Read an excerpt & make sure you ONE-CLICK. this epic bundle!
My biggest fear, huh? I don’t think I ever told you about my recruitment experience, did I? So the AF reps show up at high school on career day. Bo had skipped and gone somewhere to drink the day away. Lucky bastard. I would’ve cut class that day, too, but I had too many skips and was warned that if I had any more, they would withhold my diploma and make me go to summer school. That wasn’t going to happen.
Anyway, I end up talking with the Army and Marine recruiters. Their spiels are pretty similar. They ask me about my interests, and I tell them getting the hell out of Nowheresville is my priority. The Marine recruiter nods and says he felt the same way. He tells me I can earn money, get my college paid for, and make a lot of friends. The first one sounds interesting, the second intriguing, the third I could care less about. Turns out the last one is actually the biggest benefit of joining.
Later, the recruiter follows up with me. Gives me a huge laundry list of awesome things about joining. I tell him he doesn’t have to sell me anymore, that I’m ready to sign. Only I’m debating between the Marines and the Army. Then I make my biggest mistake ever. I admit that I’m not a fan of water. The Marine recruiter laughs and says, “You’ll be infantry, son,” and I sign.
When I get to boot camp they tell me the Marines are a branch of the Navy. The Navy, Grace. The Marine recruiter must have noted that I had an aversion to water, because every punishment I ever received was water-related.
The moral of this story is that I can’t go around telling people my greatest fear, because someone will use it against me. It ain’t water anymore.
I think what you feel on my letters is dust. I’m bummed that it is on my letters to you. They say it’s sand, but it’s finer than that. It’s like the particles that make up the sand, and it is everywhere. When you get home on leave and wash for the first time, you have to stand under the water for at least twenty minutes, all the while watching the black dust collect and pool at your feet, creating coffee-colored water that swirls down the drain.
I don’t think you can ever fully erase the dust from your belongings. It sticks with you no matter how long you let the water wash over you or how many times you wipe it away. Like the tension I have in being weaponless and exposed back home, the dust is one of the many things I’ll carry with me when I’m out.
I’m sorry that it is invading your space now through my letters. It’s like I’m spreading a contaminant. Am I Patient Zero, or are you?
I probably shouldn’t have volunteered for a third tour, but combat pay is hard to turn down. After three years here, though, I feel like I am a loosely contained conglomerate of those particles of dust.
For four years, Grace Sullivan wrote to a Marine she never met, and fell in love. But when his deployment ended, so did the letters…Noah has always known exactly what he wants out of life. Success. Stability. Control. That’s why he joined the Marines and that’s why he’s fighting his way — literally — through college. Now that he’s got the rest of his life on track, he has one last conquest: Grace Sullivan. But since he was the one who stopped writing, he knows that winning her back will be his biggest battle yet.
AnnMarie Sullivan made one mistake in her freshman year and her entire college existence became tainted by it. Guys labeled her as easy and girls shied away. To cope, AnnMarie stayed away from Central social life and away from Central men until Bo Randolph storms into her life. Bo allows instinct to rule his behavior. If it feels good, do it, has been his motto. AnnMarie is everything he didn’t realize he wanted. He knows he should walk away, but he just can’t.
Twenty-five-year-old Sgt. Gray Phillips is at a crossroads in his life: stay in the Marine Corps or get out and learn to be a civilian? He’s got forty-five days of leave to make up his mind but the people in his life aren’t making the decision any easier. His dad wants him to get out; his grandfather wants him to stay in. And his growing feelings for Sam Anderson are wreaking havoc with his heart…and his mind. He believes relationships get ruined when a Marine goes on deployment. So now he’s got an even harder decision to make: take a chance on Sam or leave love behind and give his all to the Marines.
Winter Donovan loves two things: her sister and her sister's ex boyfriend. She's spent her whole life doing the right thing except that one time, that night when Finn O'Malley looked hollowed out by his father's death. Then she did something very wrong that felt terribly right. Finn can't stop thinking about Winter and the night and he'll do anything to make her a permanent part of his life, even if it means separating Winter from the only family she has. Their love was supposed to be unrequited but one grief stricken guy and one girl with too big of a heart results in disastrous consequences.
**Also includes the bonus epilogue for UNSPOKEN along with a preview of THE CHARLOTTE CHRONICLES—a spin off of the Woodlands series.
(click on image for full view)
Meet Jen Frederick
For more books by Jen Frederick, visit her Rock Star Page HERE