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Around Two Corners: Borderline, #3

Around Two Corners: Borderline, #3

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Around Two Corners: Borderline, #3

283 pages
4 hours
Jun 3, 2019


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

As her two worlds rage, Dee flees to Hereford, England. She lives in an old barn with unlikely company, desperately trying to heal herself after thirty years of combating the damage her father's death did to her psyche. Now, at long last and in both of her realities, she must face her own mortality.

EVOLVED PUBLISHING PRESENTS the third and final 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

Jun 3, 2019

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.

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Around Two Corners - Taya DeVere





Borderline – Book 3

Copyright © 2019 Taya DeVere

Cover Art Copyright © 2019 Kabir Shah


ISBN (EPUB Version): 162253266X

ISBN-13 (EPUB Version): 978-1-62253-266-7


Editor: Becky Stephens

Interior Designer: Lane Diamond



At the end of this novel of approximately 62,617 words, you will find two Special Sneak Previews: 1) CASSIA by Lanette Kauten,  and; 2) YOURS TO KEEP OR THROW ASIDE by E.D. Martin. These are both literary/women’s fiction novels 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




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 2 Chapters of Lanette Kauten’s CASSIA, a literary/women’s fiction novel.





LANETTE KAUTEN’S Books at Evolved Publishing

In the second preview, you’ll enjoy the First 3 Chapters of E.D. Martin’s YOURS TO KEEP OR THROW ASIDE, a literary/women’s fiction novel.





E.D. MARTIN’S Books at Evolved Publishing

Table of Contents


Books by Taya DeVere


Table of Contents




Chapter 1 – The World Is Raving

Chapter 2 – Restless America

Chapter 3 – Timeout at the Burning North

Chapter 4 – The One That Rolled Away

Chapter 5 – Rebels and Teenagers

Chapter 6 – Bags of Doom

Chapter 7 – Dr. Wright

Chapter 8 – World’s Oldest Profession

Chapter 9 – Just Us Chickens

Chapter 10 – Herefordshire

Chapter 11 – The Face-Plant

Chapter 12 – A Bowline Knot

Chapter 13 – My Two Realities

Chapter 14 – Thirty-Five Minutes

Chapter 15 – The Loose Board

Chapter 16 – Alone

Chapter 17 – The Feeling

Chapter 18 – The Blur



About the Author

More from Evolved Publishing

Special Sneak Preview: CASSIA by Lanette Kauten

Special Sneak Preview: YOURS TO KEEP OR THROW ASIDE by E.D. Martin


To my Chris. In my books, you will always be an assassin.


The following notification is brought to you by WWN, World-Wide News.

Russia’s continuous cold war takes critical steps forward. This morning, the Russian ambassador has handed a final note to the Heads of Government of NATO, declaring a state of war between Russia and the NATO countries.

The citizens of NATO countries are advised to prepare and have a plan ready in case of bombings or nuclear attacks. Citizens are urged to put together a complete set of survival kits and locate the closest shelter in case of a nuclear alert. GPS devices, internet and cell phone services will likely stop working. People are to follow the instructions provided through the national radio and television channels.

No evacuations have been set at the time. Areas first affected are the surrounding countries of Russia, as the Russian troops begin to make their way into inland. Citizens of affected areas are asked to remain calm and wait for the government provided instructions. In case of bombing, all citizens are asked to seek for shelter and stay inside, preferably underground, until further notice. Pets and belongings are to be left behind.

More breaking news.

The unceasing civil war of the United States of America continues. Citizens and soldiers continue to fight in major cities in various U.S. states. The governors of California and Massachusetts declare a state of emergency, as their restless streets break into a blazing gun war between the civil rebels and government soldiers. Resulting from gun fire, the California wild fires remain uncontained, destroying thousands of homes, farms and nature, leaving the state into a ruinous shape. No official estimations of loss of lives, or the cost of reconstruction have been announced. 

Chapter 1 – The World Is Raving

God damn it.

The cigarette slips through my fingers. It bounces off the bed frame and onto the worn, permanently stained hardwood floor. A small trail of crushed tobacco forms on the floor, as the last of my secret goods rolls away from me, in full mercy of gravity and the uneven tilted floor.

We have a runner, I mumble, sighing as I think of the struggle that’s to come next. I push my body to sit upright on the bed. I need a breather.

The runner is all that’s left of my poorly hidden Marlboro cigarettes. It’s hard—nearly impossible, if I’m honest—to get my hands on those suckers these days. I need to go fetch it quickly, if not to smoke, but to hide it from Nina’s annoyingly observative hawk eyes. If I don’t, I will never hear the end of it.

The old bedside lamp glows yellow, making the dim room feel cozy. I’ve asked Nina to turn off the rest of the lights, but she forgot when she left the loft apartment to go downstairs. Most of the lamps are covered with scarfs or random fabrics I’ve found in the old, antique drawer in my enormous room. Even a soft, warm light hurts my eyes in the mornings. Let’s be real here—the light hurts my eyes all the time now, no matter the time of day.

It’s not late just yet, but the early winter storm swallowed the setting sun and hid the rest of its fading beams behind dark, murky clouds. The window shakes rapidly as the fierce wind picks up leaves from the crooked wooden balcony floor, tosses them around, slamming them into the glass.

If I had the strength, I’d get up and push my bed closer to the window and the shaky wall, to be closer to the raging Mother Nature.

It’s like the world is raving.

Nina’s low, clear voice sounds carefree in my ears, full of oh, by the way attitude, an arrogance only a young, unbroken person carries around. I force my gaze off the escaped tobacco and look at the tall woman standing in the doorway of my loft apartment.

She carries a wooden serving tray that holds a tea pot, two oversized cups painted with flowers, sugar, milk and what looks like a few butter cookies. I roll my eyes at the tray and sit back on the bed, slowly pulling the heavy blankets back up to my waist, covering my tired legs.

Nina doesn’t notice the cigarette on the floor.

"The world is raving, Nina. You know this. What’s up with the tea? I hate tea. That’s not news to you. And I warn you, if you bring me one of those god-awful butter crackers again, I swear on my own grave, I’ll shove them up your fine buttocks before you’ve had the time to set down that stupid-ass tray."

Nina gives me a crooked smile, walks across the room and sets the tray on a small wooden stool next to my king-size bed. My threat must have worked—at least a little bit—because she lingers on the safe side of the bed, farther away from my annoyed gaze.

For an old fart you swear a lot, Lady Dee.

Don’t call me that. You know I hate it when you call me that.

Nina smiles happily, her focus on the tray and the task at hand. She pours milk into the oversized tea cups and drops a sugar cube in each. A couple drops of tea land on the bed sheets, but Nina seems oblivious, like she has an unspoken need to spill her magic drink a little before serving it to me.

What is it with British people and tea? What’s wrong with good old coffee?

You can’t have black coffee, Lady Dee. It doesn’t mix well with your condition, Nina says, making me once again suspicious that she has the ability to read minds. I miss my daily black coffee. But sure as hell, what used to make me wake up in the morning and keep me going throughout the day, now makes me vomit every time I try to enjoy it. Only half a cup sends me rushing for the bucket tucked under my bed.

Scoffing at Nina, I cross my arms over my chest. I turn my face away from her and watch the furious dance of the brown and green leaves outside. They spiral inside the wind pockets, the miniature tornadoes whirling around the crooked, deceitful balcony. The leaves, the wind’s helpless victims, are tossed back onto the balcony’s splintery wooden floor, just for the storm to pick them up again, teasing, playing, tossing, until the wind gets tired of its cruel game and abandons the stranded sufferers.

I know how it feels to be tossed around like that. I’m well aware of how it feels when the world spins, suffocates and drains you, until the moment you’re violently released from its grip and slammed onto the cold and hard ground. There we lay, me and the leaves, anxiously waiting for the second round to start.

Nina wears a pair of brand new white breeches and her white, collared dressage show shirt. On the chest pocket of her shirt, fake diamonds glimmer in the room’s yellow light. She was supposed to leave hours ago, head out to the show grounds two hours from our farm. Our barn trainer, David, will tag along. It’s sad, almost pathetic, how much it pains me that I won’t be joining the two.

First world problems, I mumble, and it makes Nina stop clinking the silver spoon against the edge of the tea cup. As she stays quiet, I almost hear her brain ticking and her calculating whether she should crack a witty comment or play it safe and remain quiet. To my surprise, she chooses the latter. The spoon clinks in the tea cup as she shakes her head. I sulk and stare out at the dark, stormy barnyard.

I borrowed your saddle for Whistle’s test. I hope you don’t mind. It’s already packed in the horse box, Nina says, her tone an inch too high, too cheerful, telling me she has picked up my mood as well as the worry and frustration that linger in the room. She wants to cheer me up without annoying me; a task of pure insanity. A sane person would walk away. But Nina refuses to act as if I’m an afterthought nor something she’s paid to take care of alongside her increasing responsibilities of running the barn.

The heavy wooden beams across the ceiling make the room seem smaller than it really is. Or maybe I’ve been trapped here so long that the walls have finally started to close in. All the furniture in this rustic barn building are antique, making the majestic but down-to-earth surroundings old and sophisticated—the complete opposite of me.

I’m fifty years old, too young and way too full of it to be confined in the embrace of my own deathbed.

I don’t have to use it, Dee. I can use my own saddle, or one of David’s, Nina says carefully, after I fail to comment on her packing plan and its details.

Use the saddle, Nina. You know I don’t mind, I say and force a reassuring smile on my face. Here we are, talking about dressage, custom leather saddles, horses and trailers when outside the world raves on. And everything I’ve ever loved is being tossed around in the storm’s eye, right in the middle of the raw and unfair chaos.

Downstairs something falls and breaks on the floor, making a clattering sound that spooks the barn cat. He jumps from his nook on the antique dresser. The orange cat is supposed to live in the barn, the first floor of the huge building, with the horses, catching mice to earn his daily cat chow and cat nip. Against the common rules, which all of the tenants know, someone keeps leaving the first floor’s door open for him to sneak upstairs.

The cat prefers the second floor, where people leave half eaten sandwiches on the kitchen counter. Some even pet his old scarred face as they pass him in the hallway or the kitchen. After all the leftovers are hunted down and devoured, the cat sneaks up to the third floor to join my sulky presence. He won’t climb into my bed, almost like he knows I’m allergic to his company. After breaking and entering, the old cat lingers by the doorway before choosing between his nook or one of the old dinner table chairs. There he lies down, slowly swaying his orange tail from side to side, his black eyes fixated on me. I have not once won the ultimate staring competition between us.

Everyone pretends to be annoyed by the old, bird hunting beast, but I know there’s not a soul around this place who doesn’t secretly leave the door cracked open, so the purring mouser can enjoy some warmth, gentle touches, as well as our gloomy company.

I know you need to leave, Nina, but could you check on them, just to see if everything is okay? Just quickly, before you leave?

Nina sighs and rolls her eyes, but I know it’s an act. She’s furiously smart, hardworking and loves to help. Her witty—or as she would call them, arsey—ways drive me bonkers nearly every day, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy her smart-ass company and her entertaining comebacks.

She’s nothing like me at her age. She’s tall and slim, stuffed with intelligence, sharp insights, and a butt-load of confidence. I admire the way she carries herself, chin up high, always enunciating her words clearly, never stuttering or dodging anyone’s gaze. I admire her, but I sure as hell don’t need this wiseacre to know that.

Fine, I’ll go have a look. David and the horse box leave in five, but I can follow him with my car later.

Just go before the storm picks up, Nina. You should head out soon. Just check the downstairs first, will you?

She gives me another sigh and slides the serving tray toward me on the bed. The tea’s treacly scent attacks my sensitive nose. I look away from the flower prints and the rising steam.

It’s pouring outside. The world is raving, and I sit here over an ancient barn building, sulking about my lack of stomach to drink coffee and a horse show I’m not going to attend. The world is raving while I rot away, surrounding myself with first world problems.

I run away from the thing of evil—a familiar murky being in the dark. The thing has no face, no legs, no distinguishable figure. Its presence lingers next to me, its glowing eyes following me around the open room. It sprints after me when I try to escape down the stairway, fleeing to the first floor and then down and out of the barn aisle. I continue my panicked run until my feet get stuck in the thick, wet mud in the woods of my homeland. I run until I stumble and fall. My face-first fall whips my head back so hard, it wakes me up from the dream. The back of my head still aching. I can’t be sure if I’m really awake.

Is the thing still here? Lurking? Watching?

Holding my breath is a mistake as usual—it triggers the painful coughing. The relentless cough attack is just as irritating as a panic attack or a blackout would be. The ripping sensation is a new addition to my old nemeses that all walk hand in hand. Together, they haunt me and kick me down, year after year. Someone wiser than me promised they’d stop as soon as I grew old and stop being so afraid, so freaking fragile. But I’m as strong as a bull, unshakeable and older. But my tormenting rivals keep coming back.

The cough gets more fierce. It suffocates my breathing, empties my lungs of oxygen and leaves me gasping for air. I feel like a fish on dry land; small, pathetic and soon to be dead.

The cracked door flies open and Nina speed walks in with a determined look on her graceful face. Looking at my working student approaching, I let my thoughts wander. Nina looks like an angel, my savior and only hope. Just as I picture a halo above this angel’s head, she jumps onto the bed, pushes me forward and firmly beats me between my shoulder blades, just a tad too hard. It hurts. But it works. The cough gives in. Grateful to realize I can breathe, I gasp air back into my rotting lungs.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, were you a boxer before I hired you to work at the barn? I ask Nina. The worry and relief on her face makes me quickly turn my head away from her. Her feeling sorry for me or hovering over my pathetic being is the last thing I want. But I think it’s too late to stop either from happening.

Nah, before you hired me, my previous employer spoiled me rotten. I got to work in an office, with heat and everything. I’d file papers, curse and kick the fax machine. It’s this slaving, stinking job you gave me hauling buckets and shoveling shit that has made me as strong as a boxer. Come to think of it, it’s only fair that I get a bump in my salary, isn’t it?

Comfortably sitting on the bed again, I lean forward slightly to look behind me and pretend to fix the pillows into a better position, so I can hide the amusement on my face. Did she really go there? Of course she did. I suffocate the uncontrollable giggle attacking my sore throat. Kid’s got some nerve. I must hand it to her. Asking a dying woman for a raise. What next? She should inherit the barn—the one I’m not the righteous owner of—and the horses as well? The little shit already stole my good saddle.

I pay her well. Way more than anyone ever paid me for barn work and riding. I pay her well because she deserves it. No matter how infuriating she is.

Fuck it. I’ll call the accountant in the morning, tell him to raise Nina’s salary. Why the hell not?

Everything okay downstairs? I ask Nina.

"All is well, Lady Dee. But you don’t look so well. Are you sure I can’t bring you something to ease your pain?"

"No pain, Nina. Just a bad dream. I’m fine. You should get going, it’s a long drive to the show grounds. I’m sure David will manage, but you need some rest before the competition in the morning. I’m not sending your fancy ass there to

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