Date Published: 5/22/2013
Companion Novella to The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club
Kyle B. Johnston is looking for a girl. A nice one. One who actually wants to be with him this time. His friend, Emma Parker, offers to help him improve his image. in return he agrees to set her up with a good guy. When Kyle starts to see Emma as something other than a friend, he keeps it a secret.
But what Kyle doesn't know is that Emma's been keeping a secret of her own.
Read the first chapter:
**My thoughts**Chapter 1KyleThe street was completely dark. The lights of the house were dim. I left my Jeep parked next to a palm tree and walked toward a neon blinking sign. It buzzed like a gnat in my ear. Whoever owned this place needed to clean up the outside. Cobwebs covered the porch, and one dead, sun-shriveled lizard stuck to the railing where I set my hand.If I were into that premonition shit, I’d say this place had some weird-ass vibes.But I was here to fix a problem. So I got up my courage and knocked on the door, glancing over my shoulder every so often.It wasn’t a bad part of town, just an old and creepy one.So I kept telling myself that nothing scared me.About a minute passed before I knocked again, wondering if the lizard died a painful death, or was put out of his misery fast. Poor guy…“I’m coming!” a woman’s voice shouted.The door swung open.“Whoa…”I stared down at a hot mess. The woman had bright pink hair. She was also old enough to be my mother. Brown feathers were woven in and out of tiny braids all over her head. Her nails were dark blue, long and curling. I wondered how she could actually grasp anything or even use the computer.“I’m here to see Madame Poulet,” I said.The woman smiled, swishing her floor-length green skirt. She was barefoot, and her toes had rings on them.Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Maybe I should have gone with my initial reaction. Which was: Oh hell no. I was not going to go see someone to talk about my feelings.“Are you ready to discover what secrets lie within?” she asked in a soft, spooky voice. She looked me up and down. Seriously checking me out. “To discover what you, as a man, live and breathe for?”I gulped. “Maybe?”I glanced behind me, and then back at her, debating making a run for my Jeep.“Come, trust me.” Her hot pink lips curled into a smile and she walked backwards, crooking her finger for me to follow.Damn.You only live once, right?I followed her down a dark hallway. From the outside, this place was just your normal-looking house turned into a business in need of painting and lawn mowing. I would have never guessed that the inside contained giant crystals and fruit dishes and mini waterfalls.“Is that a shrunken head?” I eyed a glass jar as we passed the living room, and the thing under it that looked like a fuzzy coconut.“If I tell you it is, will you leave?” She swished her damn ugly skirt with every step. Was she trying to seduce me? Ain’t no way I was paying a visit to cougar town. This would stay strictly business. I heard she could help me. That was all I wanted.“I’ve come this far.” I put the poor fool under glass out of my head, wondering how many photos of half-naked people praying to the moon, or statue goddesses, a person needed to make a place feel like home.Creepy didn’t begin to describe what I spied next.It was a floor-to-ceiling photo of a naked man, painted white on one side, and black on the other.And he had a green bow stuck to his…Damn.I was not going to recover anytime soon from seeing that.How was this old chick supposed to help me get my game back? And not my baseball game. I was going to pay her good money to figure out why I kept striking out with girls.I talked to Zack , my best friend, and his girlfriend Chloe. They didn’t know what to tell me. They didn’t see anything wrong with me. Maybe I wasn’t asking out the right girls, they thought. Then I talked to Tobey, one of the guys on the baseball team. He recommended seeing Madame.So here I was, trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me, following a freaky woman into a room that was draped floor to ceiling in purple fabric and beads. She sat on the floor, making herself comfortable in a circle of crystals. Something that looked like a grape-sized crystal ball perched on a shiny black pillow in front of her.“Have you had any recent contact with the spirit world?” Madame Poulet asked.“Uh, not that I’m aware of.” I sat on a straw mat facing her. Poulet … poultry … I’m not the smartest guy around, but I was pretty sure Poulet meant either poultry or chicken in French.Madame Chicken.What possessed me to visit her again?Right, Tobey. We were pretty good friends, played pool on the weekends.I don’t care if he’s the fastest runner on the entire baseball team and a major asset.I’m going to kill him.“I’m feeling a lot of hostile energy emanating from you, Kyle.” Madame Chicken said. “Do you want to talk about these negative feelings?”“No, thanks.” Maybe I should have seen the school therapist. I was afraid someone would see me going to the shrink, but at least he was legit.She shook her head, making those crazy feathers fly about her face. “You’re really dragging down the serenity here, honey. Perhaps a spirit cleansing ritual? It does wonders.”“I’m fine, really.” I was just thinking about all the ways I was going to hurt my friend. He said he’d gone to Madame Chicken, and found an answer to his question. A question he would not share with me. The ad I saw in the paper listed her as a matchmaker and counselor.But a psychic matchmaker and counselor?
This novella was a sweet and fast read. Kyle and Emma are just friends, who are determined to help fix up each other. Naturally, they develop a mutual attraction while doing so. It's inevitable. It's just a matter of each of them realizing it in their own time and then doing something about it.
It subtly sends the message that you need to be happy with who you are, especially if you want to find your happily ever after. Maximize your potential and embrace your inner beauty, to enhance your outer beauty and you will be amazed at what you can attract. At least, that is something that I saw in it. Kyle is a little scruffy on the outside, which Emma tries to fix. As she does so, she realizes what a beautiful person he is on the inside. Emma is beautiful, but doesn't necessarily know it. Plus, she has some of her own secrets that she is hiding. But when she is able to relax and be herself, her inner beauty shines through. The two of them can magnetically attract whomever they want.
Kyle and Emma take turns telling their story from their own point-of-view. I felt like Kyle dominated the narration, even when it wasn't really his turn. I know that this is a new trend in narration. I think I would have preferred just one point-of-view, or even a more omniscient third-person narrative. This is a personal preference, though, and others will prefer the way that it was told.
J.C. Isabella is the author of Chasing McCree and The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club. Ever since she discovered romance novels in high school, she has been a self proclaimed fan. This led to penning her first YA . When she isn't thinking up new recipes for the cookbook she hopes to one day write, she is brainstorming a new novel and listening to country music. She lives in the tropics of Florida with her big fat Italian family and ornery feline companion.