Tuesday, May 13, 2014

COLLISION by Kate L. Mary

Hi guys! I'm super excited to introduce my Etopia sister, Kate L. Mary.  We were both picked up via Pitchmas, and her debut novel, COLLISION, was released the same day as Healing The Bayou.  So, you could say we went through this journey side by side.  I cannot stress enough what a pleasure this is!

Author: Kate L. Mary
Category/Genre: New Adult/Romantic Mystery


When eighteen-year-old Kara Jones gets into a car accident on the way home from college, she’s left with more than a few bruised ribs, a busted cell phone, and a totaled car. After a slip-up at the hospital, she’s shaken to discover that her family isn’t all it seems. And now her mother’s strange behavior and willingness to do anything to protect her secrets—including pulling Kara out of school—have Kara floundering in the dark.

Enter Derek Miller, a former classmate who’s dealing with family issues of his own. His nerdy charm is too much for Kara to resist, and she’s even more amazed when he agrees to help her dig into her mother’s past. Together they investigate her mother’s old friends and boyfriends, hoping to discover who Kara really is. Instead, they find disturbing connections to the dark history of Kent State University, and an ever expanding maze of mystery surrounding Kara’s birth.

As Kara and Derek chase secrets, she realizes he’s the only person she can trust. But as they get closer to the truth, the disturbing answers reveal a web of evil far darker and further reaching then they’d imagined, leaving Kara to wish she’d never asked the questions in the first place, and to wonder if some secrets are better left untold…
“Hi!” The nurse comes in and I want to let out a sigh of relief, but it would hurt too much. “We’re getting a room all ready for you upstairs. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get you out of the ER soon. OK?”

She’s young—probably fresh out of nursing school—and wearing too much makeup for someone working in an emergency room. With the way her hair and face are made up she’d look more at home in a skimpy nurse uniform dancing at a bachelor party than here in a pair of green scrubs. A giggle bubbles up inside me, and I press my lips together to keep it from popping out. Mom frowns at me, but Dad’s lips twitch like he knows what I’m thinking. It only makes me want to laugh even more. Of course, that would be stupid. If breathing hurts, laughing would probably make me pass out.

“The doctor said she might need a blood transfusion?” Mom is still playing with her zipper.

The nurse nods, picks up my chart, and scans it. Her lips press together, and her nose scrunches up like thinking hurts. It’s probably all that blonde hair. I can make fun because my hair is black like Mom’s.

When the nurse doesn’t look up from the chart Mom frowns. “Can we donate?”

Blondie finally glances up and flashes a dazzling smile like she’s in a commercial for some drug company. “Of course. We always need blood donors.”

“We’re both O,” Dad says.

Blondie’s smile fades. She looks back down at the chart. Her face scrunches up even more as her eyes scan the paper, and Mom grips my hand. Her fingernails dig into my skin. I want to shake her off, but that would hurt too much. I wiggle my fingers and hope she’ll get the point. She doesn’t ease up.

“What’s wrong?” Mom asks in a shaky voice.

Blondie looks up and arches an eyebrow. “Kara’s adopted?”

My heart sputters like a dying motor. “What?” My voice is raspy again, only this time it has nothing to do with my injuries.

“No!” Mom’s hand finally releases mine and goes to her throat. Her face goes two shades whiter. I didn’t think it was possible.

I stare at them, waiting for an explanation. Dad shakes his head. Mom just shakes.

“No.” Dad’s voice is firm, but there’s a small quiver to the word.

Blondie’s eyes get huge, and she clears her throat. “Oh. My mistake.” She stares at the floor.

Dad takes a small step away from Mom. “Why would you ask that?”

Blondie forces a smile and meets Dad’s eyes. “Must be a mistake in the chart. No big deal. I’ll look into it.” She practically runs toward the curtain. “Let me check on your room.”

The second she pulls the curtain shut, I turn on my parents. “I’m adopted!” My face is hot, and my breathing comes faster. It makes everything between my shoulders and waist ache, but I don’t care. How could they have kept this from me?

Mom smiles but it’s so tight it’s more like a grimace. “Of course you’re not. You’ve seen pictures of me when I was pregnant.”

That’s true. Still, what the hell was that all about? “Why would she say that?”

Mom’s hands shake. Dad stares at the floor. “You heard her. Just a mistake.” She clears her throat, and her eyes flit toward the curtain. “Let me go see what the confusion was. Maybe they got your chart mixed up with someone else’s. I don’t want there to be any more problems.” She’s already walking toward the curtain. She hasn’t looked at Dad once.


He looks up, and his gray eyes move over my face like he’s seeing me for the first time. My chest tightens, and it’s as if I’m right back in that car with the steering wheel pressed against me. Why does it seem like something awful is about to happen?

“It was a mistake.” He kicks at the floor and shoves his hands in his pockets. “I’m going to go check on your mom.”

Excerpt #2:

The bar is packed when we walk in. The girls who came with us fan out in different directions—probably on the prowl. Dex motions for us to follow him when he heads back through the crowd, and he stops in front of an overcrowded table where four guys and two girls are sharing a few baskets of fries and mozzarella sticks. There are about a dozen glasses on the table, most empty.

Dex introduces us, and I don’t miss the fact that he skips right over a girl with curly brown hair. She looks vaguely familiar, and her blue eyes snap back and forth between Derek and me. Is this Steph? I still don’t know who she is, but based on the way Derek is shuffling his feet I’d guess she’s his ex. Great. This trip may turn out to be a mistake.

Dex slaps Derek on the arm. “Drinks?”

Derek nods and gives me a quick—and very uncomfortable looking—smile before heading toward the bar with Dex. Leaving me alone. Normally I’m OK with people I don’t know, but the brunette’s icy eyes feel like lightning bolts at the moment.

“Take a seat,” a blond guy who Dex introduced as Mitch says, pulling out a chair.

I glance over my shoulder, but Derek is nowhere in sight, so I sit. The brunette is right across from me.

She holds out her hand. “Steph. Although, you probably should know that since we went to high school together—but I doubt you do.”

Mitch laughs. He curls his fingers into claws and makes a hissing sound at Steph. “Cat fight.”

I plaster a smile on my face and shake Steph’s hand. “You look familiar, but it was a big school. Did we have any classes together?”

Steph’s handshake is like a limp noodle. “Doubtful. I was in the AP classes.”

I want to roll my eyes. “So you and Derek dated?” Clearly, Derek isn’t going to tell me, but I doubt she’s going to have a problem putting it all out there.

Steph nods and tosses her brown hair over her shoulder. She’s cute. Kind of mousy-looking with that tiny nose and the way her mouth bunches up every time she talks to me, but she isn’t a dog. Damn. It’s not like I was hoping his ex would be covered in warts or anything, but would it be too much to ask that she put on a freshman fifty? Steph is tiny.

“So where are you going to college?” Mitch asks, probably to relive the tension.

“I was going to Ohio University.”

“You get kicked out?” Steph snaps.

“Nooo.” I stretch the word out as long as possible while all the words I want to fling at her bounce around in my head. “I was in a car accident on the way home from Christmas break. My mother decided taking a semester off would be a good idea.”

Mitch laughs. “I guess you didn’t agree.”

“Mostly because it was her way of trapping me. Somehow when my car crashed it broke open her closet full of skeletons. She wants to keep me around until I find it in my heart to forgive her for lying to me for eighteen years.”

Everyone stares at me like I just told them I tied Derek up in my red room of pain last night. I clamp my mouth shut and sit back. OK. Too much information for strangers, I guess.

  About The Author
Kate L. Mary is a stay-at-home mother of four and an Air Force wife. She spent most of her life in a small town just north of Dayton, Ohio where she and her husband met at the age of twelve. Since their marriage in 2002, they have lived in Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and California.

Kate’s love of books and writing has helped her survive countless husbandless nights.  She enjoys any post-apocalyptic story – especially if zombies are involved – as long as there is a romantic twist to give the story hope. Kate prefers nerdy, non-traditional heroes that can make you laugh to hunky pieces of man-meat, and her love of wine and chocolate is legendary among her friends and family. She currently resides in Oklahoma with her husband and children.

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