Title: Break My Bones
Author: Shawn McGuire
Publication Date: Sept 1
Genre: Contemporary with Fantasy Elements
Everyone makes mistakes. Crissy’s just might kill her.
Seventeen-year-old Crissy Sheets was so sure Brad was the one, she believed him when he swore the first bruise was an accident. She believed him when he told her he loved her after the second. Now trapped in an abusive relationship with no idea of how to get out, she’s all but given up on ever having the life she dreams of. With little to lose, Crissy wishes for a better future.
She’s told her wish has been granted, but nothing has changed. Her house is still a dump, her mother is still drinking, and Brad still wants to control her every move. Then Lance moves into the house across the yard. He’s hot, chivalrous, and wants to help Crissy break free. Will standing up for herself push Brad too far?
Excerpt:The four-foot tall fence surrounding the garden was covered with flowering vines, disguising the way in from the backyard. Emma meticulously kept the vines trimmed around a small gate hidden on the side between her house and Lance’s. I stuck my hand through and searched around for the latch. Like always, I had a hard time finding it, but once I finally did, I simultaneously lifted the latch and placed my thumb over the Zen circle on the rock. By the time I turned around from securing the gate, Desiree was sitting cross-legged on the ground by a bush of pink peonies.
“Hey,” she said. “What’s going on?”
Now that I had someone to talk to, I didn’t know what to say. “You said if I needed help I could summon you.”
“That I did.”
To my horror, tears started flowing again. “I, um—”
Before I could say anything, Desiree was at my side, her arms around me. Any remaining doubts I had about her and this wish being real were gone. I couldn’t remember the last time anyone held me just for the sake of comfort. Whoever it was, it sure wasn’t Brad. When he put his hands on me it was for one of two things: To get what he wanted or to give me what I had coming.
“I know,” Desiree said a few times in this sweet, soothing way. And I knew she did. Somehow she knew everything about me. Even more than Mandy.
“He’s going to kill me,” I said through my tears.
Wow. Where’d that come from? Sure, he could obviously do serious harm to me if he wanted, but kill me? I said it again. “I’m really scared that one day I’m not going to be able to defuse him and he’s going to kill me.”
Desiree rested her chin on top of my head and I felt her jaw clench and release, clench and release. “That’s why I’m here. You wanted a better future. That’s more likely to happen if he’s not in the picture.”
“What am I supposed to do?” The damn tears wouldn’t stop. As soon as I wiped them away my face was wet again.
“Remember what I told you?” she asked and released her grip on me.
“You told me a lot of things,” I said. “It was a little hard to focus considering I thought you were pranking me.”
“Do you still think it’s a joke?”
“No,” I said, sniffing. “But nothing’s gotten better yet.”
“You wished for a new path, a better future than the one that seemed to be ahead of you.” She plucked a daisy from the garden and tucked it into her hair and then another which she put behind my right ear. Her voice, with its soft, Southern lilt, was amazingly soothing as she spoke. “For that to fully transpire you need to be capable of helping yourself. I told you, you need to learn to fight the battle. For that you need strength and confidence.” She looked at me over the top of her big, round, blue glasses. “I’ve provided all that you need to bring your wish to a satisfying conclusion.”
“A satisfying conclusion? That’s it?” I asked. “Aren’t I supposed to get a happily ever after?”
“That may come,” Desiree said. “It may not. It might come a little later on. Satisfying and happy don’t necessarily come hand-in-hand. My task, fulfilling your wish, is to get you on the pathway to a better future. Your soul didn’t specify what that future was to be.”
“So it could be only slightly less crappy than the one I’ve got right now?”
She did her palms-up swami-shrug.
“Could be. Doubt it though. Not many soul wishes call for slightly less crappy.” She smiled in that mellow way of hers. “I’ve provided you with all the tools you need. Your future is now in your control.”
Shawn McGuire is the author of young adult, coming-of-age novels that blend contemporary settings with a touch of fantasy and magic. She started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that’s episode IV) as a kid: she couldn’t wait for the next one so wrote her own episodes. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to write is as strong now as it was then. She grew up in the beautiful Mississippi River town of Winona, Minnesota, the small town that inspired the setting for Sticks and Stones and the upcoming Break My Bones. After graduating college she moved to the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin (Go Pack Go!) where she lived for many years. She and her family now call Colorado home and when not writing or reading, Shawn enjoys cooking and baking, crafts, interior decorating, and spending time hiking and camping in the spectacular Rocky Mountains.
My website: www.Shawn-McGuire.com