour is The 1975.

Sarah Elizabeth is the author of Innocents, Delinquents, Don’t Let Me Go, and various other projects under various other pen names.

 

Capture Dusty Innocents

 

 

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Capture Delinquents

 

 

 

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Innocents (Dusty#1) by The Elizabeths: Release Day Review & Giveaway

Synopsis
Bliss knows all about bad choices but has yet to make them herself. With an innocent heart, she searches for freedom and finds it in the delinquent down the hall.
Dusty is a foul-mouthed troublemaker, tear-maker and heartbreaker. The boy with summer sky-blue eyes knows to stay away, but he can’t resist the girl who made his house a home.
She’s his reason, but he might not catch her when she falls.
She loves him. He loves her crazy.
This is what happens when a love made of secrets is kept with rules instead of promises.
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Excerpt
Front windows cracked, we’re relaxed in the back of his parents’ old Audi and it feels good again.
“Caffeine isn’t good for you, you know,” Thomas says, glancing over.
The sun has set and the purple sky and the Yaquina lighthouse paint my temperamental troublemaker in soft hues. The scent and sounds of the sea drift in with the breeze, mixing with smoke from the blunt he’s relit and the low melodies of Citizen Cope singing about a girl that won’t give in and he’ll never let go of.
Taking another drink of the coffee he bought me, I shrug. I don’t know what he said to get the baristas to make a pumpkin spice latte in February, but cinnamon and caffeine fill me with warm relief.
Under his breath and around a hit, Thomas chuckles.
“It’s bad for your bones and skin,” he says, smirking as I tuck my toes under his leg. “And your heart. Uncontrolled beats are a prelude to heart attack, princess.”
I roll my eyes and laugh some, because I do feel them. I felt them earlier in his bed, and before that, when I was thinking of him. My unsteady heartbeats have nothing to do with coffee.
“Bring on the palpitations,” I say before taking another drink, letting Dusty lecture me about bad habits, as if I’m too young to understand irony.
“I’m serious,” he continues, smoking up and blowing out. “Your body will build a tolerance. When you feel it’s becoming bad for you, you’ll want more. You’ll need more. Caffeine’s a drug, Leigh.”
I laugh. I can’t help it. Maybe I’m still high.
“Oh yeah?” I ask. “Like pot?”
This boy blows a cloud of smoke up, and I watch it swirl-spread out across the car’s ceiling.
“Pot’s from the earth,” he says, puffing smoke rings while I wrap both hands around my cup, absorbing its warmth through my palms. I inhale the cream-sweet scent of cinnamon and nutmeg and ginger, and it may be full of stimulants, but I feel calm.
Thomas’ presence is the best Valentine’s Day gift. Candy is nice, and candy flavored blunt wraps were thoughtful, but this is what I wanted most. Just us.
“Pumpkins are from the earth,” I say. “And coffee beans.”
“You think there’s real pumpkin in that?” he asks. When I can’t do more than smile and stare at his lips, he sits up straighter.
“Caffeine’s an analeptic. It fucks with your impulse control and your insulin resistance.”
I laugh because, “What?”
He pulls a hit. “That shit will give you stress hormones, Bliss.”
“How do you know all this?”
“Baseball.”
We’re quiet for a second, looking at each other. His carefreeness is back, but his smile is understated.
“You sure you’re not worried it’ll stunt my growth?”
Between licking his bottom lip and bringing the blunt back up, Dusty glances at my chest without a stitch of modesty.
“You’re growing up fine, girl.”
My cheeks heat, and I hide my smile with another drink.
After I’ve finished my coffee, Thomas offers me the blunt. When I decline, my actual addiction leans into me, nudges his hood from my head, and exhales his smoke all over my neck.
The playful punk that was lecturing me is gone. This honest to a fault, recklessly unflinching, too-beautiful, fated youth is a person only I know. This is my person.
He tosses the blunt out the window while I drop my empty cup to the floorboard, and we shift together. We kiss open and deep, claiming and binding. We kiss the way I wanted to earlier, with eyes closed and hearts open, and I know the real drug is here. It’s between us and inside us.
It’s the way he opens my lips with his lips to kiss me deeper, and the way my pulse feels like his name is in my veins.
It’s the way I can’t stay hurt or mad or jealous, and the way he can’t stand for me to.
It’s the craving that never goes away, the need for more that grows as we feed it. It’s the tolerance he was talking about and knowing he’s right.
It’s this, our secret.
We’re the drug.
Teaser

MeetTheAuthor



 
Mary Elizabeth is an up and coming author who finds words in chaos, writing stories about the skeletons hanging in your closets. Known as The Realist, she is one half of The Elizabeths—a duo brave enough to never hide the truth. Born and raised in Southern California, she’s a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She’s a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, new adult author by night. Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until it’s perfect. She discovered her talent for tale-telling accidentally, but literature is in her stranglehold. And she’s not letting go until every story is told.
To follow Mary’s upcoming solo and collaborative projects, she can be found at her website http://www.maryelizabethlit.com/.
Brought together by their love of storytelling, Mary and Sarah Elizabeth are a pair of dedicated writers with complementary strengths who’ve cultivated a literary style that captures a Realist’s brutality with a Poet’s grace, uncovering the self-seeking side of tenderness and the undisguised truth of honesty. Inspired by the lyrics of a song, Dusty was born between emails and long G-chats before a single chapter was ever typed. A short story turned into a monster, and more than four years and several edits later, the first half of their collaboration, Innocents, will be released on July 14, 2014. And its conclusion, Delinquents, is set to release on October 23, 2014.
If you’d like to contact The Elizabeths, they can be located on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheElizabethsDusty?ref=hl.

 

MeetTheAuthor
   
Listener, messenger, secret keeper, Elizabeth, and TrueLove, Sarah works two jobs by day so that she’s able to really work by night. She’s written since she was old enough to hold a marker, and her writing bridges the sacred and profane, from first love to forbidden, with a longing for truth and a passion for hearts. She is currently based in Kansas City where her army is comprised of one little buffalo. Her best friends are girls named Moses and Bunny. Her hero is a boy named Bishop, and the one she loves has ocean eyes. In addition to Dusty, Sarah also has a collaborative novella, Light and Wine, due to be released on June 8th, and her solo work will be featured in the anthology Branded, this August.
Brought together by their love of storytelling, Mary and Sarah Elizabeth are a pair of dedicated writers with complementary strengths who’ve cultivated a literary style that captures a Realist’s brutality with a Poet’s grace, uncovering the self-seeking side of tenderness and the undisguised truth of honesty. Inspired by the lyrics of a song, Dusty was born between emails and long G-chats before a single chapter was ever typed. A short story turned into a monster, and more than four years and several edits later, the first half of their collaboration, Innocents, will be released on July 14, 2014. And its conclusion, Delinquents, is set to release on October 23, 2014.
If you’d like to contact The Elizabeths, they can be located on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheElizabethsDusty?ref=hl.

 

HOSTED BY:
EJ Button

MY REVIEW:

This book is not for the faint hearted. If you read reviews, you’ll find it’s commonly described as a gut-wrenching, soul-shattering stab to the heart. Despite that, I’m a fan. I dare you to read it without falling in love with the lead characters. This installment’s title, Innocents, is apt: two kids walk a path to destruction, ill-equipped to avoid it even if they manage to see it coming.

Think Romeo and Juliet, without the certitude of death.

Our antihero, Dusty acquires addiction while surrounded by the dearest pursuits of childhood: popsicles, skateboards, bicycles, gangs of chattering friends, first kisses and trips to the beach. The parents in this book are useless. However, Bliss is an instinctive nurturer.

I love this story (going back to its serialized fan fiction roots). We root for Dusty and Bliss much as we might for The Phantom and Christine. In fact, while some might argue that both The Phantom and Dusty are as much villains as heroes of their respective pieces, one can alternately argue that each is a victim of circumstance.

As this is the first book in the series, we’re only beginning to see Dusty’s downward spiral. It’s not a comfortable read. I think every parent should have to read it. This isn’t really written for teens although it would doubtless invite lively discussions with young adults. I suspect that young people and their parents would each come away with a very different view of the book.

Bliss’ parents are so strict that she cannot breathe. Dusty’s parents are so lax that he craves structure. Each parent unquestionably loves his or her child. They simply don’t prepare their children for life.

Bliss has a generous heart, knows right from wrong and aches to help Dusty. Dusty possesses a certain nobility, a huge capacity for love and he’s highly empathetic. Reading about this pair, one sees how their lives could be, what they should be, what needs to be done to secure their happiness. That’s why it’s such a compelling read. Will everything work out for them, or will somebody self-destruct? And the kids need to save themselves because drat it, none of the parents is going to step in and get them any help!

I love this book because I love these kids. But I have no idea where they’re going to end up. Five stars to the very daring authors for writing a truly thought-provoking work.