Jane C. Brady
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Despite the years of bullying in school, Jewel Hart has remained sweet and kind. She has it all—a great life, a great family, and beauty—but she has never been able to obtain the one thing she wants—to belong.
When Jewel meets Kaiden Carter, a good-looking, charming new student at York Mills High, things start to look up. On the surface, he is perfect, but Jewel can’t shake the feeling that everything is not as it seems.
When the devastation of the rising suicides in her school hits too close to home and drives Jewel into a deep despair, she clings to Kaiden’s strength to find her way back. Through the pain and fear surrounding her, she finds hope and the will to go on. But just as she picks herself up, tragedy strikes again, threatening to steal her last glimmer of hope. How will she go on? Can she ever find her place in the world?
I retreated from his arms, he handed me back my backpack, and I retrieved my cell phone from it. “I’ll see you at lunch?”
“You can count on it,” he said. Giving me a thumbs-up, he turned and headed down the hall.
I caught sight of Lexi and her squad as they tried to dis- tract him with flirting. “Hi, Kaiden!” they sang.
He acknowledged them with a polite nod and whirled around to face me while shuffling backward. “You and me, lunch. Okay, Jewel?”
I knew what he was up to, and it stirred my already pounding heart. I bobbed my head at him and turned to put my backpack in my locker. I appealed to it to swallow me up. At that moment, if I could have climbed inside and pad- locked the door, I would have.
Please, not today. Keep walking, keep walking.
I closed my eyes tightly, willing the universe to oblige me by granting this one small request. Please don’t let them taint this otherwise perfect morning.
Then it happened. Pain shot through my head as it collided with the metal of the locker, the result of a shove from behind. Instinct set in and I went into defense mode. I swiveled in anger, charged and ready to take on my attackers. Lexi stood with a satisfied smugness on her perfectly made- up face.
I rubbed the knob threatening to form on my forehead. “Don’t . . . don’t touch me.” My voice trembled.
“Or what, Hart? What could you possibly do? You and all your friends going to take us on?” She waved her hand in the air and looked from side to side to find anyone who would stand up for me.
What could I do? Nothing, and they knew it. I was alone and helpless. Students had started to gather, thirsty for a fight.
Lexi towered over me in her five-inch royal-blue stilettos. “Are you deaf, Hart? I asked what you’re going to do.”
My legs quivered.
“Come on, let’s go. It’s not worth it,” Amy pleaded, pulling at Lexi’s arm.
“Amy, shut up!” Jess spat. A devilishness glinted in her cold blue eyes and she turned to me. “Surely you’re not going to take that from her, are you?” Jess was attempting to egg me on.
“I think you’d all better get to class. Right now!” a voice bellowed. The crowd parted as Mr. B, one of the school’s chem and bio teachers, stepped into the ring of students that had formed around us.
Lexi’s eyes flashed at me, warning me it wasn’t over. She pivoted and marched off, followed by her shadows.
Jane lives life to the full because she doesn’t want to wake up twenty years from now regretting all the things she didn’t do. She’s an avid traveler who also loves throwing elaborate dinner parties where she wows her guests with gourmet meals. Jane has a passion for writing, interior design, history, movies, board games, and fitness. In her quest for an exciting life, however, she now draws the line at zip-lining, which she experienced in Costa Rica. Never again!
Jane comes from a family of six sisters and lived in a Tennessee plantation house for several years while growing up. She now lives in Western Canada but dreams of owning a vacation home in South Carolina. She lives with her husband (her high school sweetheart), two teenagers, and two dogs. When she grows up, she’d like to be her brilliant sixteen-year-old daughter (minus the mood swings).