Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing

Searing and extremely personal essays from the heart of working class America, shot through with the darkest elements the country can manifest cults, homelessness, and hunger while discovering light and humor in unexpected corners.

As an adult, Lauren Hough has had many identities: an airman in the U.S. Air Force, a cable guy, a bouncer at a gay club. As a child, however, she had none. Growing up as a member of the infamous cult The Children of God, Hough had her own self robbed from her. The cult took her all over the globe to Germany, Japan, Texas, Ecuador but it wasn't until her mother finally walked away that Lauren understood she could have a life beyond The Family.

Along the way, she's loaded up her car and started over, trading one life for the next. She's taken pilgrimages to the sights of her youth, been kept in solitary confinement, dated a lot of women, dabbled in drugs, and eventually found herself as what she always wanted to be: a writer. Here, as she sweeps through the underbelly of America relying on friends, family, and strangers alike she begins to excavate a new identity even as her past continues to trail her and color her world, relationships, and perceptions of self.

At once razor sharp, profoundly brave, and often very, very funny, the essays in Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing interrogate our notions of ecstasy, queerness, and what it means to live freely. Each piece is a reckoning: of survival, identity, and how to reclaim one's past when carving out a future.

Requiem of the Soul (The Society Trilogy, #1)

A Brand New Dark Romance Series by A. Zavarelli and Natasha Knight!

I was born with noble blood in my veins.

Heir to a powerful dynasty.

Wealth. Power. Aristocracy.

Temptations too dangerous to resist.

Until someone tried to steal it all.

Scarred and broken, I emerged from the flames.

Now I’ve returned to take what’s mine.

Revenge.

The first item on my agenda?
Make Ivy Moreno my wife.

Second?

Bend her until she breaks.

The Isle of Sin & Shadows


This island alone boasts ghost stories than all of Louisiana combined.
And I'm one of them.


In the Louisiana swamplands, ghost stories are as much a part of childhood as chasing fireflies and crawfishing. They never much scared me, though, nor the possibility of evil out to do me harm. Until the night I watched shadows come to life and butcher everything I loved.

With a stranger's help, I managed to escape to an isolated place miles north, and, in time, became my own ghost story. A cautionary tale for the locals.

Nearly a decade passed, before I returned to my birthplace, in hopes of unearthing long awaited answers. Instead, I found something I wasn't looking for. Someone. A remedy for my loneliness.

Or so I thought.

Turns out, Thierry Bergeron is no elixir. He's a deadly poison, cursed by the demons of his past, and feared by those who call him the elusive Rougarou of the bayou. A devious rogue, whose seductive whispers and rough hands haunt my dreams. The big bad wolf that defiles me without apology, or remorse.

I should resist him, but I can't.

And when the shadows return to stake their claim on me, his darkness is the only safe place to hide.

The Isle of Sin Shadows is a southern gothic mystery romance standalone

Danger in Numbers

On the edge of the Everglades, an eerie crime scene sets off an investigation that sends two agents deep into a world of corrupted faith, greed and deadly secrets.A ritualistic murder on the side of a remote road brings in the Florida state police. Special Agent Amy Larson has never seen worse, and there are indications that this killing could be just the beginning. The crime draws the attention of the FBI in the form of Special Agent Hunter Forrest, a man with insider knowledge of how violent cults operate, and a man who might never be able to escape his own past.The rural community is devastated by the death in their midst, but people know than they are saying. As Amy and Hunter join forces, every lead takes them further into the twisted beliefs of a dangerous group that will stop at nothing to see their will done.Doomsday preppers and small town secrets collide in this sultry, twisty page turning thriller.

Your Turn to Suffer

Lorelai Palumbo is harassed by a sinister group calling themselves The Cabal. They accuse her of having committed unspeakable crimes in the past, and now she must pay. The Cabal begins taking her life apart one piece at a time – her job, her health, the people she loves – and she must try to figure out what The Cabal thinks she’s done if she’s to have any hope of answering their charges and salvaging her life.