Title: A Girl By Any Other Name
Author: MK Schiller
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Romantic suspense
Publication Date: 12th January 2014
Hosted by: Luscious Laylah Release Day
Everyone tells him he needs to move on, but how can a man function without his heart?
Ten-year-old Caleb Tanner wants nothing to do with Sylvie Cranston, the annoying weird girl who moves next door to him and gets him in trouble for swearing. But at twelve, they become friends when he teaches her how to hook a fishing line and she shows him the value of a selfless act. At fourteen, he falls in love with her.
At sixteen, she dies.
Or so he’s told. But Cal never believes it. Sylvie has become part of his soul. He knows her like the steady beating of his own heart. He’d know if she was dead. Cal looks for her, prays for her and finally he just waits for her.
Nine years later, she walks into the community college English class Cal is teaching. Only this girl claims her name is Sophie Becker and she doesn’t know him. Cal knows better. He’s determined to get the girl he loves back—and protect her from the danger that took her away all those years ago.
I am a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. I have a full time life and two busy teenagers, but by night, I sit by the warm glow of my computer monitor, and attempt to conjure up passionate heartwarming stories with plenty of humor.
I started imagining stories in my head at a very young age. In fact, I got so good at it that my best friend asked me to make up stories featuring her as the heroine and the boy she currently liked as the hero. We’d spend hours on the phone while I came up with a series of unrealistic, yet tender events led the object of her desire to finally profess his love. You’ve heard of fan fiction… this was friend fiction.
Even with that, it took many years to realize I could produce an actual full length book that readers would enjoy. I try to make my stories humorous, realistic, with characters who are flawed but redeeming. I hope you enjoy my stories and never stop searching for your happily ever after.
Also by MK Schiller:
The Other C-Word:
The worst part of being a kid was that you never knew how good you had it until it was too late.
Childhood was simple. My parents told me it was because I didn’t have bills to pay or mouths to feed, but it was more than that. It was because nothing was planned. When you didn’t plan for it, you didn’t worry about the consequences. They just happened naturally without the coercion, manipulation or mindfuck games that came with becoming an adult.
I never planned for Sylvie Cranston to be my best friend. I never expected her to be the muse in all my dreams, or the girl who later haunted my nightmares. I certainly never planned to fall in love with her, but that was exactly what happened.
Everyone told me I needed to move on. That was like asking me to pierce my own flesh and crush my empty, beating heart. They wanted me to toss it away and continue to breathe. How could a man function without his heart?
She sat down on her swing again. “I think you’re the smartest boy I know.”
She blinked her eyes at my goofy grin.
“I’m the smartest person you know.”
“That can’t be, because I’m smarter than you,” she replied, jutting her chin out.
“You’re a smartass. There’s a difference.” I returned to the passage I was reading, doing my best to ignore her.
“Why don’t you want people to know you like to read?”
“I don’t want to talk about it, Sylvie. You’re annoying me.”
“Will you read one to me?”
“We’re supposed to be paying attention to the sermon. The only reason my momma lets me sit out here with you is because she thinks we listen to it.”
“You’re not listening.” She had me there. “Just read me one. Your favourite one. Please?”
I sighed. “Fine.”
I flipped to my favourite poem and quietly read The Raven to her I flipped to my favourite poem and quietly read The Raven to her. When I looked up, she was staring at me with wide eyes and a wistful smile. Even my ignorant eleven-year-old self could appreciate that smile.
“It’s so pretty. I wonder what it means.”
“I know what it means. He thought he heard the ghost of some girl named Lenore who he used to know, but it was just some stupid bird screaming that he’d never see her again.”
“That sounds sad and romantic.”
“Romantic? He was crazy,” I said, twirling my finger next to my head.
“I think it is. He had to love her very much if he kept searching for her.”
“Maybe he just went batshit.”
“Cal, don’t swear. We’re in church,” she scolded, wagging her finger at me.
“It’s okay. We’re outside of it,” I said, gesturing to the open space between us and the building.
“God can hear everything.”
I chuckled. “Yeah, but my momma can’t.” She punched me in the arm. “Did you just punch me or was it the wind? ’Cause I can’t tell.”
“Very funny.” She looked off into the woods, and I wondered if she was going to bolt early. “I think there might be a raven calling to me too. Do you think I’m crazy?”
“Heck yeah,” I replied, impressed with myself for not saying ‘hell’. I felt lousy, though, when she looked at me with those big chocolate-coloured eyes full of sorrow. I wanted to make her feel better. I wanted her to smile again. I knocked my knee into hers. “Girl, you’re such a weirdo,” I said, finding the most poetic words my childish mind could muster.
She laughed in that cynical way of hers. “Yeah, you’re right. Bye.” She took off, sprinting into the woods.
“Hey, Sylvie,” I called after her before she blended into the landscape. She stopped and turned, almost out of earshot. “Let’s go fishing tomorrow after school.”
“I knew you’d take me,” she yelled back, giving me a real smile.
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