From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It—publishing just as the second part of It, the movie, lands in theaters.

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.
#1 New York Times Bestseller

Over 1 million copies sold

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F**k positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—"not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault." Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

Jack was the only living relative left in the family and decided since his great Aunt Hilda's cabin was being neglected, he would put it to use. Jack decided a good idea would be to invite some of his closest friends over for a night of singing and telling ghost stories around a campfire. Jack mailed out invitations to Rhonda, Michael and Matilda and chose Friday the 13th to set the mood for a spooky night around a campfire at his great Aunt Hilda’s cabin. Jack didn't know the whole story about his great Aunt Hilda.

Legend has it that Hilda was an evil Witch that used to live in Salem, Massachusetts and thought she could escape the witch hunters by living deep in the woods in an isolated area in a small cabin. The Witch hunter's weren't about to let Jack's great Aunt Hilda, the most evil Witch get away. The Witch hunter's were hot on Hilda's trail and only took about a week to catch up with Hilda because an old farmer who lived nearby Hilda's cabin noticed some strange things going on in the cabin.

When the Witch hunter's arrived at the old farmers home the Witch hunter's asked the old farmer if he noticed any strange things in the area and he replied "Yes, I did notice an old woman with some old book reading from it and when I stopped by her cabin to check on her she started reading some strange words from that book and telling me if I didn't leave, she would cast a spell on me, so I left." That's all the Witch hunter's needed to burn this Witch at the stake.          

The old farmer was happy to lead the witch hunter's to the Witch's cabin and watch her burn at the stake. The Witch hunter's decided that when they got the Witch they would cut her head off and bury it underneath the cabin's floor with the book. The Witch hunter's torches were blazing and chanting "Burn the Witch,Burn the Witch." The Witch hunter's surrounded the cabin and about five of the toughest men rushed inside the cabin and grabbed Hilda by the arms and legs thrusting her out the door of the cabin to the wood chopping block. One of the Witch hunter's said "Do you have anything you want to say before I cut your head off and burn your body at the stake?" Hilda replied, "I will be back someday to seek vengeance on your ancestors." The Witch hunter raised the ax and off rolled Hilda's head off the chopping block. Then the Witch hunter's burned her body at the stake and some of the other Witch hunter's took her head back to the cabin and retrieved the book of the dead and buried them both. Jack had no idea the book and his great Aunt Hilda's head were buried beneath the floor of the cabin.

This night of singing and storytelling would be a night they all would remember if they all made it out alive. 

We had just gotten back from a Halloween party when John, being the only non-believer in ghosts, asked Karen and me if the stories about the many sightings of ghosts in the old ghost town were true. Of course we said they were all true, and of course his response was, "These stories are just a bunch of made up stuff to keep nosey people from vandalizing the old town."

"Well, if it's not true, then why don't all of us camp out tonight at the ghost town and put these old stories to rest once and for all?" I replied. I told John that I would get my tent and some blankets. Karen volunteered to bring some food and flashlights, and John said he would bring some firewood, beer, and his guitar. I decided we would all ride together in my car. Everyone was excited about telling our friends at school all about our spooky tales when we got back, but little did we know that there would be no tales to tell because we would never be heard from again.

As we were driving down the dusty, country road John was strumming on his guitar as we all sang along joyfully. We were having the time of our lives just being together because we were such great friends. Just up ahead of us was a man in the middle of the road on a horse.

"Slow down!" Karen exclaimed. 

I immediately slammed on my brakes. John doesn't scare easily, but this man on the horse in the middle of this dark, deserted road gave John the willies. The closer we got to the mounted figure the more frightened we all became, but we just kept driving. We blamed it on the beer we were drinking and proceeded to the old ghost town. We just couldn't face all of our friends the next day and say we were too scared to camp out there. We would be the laughing stock of the school, so we continued onward.

As we approached the entrance to the town the car stalled. We were definitely not going to walk back home since it was too far and we didn't want to end up running for our lives from that mysterious man on the horse. So, we gathered our belongings and crossed through the entrance. We turned our flashlights on and looked for a safe place to camp for the night.

"Where did that man on the horse go?" Karen asked as we walked.

"Who knows and who cares," John quickly replied.

All of a sudden the mounted figured appeared and charged full steam ahead in our direction. His eyes were as red as fire. We all froze in our tracks. He rode right through us as if we were the ghosts. It was enough to turn any skeptic into a believer. I told everyone to get our cell phones out and call our parents to come pick us up, but none of our phones would get a signal.

"Well it looks like we're stuck here for the night," John said, "we may as well make the best of it."

"This looks like a good place to pitch a tent--right next to the saloon and bank." I replied. John placed the firewood on the ground and tried to get the fire started while Karen and I got the tent set up. We all gathered around the campfire to keep warm and sang a few songs to try to lighten the mood. Karen decided after awhile that we should tell some stories about the old ghost town.

"All right, who wants to tell their story first?" Karen asked excitedly.

John put his guitar down, took another gulp of beer and said, "Since I'm the biggest skeptic, I'll tell my story first. My father told me this tale when I was a little boy. 

 I watch Erika Ellis’s every move as she struts about town. Every night she appears in my living room, bedroom, and even on the screen of my phone. Though her image appears to thousands, I’m the only audience she should want.

It enrages me to entertain the idea that other people—other men—are watching as she smiles for the cameras, flaunts her shapely legs with tall high heels and short hemlines, or laughs with her co-anchor.

The other people don’t matter. They don’t know her like I do.

They haven’t taken the time to learn her desires.

I have spent years and it’s time for it to pay off.

I know what she needs, wants, and deserves—the accolades and punishments.

I’ll bring her fantasies to life, even the ones she’s yet to realize. My plan is in motion and there’s nothing she can do or say to change the course of our future.

I’m Victor Cross, the only man for the job. She will call me Sir.

From New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Aleatha Romig comes another of her steamy novellas exploring hidden desires. UNCONVENTIONAL is a stand-alone story in the INDULGENCE series. Stories may be read in any order.

*Warning: reading may set your e-reader on fire while bringing a smile to your face.

Have you been Aleatha’d?


**There is no cheating in this book. Sit back, enjoy, and please withhold judgment until the very end. You won’t be sorry.

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Henry was a very handsome man that the ladies always had their eyes on. Henry wasn't a wealthy man and wasn't born into wealth, but Henry always dreamed he'd marry into wealth someday and have all the precious things he dreamed about. When Henry was around his friends, he'd talk like he had money because most of his friends had an abundance of money. Not having any wealth like his friends, made Henry jealous. Henry's relationships were not much to speak of. Many girls broke up with him after just a few dates because he couldn't give lavish gifts.

Henry's luck and entire life was about to change, because one of Henry's rich friends was invited to a party. His friend only knew the person that invited him, so he thought it would be a good idea to bring someone he knew to keep him company. Henry and his friend were having a good time at the party. Henry told Jack he was going to get some punch and would be back shortly. Just as Henry was scooping up some punch a pretty blonde woman approached Henry and introduced herself to him because Henry's appearance took her breath away. She knew he was the one for her and she wasn't going to let someone else take him away.

"Excuse me sir, could I please have some punch?" asked Monique.

"Sure," said Henry. 

Henry was blown away by her beauty and was very happy they met. 

Monique said, "I heard you're a friend of Jack's, he's really a great guy. Don't you think so?"

"Yeah, he's been a close friend of mine for many years. Jack and I went to the same schools growing up," said Henry.

"I tell you what, would you like to come over to my place this Saturday around 6:00 and I'll cook you a good meal?" asked Monique.

"I'd be delighted to try your cooking. I'm sure I won't be disappointed," said Henry. 

"Great! I'd like to introduce you to my godparents," Monique said.

After the party was over Monique asked Henry if he would escort her to her car. As Monique got in her car and Henry was turning away to meet up with Jack, Monique rolled down her window in the car and said "Henry could you come over here for a moment?" Then she said, "Henry, it's quite alright if you'd like to kiss me goodbye." So Henry kissed her and said, "Could I kiss you one more time?" Monique, replied, "Sure! That's fine with me." After they kissed Monique said, "I'll see you Saturday and don't be late." Henry replied, "Don't you worry, I won't be late."

Monique drove off into the sunset to her mansion. Henry got into the car with Jack and Jack asked, "How'd it go Henry?" 

Henry said, "I believe I just found the woman I've been searching for all of my life."

"That's great! I hope it works out for you both," said Jack."

"Jack, she wants me to meet her god parents this Saturday."

Jack responded, "Did you know her parents left her a vast fortune before their untimely death several years ago? They died when their private jet crashed over Mexico during a vacation. You think I've got a lot of money Monique's wealth makes me look poor. If you marry Monique you'll be set for life."

"That's what I'm banking on," said Henry.

Jack said, "Well here's where I drop you off and let me know how Saturday goes."

"I'll let you know, don't worry," said Henry.

Henry bought a nice suit to impress Monique for their Saturday date. When Henry was finished with dinner at Monique's, Henry gave Monique a kiss goodbye and Monique said "Why don't you spend the night with me? This big house gets pretty lonely at night and I could sure use the company." "Are you sure it's okay? You really don't know me that well," said Henry. "Come on Henry! I don't bite!" said Monique. Henry accepted Monique's invitation and they shared some wine together before turning in for the night.

As Monique and Henry lay in bed together Monique asked Henry if he would be interested in moving in with her. Henry replied "I would love to move in with you. I'm tired of being a bachelor and I really enjoy being with you. By the end of the week Henry moved into Monique's mansion and within a month they were married.

Many years had passed, there were good times and bad times. Henry liked his scotch and whiskey and it showed. Henry loved Monique's money more than her. Monique was very depressed and not happy with Henry's spending. Henry and Monique fought a lot and that’s probably what fueled Henry's drinking and Monique's depression. It was hard for Monique to get around because she had fallen down the stairs and shattered the bones in her right leg. She had to limp around. Monique's beauty was deteriorating and Henry felt it was time to get rid of Monique so he could have her fortune to himself. 

John Edwards was an avid collector of antiques. He would travel all over the United States to find unique antiques and anything else that most collectors would pass on. John was happy with his collections, but he was looking for something his friends would say why did you add this to your collection.

Just as John was traveling through a little town called Pleasantville. The town was so small you could throw a rock from one end of the town to the other end. John just about missed the town and his long awaited rare antique to add to his collection. Then all of a sudden he slammed on his brakes. He backed up his car in front of a sign that was dusty and barely hanging on to the wooden post. John got out of his car to read what was on the sign. He dusted off the sign and said, "Wow! I'm glad I stopped in the nick of time or I would have never known about this place.

John got back in his car and traveled down the gravel road in search of this antique store. John must have been traveling down the gravel road for more than thirty minutes. Just as he was about to say forget it, and drive back home, there was a sign that read Pleasantville Antique store.

John pulled in to the Antique store and parked his car. He looked up at the sky and got one glimpse as the sun was setting. As he got out of his car the wind was picking up and a storm was on the way. As John opened the door to the antique store it started storming. John called out to see if anyone was in the store. Then an old man shouted out and said, "I'll be with you in just a moment, there are milk and cookies on the table if you're hungry from your long drive."

John went over to the table and poured a glass of milk and picked up one of the cookies and said, "Your cookies are wonderful. They're still warm as though you were expecting company."

Finally, the old man came to the front of the store to greet John.

"I'm glad you like my cookies," replied the old man.

"Why don't you have a seat at the table and tell me what you are looking for?" exclaimed the old man.

"You see, I'm somewhat of an odd collector of antiques. I mainly get a rush out of finding something that my fellow antique buddies don't have." answered John.

"Well I think you came to the right place John," replied the old man.

"How do you know my name? I really don't, I just got lucky and guessed the right name," laughed the old man.

John got up from the table and looked out the window and said, "It looks like the rain has stopped. I really need to get back soon before the rain starts pouring down again."

"Follow me behind the curtain at the back of the store. That's where I keep my rarest and most valued antiques. I'm sure there is something you will like," replied the old man with a smile on his face.

John followed the old man behind the curtain and the old man said, "Since you are looking for something your antique collecting buddies wouldn't dare think to collect, this is what you need to complete your collection."

"This is what I've been looking for, you've got to be kidding me," replied John as he laughed.

"Don't be so quick to think this is some kind of joke," exclaimed the old man.

"A clown costume, I'm not sure this is something I need to complete my collection," answered John.

"This is no ordinary clown costume. This clown costume dates back to the mid eighteen hundreds. Let me tell you the story about how the clown costume is so rare and worth collecting. A man by the name of Henry Smith loved dressing up like a clown and putting on parties for the children that lived in his town. When Henry returned home from the parties, his wife would badger him about how much of a loser he was and being a clown doesn't put food on the table. Henry began drinking heavily and would show up drunk at the children’s parties. When the children told their parents that Henry would stagger around at their party and take a drink from an unknown container and asked what he was drinking, Henry would say "Its only water."

When the parents would question Henry about their children seeing him staggering around and drinking from a metal container Henry made up a story that his right leg was partially paralyzed and his metal container was just water he was drinking.

Henry's wife was noticing a change in Henry's behavior. When she confronted him, he just told her to mind her own business. I know you need to get back before more rain sets in so I'll go ahead and shorten the rest of the story. According to the sheriff that captured Henry riding his horse down dead man's trail in his clown costume the sheriff shot Henry in the shoulder and he fell off his horse. Then the sheriff got off his horse and came over to Henry and said, "For what you have done, I sentence you to be hanged." The sheriff shot Henry in both legs so he wouldn't try to escape. The sheriff went over to a tree next to where Henry's wounded body lay and threw his lasso over a tree branch. He went over and picked up Henry's weak body and sat him on his horse next to the tree and slipped the rope around his neck. Then he kicked the horse and the horse took off running. Henry slid off the horse swinging back and forth trying to free himself as the life was being choked out of him from the noose around his neck.

The sheriff said, "It was one thing when you killed your wife, but when you killed your children no trial was needed. I felt the whole town would agree on my sentencing you to death by hanging."

The old man said, "What do you think of the story I just told you."

John replied, "That was some kind of story. It really is a sad one, but that makes this clown costume that much more worth having."

"Here, now take it, and run along and put it to good use. But there is one thing about this costume that has another legend behind it," said the old man.

"What's that?" asked John.

"The sheriff and his men cut off Henry's head and buried his body with his costume still on.

Legend has it that some of the town’s people reported seeing a headless clown with a knife in one hand and in the other hand a basket full of severed heads. The clown would knock on neighbors’ doors. If someone answers their door the headless clown would cut their head off and the clown would put their head in his basket. The townspeople thought it was the clown’s way of seeking revenge for not having a fair trial for killing his family.

"Scorched is fun, fast, and greatly entertaining, a heart-pounding, twisty, time-travel fantasy with delicious dragon mythology!" —Melissa de la Cruz, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Lane and Blue Bloods series

Saving the dragons could save the world...or start the apocalypse

Trinity Foxx is used to her grandfather's crazy stories, so she doesn't believe the latest treasure he brought home to their failing West Texas museum is a real dragon's egg. Not until Connor Jacks, a dragon hunter from the future, tells Trinity that the world is about to be wiped out by a fiery dragon war—unless they find a way to stop it.

But Connor's not the only one after the egg. His twin brother Caleb believes dragons have the power to save mankind and must be protected. Caleb has seen too many dragons destroyed in the war-scorched future—he'll do whatever it takes to save this one.

With a host of enemies hot on her heels, Trinity must decide who to believe. Connor the brave solider? Caleb the cocky rebel? Or the baby dragon that's starting to whisper to her...saying they are destined? The fate of the world may depend on her choice.

Scorched Series:
Scorched (Book 1)
Shattered (Book 2)
Smoked (Book 3)

Praise for Scorched:
"Tense and action-packed. It's a brave new world, and I reveled in every page."—Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author of Firelight

"A smoking triptych of time traveling, dubious double-crossing and enough dragons to sate the hungriest of gamers and fantasy fiends."—Kirkus

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