CH 1.png

Tomboy. The expression is a cheap shot, a jab at a girl’s ability to play the Feminine Game. But, in that word, I’ve found my hidden superpower. The freedom to peek behind the fortifications of Guyland, to discover the side they’d never show a “real” girl.


Of course, that label also means that I can’t use any of that insight to find a man of my own since no worthwhile guy in his right mind would date a tomboy.
A text flashes on my phone next to a picture of Principal Dick Vernon from The Breakfast Club.


Glenn: Need Confirmation by Tomorrow!


I don’t know why I ever surrendered this number to Glenn Kratzcy, the man in charge at Big&Lime, the tech startup I slave for. Though, at a super-juvenile twenty-nine, I’m not sure he can be called a man. Maybe the under-ripe chief of a band of milk-fed imbeciles?


Another message lights up my screen.


Glenn: Dirk is going to take the lead on pushing ahead with the reminder app that he proposed at our last meeting.


That he proposed? Glenn actually thinks Dirk’s mansplaining my proposal in our last meeting was him coming up with it.


Beyond the computer on my bedroom desk, out the row of wood-framed windows, is a sky painted with giant swaths of neon pink and purple, fading into a darkening navy opposite the sun as she waves goodbye before slipping beneath the saltwater.


The hot cyan skies that bled into my upstairs bedroom when I sat down at my computer this afternoon have drifted off without my notice. I’ve been entrenched in trying to “work the problem.” Though I only proposed Nudge to Big&Lime this week, I’ve been developing the project for years.


My phone buzzes again. God, I hate every-sentence-texters.


Glenn: We think Dirk has the best perspective and familiarity with the subject to guide the project in the right direction. I want you to work with him on it.


I pound out my reply.


Charlie: Perspective and familiarity? You mean he has a cock. Because that’s the obvious prerequisite for knowing anything about sports or fitness. Forget the fact that the app was my creation or the fact that I have played more ball than he ever has, unless, of course, you count playing with his own marble sack. He is male, so, obviously, he’s the one you put in charge.


Rereading what would be my resignation, I slam it down on my charcoal-stained desk. I need this job, no matter what kind of misogynistic quips I have to put up with.


I, I love the colorful clothes she wears, And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair,” the Beach Boys tune wafting in through my open window entices me from this funk and towards a party mood, but I have to stop this Kamikaze flight before it tanks my future at Bad&Lime.


My phone blares again.


Seriously, Glenn? For a tech genius, you sure don’t grasp texting.


Glenn: Let me know ASAP. Dirk is going to start work tomorrow at first light.


Of course, that asshat would go in early Saturday to hijack my baby. 


Working with Dirk is a total shitfest, but enduring it means Nudge would exist in the real world. How cool would that be? Something I’ve been working on for years, helping people.


To bring it there, though, I would have to work with that troglodyte every day for months. I’m not sure I could take the constant stream of douchey humor without going all “bitch mode” as they call it.


I’m picking up good vibrations, She’s giving me excitations,” the song continues.


“Charlie! Get down here. And put on your dancing shoes, pronto.”


I lay my hands on dingy white paint covering the window sill and peer over them. On the weathered deck below, my roommate, Indigo dances wildly to the music that’s been breezing in my window.


Erasing my last text, I slip the phone into my pocket. I wonder if Greyson has shown up, yet. He always gets my head spinning in the right direction.


I drift over to the walk-in closet I share with my roommate, Bex, though share is an overstatement. Bex has allocated a quarter of the space for storage of my limited wardrobe and paltry shoe selection. The other three-quarters houses her extensive clothing collection.


My dirty blue and white checkerboard Vans in front of the closet stare at me. These are not dancing shoes. Tonight’s a Fancy Vans kind of night.


My Fancy Vans aren’t your normal everyday shoes. They are the color of Napili Bay at the west end of Maui and made from the softest canvas I have ever touched. When I slip them on, they lend me a twinge of confidence and a snippet of joy.


Toiling non-stop in the cramped bedroom all afternoon, I’ve shed most my clothes. Since no one would appreciate me coming downstairs in my cutoffs and an old sports bra, I slip on a white tank-top with random flecks of aqua to match my dancin’ shoes and toss a blue and black checked flannel over it. I take out my ponytail, bleached the lightest shade of blond from too many hours in the salt water, and run my fingers through my hair. Good enough.


Pausing for just a moment at the top of the stairs, I rehearse my opening lines. Smile. “Hi. How are you involved with the film? How do you know Indigo?”


Small talk with large groups of new people has always been difficult. I am way more at home in small groups, but I work hard not to show it. I’ve found that a couple of opening lines are all I need. Once I get people talking about themselves, I don’t have to do much more than listen.


Downstairs, I search for Greyson in the throng of people filling the dated kitchen of our beach shack. Unrecognizable bodies fill the seats at the handmade table in the adjoining dining room and pour out onto the deck and further onto the sand.


Our shack was built in the 1930s in the side yard of a beach-front mansion in Del Mar, California, the same strip of land that hosts the multi-million-dollar homes of Bill Gates, Theodor Geisel, and half of the current NFL and MLB stars when they’re not killing it on the field. It was designed for the original owner as a workshop to shape surfboards.


In the ‘60s, the new owner converted it into a guest house with a kitchen, dining room, and small living room downstairs, two tiny bedrooms upstairs, and the most glorious back deck I have ever seen. It hangs over the sand with the surf only sixty yards from its back railing.


It hasn’t been updated since the ‘60s and it shows in the chipped exterior, faulty plumbing, and noises it makes with every step, but moving into the dilapidated bungalow with Indigo and Bex means I can write 2830 Ocean Front as my address.
Ocean. Front.


Every morning I eat breakfast and drink my first Diet Dr Pepper of the day with my feet buried in the dew-drenched sand. Each night, while I drift off to sleep, I listen to the sound of waves dancing on the shore. And at night, as I slumber, the salt air invades my dreams and draws me away to islands filled with warm uncrowded surf, boundless tropical fruit, and dazzling golden sunshine.


Tonight Indigo is hosting a party for the cast and crew of the third indie film she wrote, produced, and directed solo. Later on, she’ll show the movie on the giant screen anchored at the edge of the deck.


I make my way through the crowd of Victoria’s Secret model wannabes to the cooler and pop out the Diet Dr Pepper Indigo hid for me under the bottles of Stone and Lagunitas beer. I hadn’t known Indigo when I moved in a few months ago, but she has tuned in to my habits faster than most people I’ve met.


I quickly pour the soda into a pint glass so some cheesy dude doesn’t come up with the bright idea to ask me the oh-so-clever and super-insulting, “So why aren’t you drinking tonight? You get too wild when you do?” Nothing makes me want to jump in bed faster than a sleazy pickup line.


Trying to shift mental gears, I meander to the splintered railing. Indigo has strung what must be hundreds of tiny white lights in the Banyan tree, their light pouring over the railing and out onto the sand. She is always telling me how superb lighting can change a scene, and tonight she has set the stage for a celebration worthy of her accomplishment.


“How are you ever going to entice a man in those sorry excuses for shoes?” Bex yelps so the guy she’s been eye-banging won’t hold my appearance against her.


Bexley Liddell isn’t naturally pretty, with legs too short to be considered sexy and a face too forgettable to make up for it. But she does know how to maximize what little she has. She’s a whiz with makeup and only wears what will show off her well-earned bum. After ninety minutes of preening and painting, she’ll turn every guy’s head with the sheer volume of hotness she’s able to amass.


“Because that is my goal in life, Bex,” sarcasm dripping from my lips.


I appraise her victim for the night. He’s not a bad choice, wavy blond hair probably styled with the salt from a surf earlier, shoulders hardened by years of paddling. Maybe I should give Bex’s shoe theory a try if it could win me a guy like that.


“So I have decided on our Summer Goal,” she exclaims gleefully without taking her eyes off Surfer Boy.


Bex and I have been friends since we were seven, and every year since we had a Summer Goal. Bex would come up with a goal by the last day of school and we would devise our battle plan at my house on the first night of summer. I think it was a way to distract herself from the dark void her father left when he bailed on seven-year-old Bexley, and the overbearing shadow her mom radiated when demanding Bex behave the way a proper lady should, withdrawing her love when she didn’t comply.


When we were eight, our objective was to ride our bikes to the store every single day for a triple-decker scoop of ice cream at Thrifty’s. At ten, we reached for the heavens and attempted to dip our feet in the ocean each and every day.


By the time we were twelve, our focus shifted. That summer our target was Timothy and Michael Holmes, the cutest twins in our grade. It didn’t matter to Bex that I was more interested in Bryce Taylor; the only acceptable goal that summer was to date twins.


She developed a three-pronged plan. First, we had to become as thin and tan as possible. For Bex, that meant counting every calorie that passed her lips and loafing in the sun for hours on end. For me, that meant surfing every morning while she was still snoozing. 


The second part was to ride our matching, yellow cruisers past their spectacular, two-story home every day in our cutest cutoffs and bikini tops, hoping they would invite us in. For the last step, Bex would orchestrate a game of Spin-The-Bottle, decrying, “All boys can be swayed with a steamy kiss.”


A spark of hope at what this summer could bring lights my chest. “Summer Goal Number Nineteen. It better be a good one.”


Bex tears her eyes off her man, grabs my hands, and bounces with anticipation. “I am so super excited about this one, Charlie.”


I try to match her elation, but that level of girliness is hard to mimic. “Okay, Bex. Hit me.”


“So, this summer, I am going to find us boyfriends so we can both be married by spring and then start having matching babies that can totally grow up together.”
Her hands flit all over the place, emphasizing each and every point. “And we have to make sure our men like each other so we can take family vacations and barbecue in our backyard.”


“Our Backyard? We’re gonna share a house with our broods?” I laugh.


Logic is not Bex’s strong suit. That was always my part--to figure out the details--taking her crazy ideas and developing rational plans to bring them to fruition.


“No, dummy. You’ll live in the house directly in back of us and we can rip down the fence in between so we can share a yard and your kids can swim in the pool that my independently wealthy husband will have custom-designed for me.”


Bex may be my polar opposite, but she’s great at noticing my weaknesses and pushing me to work on them, like my lack of drive to find a husband. Over the years, I’ve become a better version of myself because of it.


“And all this is going to happen this summer?” I take a sip of my soda. “You can just will it to happen?”


“Looks like I already did.” She nods towards her Surfer Boy, now talking to an equally hot friend. “Remember not to settle on either one too soon, just in case the one with the long hair is into me. You know how I love long hair. And best friends never take each other’s sloppy seconds.”


With that, she drags me towards Step One of the plan.


“So what’s your deal?” the brunette one says  to me, his efforts focused on his consolation prize now that he lost his battle for Bex’s attention to his long-haired friend.


“My deal?” I shoot back hoping for a better question. Of course, I’m stuck with the champion conversationalist.


“Yeah. Like, what do you do? What’re you looking for? What turns you on?”


I put on my best ditsy accent. “Well, like, for fun I drink. And I totally love to conversate. And boys turn me on. What about you?”


Waiting for him to catch on is an exercise in futility. Dopey perks up and hums, “You turn me on.”


I glance over my shoulder hoping Greyson will come save me from this disaster.


Bex considers the gaping smile on Predictable Boy’s face and gives my arm a squeeze of approval. If only she knew.


After a lifetime of vapid questions from the boys, stellar flirting from Bex, and what can hardly be called proficient flirting from me, I’ve had enough. I excuse myself to grab another drink, but with Bex hanging on both boys now, they don’t miss me.


Leaning on the wobbly railing, the salt air from the water playing in the darkness beyond the reach of our deck comforts me. What I wouldn’t give to pick up a board and be out there now instead of trying to play nice with a bunch of strangers. And making my current social stress worse, deciphering the predicament at work is diverting my mental energy from pretending to enjoy small talk.


“I just met the man I’m going to marry,” squeals the leader of the throng of girls behind me. “He has the most beautiful blue eyes that just sing out that you are the only woman for him. He has super thick brown hair and the perfect stubble,” she says motioning to each body part like her friends have no clue where his hair or eyes or stubble go.


“And he is totally ripped, biceps as big as my head, and a shoulder tattoo, which is, like, totally my favorite.”


A grip of nooowaaay’s and ohmygaaaawd’s ring out like the squawking of seagulls.


“He bumped into me inside, and he looks deep into my eyes, so my heart, like, almost stops, and then, after he touches my arm, he says, ‘Sorry about that babe. I didn’t see you there, but I do now.’ But. He. Does. Now,” she proclaims punctuating each word with a bob of her head.


I scan the crowd for the man they’ve all been oohing and ahhing over; that ‘But I do now’ line sounds familiar.


“Briiiiiii. You are so lucky!!!” I swear they all cry in unison.


“And get this, he’s a fireman. A real-life freakin’ hero fireman.”


And, at that, I know Greyson’s here.


Greyson Steele and I have been friends since I was fifteen when his cousin invited him to hang with our group of friends during our regular Friday Night Pizza and Bowling.


He had the same effect on the girls back then, too. I hate to admit it, but even I was drawn in for a hot minute. I’m not usually a masochist; I don’t enter fights I can’t win, and I cannot win any girly competition.


I watched from a distance as he navigated the crush of girls fawning all over him while we ordered. I grabbed my cup and filled it up with Dr Pepper and slid into the large round booth at the far end of the restaurant like we did every Friday night. The girls were buzzing around, waiting until Greyson chose a seat so they could dive into the booth after him to monopolize his attention, until the strangest thing happened.


He walked over to where I was sitting at the edge of the booth and said, “Wanna slide over?”


Dirty looks exploded from the girls signifying their plans to get a leg up in this game had just been thwarted by the girl they didn’t even consider competition. For a brief moment, I thought a guy actually chose me over a mob of girls way prettier and certainly more well-versed in the art of flirting. Don’t worry, though, it didn’t last long.


A few minutes later he leaned over, motioning like he wanted to tell me something. Only me. I leaned in, awaiting the sweet secret, and he whispers, “You remind me of my sister.”


Gravity concentrated beneath me drawing me back into my seat. It only took him ten minutes to figure me out.


I was defeated, but at least he saved me the embarrassment of flinging myself at him before he realized he would never want a girl who can out-surf him, out-think him, and who probably spent way less time getting ready than he did.


Although I didn’t win the girly showdown that night, I walked away with a much better prize--Greyson Steele as my best friend.

CH 2.png

Thirty-two emergency calls in twenty-four hours—almost a firehouse record. Thirteen medical aid responses, four hazardous material responses, eleven fire incidents, and four other incidents. In the last twenty-four hours, I’ve spent less than ninety minutes in the sleek modern Del Mar Firehouse. 


We responded to three of a series of nine fire alarms pulled in one hour by Dallas Leeks who we found passed out under the ninth one. We even had a ninety-year-old woman who called in a house fire because she said she knew we wouldn’t come if she told us the real story; her dog was stuck under the dog house.


The last one was my favorite, though. Moments after stepping out of the rig into the cavernous cement bay right after the dog house call, we get called out for a medical aid response at Moonlight Beach. 


“Encinitas lifeguards are requesting assistance at the Main Life Guard Station for a shark attack,” the dispatcher relayed.


We jump back in the pumper and are wheels turning in under forty seconds. I’ve gone on a shark call before. A fifty-year-old triathlete was open water swimming a half-mile off Pillbox Beach. He was struggling behind the pack of swimmers when a fourteen-foot Great White came up from the depths and took off his entire leg above the knee in one bite. The saltwater and the open artery made for a bloody beach.


I prepared my guys for what we’d encounter at Moonlight-- the crowds and cameras and the bloody sand. When we roll up to the beach, a lifeguard comes on the loudspeaker, “Ladies and gentlemen, there has been a shark sighting in the water. Please exit the water.”


We’re the second unit on the scene and I am searching for the victim, but only find a mid-forties male, burnt to a crisp, wearing a soaking white tank top and elastic-wasted trunks two sizes too small. He’s sitting on the curb behind the main lifeguard tower surrounded by tanned lifeguards looking much too calm to be at the scene of a shark attack.


Larry Piles, Marine Safety Captain is in the mix. 


“Larry, what’s the situation?” 


Larry steps back from the victim to chat. “Oh, you won’t believe this one,” he laughs.
Larry has been the Marine Safety Captain in Encinitas for the past eighteen years and it shows in his leathery skin folded in neat diagonal patterns on the back of his neck and a hairline requiring more and more sunscreen every year.


I study the victim and realize his white tank top is simply the part of his skin that was covered by a tank top yesterday when he burned the rest of his body on day one of his vacation.


“So I’m finishing up my morning three-mile workout in the water when I hear him screaming, ‘A shark bit me.’”


“So it is a shark bite?” I scan the man for any signs of injury.


“Not exactly. I swim over to him and drag him to shore, prepping myself to make a tourniquet out of the leash from the cheap-ass, Styrofoam boogie board he picked up that morning with his case of Bud Light. But when I assess him, there’s no injury. No blood. Nothing.”


“Nothing?” The man’s current state is starting to make more sense.


“By this time, people in the water told the guard on shore there was a shark attack, so he calls it in, clears the water for two miles, starts posting signs, and talking to everyone onshore.”


The news crews gathered earlier start wrapping up their gear and head back to their vans.


“So I ask him what happened and he says he was trying to catch a wave and he kicked something big. It was huge, like a monster.’”


At this, my guys behind me lose it. I shoot them a look to keep it professional. There will be plenty of time to laugh back at the station.


“Why’s he still here?” I ask.


“Turns out he thinks he sprained his ankle on the monster so we’re gonna transport him to Scripps Encinitas,” he says, looking back over the sand crowded with pop-up tents and umbrellas. “Looks like tourist season is in full swing already.”


Maybe it’s the start of summer vacation bringing swarms of tourists ignorant of the ocean’s power, or the multiple days of Santa Ana winds making the residents of Fire Town, USA call the moment they see anything resembling smoke rising in the sky, or maybe it was just bad luck, but that was the worst shift I’ve had in a long time.
Well, except for that shift.


But this one is still wearing on me, even twelve hours later.


I glance in the rearview mirror of my navy Tacoma to make sure fatigue isn’t visible. The quick nap and shower helped wash it away and there’s nothing my old Station 6 shirt won’t cure.


I muster up every ounce of energy I can and force it into my burnt-out shell of a body. The only reason I’m here is to help Charlie navigate the soiree Indigo is throwing at her place. Sometimes I think socializing is the only thing I can do better than Charlie, cause, damn, I captivate the shit out of partiers.


I bound up the stairs and slip through the door, bumping into some girl as I do. “Sorry about that, babe. I didn’t see you there,” I say giving her a smile. “But I do now.”
She gazes up at me and the faintest smile raises the corners of her mouth before I pass her by.


I drift past the groups of strangers to the backyard. If I know Charlie, she will have found the most remote place possible to weather the social storm.


The lights on the Banyan tree shine around her like a spotlight, not that she needs any help, she floods a room with warmth and vibrancy all on her own. Charlie Sands, hands slipped into the back pockets of her jean shorts, is surrounded by Indigo and a few surfer types who are basking in that warmth. Her long blond hair, usually tied up, is flowing over a tank top I am sure is showing way too much for the boys chatting her up.


Indigo waves me over. 


Charlie turns, bracing herself for who she’ll have to talk to next until a broad smile washes across her face when she sees it’s only me. I’m sure it’s the first real smile she’s held since this night started.


“Indigo, this place is almost as beautiful as you tonight,” I say throwing my arm over her shoulder. “Thanks for letting me crash this shin-dig.”


Indigo is extravagant and loud, but she’s also a brilliant filmmaker. And she’s sharp; she never gives any mind to my flirtation. “Will you tell Charlie she should sing on the soundtrack of my next film?” Indigo prods. 


Charlie only moved in a few months ago, but, God, I love Indigo’s influence on her. It almost makes up for the fact that Charlie now lives with Bex, too. 


“I tell her all the time she should do something with that voice of hers. But you just can’t fix stubborn.”


Charlie smiles and rolls her eyes at me.


“I’d pay to hear you sing,” the blond kid who didn’t even bother to change out of his wet trunks says to Charlie. “How does dinner tomorrow sound?”


Wow. He’s just going for it, but Charlie laughs him off, “Sure thing.”


My gaze drops to the faded wooden planks as I try to wipe away the fatigue only to spot Charlie’s bright blue shoes and part of the tattoo sticking out from beneath them. It took her four years to pull the trigger on the design she created when she was seventeen. Four years, a trip to Ensenada, and a few more beers than she typically drinks.


The tattoo is her take on the Luther Rose, the symbol designed for Martin Luther during the Reformation, with a black cross on a red heart laid on a white rose inside of a blue sky and gold ring. 


Charlie’s always had a thing for church history. She, of course, replaced the rose with a Gerbera daisy. And, yes, I know how lame it is for a guy to know the name of a flower, but I’ve heard it enough times for it to be burned in my brain.


Four of the Five Sola’s, Latin phrases summarizing the Reformers’ theological convictions, wrap around the border with the fifth, Sola Reformada, in script below the circle. I never thought church history could be so sexy until I saw that tattoo. 
A high-pitched voice brings me back. “Wow, Indigo. This is so exciting. A real premiere. Are you excited?” 


The woman I bumped into earlier has wriggled her way between the blond kid who hasn’t taken his eyes off Charlie since blatantly asking her out and the other surfer dude who’s only slightly smarter.


Clearly, Charlie is bored with this woman because she starts a conversation with me, without saying a word.


Hard day? she asks with a look.


I thought I was covering well, but it’s hard to hide anything from this girl.


The worst.


Talk about it later?


That would be really nice.


She leans over and, using actual words, says, “I’ve got to talk to you about work, too. Glenn wants me to work with Delta Bravo.”


For a woman who kicks ass in a man’s world, she still can’t bring herself to curse. She tells me she swears like a sailor in her head, but I seriously doubt that. She’s got all sorts of code words she uses instead. Like Delta Bravo, her version of Douche Bag.


“Occy, here, played the soldier,” Indigo interrupts.


“Occy? Like Mark?” Charlie asks, suddenly interested in small talk.


“Yeah, kind of. My real name is Okemos, but everyone’s always called me Occy,” he says with a grin.


Charlie is now beaming with the second real smile I’ve seen tonight. 


I know Okay-mos is a ludicrous name, Charlie, but you can’t laugh right in his face.


“So are you as good a surfer as the real Occy, or are you just a blight on the name?” 


Occy’s got a matching smile.


“I’m okay. I don’t get as much time in the water as I’d like cause of work.”


“So, your agent’s got you booked all the time?” she asks.


Wow. She’s smiling at him, not his lame-ass name. It’s as if she actually likes the guy. A guy who shows up to a party in trunks and a wrinkled Reyn Spooner. A guy who probably hasn’t brushed the dirty dishwater-blond mop on his head for weeks.
I look to Indigo to explain the tennis match of, dare I call it... flirting going on in front of us. She is happily following the banter back and forth like she’s encouraging it. Maybe I don’t like her influence on Charlie after all.


“We’ve got to get you out there sometime. I bet you look great in a bikini,” he says looking Charlie up and down like a melting ice cream cone he’s trying to decide where to lick first.


I can’t believe he said that to her. What a dick. And she’s eating it up. 


Shit, Charlie, I thought you had better taste than that. 


I’m going to need way more alcohol in my system to watch any more of this.


Leaving Charlie to fend off the sharks, I open the fridge in the kitchen, put my hand on a beer, and pause. With fatigue washing over my body every ten minutes, I’m not gonna make it home if I have even one beer.


Probably time to call it a night. Charlie seems to be doing just fine without my help and I could use an early night.


“Oh, goodie. You’re getting me a drink!” that same high-pitched voice calls out to me.
I don’t have the energy for my usual games tonight. “Here have mine. I’m gonna call it a night.”


“Hi ‘Gonna Call It A Night’. I’m Briiiiii.”


It sounded like her name would go on forever.


“Good to meet you Bri, but I’m headed out.”


“I’ll walk you out.” 


I think I’ve become the melting ice cream cone, the way she eyes me. Not that I’d mind her spending a little time on the spot her eyes have paused on.


“Sure,” I cave.


I wouldn’t want to deny her any fun.

California Promises

CHARLIE SANDS

When I was fifteen, my best friend, Greyson, made me promise to be totally, absolutely, completely, brutally honest with him. 

Not a day has gone by that I haven’t broken that promise.  Don’t worry. 
I’m not some sort of sick monster. 


But how can you be totally, absolutely, completely, brutally honest with someone else when you can’t even admit the truth to yourself? 
It’s much easier to hide behind the lie I’ve been telling myself since the day I met him, a guy like Greyson Steele could never fall
for a Tomboy like me. 

GREYSON STEELE

Humility is not thinking more or less of yourself than you really are. So, technically I’m being humble when I say that for most of my life I was the best at everything. Baseball. Looks. Charming the pants off women from eighteen to eighty two.
 

But twelve years ago Charlie Sands proved me wrong. The first time she verbally handed me my balls, I knew I would never outsmart that girl. 
And no matter how often my mind wandered down the path of lust, Charlie deserves a guy who can keep up with her lightning fast brain. 

And that guy would never be me. 
 
But I’m only human. And worse, a dude. 
So, over the years I may have slipped a time or two. Let’s just hope she chalks it up to my stupidity and not to anything more insidious, like me purposely breaking her famous Poe Friends Rules. 
Because I would never do a thing like that. 
I promise. 

Rustic Beach Path

California Promises is an angsty love story that explores how impossible it is to be totally, actually, completely, brutally honest with another person if you are not first totally, actually, completely, brutally honest with yourself. 

California Promises is Book 1 of the Warrior Women Series, a three-book RomCom series full of female surfers who happen to have diabetes and other autoimmune issues and the men who are strong enough to be with a warrior woman.

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Warrior WOmen Series