Jealousy, tragedy, survival, and revenge—the discovery of Christopher’s diary in the ruins of Foxworth Hall brings new secrets of the Dollanganger family to light and obsesses a new generation. With Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind both now major Lifetime TV events, this first new addition to the Dollanganger story in nearly thirty years is a timely look at the events in the attic—from teenage Christopher’s point of view. Keep reading for two excerpts from this secret-filled series!
Kane was already at my door ringing the buzzer as I started down the stairs.
“You’re as prompt as a schoolteacher,” I said, maybe too critically. I saw the way he winced. “Don’t you know a girl has to be late?”
He smiled. “Don’t you know how anxious a boy can be?”
“If I didn’t, I know now,” I said, closing the door behind me.
He looked from me to the house and then back at me. “Anything wrong?”
“No,” I said, now beginning to feel bad. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound so sharp.”
“No problem. I have Band-Aids in the car,” he joked, and reached for my hand. He stopped us half-way to his car and turned around to look at me. “Something has your blood up, but I have to say, it’s pretty sexy.”
Now I really did feel the blood rush to my face. Kane was the first boy who had ever said I was sexy. “Thanks. I think,” I said, and we continued to his car.
After we got in and he started the engine, he turned to me with that winning soft half smile of his and asked, “Why did you say ‘I think’? Don’t you like being sexy?”
“I’m not sure what it means. Some of the girls are so obvious about it. Boys call them sexy, but I don’t want to be that sort of girl.”
“You’re definitely not.”
“What am I, then?”
“I told you. You’re a surprise. At least, to me.” He started to back out but then put his foot on the brake and turned back to me. “And maybe even to yourself.”
“I heard from some other girls you’ve driven crazy that you like to speak in riddles.”
He laughed and continued backing out, turning, and heading us away. “It’s not a riddle. I’m having trouble explaining it, that’s all. I feel like I’m at the grand opening, the revealing of a new model.”
“Like a car? One of your father’s new-model cars?”
“Use what you know, Mr. Stiegman says in English class.”
“Check my tires,” I quipped.
“I plan to. Later.”
“All right. I’ll bite. Why am I like a grand opening?”
“You’re discovering who you are, and I’m with you at just the right moment,” he said. “Is that okay?”
I was silent. He was right about me. Kane wasn’t simply a good-looking, popular, rich, intelligent, and athletic boy. He was sensitive, too. And that was something I really had not expected. Could you really fall in love with someone when you were this young, and if you did, what would happen? You had so much further to go in your life, so many other people, boys, men you would meet. How was it possible to make any sort of real commitment to someone before you experienced any of that?
I did once read that you should fall in love many times, each time just a little more deeply. It was like drilling a well. Each affair brought you closer to understanding what it was going to be like when you were finally there. Was that all romantic gobbledy-gook?
As if he could read my thoughts, Kane glanced at me and said, “Relax. Let’s just have a good time and not be so analytical.”
“Said the spider to the fly.”
He laughed hard for a moment and then shook his head when he looked at me again. “Kristin Masterwood, I think I’m going to fall in love with you, and you’re going to break my heart. But I’m going to enjoy every moment,” he added.
His words had the ring of honesty and for the first time, I wondered if I could trust him with what I was reading. My father would be very angry if I did, but something inside me was longing for another pair of eyes, another mind to help me understand and clearly see what really did happen in Foxworth Hall decades ago to four innocent children, two of whom were, like me, just discovering who they really were.
“What’s your curfew?”
“My father never set one. He depends on me to be responsible. I know he’ll be waiting up no matter what, so I don’t want to push it, but another hour won’t do any harm.”
“In that case . . . ”
He began shutting down lights and took my hand to lead me into the den, where there was the pool table, books, and another of what must be at least a dozen televisions. There was a very comfortable, soft leather settee. He poured us both some ginger ale, which was what we had been drinking all night, and sat beside me.
“I shouldn’t have bothered with the party,” he said. “All I wanted here was you.”
“Not everyone was a dumb*ss, Kane. Most had a good time.”
“I spent too much of my time being a host. I don’t think we danced three times.”
“You’re right, it was two.”
He sipped his soda and looked at me. “I think I figured out what’s different about you, Kristin.”
“And that is?”
“You’re more mature. Not in a stuffy sort of way. You’re more stable, secure. You’re not arrogant about it, but you’re a few hundred miles above your girlfriends, above just about every other girl in school, as a matter of fact. That used to intimidate me, but now I find it fascinating. I feel more mature being with you.” He put down his drink. “Duh! I sound stupid, I know.”
The first thing that came to my mind was that those were words I could imagine some girl saying to Christopher.
“Things happen that force you to be older than you’d like, Kane.”
“Yes, I know. I know the reason. I’m sorry for that, but I’m not sorry that you are who you are. I think I can trust you, depend on you, be confident being with you, and I can’t say that about any other girl in our school.”
He took my glass from me and put it down, then kissed me with such passion that I could feel the tingle travel down my spine and wake the sexual energy in me, nudge it, opening me like a flower longing to blossom, a flower feasting on the sunshine.
His hands moved over my body gently. I lay back and then slowly began to slip under him. He was kissing my cheeks, my neck, before going back time after time to my lips, as if that kiss gave him the fuel, the energy, the permission to return to my neck and then my shoulders, as his hands smoothly lifted my blouse and his lips traced along my stomach and up and over my breasts.
“Kristin,” he whispered. “I can’t stop dreaming about you.”
He fingered the clasp on my bra and lifted it slowly away from my breasts, touching my nipples with the tip of his tongue. I could feel myself sliding deeper and deeper down into the place where your resistance weakens. Was this it? Was this going to be my first time? His finger went to the buttons on my jeans. I didn’t stop him, but I couldn’t help the small sob, the tension that came into my body, and the way I simply froze.
He paused. “How far do you want to go?” he asked softly. I had the feeling that it was a question he didn’t bother asking other girls he had been with. “I’m prepared,” he added.
“Not that far. Not yet,” I said.
He nodded, kissed me quickly on the lips, and then sat back and looked thoughtful.
“What?” I asked.
“What makes some girls so easy about that decision?”
“It’s never a problem for boys?”
“It is if they don’t think ahead and get both of them in trouble.”
“Girls don’t always get into trouble doing it, Kane.”
“I know that, too, but the risk is much bigger, don’t you think?”
“So you’ve answered your own question.”
“Not really. That’s why some girls might not want to do it if their boyfriends are unprepared, but that’s all it answers.”
“Maybe you should attend the girls’ session of health class,” I said.
“I’m not sure Mrs. Kirkwood would let me in.”
“There are many answers, I guess. How you’re brought up is one. Some girls think of it as some accomplishment, a step into maturity or something.”
“I think of it as more of a commitment. No, I don’t want you to give me an engagement ring, but I don’t want to just hook up or something. I know some girls who think being as casual about it as boys makes them equal or something.”
He nodded. “I thought you’d have an intelligent answer. No,” he said, holding his hands up and standing, “don’t ask me to try again or ask you to stay over.” We looked at each other, and then we both laughed at the obvious reverse psychology attempt. At least he wasn’t as crude and immature as most of the boys I knew at school.
“I guess I’d better get going,” I said. I straightened myself out, checked myself in the closest powder room, and joined him in the kitchen.
“Can I take you somewhere tomorrow night? To dinner, a movie?”
“I’ll check my schedule.” He looked stunned.
“Just kidding, Kane. Yes, I’d like that.”
Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth
Jealousy, tragedy, survival, and revenge—the discovery of Christopher’s diary in the ruins of Foxworth Hall brings new secrets of the Dollanganger family to light and obsesses a new generation.
Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger
Picking up where Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth leaves off, Kristin Masterwood and her boyfriend up the ante—by going into her attic to re-enact scenes described in Christopher Dollanganger’s journal.
The Red HunterLisa Unger
What is the difference between justice and revenge? In this buzzworthy new standalone thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger, two wronged women on very different paths find themselves in the same dark place…Claudia Bishop’s perfect life fell apart when the aftermath of a brutal assault left her with a crumbling marriage, a newborn daughter, and a constant sense of anxiety about the world around her. Now, looking for a fresh start with a home restoration project and growing blog, Claudia takes on a crumbling old house—one that unbeknownst to her has an ugly history and may hide long buried secrets. For Zoey Drake the defining moment of her childhood was the horrific home invasion murder of her parents. Years later, she has embraced the rage that fuels her. Training in the martial arts has made her strong and ready to face the demons from the past—and within. Strangers to each other, and walking very different paths in the wake of trauma, these two women are on a collision course—because Zoey’s past nightmare and Claudia’s dreams for her future take place in the very same house. As Zoey seeks justice, and Claudia seeks peace, both will confront the monsters at the door that are the most frightening of all.
Ink and BoneLisa Unger
“An instant page-turner” (Lisa Gardner) that straddles the line between thriller and horror...“sure to appeal to a wide range of readers, including Stephen King fans” (Booklist, starred review). A young woman’s mysterious gift forces her into the middle of a dangerous investigation of a little girl's disappearance.Twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery is rarely alone. Visited by people whom others can’t see and haunted by prophetic dreams she has never been able to control or understand, Finley is terrified by the things that happen to her. When Finley’s abilities start to become too strong for her to handle—and even the roar of her motorcycle or another dazzling tattoo can’t drown out the voices—she turns to the only person she knows who can help her: her grandmother Eloise Montgomery, a renowned psychic living in The Hollows, New York. Merri Gleason is a woman at the end of her tether after a ten-month-long search for her missing daughter, Abbey. With almost every hope exhausted, she resorts to hiring Jones Cooper, a detective who sometimes works with psychic Eloise Montgomery. Merri’s not a believer, but she’s just desperate enough to go down that road, praying that she’s not too late. Time, she knows, is running out. As a harsh white winter moves into The Hollows, Finley and Eloise are drawn into the investigation, which proves to have much more at stake than even the fate of a missing girl. As Finley digs deeper into the town and its endless layers, she is forced to examine the past, even as she tries to look into the future. Only one thing is clear: The Hollows gets what it wants, no matter what.
Royally RomaTeri Wilson
"A charmingly modern twist on a classic love story—loads of fun and all the feels." —Julia London, New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly in Love In this enchanting retelling of the classic Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday, a royal prince tries to escape his hectic and rigid life and ends up leading a young graduate student on a chase through the Eternal City.Julia Costa is too busy trying to complete her PhD while also holding down a full-time job as a private tour guide in Rome to keep up with celebrity gossip. So when she crosses paths with a real, actual prince, she mistakes him for a client and takes him on a daylong tour of the city. Intrigued by the idea of spending time with someone who obviously has no idea who he is, and delighted at the prospect of a day free of royal obligations, Niccolo La Torre, Crown Prince of Lazaretto, acts on impulse and assumes the role of Julia’s client. He swears to himself that he’ll return to his royal duties after only half a day…but he’s having the time of his life. Until Julia presents him with the bill. Since he snuck out of the hotel without so much as a dime, he tries to escape, only to discover that she won’t let him out of her sight until he can pay her back. She’s determined to get her money…and perhaps more from the handsome stranger she’s fallen for.
Royally RomanovTeri Wilson
In this charming modern day retelling of the 1956 classic Anastasia, a museum curator falls for a mysterious man who may or may not be a long lost heir to Russia’s imperial Romanov dynasty.Finley Abbot is organizing the most prestigious art exhibit of her career at the Louvre museum—a retrospective of art from the House of Romanov. But the sudden appearance of Maxim Romanov threatens to turn her into the biggest laughingstock of the art world. When she finds herself falling in love, she realizes there’s even more at stake than her career. How can she trust a man with her whole world when he can’t remember a thing about his past? After suffering a violent blow to the head, Maxim’s only clue to his identity is a notebook containing carefully researched documentation in his own handwriting indicating that he is the sole surviving descendant of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, previously thought dead in the murder of her family during Russia’s Bolshevik revolution. His struggle to put the mysterious pieces of his past back together leads him to Finley. At first, she’s convinced Maxim is nothing but a con artist. But there’s something undeniably captivating about the beautiful, brooding man who claims to be searching for his identity—something Finley can’t quite bring herself to resist. When he reveals a secret about one of the imperial Fabergé eggs in the collection, she accepts he may actually be telling the truth. But as soon as Finley and Maxim act on their feelings for one another, Maxim is confronted with evidence that calls into question everything he’s begun to believe about himself.
Imagines: Keeping the KoolAnna Todd
Imagine selfies have been outlawed, making Kim Kardashian a freedom fighter who needs your help in bringing justice and good lighting to the people…and other Kardashiventures! “You” get to dive into the fantasy worlds of Kim, Kanye, Kylie and the rest, in these Wattpad-inspired short pieces.
The Girl from YesterdayKathryn Miller Haines
Helen's working the program and seeking stability...but when a dead girl turns up with Helen's name in her back pocket, her world's turned upside down. Now she's battling addiction and time as she tries to make sure she's not the prime suspect in a murder investigation.
The Seven Sins of Ruby LoveErin Quinn
Ruby thought she was the ordinary sister in the Love clan—that is, until her dead brother searches her out and begs for her help. But the compelling man who offers to assist her might be more dangerous than the spirits she's trying to quell.
Blue MoonLinda Howard
Sheriff Jackson Brody knows folks get a little crazy under a full moon, which might be why he succumbs to the spell of a beautiful, mysterious stranger...
Are You SleepingKathleen Barber
Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father's murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a mega-hit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder, Josie’s world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past—and the lies on which she has staked her future.
The PartyRobyn Harding
One invitation. A lifetime of regrets. In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds their picture-perfect life unraveling, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies.