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Download A New Season For $0.99


Good afternoon everyone, hope your weekend is going well.
I can't believe I forgot to post this here, since it's all over my Facebook and Twitter, but as of yesterday A New Season is on sale for $0.99. The sale will last until 9/11/2015. Just click on the title and you'll be directed the listing on Amazon. Below is listed a little teaser to peak your interest:
 One
Remind me again exactly why I wanted to go to college," I ask my boyfriend, Joaquin, as we walk hand in hand down the sidewalk.
  "Because you wanted to try something new, make a life for yourself. And, oh, yeah, your parents would have killed you if you didn't."
Right.
Leave it up to Joaquin to bring me back down to earth. Just when I think I can't go on, I can count on him to set me straight. That's why I love him. I think. It's also the reason why I sometimes want to punch him in the face. I mean, sure it's great having a boyfriend looking out for your best interests, but sometimes a girl just needs to vent without being told she's wrong.
"Steph, don't worry. This is our first semester. Everyone says it's the hardest. Besides, you're just putting way too much pressure on yourself; you'll ace that psychology test tomorrow."
"You think so?"
He kisses my forehead. "I know so."
I don't want to ruin this romantic moment by telling him that's so something my mom would say.
The mid-September breeze fills the air as we walk back to the dorms from the cafe we've designated as our study spot. Once we reach the hall my room is located on, we pause to say goodbye.
"You want to catch a movie tomorrow night?" I ask, still wrapped in Joaquin's arms.
He sighs. "Sorry, but I already had plans with the guys tomorrow night."
My heart sinks. "That's okay. Maybe we can do something Sunday."
He shrugs. "We'll see."
"Guess I'll catch ya later."
"Yeah. Just remember; don't worry."
I smile. "Thanks."
"Welcome."
The butterflies in my stomach die down as I walk to the dorm room I share with my best friend Hayley. And as I unlock and open the door, all sense of fantasy flees and reality smacks me right in the face.
Turns out having a full class schedule can really get in the way of your cleaning habits. Currently my and Hayley's dorm room is a hazard site of personal items strewn across the floor. I wouldn't call myself a neat freak, not like my friend Amy or my mom, but I do like my living space to be somewhat organized and clean. At least enough to where things can be found easily. But being busy with classes and studying and trying to adjust to all this while living on my own for the first time has pulled my attention away from domestic duties. Yet now that I see how bad it's actually gotten in here, I decide that enough is enough. So, tying my honey blonde hair in a ponytail to keep it out of my face, I get to work.
Removing a trash bag from the box of cleaning supplies Mom packed for me, I start picking up all the trash and putting it in the bag while piling my clothes in my purple hamper. I also try to get some of Hayley's stuff put away. A good deal of it is lying on my side of the room. Even after thirteen years of friendship, I never realized how messy she is. Seeing Hayley's lack of cleaning skills, I have my suspicions that Mrs. Meyers did most of the housework when Hayley was growing up.
During my expedition, I find the phone charger I lost two weeks ago, numerous wrappers from my and Hayley's favorite brand of granola bars, and a bottle of neon green nail polish under my bed I don't recall my friends or I ever wearing. Suspecting the bottle belonged to the previous dorm occupants, I throw it away and then take out the vacuum cleaner and go over the floor.
Once I've gotten everything fairly organized, I finish off by spraying some awesome smelling air freshener. I have to admit, it feels so much better in here. Now it's time to hit the books.
Yay.
Not.
I study for a good hour before Hayley comes back from her last class of the week. It's so weird being on totally different schedules from my friends. Just last year, we were all in school at the exact same time, with the same lunch hour and everything. But now we're all over the place, which makes it hard to plan anything together. It makes me sad.
"Ugh! Why is college so hard?" Hayley moans as she closes the door.
"Still having trouble with algebra?" I ask as I close my English composition book.
"Yes. Professor McGregor is a bear. I asked one simple question and he just totally flipped out, saying I'm supposed to be able to figure this out myself and told me to look it up in the text book, which did absolutely no good."
"I know what you mean. They say we're all adults and we need to handle all of this on our own, but how do they expect us to learn without any help?"
Hayley grabs a bottle of water from our mini fridge and takes a drink. "Tell me about it."
"I think I'm gonna go do some laundry. You want to come?"
"No, I need to study. We had our first test on Monday and we got them back today. I made a D on it. But Amy said she'd help me tomorrow night, so maybe this will all start to make sense."
"That's too bad. Do you want me to take some of your clothes with me?"
She looks at her hamper. "No, I think I'm good for now. Thanks anyway. Hey, it looks really good in here. Thanks for sprucing it up. I'll try and remember to clean up more."
Lugging my hamper that is bursting at the seams, I go downstairs to the laundry room. I find the one free washing machine and shove my clothes in, pour detergent over them, add my quarters and close the lid. After my clothes go through the wash cycle and start to rinse, Breanna James, my friend Regan's roommate, walks up to me.
"Hey," I say lightly.
"Hey, how are you?" she asks breathlessly, setting her hamper on the floor.
"I'm okay."
Breanna looks around the room. "Looks like I picked a bad time to do laundry."
"Yeah, this place seems to be pretty popular tonight."
I've only known Breanna since the beginning of school when she and Reagan we're assigned to the same room, but I already consider her a friend and think the rest of my friends feel the same. She's a really nice person.
We talk as she waits for a washing machine to free up. She's wearing her scrubs, ready for her weekly night shift. Breanna works as a CNA at the hospital and studies nursing here at the university.
Someone finally pulls their clothes out of a washing machine a few rows down and Breanna tells me goodbye. About that time, my clothes finish washing and I put them in the dryer. As they spin around and around in the steaming hot machine, I go down the hall to the cafeteria and pick up the spaghetti, garlic bread, and salad they're serving this evening. As I pick up my tray and walk to a table, it occurs to me how the old me would cringe at the sight of this food. I will the thought away.
 This time last year was a pretty tough time in my life. My number one priority was losing weight and I was willing to do just about anything to become model thin. It was ruining my life. But by the grace of God, my sister got through to me and I finally realized what's important in life. And I realized that just because you aren't super skinny doesn't mean you can't be beautiful. At times I still find myself questioning if I should eat regular foods like meat or pasta. Sometimes I still hear that nasty voice that tells me not to eat at all. But when that voice appears in my head, I pray hard and tell myself that that voice is wrong.
As I eat my dinner, I see my friends Leah and Amy enter the cafeteria. They wave at me as they get in line and then come and sit with me.
"What have you two been up to?" I ask as they sit down.
"I just got out of chemistry 2," says Amy, brushing her straightened red hair out of her face. Since starting college, my curly haired friend has a new found love for the flat iron. I swear she uses hers at least twice a day now.
"I just got a job."  Leah grins bashfully. Leah and I haven't been close friends for a very long, but now I can't imagine my life without her. She's got such a sweet spirit and is always there to cheer people up when they're down.
"Really? Where?" I've been looking into getting a part time job myself, though it'll be tricky trying to balance work with all this new homework.
"The university's library."
 "Getting an early start, huh?" I ask. Leah is going to college to be a school librarian.
"Are you and Joaquin going to the freshmen dance next week?" asks Amy, patting her mouth with a napkin.
I shake my head. "Nah. Neither of us are very big on dances, which is kind of ironic since we first got together at prom. Are you guys going?"
I find that Amy is going with a guy from her Organic Chemistry class and Leah doesn't plan on going. Can't say I blame her.
Once I've finished my dinner, I go back to the laundry room and fold my warm and dry clothes, then go upstairs to my room. Hayley is sitting at her desk, talking on the phone. She looks up and half-heartedly smiles, then takes her phone call to the bathroom. I hear her say "Mom." Guess she and Mrs. Meyers are talking about something personal.
 After all of my clothes are put away, I notice my computer technology text book lying on my desk. With a sigh, I sit on my bed and crack it open. We have a test on Monday and I want to do the best I possibly can on it. I swear, this class will be the death of me. And my professor, Mr. Evans, is a real piece of work.
"A lot of you come into this class thinking it will be simple," he said, stroking his salt-and-pepper beard as he paced about the room on the first day off class. "A quick class, something that will look good on your résumés as you apply for jobs. But it won't be easy. A lot of you will fail."
Very encouraging, don't you think?
Hayley walks out of the bathroom and flops down on her bed with a sigh.
"Was that your mom on the phone?" I ask.
Hayley nods her head slowly. "Yep."
"Everything okay?"
"Yeah, just the usual. Mom's having a meltdown."
Mrs. Meyers seems to be having a lot of "meltdowns" lately. Every time she talks to her on the phone, Hayley tells me how depressed she seems. I bet she just really misses having Hayley at home.
"Ugh, if I study anymore my brain will explode!" says Hayley. "Let's go out."
"I just ate dinner."
"So did I." She points to the empty Easy Mac containers on her desk. "Let's go to the mall, go bowling, or go to the drugstore. I don't care; let's just do anything but stay at this stinkin' school."
I have to admit, getting off of campus does sound nice. I haven't left in a week. And we're probably low on groceries.....
"Okay, let's go."
Hayley jumps out of bed. "Hallelujah! Let's go see if Amy and Leah and Reagan and Breanna want to go," she says in her fast paced fashion.
As Hayley runs down the hallway to our friends' rooms, I text Joaquin and ask if he wants to go with us.
Hey, want to go bowling with us?

It takes a while for him to respond.

I don't know Steph......

Come on, Joaquin. You know you want to! :)

Another minute passes.

Okay. Meet you by the entrance doors.

I find it weird that I practically had to beg Joaquin to go bowling with us. Normally he'd jump at the chance to get away from school.
Putting my phone in my pocket, I find that Leah accepts and Amy declines, stating she has to go to biology class early in the morning. Reagan already has plans for the night, but Breanna gladly comes with us. Excitement rushes as we walk down the stairs, glad to actually have something fun to do and get away from school for a while. Reaching the bottom of the stairs, I find Joaquin waiting for us by the entrance doors. He doesn't look very happy, but I figure he's just tired from going to class all day and then studying all evening.
We all pile into Hayley's asthmatic Santa Fe that barely gets her from point A to point B. The plan is that we'll go bowling and then go grocery shopping afterward. Once off of campus, Hayley rolls down the windows, the humid night air stirring, and turns up the radio. We girls laugh and joke as we cruise down the streets. Joaquin almost falls asleep.
 Bowling is a blast. We give each other silly names for our scoreboard and try to distract one another to keep each other from winning. At the end of the game, Breanna winds up with the highest score. After bowling, we all decide to go to Wendy's for Frosty's. While there, we see a sign that says "now hiring." Hayley picks up an application. Even though I do want to find a job eventually, I pass on this one. I don't think the fast-food industry is really my niche.
Even as the five of us shop for groceries at Walmart we have lots of fun. Well, us girls do anyway. We talk about school and people we've been meeting and all sorts of stuff as we load our baskets down with necessities for our dorm rooms. The rest of us stand back and try to keep our cool, chocking back laughs and biting lips to keep from smiling, as Hayley unsuccessfully flirts with the cashier, a guy I vaguely remember seeing around campus. All of us except for Joaquin, that is. He doesn't look amused at all. The cashier is awfully blunt in his rejection. We try to soothe Hayley's bruised ego as we exit the store. She turns on an excruciatingly sad song about heartache as we drive back to school.
In just a few short minutes, we're pulling into the campus parking lot. I wish we could have fun nights like this all the time and never worry about school work or finding jobs.
Before heading up to my hall, I wrap my arms around Joaquin to give him a hug. He half-heartedly returns the favor.
"Is something wrong, Joaquin?" I ask, pulling away.
He shrugs. "Not really. Just didn't feel like doing much tonight."
"Oh. I'm sorry."
One of his friends walks by. "Hey man, see you tomorrow!" Joaquin calls to the guy.
He turns his attention back to me, pasting on a fake, tired smile. "Listen Steph, don't worry about it. I'll see you later."
He walks away from me without another word. I feel almost empty as I watch him saunter down the hallway.
Numb, I slowly walk upstairs to my dorm room. Walking down the hall all of my friends and I live on, I silently pray to God, asking Him to fix whatever is wrong between Joaquin and I. A certain sadness washes over me as I open the door to my room, the door to reality. 

Hope you enjoyed this little tidbit and will enjoy reading A New Season. Tune in this week for more writing/book talk. Happy Labor Day!
-Miranda Atchley

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