Monday, January 31, 2022

Elephant on My Chest Now Available

This young adult romance is
Now Available on
Your favorite e-reader

Elephant on My Chest

He's the vile boy next door. Who also knows her biggest secret.

Sixteen-year-old Izzy is excited about the all-school ski trip. She is looking forward to learning to ski, even if she will be the only one on the bunny hill. Of course, she has to first make it through a five-hour bus ride with the vilest—albeit cutest—boy in school. And survive the roommates who keep breaking her one rule: "No sleeping with your boyfriend in my bed!"

When an unexpected power outage triggers a panic attack, Izzy is forced to tell Pug her biggest secret. She's even more surprised to learn his, spending the rest of the long weekend looking at her enemy in a new light.

But their secrets are nothing compared to the one Izzy's mother has been keeping for sixteen years. When Izzy discovers the truth, she must learn to confront her panic disorder or else live with the elephant sitting on her chest.

Warning: This book describes panic attacks. If this will trigger you, this book may not be for you.

Elephant on my Chest

Chapter 1

“THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST WEEKEND EVER.” Sophia draped her arm around my shoulder. “Three nights. No parents.”

I glanced across the school parking lot. “Yeah. And the fact that your boyfriend is in the next room has nothing to do with it?”

Sophia giggled, releasing me as Ethan made his way toward us. “Nah. That’s just a bonus.”

I rolled my eyes, looking around. It surprised me to see so many students going on the annual school ski trip. Somehow, there were enough of us to fill two buses. Surely, someone else was a beginner. Maybe I wouldn’t be the only one on the bunny hill.

Then again, nearly everyone was stowing skis in the compartments under the bus. Newbies wouldn’t have their own equipment, would they?

“Sophia? Would—” Turning, I found my friend unable to speak due to the fact that her boyfriend’s tongue was halfway down her throat. I elbowed her, probably a little harder than I should have.

She frowned at me. “Was that really necessary, Iz?”

I nodded my head toward our English teacher. Mr. Dodd was the one who had organized the trip this year. I figured Sophia wouldn’t want to get on his bad side before we got to the mountain.

Sophia snorted, but she did take a small step away from Ethan as Mr. Dodd glanced in our direction. Lacing her arm through mine, she dragged me toward the bus.

“Come on. Ava and Riley said they’d save us seats.”

As soon as we boarded, our friends waved from the back of the bus. While they moved to sit with their boyfriends, Sophia slid into the row behind Ava with a groan.

“Did you have to pick the seats closest to the bathroom?”

Ava shrugged. “These were the only four rows left if we wanted to sit together.”

Across the aisle, Riley giggled. “These are the best seats. We can do whatever we want back here.”

I shook my head, standing on the aisle seat behind Sophia to stow my bag in the overhead compartment. I was pretty sure Riley would spend most of our five-hour drive with her tongue in Alex’s mouth. It wouldn’t surprise me if some hands ended up under some shirts. Thankfully, the bathroom more or less blocked them from my view.

I sat with my back against the window, lifting the armrest between the two seats and stretching my legs in front of me. For once, I was happy to be barely over five feet tall. My heels were still comfortably resting on the seat.

Until my least favorite person in the world lifted them to sit beside me. I glared at him as I folded my legs beneath me.

“Eww. Go away, Pug, before I catch an STD.”

He sent me a cocky smile, leaning close so only I could hear him. “That’s not how they’re transmitted. Would you like me to explain it to you, Pickles?”

“No. And don’t call me Pickles.”

“Piccolo. Puglisi.”

I looked up to see Mr. Dodd in the aisle beside us, a stack of folders in his arms. He flipped through them, removing two and handing them to us before moving to Sophia and Ethan.

Pug immediately opened his. “I’m in Room 205.” He leaned on the seat in front of him to look over Ethan’s shoulder. “Sweet. We’re roomies.”

In the next row, Jayden turned around. “205. Alex?”

Riley’s boyfriend smiled brightly. “You know it. Where are you ladies?”

I glanced at my paperwork. I was in Room 307. Apparently, so were my friends. Sophia closed her folder.

“So, did anyone see the forecast for this weekend?”

Ethan nodded. “Supposed to get pounded tonight.”

Pug bumped his fist. “Sweet. Freshies.”

I rolled my eyes. “What does that mean? And why are you still here? Go sit not here.”

“Can’t. Bus is full.”

I shook my head. “No. You are not sitting next to me for the next five hours. Ethan, switch with me.”

He swung an arm around Sophia with a laugh. “Sorry, Izzy. Not happening.”

I sent a pleading look across the aisle, but Riley already had her face smashed against her boyfriend. Since Ava was silent, I was pretty sure she was in a similar position. Scowling, I stared out the window as the bus pulled away from the school. Mr. Dodd used the overhead speakers to drone on about the rules that were outlined in our folder. When he finally finished, he had us vote on which movie we wanted to watch.

I had no interest in the slapstick comedy that won the majority vote. I pulled out my phone, realizing almost immediately that my headphones were in my bag. Sighing, I turned to Pug.

“I need my bag.”

He raised his eyebrows. “So?”

“So, I need you to move so I can get it.”

He climbed out of the row, making a sweeping gesture toward the aisle. I stood on his seat to press the button on the compartment.

He laughed from behind me. “What are you doing?”

“I told you. Getting my bag.” I reached into the bin. Great. Pug’s bag was in my way.

“Get down before you get hurt.”

“I’m vertically challenged.” I pulled Pug’s bag out of the compartment, throwing it at him as I reached back in.

“I’ll get your bag.”

“You’re not touching my things.” I stood on the armrest so I could see in. Pug had smashed my bag all the way into the back.

The bus turned onto the highway and I nearly lost my balance. Pug’s hands were around my waist before I could grab the bottom of the overhead bin.

I glared at him. “Get your hands off of me or lose them.”

“Pickles, get down before you get hurt. I can get your bag.”

I grabbed the handle of my bag, pulling it free and stepping off the armrest. As I crawled back into my seat, I turned to Pug. “You can close the bin.”

Shaking his head, he returned his bag to the compartment. By the time he settled back into his seat, I had found my headphones and was already streaming Mapleview Mysteries. Pug leaned close to me, his breath tickling my neck as he pulled the earbud from my ear.

“The butler did it.”

Giving him the finger, I returned the headphone to my ear.

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