Alex had everything when he was with Madison. But the darkness within him wouldn't go away. After two years apart, he returns to Pelican Bluffs and to the girl he never wanted to leave. Madison wants to give their love another chance, but Alex can't fight fate.
He is what he is.
Ruined. Crazy like his mother. And Madison deserves so much more. When his secrets spill out into their small town, Alex has a choice to make. Hide away in the darkness forever, or let love in.
ExcerptMy first memory of my mom’s schizophrenia is of her, locked in the bathroom of our home back in California, shrieking that “they” were coming in the windows. I was maybe four years old, and the only one able to talk to her because she always lapses into Japanese when she gets scared. I didn’t know how to call the police. I wasn’t even in kindergarten yet. I just sat outside the bathroom door and begged her to let me in. Maternal instinct won out and she opened the door, then told me to call for help. She showed me how to use the phone.After that, I became Mom’s protector. I was the one who made sure she took her medication by begging her to open the childproof bottles and dumping the pills into a pill sorter that put a dose in each compartment. I was the one who warded off the social workers who wanted to take her away or me away or both, by playing games and refusing to speak if they separated us. I was the one who became her legal guardian when I turned eighteen. I’ll be the one to look after her for the rest of her colorful and tortured life. Assuming I can hold it together.My life isn’t one I’d wish on my worst enemy. I love my mother, but her condition destroyed my childhood. Whoever ends up responsible for me is in for a similar catastrophe. There’s not much I can control about losing my mind, but I can control this: The person responsible for me will never be Madison Lukas. She deserves better than that. Even if I have to break my own heart a thousand times over to give her freedom, I’ll do it, because I love her more than she could ever imagine. She’s everything to me.
About the Author
Emily Mah Tippetts writes romance under the name E.M. Tippetts and science fiction and fantasy under the name Emily Mah. Originally from New Mexico, she now lives in London with her family. Before she was a published author, she was an attorney who specialized in real estate, contracts, and estate planning, especially literary estate planning.
Her most recent pro publications have been her science fiction and fantasy short stories in magazines like Black Gate, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, and the anthology, Shanghai Steam.