Storm Moon Press - Making Ends Meet - Illustrated Untitled Page

Making Ends Meet - Illustrated

K. Piet
S.L. Armstrong

eBook  $6.99 $4.99
Softback  $12.99
Bundle  $15.99
 

Includes 12 black-and-white illustrations by Diana Callinger!

Zach is just seventeen years old, but despite his youth, he has more than his fair share of responsibility. An experimental fling in high school has led him down the path of single fatherhood. Now, he holds down a job, takes his college classes online, and pays his own bills as best he can—all while juggling daycare and chores and play-dates for his four-month-old, Mae. It's a rough, 24/7 life, but to Zach, Mae is worth every penny spent and every minute of his day.

With no free time to speak of, it feels like a miracle when Zach meets Wil in the check-out line at his work. Handsome, grounded, from the proverbial "right side of the tracks", and—even better—good with kids, Wil is everything he could want in a boyfriend. But as interested as Wil is in Zach, he has his own life, his own family, his own job and college career to think about. All the various draws on their time means that it's hard just to find chances to be together. But Zach's no stranger to hard tasks, and believes he owes it to himself to try.

Zach's stomach grumbled as he stopped in front of the apples in the produce section. He'd taken the test hungry, but the multiple choice questions had been a snap. He'd managed to only time out on one short answer question when Mae had made a real fuss and wouldn't be ignored for five minutes. Once he'd held her and hummed her favorite tune while bouncing her gently, though, she'd gone quiet, and that had been worth missing the ten points that short answer was worth. He'd made up for it on the persuasive essay portion.

B+, maybe a couple extra points for those references he was able to drop in his essay, though that score would take a little longer to get than the immediate grading of the mixed choice questions. Not that anyone he passed in the grocery section knew about it, but it still made him push the cart around with his back straighter, his head held just a little higher. Mae gurgled in the seat he'd rigged to the shopping cart, and he leaned forward with a grin. "We did well, didn't we?" he asked her in a playful voice, making faces and tickling her until she squealed happily and reached up for him. Her little fingers gripped weakly at his lips and nose, and he stopped walking, afraid he would ram into something and ruin Mae's good mood. "I'm gonna need those bits back, you know. We still need to hit aisles thirteen, ten, and two."

It was kind of pathetic that he knew the aisles that well, but after stocking them himself several times, they were easier to memorize than the rest of the damn store, which sometimes changed its layout twice in a single week. He offered Mae his finger as a consolation prize when he pulled back. "No fussing, now," he told her, smiling as she suckled at his fingertip. "The last part is your favorite. The freezer section!"

5 - Sammy at Joyfully Jay
"Making Ends Meet is a beautifully laid out love story that grew on me page after page. Authors Armstrong and Piet laid out this sweet love story for us, carefully guiding us through what could have been one implausible event after another.... These authors gave me real, solid characters, ones that I could imagine meeting, watching and, yes, cheering on in real life. And that is the beauty of a well written novel, that the characters transcend the page and become real for the reader.... This was a genuinely delightful story from beginning to end. "

5 - Gabbi at Top 2 Bottom Reviews
"I loved the way Wil and Zach's relationship slowly developed as the story progressed and honestly think the pacing of the book was perfection. One thing I really appreciated about this book was how both authors did not sweep how challenging and difficult it can be to raise a child. Zach truly struggles, both emotionally and financially and he second-guesses himself when it comes to doing the right thing for both him and Mae. I thought this was a very realistically written story, and I absolutely loved every moment I spent reading it."

5 - Sammy at Reviews by Jessewave
"Making Ends Meet is a beautifully laid out love story that grew on me page after page. Authors Armstrong and Piet admittedly had their work cut out for them. This storyline could have drawn big fire from critics as implausible–and I will freely admit that given a lesser storyteller than these women, Zach and Will could have read as just completely unbelievable. However, the detail and time they took to unfold the plot—even down to having the boys wait until Zach turned eighteen to make love lent the novel its much needed believability. I highly recommend Making Ends Meet by S.L. Armstrong and K. Piet to you dear reader. It is a tender love story that I think you will not want to miss."

5 - Teresa at Fallen Angel Reviews
"This is a heartwarming and wonderful story. Many young people are swayed into the easy path by giving away their children, but Zack's desire to raise her on his own was incredible. I can't imagine the challenges he faced and the way other people treated him was terrible. It was sad how many people looked down on him for having a child at such a young age when they should have respected him for taking such good care of Mae. Wil's refreshing outlook and acceptance of Zack and Mae gave Zack courage that there may be more to life for him than just raising Mae. The road they are taking isn't easy, but doing the right thing rarely is. With love, anything is possible."

5 - Jaye Stellan at Book Whores United
"This was a very sweet story. Zach is a strong young man. He made a brave choice to decide he was going to keep his daughter, even at the expense of school, and of the things high school aged kids are usually dreaming about. Instead he's dealing with diapers and ear infections and working long hours and school all at the same time. By chance he meets Wil, who is willing to look past what most would avoid to see the man within. The two of them create a strong bond, despite time crunches and insecurities. I love how it was realistic, it wasn't sugar coated and made to seem like it was an easy path to take. The location was familiar too so that made it nice too. Overall this was a very well written story, loooooooved it. "

4 - Cole at The Armchair Reader
"[A]fter I spent some more time getting to know Zach and Wil, and when their relationship moved from their internal world of three and out into the world, I started to get it. And then I really liked it.... This story is much more true to life than most in our genre, most especially in the way it portrays Zach and his need to support his daughter Mae. So I would definitely recommend this story, but I also don't think that it is for everyone."

3.5 - Alex at Between the Covers
"For lovers of everyday romance (and who love babies in stories), this will probably hit all those soft squishy spots.... An enjoyable story, worth reading, but only if you're in the mood for something super mellow."

3 - Samantha at Fiction Vixen
"While reading Making Ends Meet, I found myself very engaged with the story and the characters but I also found myself getting frustrated with Zach and his pride to try and take care of his daughter on his own.... Having said that, I did enjoy this book. It was sweet and I appreciated the way the authors handled the relationship between Will and Zach considering their age. I also know after reading this, I definitely want to read other books by these authors."

Length

65,000 words
166 pages

Release Date

October 26, 2012

Book Type

Novel

Categories

Gay

ISBN

978-1-937058-79-1 (print)
978-1-937058-74-6 (ebook)

Cover Art

Diana Callinger

Keywords

M/M, contemporary, children, college, illustrated, coming of age