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Tuesday, 21 January 2014  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

MENTOR: Agent Assistant Lioness

MENTEE: Marie Meyer


CATEGORY/GENRE: NA Contemporary Romance

WORD COUNT: 80,000



Twelve years ago, Jillian Lawson’s parents died during the 9/11 attacks. Still grieving, her only source of comfort is her best friend, Griffin. But when Jillian leaves for college and Griffin tours with his band, distance will bring them closer than they ever expected.



I was down to my last box. All I had left to pack were the contents of my dresser. Pulling open a drawer, I removed a folded stack of yoga pants and dropped them in the box. Shuffling on my knees from one drawer to the next, I emptied each of them until I came to the drawer I’d been dreading. The one on the top right-hand side.

My hand stilled on the knob. The contents of this drawer had remained buried in darkness for almost five years. I was scared to open it, to shed light on the objects that reminded me of my past.

From downstairs, Jennifer’s voice climbed each step until it pierced the door. “Jillian, I want these boxes out of my foyer. NOW!”

For once, my sister’s demand was well-timed. I stood up and walked to the door, pulling it open. “I’ll get them out as soon as Griffin gets here,” I yelled back.

“Now, Jillian!”

What I really wanted to do was tell her off—call her a bitch, scream in her face. But I knew better. My sense of self-preservation took over. “I’ll be down in a second!”

I sighed and shut the door. Across the room, I stared at the unassuming rectangular compartment and trudged forward, knowing what I had to do. I said a silent prayer for courage and pulled open the drawer.

Inside, the 5×7 picture frame still lay upside down on top of several other snapshots. I reached for the stack.

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