Note: This book was originally published as Spice God.
Newly divorced, Melody ran away from a drugged out ex-husband and a controlling mother with little more than the clothes on her back. She needed a new home and a new job, not to mention a new life. Juniper Island, a thriving and posh hideaway known for its bustling summer tourism, held a promise to be exactly the change she needed. Without a second thought, Melody buys a one-way bus ticket.
Directed to the North Shore by the bus driver, she meets Tonac, the unusual chef and owner of Mayana, a restaurant tailored to serve the hard-working island locals. He gives his delicious meals away for free, but that's not the strangest part; he doesn't serve people what they want, only what they need.
When Melody tastes the food for the first time, she finds out why the customers keep coming back, and it's not just to eat for free or to be served by a rude waiter with no people skills. The food influences people in unique ways: sometimes it gives them visions, sometimes bravery, and in others it casts a new light into the darkest and faintest of memories -- whether they wanted to remember or not.
Knowing she can do better as a server than the crabby waiter, Melody applies for a job at this strange restaurant. Tonac takes her on, but under his care, she comes face-to-face with the secrets of what he really is and who (and what) else inhabits the island.
But not all of the residents of Juniper Island are happy with Tonac and his special meals. And when Melody gets caught up in the middle, it'll take more than a few spiced apple tarts or a bowl of pumpkin soup to uncover the deep and dark secrets that some inhabitants of Juniper Island want to keep buried.
More by C. L. StoneSee more
Sang Sorenson’s father abandoned her and her sister, leaving them to fend for themselves for months. He’s returned, and finds Sang is missing. He demands she return. Right now.
Will he call the police if she doesn’t?
Her Academy team doesn’t want to risk losing her ghost status and she doesn’t want to put them in danger, so she reluctantly returns home, but is comforted that she will still be monitored by them.
But the second she opens the door, she discovers her father has made changes that will affect her entire future. His decisions will make them a normal family.
Normal is no longer what Sang wants. It would kill her Academy career before it ever started. Not to mention it would end the special, new, and still-fragile relationships with the guys.
Sang struggles with her family, her identity, and where she truly belongs. Now that the entire team knows about their romantic relationships with her, tensions are mounting, tearing the team apart from the inside.
Only, Dr. Green isn't going to lie down and roll over by playing by the rules. Not anymore. Not while Sang is at risk.
His heart can’t take leaving her in that house one more minute. He needs her. They all do.
The Academy: Worth Risking All
The time has finally come for Sang Sorenson to be formally introduced to the Academy. Protocol dictates the boys keep the details of Sang’s official introduction to the Academy a secret from her. The only thing they can advise her to do is to work on what will become her mantra: She is determined to stay with her team, no matter what.
Despite her wishes, however, the boys are second-guessing her place with them, concerned for her safety. With dangers all around and threats closing in, some of the boys are questioning if this is the right time to bring her to meet the Academy at all.
Sang is challenged with being the brave face among them and instilling the confidence needed to keep her with them. However, in order to appear compliant with the Academy’s rules, she has to be willing to listen and try their suggestions. As the boys have suspected and feared, the council wants to see how she’ll work with a different team. An all-girl team. She has no choice but to go along with the proposal or risk losing a shot at the Academy.
But when the Academy’s inner world is revealed to her, Sang knows that she’s finally found her place—somewhere she belongs—and she sees a future with them. The deeper she gets, the more she sees how she can make a difference. Learning what she is capable of and the impact she can have, she feels obligated to help. There’s so few girls, and they need her.
The guys try to stick to their plan, but every team must pay their debts, and the cost of keeping her might be more than any of them can afford.
It’s up to Sang alone to prove to the Academy where she truly belongs—but can she resist the call of a new team that needs her?
The Academy, Inside