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Between Two Doors: Borderline, #1

Between Two Doors: Borderline, #1

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Between Two Doors: Borderline, #1

301 pages
2 hours
Nov 5, 2018


Two lifetimes, two parallel realities—based on one true story.

WINNER: Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, Summer 2019 - Best Women's Fiction

A young Scandinavian woman fights her way through depression, following the paths that stem from a decision that might lead to despair, or salvation. One reality takes place in America, one in Finland. The two fast-paced stories intertwine perfectly and are filled with dark humor, the quirks of two different cultures, unlikely friendships, equestrian settings, and relatable characters.

Author C.M. Martens says: "Gripping and heart-wrenching and perfectly paced. Taya DeVere understands 'trust the reader.' She pulls us along with perfectly factored information without bogging us down in descriptive histories that would only stall the pace of the novel. I was forced to slow myself down to not flip pages too quickly and ruin the story. I just wanted to know what was going to happen!"

EVOLVED PUBLISHING PRESENTS the first book in the "Borderline" series, offering a compelling story of one woman's journey back from the edge of despair—two tales, of two parallel realities, based on one true story. [DRM-Free]

"Borderline" Series by Taya DeVere:

  • Book 1 - Between Two Doors
  • Book 2 - Down Two Paths
  • Book 3 - Around Two Corners

More Great Women's Fiction from Evolved Publishing:

  • All the Tomorrows by Nillu Nasser
  • Participant by Carmen Kemp
  • White Chalk by P.K. Tyler
  • Cassia by Lanette Kauten
  • Yours to Keep or Throw Aside by E.D. Martin

Nov 5, 2018

About the author

Taya is a mix of a bubbly and stubborn personality trapped in an old, sad soul. She believes there’s something extraordinary in each being, that no one is too small or insignificant to deserve a second chance in life. Her chaotic identity took a hit when her father suddenly died. Clawing her way up from the murky hole his death created forced her to face the facts of being tangled in toxic relationships, and depression that had a violent hold on her muddled mind. She wanted to be whole again. Her restless feet and burning passion for animals led to leaving her home in Finland, and to accepting a working student job at a horse farm in Hereford, England. Long hours, hard physical labor, and countless nasty bunions ruined her body—but was Xanax for her soul. To further her career in dressage, Taya moved to America, and lived in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and California. Each mile traveled, she felt healthier, more independent, stronger. She didn’t need another person to make things happen for her, to heal. She needed only to live free. And just then, when she least wanted it, she found a being whose heart loved the same way as hers did. For years, she and her little menagerie traveled. Struggle was no stranger in their lives, but not a day went by without laughter and a new experience from which to grow and learn. After living through 1001 bizarre tales, Taya returned to Finland to take a breather from her shenanigans, and to finish her first novel in the “Borderline” series.

Book Preview

Between Two Doors - Taya DeVere





Borderline – Book 1

Copyright © 2018 Taya DeVere

Cover Art Copyright © 2018 Kabir Shah


ISBN (EPUB Version): 1622532627

ISBN-13 (EPUB Version): 978-1-62253-262-9


Editor: Becky Stephens

Interior Designer: Lane Diamond



At the end of this novel of approximately 67,951 words, you will find two Special Sneak Previews: 1) DOWN TWO PATHS by Taya DeVere, the second novel from the Borderline series, and; 2) ALL THE TOMORROWS by Nillu Nasser, another women’s fiction novel we think you’ll enjoy. We provide these as a FREE extra service, and you should in no way consider it a part of the price you paid for this book. We hope you will both appreciate and enjoy the opportunity. Thank you.


eBook License Notes:

You may not use, reproduce or transmit in any manner, any part of this book without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations used in critical articles and reviews, or in accordance with federal Fair Use laws. All rights are reserved.

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only; it may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, please return to your eBook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.



This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or the author has used them fictitiously.

Books by Taya DeVere


1 – Between Two Doors

2 – Down Two Paths

3 – Around Two Corners (Release June 2019)




What Others Are Saying about Taya DeVere’s BETWEEN TWO DOORS:


"The narrative is poignant, evocative, and unveils strong emotions. The emotional intelligence and depth of character give the narrative its unusual strength. The novel explores existential themes and delves deeper and deeper into a human soul in search of balance. The narrative begins with a powerful dilemma, two doors literally opening up for the protagonist, and in that fleeting moment she has to make a choice. It is in this choice, in this dilemma, that the author builds the tension and nourishes the conflict.

"The writing presents vivid and insightful descriptions, allowing readers to easily imagine scenes and form ideas of places. Written in an engrossing first person narrative, Between Two Doors is captivating, cinematic, and utterly delightful. A book with a protagonist that reflects something readers share—humanity. It kept me awake through the night." ~ Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews, Divine Zape (5 STARS)


"Taya DeVere understands ‘trust the reader.’ She pulls us along with perfectly factored information without bogging us down in descriptive histories that would only stall the pace of the novel. I was forced to slow myself down to not flip pages too quickly and ruin the story. I just wanted to know what was going to happen!!

"The heart-wrenching struggles of the MC are real, are powerful and relatable even as I’ve never experienced what she was going through. Well done! The straight-forward telling of events, without reason or excuse or fluffed meanderings of explanation, make this experience perfect for the reader. I was in this story, and while I typically shy away from ‘real life’ tellings (I’m a fantasy/sci fi girl as I like my fiction fiction) I would recommend this book to everyone. I even ravaged the pages we’re given to tease us for book two. Unnecessary, by the way—I’m already hooked!" ~ Cynthia Martens


We’re pleased to offer you not one, but two Special Sneak Previews at the end of this book.


In the first preview, you’ll enjoy the First Chapter of Taya DeVere’s DOWN TWO PATHS, the second book in this Borderline series.





The BORDERLINE Series at Evolved Publishing

In the second preview, you’ll enjoy the First 2 Chapters of Nillu Nasser’s award-winning ALL THE TOMORROWS, a gripping saga set under the sweltering heat of not just India, but hearts on fire.





NILLU NASSER’S BOOKS at Evolved Publishing

Table of Contents


Books by Taya DeVere


Table of Contents



Chapter 1 – The Two Doors

Chapter 2 – Behind Door Number One

Chapter 3 – Behind Door Number Two

Chapter 4 – Days of the Week Song

Chapter 5 – Runaways

Chapter 6 – Duffle Bags and Frozen Pizzas

Chapter 7 – Cans and Worms

Chapter 8 – The Number You Have Dialed Cannot Be Reached

Chapter 9 – The Old Man and the Sea

Chapter 10 – The Town Crazy

Chapter 11 – Driving without Blinkers

Chapter 12 – The Move

Chapter 13 – The Final Run

Chapter 14 – One New Message from Gaylord

Chapter 15 – One New Message from Matt

Chapter 16 – The Promise

Special Sneak Preview: DOWN TWO PATHS by Taya DeVere


About the Author

More from Evolved Publishing

Special Sneak Preview: ALL THE TOMORROWS by Nillu Nasser


For my beloved Iskä.

Losing you broke my heart and gave me a life I didn’t know to dream of.

Vain Pakki Puuttuu.

Your Daughter.

Chapter 1 – The Two Doors

What is this feeling? It’s not pain or sorrow. Maybe this stabbing, breathtaking lump in my throat, moving slowly toward my empty stomach, is not even a real feeling. Maybe I’m dreaming. I let the lump engulf me while I listen to my dad’s broken, unnatural breathing. I can almost touch my mom’s unspeakable pain, lingering around the sanitizer-smelling hospital room.

My dad’s dead. Well, actually, he’s still breathing, right there in the corner of this room, but not for long, according to the doctors. When I arrived at the hospital I had to ask a nurse why my dad had been moved to a room with an idiotic, tacky sign that said something like The Dawn of Time, Brown Twilight or The Rising Dusk. I wanted to rip it off the door and feed it to the nurses walking by. But here I sit, on this wobbly hospital bed, thinking that for the sake of my mom, I won’t shove the sign down anyone’s throat.

I wonder what will happen to Dad’s car. That’s the first thought when I wake up in the morning and the last thought I fall asleep to at night. The question follows me around for days, weeks. On one of those days Dad dies. My mother and I go to a funeral home and pick out the least ugly clay vase available. We see relatives at the funeral. I drive his red car everywhere. I drive it to the local airport where I sit for hours, choosing different destinies for this car. I don’t cry; I don’t feel the need to. I go back to work and learn how to smile and hang in there.

Mom won’t get up in the mornings. Her bed seems to have swallowed her body and mind. The sheets still faintly smell like my dad’s cologne. Her face suddenly looks twenty years older. Her eyes are glazed over. She has stared at her old sewing machine for two weeks, when I finally give up on trying to get her up. I call the hospital. The doctor comes over. He tells me Mom is in shock and experiencing severe depression. It doesn’t surprise me. Dad was everything to her. He was her first love, a spouse of thirty years, the father of her child. The doctor arranges a caretaker to move in with my mother.

No need to worry. It’s all covered by her insurance and the government, he says and gives me a pat on my back before he shuts the old oak door and walks away from our troubles.

No need to worry.... I keep repeating his words like a mantra until the words lose all their meaning.

My doctor prescribes medicine for me. The happy pills make everything foggy, and I constantly feel like vomiting. Standing up is nearly impossible, and even when I lie down the room spins. That’s all the pills do, but I take them anyway. When I try to sleep, I hear a loud banging sound and I wake up screaming. This is not normal. Alcohol helps me sleep. It makes it so nothing bangs or screams inside my head. If I can’t fall asleep, I stay awake, staring at my surroundings. The walls of my apartment are not collapsing like many people suffering from depression and anxiety describe. Instead, I find small mistakes everywhere around my home. There’s a small scratch on the bedroom closet door. There are spatters of white paint on the ceiling. Glue between the wallpaper seams. Faint cigarette smell. Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes. I stare at them day after day and count them in my head. The strong feeling of someone watching me won’t leave me. I wonder if there are spy cameras in my apartment. My doctor books me an appointment with a psychotherapist.

The fish tank, filled with underwater plants, decorations and five or six different types of fish, makes me want to pee. You are here, says a framed poster with a sign pointing to Earth, showing how insignificant our planet is in comparison to the whole universe.

The television is on, showing footage of a hurricane destroying people’s houses somewhere on the east coast of America. The sound is off, but I feel the devastating hurt of people interviewed, those whose homes have been wiped out, destroyed in front of their eyes. Their desperation makes me feel guilty. Who am I to say I need help? My problems and struggling are all in my head, self-created, pathetic and caused by my own weakness. I have only myself to blame for the inner hurricane in my head, tearing and destroying my life and blackened mind.

Watching the TV screen makes the headache worse, and the pounding pain on my forehead makes the room spin faster. Am I really going to go through this? Sit on some bald guy’s couch for the next three years, waiting for him to decide what my parents did wrong when I was wearing diapers? Or will I suck it up and fix things myself? I could leave. Go as far as I can, and return after things calm down. They’d never know where I went. I could find a job so physically demanding, it would make my body suffer instead of my brain. I would be too exhausted to overthink every fucking detail of what went wrong.

The door opens and a bald, smiling head peeks out of an office filled with dim, peaceful light.

Come on in, please.

I get up, but my old, ripped Adidas sneakers seem to be glued to the waiting room floor. I look at the open office door on my right, where my desperately needed salvation awaits. My aching head slowly turns to stare at the front door on my left, the direction offering a sweet escape from you need to talk about it.

A trembling, forceful feeling takes over. This decision will change the rest of my life. As my mind floats between the two doors, somewhere in the deeper recesses of my awareness, I think this must be how it feels to be schizophrenic, to go insane. The room spins faster. Just before I black out, a single question rips my whole being apart.

Which way do I go?

Chapter 2 – Behind Door Number One

The room keeps spinning, making my guts feel like they’re not my own. I roll my eyes and take a sip of water, hoping it stays down. My apartment echoes as I put down the glass and look up to see the little remains of glue in the gaps of wallpaper. I still faintly smell the cigarette scent. The smell has become part of the apartment after years of smoking inside by the previous tenants.

I look longingly at the Marlboro box on the balcony table. It’s gray and rainy outside. The weather is as dull, just as numb as my mind has been ever since I walked into the therapy center and started my intense psychotherapy with the bald know-it-all shrink. I wish it would thunder, that the sky would rip apart and pour down its entrails.

I wish the hurricane I saw in the news on the therapy center’s TV would travel up to our northern country. I wish it would toss my body down the balcony and around the gray playground and dirt roads surrounding the apartment complex I’m moldering in. I wish something would happen.

I roll myself off the couch and crawl toward my beloved cigarettes when the doorbell rings.

Who the fuck, I mumble and keep crawling. The doorbell won’t stop its annoying tinkle. I sigh and get up on my feet. I’m fiercely hoping I ordered a pizza and the pills simply made me forget. There isn’t a human being on this planet I would like to see right now.

Yessss? I hiss angrily as I swing the door open.

Two men, both as tall as the Empire State Building, wearing gray suits, hold bibles and stand dead still at the doorstep. One of them sticks a flyer so close to my face, I can smell the scent of newly printed paper.

One of the tall men starts his mantra, talking fast, without any notes or stuttering whatsoever. Do you have a moment to discuss your afterlife in the heavenly paradise where only chosen...? If I wasn’t so nauseated and annoyed I may have been impressed by his long, memorized blabbering.

Listen, my father had cancer, which he was supposed to beat, and he should be home by now. But he isn’t home. He’s dead and buried and I’m here popping pills and trying to come up with a reason why I shouldn’t join him. Can you help me?

If I weren’t so desperately craving a cigarette, I’d feel bad for the two men as they quickly shove the flyer at me and run down the stairs.

So much for my heavenly paradise, I guess.

I shut the door and get back on all fours. Now my relief is waiting on the balcony table at least ten meters away. I start toward it. As I crawl past the old, stained futon couch, I see an old condom wrapper surrounded by an endless amount of dust bunnies.

Well, that’s fucking classy.

Familiar bouncing pain starts from the back of my head. It begins its relentless travel toward my left ear. The pain is a common visitor during my days at work, but I rarely ask for any time off. Why would I? The pain would follow me home, or anywhere I would try to go to escape it. I rub my neck and stare at the bread loaves. The suffocating feeling in my throat makes inhaling difficult so I end up holding my breath. Wonder how many people would feel bad if I simply didn’t exist anymore? The bread bags make a dull thump when I toss them onto the never-ending bakery shelf. How long was it since my last cigarette break?

Passing the staff only sign, I hope my supervisor went home early as he tends to do on Friday nights. My last break was only fifteen minutes ago. It doesn’t help my anxiety that the supermarket is having a Fun-for-Kids night, and the whole store is crawling with creepy mascots that lurk around the corners, making the kids scream out of joy, and me out of fear. I despise mascots. Nearly as much as I hate dolls, clowns, masks and clay figures, all of which seem to have taken over this shitty, tacky store. The cigarette pack gets stuck on my size-too-large baggy store pants with pockets that are clearly meant for miniature people. Not that I am huge. The liquid diet has made my round belly disappear, and I desperately need to buy smaller bras. Because shopping sounds as pleasant as dinner at Hannibal Lecter’s house, I have improvised and wear sports bras now.

The air feels crisp and chilly on my skin. Fall has arrived, killing off every leaf, one by one, making them brown and soggy, doomed to fall to the ground and be forgotten for good. I see customers running through the dark, foggy parking lot, probably happy knowing they would soon be home in their cozy living rooms, ready to eat their frozen meals and binge-watching another episode of whatever TV show they are into at the moment. The enormous store trash cans reek next to me, full of yesterday’s bakery and fish goods, waiting for the city garbage truck to empty them.

I speed dial a familiar number and instantly hear a slightly worried voice after the dial tone begins its beeping.

What up, dude? Harri’s deep voice is meant to sound light and carefree, but he fails miserably. He tends to call me dude when he tries to sound untroubled and cool.

Yeah, hi... Yeah, I know it’s only been fifteen minutes since I last called... No, I’m fine... Except that I’m thinking of crushing my hand between the metal doors so I can go home and have a beer or twelve.

The taste is somewhere between numbing and stinging. I take big gulps of my drink and look around the bar where the annoying blinking disco lights are in harmony with the awkward dancing boys and girls. Half of them must be underage, I think, while I desperately try to get the bartender’s attention. I have decided not to flirt, although I know it would help him finally notice me. Flirting seems like too much work, just to be able to pay a ridiculous amount of Euros for a shitty, watery drink.

Are you sure you won’t dance? You love this song!

Harri’s face shines with sweat and he moves his wide but fit hips to a 90s pop song the two of us loved when we were teenagers. We had listened to it loud, on repeat, pissing the neighbors off beyond belief. Every now and then one of the neighbors would come to the front lawn and shout, You little shits! Turn that fucking moaning down or I’ll call the cops again!

Remembering our rebellious years usually made me roll on the floor laughing, begging Harri to stop talking so I could inhale some oxygen to save my life. His dark, manly face would stay serious and jokingly judgmental, while he would describe how much he despised the way the two of us had interrupted the suburban peace and quiet. The smile behind his fake serious face was one of the biggest reasons we had become friends, and I never stopped adoring the way Harri carried himself, whatever the situation. No matter why he had to stay cool, be it lying to the police after we had broken into a swimming pool for a midnight dip, or explaining ourselves after being caught mixing water with the half-empty vodka bottles we stole from his or my father’s liquor cabinet, he had never panicked or stuttered. It was one of the biggest wonders in this world why Harri wasn’t an actor living up on the green hills of Hollywood.

Nah, you go ahead, this fucking bartender is killing me. I think I’m done for tonight, I yell at my best friend’s sweaty and bouncy face, and jump off the bar stool, clearly drunk enough not to remember a thing tomorrow morning. I walk toward the patio and light up a cigarette.

The kiosk at the main market place looks busy. People are singing old songs about a country where fathers can’t support their family, so they choose to chase their wives and kids into a freezing winter night with an axe. What a weird country. Whoever came up with that song must be famous, but he is most definitely not wealthy. You need to go overseas to become wealthy. Or stay here, keep on trying, and freeze to death.

I pass a drunken singer on my way to the taxi stop.

Heyyyyy, you! Yeah! Come here, you. I got a sausage for you.

Seeing said sausage fall from the drunken man’s paper plate makes me wonder how many days it has been since I last ate. Two? Three? Harri keeps stuffing my freezer with cheap frozen pizzas but unless he comes over to prepare one of them, I usually end up going to bed with an empty stomach. I force my eyes to abandon the sausage on the ground, and continue my way to catch a taxi.

You want to share a taxi, miss? Where are you headed? A slightly less drunk man without sausages or native songs is looking at me, clearly waiting for an answer. I look at him and think of joining him for a shared ride. Why not? I could even go to his house with him. What harm would it be? After two seconds of consideration, I quickly walk past the slightly less drunk guy and hop into the taxi, asking the driver to leave. I don’t need to look back to know which finger I got from my fellow countryman.

The dim gray morning light escapes through the window shades, burning my achy eyes. Outside, the neighborhood kids scream and chase each other, making my head feel like it’s about to explode. Three days—it’s definitely been three days since Harri was over to prepare me a proper meal of Hawaiian pizza. Most days my late-night dinner after six or nine beers has been pickles straight out of a jar, and a couple spoonfuls of cottage cheese. Beer has oats in it; it must count for something.

Sleeping beside me, I see a familiar face, making funny wheezing sounds.

Bitch, now you’ve done it, I mumble to myself. Of course it had to be one of my closest friends, one Harri had called dibs on, no matter how straight the guy assured us he was. How the hell was he here? He hadn’t been with Harri and me at the shitty pop song rapping club, where people only went when they wanted half-priced watery alcohol.

He slowly wakes up. Oh, hey... um... morning?

The room spins with awkwardness.

Hey, would it be okay if we didn’t tell anyone about this? I mean, shit might get awkward if the guys found out, I say, trying to look at my friend’s sleepy hangover eyes, failing miserably.

Shit... yes... I mean, yeah.

So... bygones?

Yeah no, cool, bygones.

We would make a terrible story for a romantic comedy, or an episode of reality TV. Our dialogue would make me yawn with boredom, if I wasn’t too busy feeling nauseated and more awkward than I have felt in years.

My T-shirt and college pants are conveniently tossed next to my nightstand, and I have never been so grateful for not cleaning my house or not bothering to do laundry for months. I pull on the slightly stinky pants and the old T-shirt I have worn nearly every night since the day my dad brought it home from one of his never-ending business trips to Europe. The shirt is black with gold letters in front, something in French, but I have never looked up what it means.

"Tu sais que? he snorts a bit and I stare at him like he has just suggested we call all our friends over to join this little party. You... your shirt. I didn’t know you took French back in school."

I didn’t.

The awkward silence returns in full force and neither of us knows what to do with our hands. His eyes are hopelessly searching for something else to look at other than the front

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