The Book Addict

By: Annette Mori

From award winning author Annette Mori comes the captivating story of Tanya, a young woman whose life is unremarkable without any friends or lovers. Although she has her books and faithful furry companion, Tolstoy, she's merely existing. Then she meets Elle, the alluring owner of the new bookstore, The Enchanted Page. Elle looks like she stepped out of a Nordic adventure and Tanya is immediately infatuated with the mysterious woman.

Elle has her own issues, playing fast and loose with love, reluctant to settle down. Her fears of a love taken from her in the blink of an eye, strengthens her resolve.

Soon the two women are catapulted into a perilous quest. Join the colorful characters as they try to right the wrongs created by Elle's fiercest foe. And just maybe, the books won’t be the only thing enchanted if Elle allows the magic of love to enter her heart.







Acknowledgments





A huge thank you to all of my beta readers: Gail Dodge, Ali Spooner, Carrie Camp, Ameliah Faith, Dana Holmes, and Elle Hyden, who made great suggestions to improve the initial draft. Of course, once again, I have to acknowledge Erin O’Reilly, who is a constant support and encouragement to me. I am honored to call her a friend and to have her support me in my journey. I would also like to express my gratitude to Affinity Rainbow Publications and the wonderful trio (JM Dragon, Erin O'Reilly, and Nancy Kaufman) who continue to provide feedback to tighten up manuscripts that need assistance and publish my unconventional work.

My other family members who are also very supportive, include my nephew, Aaron and his wife, Chelsea, my older sister and my father who struggles to read my books with one eye.

I always enjoy working with the beta editor, Nancy Kaufman, who is so skilled at finding plot holes. Thanks to CK King for her magic as the final editor. She is a joy to work with. Inevitably, there are those pesky final errors that slip through, and I am thankful for the final proof editor, Alexis Smith, who catches those before the book goes to print. Thanks to Nancy Kaufman for the final cover. Nancy is also a promoter extraordinaire.

A huge thanks to all the other readers and fellow writers who have sent personal e-mails, written reviews, and posted nice things on Facebook (you know who you are). The Affinity authors are an especially supportive group and often share posts or send words of encouragement. Finally, my wife, Jody, continues her support even when it interferes with our time together on the weekends.






Chapter One





Tanya tucked her legs underneath her butt and curled against the wall. It was bright but hotter than hell in the upstairs kitchen where she hid, reading her book. The metal and vinyl combination was uncomfortable, but the rest of the family would leave her alone if she stayed seated. Every once in a while, she would lean against the hard Formica tabletop to shift in her seat, and the bare part of her legs would stick to the vinyl chair.

Tanya couldn’t go into the living room, because her grandmother insisted on keeping the drapes closed. There wasn’t enough light. Besides, it was depressing in the living room.

Sweat trickled down her nose, as she absently pushed up her Coke-bottle glasses. It was just past midday, the hottest part of the day, and if she didn’t know any better she would have thought this was exactly what Hansel and Gretel felt as they baked in the witch’s oven. Not that she was reading those fairytales anymore; she was too old for that.

At the ripe old age of eleven, Tanya was reading, Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka. Her father, an avid reader himself, had given it to her the day before.

She was fascinated with the story. She felt like that cockroach: ignored, insignificant, someone who didn’t matter. This was a tale she could relate to, not the silly romances her mother read, or serious books about drugs or divorce. Her father had introduced her to the classics and that’s what she stuck with, even if her mother thought they were slightly beyond her comprehension.

Tanya never felt like a child. Her mother joked that she popped a middle-aged adult out of her womb.

“Taaannnya,” her mother called from the basement.

The clip clop of Mother’s shoes on the stairs alerted Tanya that her pleasant afternoon of reading was about to be disturbed.

The door leading to the basement opened. “What in the world are you doing in this furnace?” Her mother waved her hand in the air. “Geez it’s hot up here. I’m melting and I’ve been here less than a minute. Come downstairs where it’s cool.”