Author: Amy Harmon
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
The Spencer Hill Press release will have Bonus Content never before available.
Ambrose Young was beautiful. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have . . . until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.
Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.
Riding home on her bike after work was as second nature as finding her way through the hallways of her home in the dark. Fern had done it a hundred times, finding her way home around midnight without noticing the familiar houses and streets around her, her mind often somewhere else completely. She was the night manager at Jolley's Supermarket. She’d started at Jolley's her sophomore year in high school, bagging groceries, sweeping floors. She eventually worked her way into a cashier position and finally, last year, Mr. Morgan had given her a title, a small raise, and the keys to the store so she could close it up five nights a week.
She was probably riding too fast. She could admit that now, but she hadn't expected a giant grizzly bear running on his hind legs to come around the corner as she turned onto her street. She yelped, yanking her handlebars to the left to avoid a collision. Her bike flew over the curb and up onto the grass before it struck a fire hydrant and she was propelled over the handle bars onto the Wallaces’ well-kept front lawn. She lay there for a minute, gasping to recapture the air that had been forcibly expelled from her chest. Then she remembered the bear. She scrambled to her feet, wincing, and turned to retrieve her bike.
“Are you okay?” the bear growled behind her.
Fern yelped again and jerked around, finding herself about ten feet from Ambrose Young. Her heart dropped like a two-ton anchor and rooted her to the spot. He was holding her bike up, which looked a bit mangled from the impact with the fire hydrant. He wore a snug, black, sweat shirt, with a hood that hung low on his forehead. He kept his face averted as he spoke to her and the streetlight cast his face in partial shadow. But it was Ambrose Young, no doubt about it. He didn't look wounded. He was still huge, the width of his shoulders and length of his arms and legs still impressively muscled, at least as far as she could tell. He had on a pair of fitted black knit pants and black running shoes, which was obviously what he had been doing when she mistook him for a bear running down the middle of the road.
“I think so,” she answered breathlessly, not believing her eyes. Ambrose was standing there, whole, strong, alive. “Are you? I just about ran you over. I wasn't paying attention. I'm so sorry.”
His eyes darted to her face and away again, and he kept his face angled to the side, like he couldn't wait to be on his way.
“We went to school together, didn't we?” he asked quietly and shifted his weight from one foot to the other, the way an athlete does when they are preparing for an event. He seemed nervous, jittery even.
Fern felt a stab of pain–the hurt that comes when a lifelong crush acknowledges that you look vaguely familiar, but nothing more.
“Ambrose, it's me. Fern?” Fern said hesitantly. “Bailey's cousin, Couch Sheen's niece... Rita's friend?”
Ambrose Young's gaze shot to her face again and held. He was staring at her from the corner of his eye, keeping one side of his face in the shadows, and Fern wondered if his neck was hurt, making turning his head painful.
“Fern?” he repeated hesitantly.
“Uh, yeah.” Now it was Fern's turn to look away. She wondered if he too was remembering the love notes and the kiss at the lake.
“You don't look the same,” Ambrose said bluntly.
“Um, thank you. That's kind of a relief,” Fern said honestly. Ambrose looked surprised and his mouth quirked ever so slightly. Fern felt herself smiling along with him.
“The frame is a little bent. You should try it. See if you can make it home.” Ambrose pushed the bike toward her, and Fern grasped the handles, taking it from his hands. For a second, the light from the streetlight hit him squarely in the face. Fern felt her eyes widen, the breath catching in her throat. Ambrose must have heard the swift intake of breath, because his gaze locked on hers for a heartbeat before he pulled back. Then he turned and was running swiftly in smooth strides down the road, the black of his clothing melding with the darkness and obscuring him from view almost immediately. Fern watched him go, frozen in place. She wasn't the only one who didn't look the same.
Amy Harmon is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of ten novels. Her books are now being published in 13 languages around the globe. She knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story.
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One copy of Making Faces - Open to US only