Curved Horizon picks up a few weeks after the conclusion of Fortitude Smashed with Daisy Yuen and Chelsea Cavanaugh, whose Camellia Clocks are drawing close to timing out. Navigating the ins-and-outs of love is hard enough as strangers destined to be soul mates and proves even more complicated when Daisy shares dark, ugly secrets that linger in her and Aiden’s pasts.
Meanwhile, Shannon and Aiden continue to explore their own, new relationship. Fall brings them an unforgettable one-year anniversary, but when Shannon suffers a life-threatening accident on the job, Chelsea, Daisy, and Aiden must find a way to let go of the past to make room for their future.
Dive deeper into the world of the Camellia Clock—a world of soulmates, secrets, and the healing power of love.
..*** Excerpt ***..
Shannon didn’t realize he’d died until he began to wake up. His thoughts flipped inside out like laundry messed up in the dryer, or a button inverted on a coat. He decided to breathe, and felt heat on his chin and mouth and nose. He decided to remember and watched everything flash by that had flashed by before. “Before” was sometime during the surgery, but he couldn’t tell if that was hours ago or days ago, only that it was before.
The flashes weren’t flashes at all, but he’d heard your life will flash before your eyes so many times that it seemed to fit. All his memories had turned into lapses, light that looked like water pouring the wrong way out of a cracked vase: his mother and father laughing in the living room in Milford; Aiden’s hand under his against the wall the night they met; fourteen-year-old Chelsea licking honey off a spoon in her kitchen while they pretended to study for exams; his wrist snapping when he fell off a skateboard the first time; Aiden saying his name and saying his name and saying his name. Karman shoving her open hand at him when they met at the station years ago; Aiden smiling against the lip of his coffee mug this morning when Shannon left for work.
He opened his eyes.
At first everything stayed dark, but, after he blinked, he saw the outline of the ceiling, heard the monitor beeping steadily next to him, and felt the weight of the mask strapped to his face. He sent thoughts to his wrists. Move. They didn’t. He sent thoughts to his mouth. Open. It didn’t. Finally his limbs caught up, and he was clawing at the mask, tearing it away, and inhaling stale hospital air.
Under the anesthesia there was pain. It bit him gently, like a cat trying to get his attention, warning him that in time it would be much, much worse. For now, though, he was comfortable. That tangible soreness prompted him to turn his head, and he found a familiar pair of eyes gazing back at him.
Aiden sat on the edge of the cot with his elbows against the top of his thighs and his face turned toward Shannon. The darkness made it easy for Aiden to hide the redness that stained his eyes, the salt on his cheeks, and shake in his fingertips, but Shannon knew they were there.
He opened his mouth to say Aiden, but it hurt too much to talk. Instead he scratched the sheets on his bed and reached, hoping Aiden would understand and reach back.
Aiden watched for too long. His chest rose and fell; his mouth pressed into a tight, white line. He shifted once, twice, and then stood up, grabbed the cot, and rolled it until it was against Shannon’s hospital bed. Aiden lay on his side, and, now that he was close, Shannon saw the raw reality of what had happened to Aiden Maar during Shannon’s before.
Aiden’s hard edges were cracked glass. His eyes were the tips of incense sticks, almost burnt out. He hesitated, but touched the back of Shannon’s hand with two fingers, then three, and then latched onto him in one swift movement from delicate to all-encompassing, cautious to desperate.
Despite how badly his throat hurt, Shannon managed to whisper, “I’m right here.”
Aiden’s gaze hardened. He squeezed Shannon’s hand before sliding his palm along Shannon’s wrist and arm to shoulder and neck, and cupped his cheek. “You’re still here,” Aiden corrected harshly.
Shannon didn’t comment on the tears that fought their way past Aiden’s long eyelashes. He just looked, because he could. He touched the hand Aiden had placed on his face and breathed deep enough to catch lingering notes of Aiden’s cologne.
“Yeah, I’m still here.”
◊ ◊ ◊
*** Curved Horizon is published by Interlude Press available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depositry | Goodreads | iBooks | Kobo | Publisher | Smashwords
◊ ◊ ◊
◊ ◊ ◊
After fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures as a special effects makeup artist, Taylor Brooke turned her imagination back to her true love—books. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she’s traveling, hiking or reading. She writes Queer books for teens and adults. She is the author of Fortitude Smashed (Interlude Press ’17) and is represented by Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch Literary Services.