Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Vivian's Ring Chapter Teaser

I wanted to share the first chapter of Vivian's Ring with you. You can get it free with Kindle Unlimited. You can find it Here

Chapter One  Vivian

I loved book signings. I didn’t do them often, but I loved them and my job. I shook the hands of readers and smiled brightly for pictures. However, this is a long one, and I was at the point I wanted to find a Starbucks, fire up my laptop, and go back to my writing cave. No one seemed to understand how much I loved to be alone in the world I created with my mind and words. With my successful imagination being turned into books, along came personal appearances, such as this. I was posing for another picture when I noticed my never-ending line. I shouldn’t be complaining. I was truly thankful for every book I have sold and for each fan who bought them but exhaustion was setting in. I’ve been at it for hours already. “Here.” Olivia my publicist handed me a bottle of water. “Do you want something to eat?” “Yes. A steak, baked potato with lots of butter and sour cream.” I joked. Actually, it sounded delicious and couldn’t wait to find a place to eat. I was currently in Las Vegas at the biggest book convention in the United States. I was certain I could find a restaurant to fulfill my needs. If I could ever get out of here. I took a deep breath, picked up my pen and greeted the next reader. For the next few hours, I continued smiling and listened to the readers tell me how much they loved my books, characters, and me. Who would have thought I would ever grow sick of hearing praises. “Only ten left,” Olivia whispered in my ear. Relief filled me knowing the end of the line was nearing. As the last book was handed to me, I didn’t look up. I wanted to be done because my heels were killing me. “Hi,” I said. “Hello, Vivian.” I froze. All the air left the building, and I couldn’t breathe at all. “Brent?” His caramel eyes bared down into mine. The last time I saw him – ten years ago – he wasn’t as built as he was now and his hair was longer. Now, as I studied him, his hair was shorter, and I liked the slight scruff on his face. Other than that, he was exactly the same. I remembered the first time I saw him. I was sitting in the back of the classroom trying to remain invisible when I watched him and his friends laughing and joking. I wished I had friends like him. He looked back at me and gave me small smile. It was then he stole my heart. Of course, I would never do anything or even say anything because I was fat and never had self-esteem. “What are you doing here?” The nervousness clearly came out with my question. “I’m in Vegas for a convention but I heard author V. Rush was signing and...” He shrugged. “And here you are.” I finished his sentence for him. I used to do it all the time when we were together. “Wait, you’ve read my books?” Suddenly I realized what he had said. “Yes. Actually, you’re one of my favorite authors.” He leaned a little closer to me. “Imagine my surprise when I read about Detective Brian who seemed ​extremely familiar.” I swallowed back the lump in my throat. “He’s just a character.” I didn’t want to admit the truth in front of him. He was Brent. I took everything I knew and loved about him and turned him into a fictional character. He was strong, determined, kind, and sweet. I knew all these things to be true of Brent because I experienced them all. He was the Alpha hero every girl wanted and hoped for. Although, I left it all behind me. “Is he?” He smirked. For a second I thought he was mad, but Brent never got mad. He was a great guy. “Hello.” Olivia poked her head in between us with her bright smile. “Hi, I’m Brent.” He stood up tall and held out his hand. 
“Olivia. I’m Ms. Rush’s publicist. How do you know her?” “We go way back.” I rolled my eyes at his comment. His statement was correct, but there was much more than way back.
​ He and I were together all throughout high school. He was my knight in shining armor. Well, really it was my knight in cowboy boots and driving a big ol’ truck. At the time, I loved it. “Oh.” Olivia glanced at me and then back to Brent. I scribbled my name on the book and handed it to him. “Here you go. Have a great day.” I put on my best fake smile. “May we talk for a moment?” he asked softly. My head nodded before I could verbally answer. I knew he wasn’t going to just take the book and leave. “She’s all done here.” Olivia chimed in and pushed on my shoulder. “I’ll clean up and meet up with you later.” “Sure. Right. Okay.” I muttered and stood up. My body was on autopilot. I gathered up my purse and cell phone. Brent walked by my side as we strolled out of the convention hall and into the lobby. “Would you like to grab a coffee?” He suggested. “Fine.” I didn’t know why I agreed. I’ve not talked to or seen him in ten years. I didn’t owe him anything. Although, the nosy part of me wanted to see what has become of his life. I’ve made this conversation up in my head a million times, but I never knew what was real or not. Brent was a good guy and I hoped he was still an equally good man. I knew he was going to have a lot of questions and I didn’t want to answer any of them. There was a coffee shop down the block. We ordered our drinks, and Brent paid for the order. I went to protest but gave up. It’s built into his southern DNA to be chivalrous. I take our drinks and was able to find a table in the corner away from the blasting Jazz music and loud laughter. He sat across from me and neither of us spoke. It reminded me of our first real date when we were fifteen. We had been friends for a long time before our first date, and it made it a bit awkward. I cleared my throat. “How’s your family?” Maybe keeping the topic light and easy would get this over with more quickly. “They’re fine. And yours?” I shrugged. “I guess they’re okay. I’ve not really talked to anyone since I left Billings.” “You were never close to them.” He gave me a sad smile. He knew – better than anyone – my home life was horrendous. I didn’t have the worst family, but my parents had always pushed me into school and being independent. Now, I relied on myself and no one else. My parents didn’t seem to miss me, and I was okay with it. I liked being by myself and lost in my imagination. “Did you graduate college?” he asked. I nodded. “Yes. I was able to finish in three years. It almost killed me.” I half joked. It was rough on me, but I wanted my degree and to start my life. “You look great, Viv.” He commented looking me over. I glanced down at myself. I knew what he was thinking. He’s wondering how much weight I lost. “Thanks. I got rid of all those fat rolls.” “You were never fat.” His voice was sincere. He would always tell me how beautiful I was and how great I was. I never believed him. I was very overweight as a teenager. 
We stood in his barn and brushed the horses. He had asked me for the tenth time today and I sighed. “I can’t go.” I shook my head, stepping away from the horse and crossing my arms. “And you can’t make me.” “You’re right.” Brent came over and hugged me. “I can’t make you go to prom with me. However,” he stepped back, “I can​ bring the prom to you.” I furrowed my brow and looked at him. “What?” “I can set up everything here at the ranch. I can get the CD I burned for you with all your favorite songs and order our favorite pizza. It’s just like prom, but without all the people around.” I loved the idea, but he didn’t understand – I didn’t want to wear the dress. I was seventeen and overweight. I couldn’t fit into anything at the store and didn’t even dare to look at a magazine. My self-esteem would plummet. “Brent, I can’t.” “Why? Talk to me.” He looked deeply into my eyes and comfort washed over me. “I’m too fat for a dress.” “No, you’re not.” He kissed me. “Besides at our​ prom, jeans, boots, and t-shirts are the only acceptable attire.” I smiled. He always had the best plans. He brought me the greatest joy. 
The day after I left Billings to go to college, I made promises to myself. One, I would lose weight. Two, I would graduate college with no one’s help. Three, I would be happy. Three was the toughest one and wasn’t there yet. Overall, my life was great, but there were times I missed having friends. Not all the time but sometimes. Brent had been my best friend and leaving him was hard, but it had to be done. I knew if I told him where I was going he would have followed. “What made you read the “Love to Death” Series?” I changed the conversation to something I was more comfortable with. “I picked it up in an airport,” he said. “I was hooked after the first chapter. I never thought it was you though. Imagine my surprise when I saw you at the table.” “I’m certain it was shocking.” I tucked my curly hair behind my ears and looked out the cafe window. He couldn’t imagine the shock I felt seeing him. I hoped I hid it well enough, but he knew me too well. “To say the least.” He muttered. We fell into silence, and I knew what was coming. Brent never beats around the bush when he wanted an answer about a topic. I knew the question was coming. “Why did you leave me?” And there it was...  

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Teaser Thursday?

Teaser Thursday? Why not? I wanted to share the first chapter of Hero's Heart with you. I hope you enjoy it!

Chapter One Hero
I KNOW YOU shouldn’t have a favorite animal. However, for me, Donut my American Quarter Horse was mine. He was given to me by my parents shortly before they died in a car accident. I was five years old, and it’s probably why I love Donut so much. I finished brushing him, grabbed another bale of hay, and settled him for the day. On my way back up to the main house, I double-checked on the chickens and goats. They all seemed to be peacefully happy. My brothers Bryson and Wallace were working with Gramps today. They were moving the cattle and steers into another field. Usually, I would be right next to them, but today I had to take Grammy to the store. “Hero.” Grammy called out from the front porch, standing behind the missing posts. Over the years, I’ve watched the bright yellow paint of the house turn gray and chip away. The red roof leaked and was rusted now and in desperate need of fixing. I tried to fix the gutters as best I could without having to replace them all. Grammy could be described as the best woman in the entire world, but never, ever make her mad. She had perfect aim in whatever she was throwing or shooting, depending on the situation. I’ve seen many fooled by her short stature and silvery white hair. You had to love a woman who could cut someone down with a sweep of their tongue, all the while wearing a floral dress with a matching jacket. I jogged up the steps of our magnificent home. It was designed and built by Gramps for Grammy. Their marriage came out of a Lifetime movie. Gramps wasn’t from our small town. He was simply passing through on his way to Tulsa when he stopped at the diner. Grammy’s parents owned it, and she happened to be working the day he strolled in. Gramps claims it was love at first sight. Grammy told it as he was a bit too shy for her, but by the time dessert came around they were in love. For the earlier part of my life, I thought they were insane. Who falls in love after thirty minutes? It wasn’t until I was eight years old and a new student walked through the doors that I understood. Even at such a young age, Ranger oozed confidence. I loved him instantly. And I thought he loved me. “Hero.” Grammy’s tone interrupted my daydream. “I’m ready.” “I’m coming.” I bolted up to the second floor and grabbed my keys and purse. “Stop running in the house. You’re actin’ like you’re a kid again.” She hollered at me. “I’m walking briskly.” I corrected her, coming back downstairs. “Little girl.” Her glare was one to make men double her size drop to their knees. “Fine.” I sounded like a small child after being scolded. The grocery store in our tiny town was the core of the local gossip. Who was dating whom? Who started a new job? Who lost their job? Who was pregnant? Or the topic I hated the most, who was cheating on their partner? Gossiping seemed to be a trait every person here excelled in – especially in this town. Simply because there wasn’t anything else to do. In our town of fewer than two thousand residents, there’s a post office, one bar, the diner, the store and a bank. Clearly nothing more goes on here. I used to dream of leaving Langston, Oklahoma – until Ranger. Because of him, I went to the community college two towns over
instead of becoming a Sooner. And because of him I never went out without my brothers or Garrison. The ping of sadness hit my heart when Garrison’s smiling face appeared in the forefront of my mind. Has it already been three months since he passed? It felt like yesterday. Grammy pushed the cart as I picked up the items she told me to, especially the ones on high shelves. People stopped and talked to her and mainly shot glares my way. Although a few gave me a sympathetic smile. I just looked away and pretended not to be there. Silently praying Grammy wouldn’t take long and we’d be out of here. “Hero,” she yelled from across the produce. “Don’t forget the prune juice and the fiber bars.” I rolled my eyes as a few people turned and glanced at me. That old woman will be the death of me. I headed over to the aisle and picked up the items she wanted. “I’m finished,” she said and elation filled me since we could leave now. We checked out and as I loaded the bags into the back seat of her compact SUV, I felt eyes staring at me. I didn’t turn around, but this wasn’t something new. I continued my task as the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. I’ve felt this before, but only with… “Hey, Hero.” The deep voice sent shivers through me and took my breath away. Ten years ago, it would be excitement from his voice, now it was anger. I slowly turned to see his green eyes connecting with mine. He looked the same only ten years older. His tall six feet two body was still shined with a deep tan over his ripped muscles. The tight t-shirt highlighted his toned body. His hair coal black but shorter than I remember. However, the last time I saw him he was leaving on a bus for his military training. A gasp broke my connection with him. “Ranger.” Grammy came up next to me. “Son, what are you doing home?” “Um…” His eyes bounced between her and me. “Grammy, we have to go. The food will spoil. That’s what happens when you leave things out too long and don’t do what you’re supposed to do – it rots.” I shut the back door and then climbed into the driver’s seat and slammed my door closed. I started the car and revved the engine a bit hoping she took the hint. The light taps on the window didn’t sway my eyes from staring dead ahead. “Hero, we need to talk.” I remained frozen in hurt and anger. I knew if I even blinked in his direction I would jump out and let him have it. “Hero.” His tone was clear. He was like a dog with a bone. “Hero.” “Saying my name over and over isn’t going to make me listen.” I held the steering wheel tightly causing my fingers to ache. “We need to talk.” “You’re a broken record,” I yelled. “You’ve said that already. Take the hint that my silence is because I don’t want to talk.” “Please.” He lowered his tone to the point I almost didn’t hear him. That lowered tone used to be welcome in my ear, in the dark, in the cab of his truck. Grammy settled into her seat and buckled up. I slammed the vehicle into reverse and drove like a NASCAR driver out of the lot and up the road. I didn’t care about the speed limit or
even if I got pulled over from one of the town’s two police officers. I wanted away from Ranger, and it had to be as far as I could get. I made a beeline up our drive, practically giving my seventy-two year old grandmother whiplash. I heard Ranger’s loud truck coming up the drive and I raced as fast as I could into the house and to the gun cabinet. “What are you doing?” Gramps called out from the living room. “I’m going to kill Ranger.” I loaded the gun and stomped my way back onto the front porch, passing Grammy along the way. “Little girl, don’t you shoot that boy. I mean it, Hero.” Normally, I would never ignore an order from Grammy, especially in the tone she was using now. I continued on with my march toward the front door. Ranger jumped out of his lifted black truck. He was coming around the front of the truck, when I steadied my wobbly knees and fired off the first shot, hitting the tree. “Have you lost your mind?” He ducked. “You could have taken off my head.” “I was aiming lower.” I roared letting off another round. My entire family came running to me and Wallace yanked the gun from my hand. “Fine, I’ll just go break his jaw.” I tried my best to run, but Bryson was holding me back. Ranger held up his hands. “I just want to talk.” “No one wants to hear what you have to say, Ranger. Go on home.” Wallace pointed up the driveway, shooing him away as if he were a fly. “Leave now, you good for nothing jerk.” Grammy slapped his arm, trying to shush him. She might be the only one who still liked Ranger. “I can’t leave. Garrison’s lawyer found me and told me I have to meet him to go over his will.” We all froze. My stomach tightened into knots at the mention of Garrison’s name. “What about his will?” Grammy asked. “It named only Hero and me in it. We have to go speak with him.” He continued. “They wouldn’t tell me what it said. Do you know?” Anger was still boiling in my veins, but I shook my head. “Garrison only gave me medical power of attorney.” “Jacob didn’t tell me that.” He scoffed. “Don’t say his name in my presence. Jacob’s a liar and a jerk.” I clenched my jaw so tight I could grind glass into sand. “He’s my best friend.” “Well, you know what they say about those who run with dogs.” I paused for a dramatic effect. “You’ll catch fleas.” He rolled his eyes and looked up at the sky. “We’re supposed to be there at nine tomorrow. Are you coming?” He paused. “Garrison wanted us to go. He’d want you to go.” Bryson released his grip slightly. “I’m not sure has hell frozen over yet?” He opened his mouth to say something, but I continued trying to keep my voice steady and void of emotion. “Garrison was my friend. Mine. I was the one who took care of him day after day, night after night until the cancer ate him away. I bathed him, fed him, and held him as he became sicker and sicker. Where were you, huh? Where were you when your brother was dying?” I tried my best to hide the burning sting of tears behind my eyes. I won’t let him see me cry. He didn’t deserve to see my tears.
Ranger lowered his head, and I saw his chest rising and falling as he took deep breaths. When he lifted his head, his green eyes stared at me. “He didn’t tell anyone but you and your family. My own parents didn’t know until you called them.” His deep voice was like ice. “And he was more than just a friend to you.” Before I could blink I was right in front of him shoving him with all my might in the chest. “How dare you? You know nothing.” “Jacob told me all about your little rendezvous’ with Garrison and everyone else?” He glared at me. “Oh and Jacob is someone you believe? He’s the one you trust. Not the girl who loved you, cared for you and gave you everything. Not your girlfriend.” “Wrong. You’re a girl who took comfort in my brother’s bed while I was off fighting a war. I lost sleep over you because I thought you were making plans for us.” I took a deep breath, pulled my arm back and it connected right on his jaw knocking him back a few steps. “Get off my land and don’t you ever come back.” I spun on the heel of my cowboy boots and went back into the house – finally letting the tears fall. I pushed my legs to the very limit running out the back door, through the backyard until I reached our pond. Grammy had a couple of benches out there along with a picnic table. We’d had many family events out here, and it was where I came to get away from everyone or my problems. I paced along the edge trying to figure out what in the world is happening right now. It had been ten years since I’d seen his face. We’d spoken on the phone when he first left for deployment, but once a month became once every two months and then it all just stopped. He was distant-vague like I was an afterthought. Garrison was there for me when I would rack my brain trying to figure out what I did wrong. I gave my heart to Ranger along with a promise. I kept my promise but he didn’t keep his. He promised to return to me – to us. So we could finish what we started so long ago. “Hero.” Grammy touched my shoulder. My head fell to her shoulder and I sobbed as if I were a child who just scraped her knee. “It’s okay, Hero.” She ran her hand up and down my back as the emotions still ran out of me. “Why is he here?” I managed to form a sentence. “He told you.” She pulled back a bit, wiping my cheeks. “It’s for Garrison.” “Wrong.” I shook my head. “It has to be for some sort of selfish reason.” “Hero.” She chided me softly. “You don’t know what he’s thinking. However, if the lawyer wants you there too, then you need to go. Not for Ranger, but for Garrison and for you.” She pushed my hair back and kissed my forehead. “It’ll be hard, but you’re a tough girl.” “I don’t think I can do this.” Being in the same room as Ranger would almost kill me. He has done nothing but stomp on my heart. “You can and you will. You know it’s the right thing to do.” I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself. She was right – I have to do this. Garrison was my best friend and if he wants me there then I will be.

I COULDN’T MOVE out of my truck. I’d been sitting in here for the past fifteen minutes debating what I was doing. I needed to get out and go in, but my body wouldn’t move. I hardly slept a wink last night. I tossed and turned as the memories of my first love kept creeping up. There were many memories I loved and they brought a smile to my face. The others hurt me. The day he left for his deployment I cried until there were no more tears left in me. Garrison had been there for me the whole time. He was a shoulder for me to lean on because he understood my love and pain for Ranger. Tap. Tap. I jumped at the noise and when I looked out the window, Ranger’s green eyes were staring at me. His jaw was slightly swollen but there was no bruise. Obviously, I didn’t hit him hard enough. I threw up the steel wall to hide my emotions from him. He doesn’t deserve to know the heartache he caused me. I shoved my door open almost hitting him in the process. “What?” “We need to go in.” “Oh do we?” I smarted off at him. “Hero, come on. This isn’t something I want to do.” He sighed. I slung my purse over my shoulder, slammed the door shut and stomped up the sidewalk toward the attorney’s office. I’d been here before when Garrison died. I had to let the attorney know he passed and get the probate started for his will. He had told me his will listed all those important to him, but he never mentioned me. I assumed it to be his parents and Ranger. We were close and I would never deny our bond but being in charge of someone’s will was a different level of friendship. Ranger and I stepped up to the receptionist, telling her who we are and who we’re seeing. We sat on opposite sides of the room. I couldn’t help looking over at him briefly from time to time. No matter how much I didn’t want to. The man was my first kiss, my first love, my first everything. He was my world. Now, I wanted to punch him in the throat and then force him to tell me why he broke my heart. “Mr. Bronson. Ms. Danner.” A young woman stepped out into the lobby. “Follow me please.” We both rose to our feet and kept in step with her until we reached the end of a long hallway where a small conference room was located. Ranger allowed me to go in first. He gently placed his hand on the small of my back. It was a gesture he’s done a hundred times before, but now it made my blood boil. I reigned in my emotions because I really didn’t want to cause a scene at the attorney’s office. At least not yet. “May I get you something to drink? Water? Coffee?” She smiled at us. “I’m fine. Thank you.” I told her. “No thanks,” Ranger said and sat across from me. “Mr. Anderson will be here in a moment.” She nodded and exited the room. The only sound in the silent room was the slow hum of air coming from the vent above us. I picked at a stray thread on my purse, making sure not to look up. “You look nice.” He spoke softly. I scoffed and dramatically rolled my eyes at him. “Do I look someone who’s in the mood for small talk? Or for that matter any talking?” “We need to—”
“Nothing. We need to do nothing but listen to whatever Mr. Anderson has to say and then leave each other alone.” I huffed and crossed my arms. I was trying to protect my heart again. It has been shattered one too many times from him already, and I wasn’t certain I could handle it again. He wanted to say something else, but Mr. Anderson walked into the conference room. “Hero, nice to see you again. You must be Ranger.” He extended his hand to him. They shook hands and then both sat down. “I know you both are wondering why you’re here. I must say it would have been sooner, however, Mr. Bronson, you’re a difficult man to find.” Ranger simply nodded. “Garrison has a unique request in his will. Not the strangest one I’ve ever seen but he felt it was important to be done.” I moved closer to the table and listened more intently as did Ranger. “Garrison was very good with money. Actually, extremely good and he’s leaving it to you both – under one condition.” “What is it?” I asked. I knew Garrison had a little nest egg but nothing of any significance. He glanced at me and then at Ranger. He actually looked nervous. Whatever was about to come had to be more serious than anything I could think of. I’ve known Mr. Anderson for a long time, and I was certain he was aware of Ranger’s and my past relationship. If nothing else Garrison had to have told him since we’re both here now. He cleared his throat, shuffled the papers and then said, “For the next six weeks, you’re to spend as much time together as possible. Garrison wanted you to rebuild your friendship and your relationship. In return, if you both fall back in love and convince me you have, then you’ll receive your portion of the estate.” My mouth fell to the floor. This couldn’t be real. This had to be some sick practical joke. However, Garrison was never comedic. Everything to him was serious. “What?” I breathed out my question. “There has to be a catch.” Mr. Anderson shook his head. “No catch.” “What if we don’t fall in love? What if we don’t want to spend the time together?” The questions kept firing out of me. “Then the money goes elsewhere.” He simply stated. I looked at Ranger. I didn’t care about the money and I certainly didn’t want to spend time with him. “There’s no way I’m doing this. Goodbye, Ranger. Best of luck.”


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

AnguiSH Chapter Teaser

I wanted to share chapter 1 of AnguiSH with you. I hope you love Breaker and Ash as much as I do. You can find a copy Here!

Chapter 1

It’s disgusting,” I said, parroting my mother. She always got nasal when referring to all things pestiferous. Everything was icky. Everything was gross. Except, of course, for her Louboutins. The top items on her list of foul objects: ground beef, roaches, crickets, carpet of any kind, and lately, me—or rather, my growlery. Her hand popped up to rest on her hip—I could hear the motion even over the phone—and I knew a shitstorm was about to rain down on me. “Don’t you sass me, Breaker James. I could care less about your detest for my meddling. Get it cleaned up before I show up next week, or I will hire a maid myself,” she quipped. A shudder ripped through me at the thought of someone being in my space, anyone at all—even her—and she knew it. She couldn’t hire someone—she wouldn’t. Damn her for knowing how to hit below the belt. I counted to ten and made myself do those stupid-ass breathing exercises that Pencil Skirt always made me practice, like I was pushing out a baby instead of acting like a baby. The edges of my vision began to blur a little as the panic took root in my chest. Even the mention of someone being in my house weighed on me like a two-ton anvil. No one except my mother, and sometimes my father, came here. It was the way it had to be. If they thought I was crazy for being here alone, they had no idea what would happen if there were other people here. In my head it all sounded stupid, but the rest of my body disagreed. The fear of other people and any social situation in general was beyond terrifying. I would have to clean the place up. No way was I letting her hire some outfit with a feather duster. “Fine. I’ll take care of it, Mom,” I groaned back at her. I looked around to assess the damage. It wasn’t that bad. Yes, the dishes were piled up in the sink, and something was growing a fur coat on one plate in particular. I think it was spaghetti—was being the operative word. Maybe the dust could be seen flying in formation when the sun shone through the splice in the curtains. There was no soap-scum ring around the bathtub, but that was because I never took baths. Still, that had to count for something. If I were a regular person, I would keep up with the everyday chores and simple tasks like emptying the dishwasher and washing my clothes. If I were a regular person, I could actually walk out of this prison—house, it’s a house. But to me, the windows and doors were like portals to hell. “Test me not, Breaker. I will not be moved on this. And I get what you’re going through, I do. But no son of mine will live in filth. Period.” She hung up the phone, unwilling to hear my response. She understood what I was going through? Such a liar. I had to clean this place up. I had a week. I didn’t used to be like this. I was that guy who did the dishes after dinner because my girl had cooked. I spent Saturday mornings cleaning the house and making sure the grass was mowed. I got dressed and went for a run in the mornings, breathing fresh air. I went to visit my mom and my sisters. I went to school, to a real classroom where the phrase virtual classroom was unheard of. There were lots of things I used to be and do. That was all before Heather. After Heather, I was worse than Bilbo Baggins—at least he could go on an adventure if he wanted to. Gandalf could paint invitations on my door all he wanted. My feet were firmly planted in this house. Don’t get me wrong, I would have given anything to go to a movie or even shop for my own groceries. I just couldn’t. During the week that followed my mom’s phone call, I did some things, none of which I would’ve called cleaning. I wrote. I journaled. I stayed in chat rooms constantly, my only method of social interaction. I expected a knock at the door telling me I’d been fooled any day now. I studied and worked on classwork. I didn’t clean. In fact, I would say the mess doubled in volume and stench that week. I just didn’t care. Why should I have? In this chasm, I was not quite alive and not quite dead; no one but my mother gave a rat’s ass if my house were clean. There were black holes in the universe dedicated to how many fucks I just didn’t give. I did my laundry, but mostly because I was out of things to wear. I didn’t wear real clothes anymore, just basketball shorts and old band and sports T-shirts. Who was gonna see me? And my bedroom was clean for the most part. The rest of the house… No one came over, so why would I care if it were presentable? Anyway, she wouldn’t hire a maid. She knew how I felt about… people. I really didn’t mind them one on one, but eventually they would want to go out into the world. That was where my part ended. I never left this house, not even to go to the mailbox. I never went to the gas station or the park. I didn’t get to hear concerts or leave a lame party early. It had been two years, three months and nineteen days since the party. Subtract three days spent in the hospital for monitoring, and that’s the length of time since I’d been out of these walls. It didn’t all happen in one night. No, that would have been too easy. Pencil Skirt called it the snowball effect. One by one, snowflakes of depression and anxiety added to the ball, and before long it was something I could no longer carry around. My snowball rolled over me the night of the party, crushing my will to live a normal life—maybe crushing my will to live in general. Before I knew it, a week had come and gone. I would be calling my mom’s bluff today. I threw a T-shirt on since Mom would be at the house any minute and scrolled through excuses in my head, perusing my options as to why I hadn’t obliged her request as I tore down the stairs. I plucked I had a ton of schoolwork out of the mental pile and decided that was my story. She wouldn’t believe it, but maybe I could dig deep and pull a few tears to the surface. It had been years since I’d cried. I heard her car in the driveway— only hers—and smirked to myself. A sudden rush of boastfulness took over. She was soooo not hiring a maid. I had this in the bag. Wearing a suit that cost more than most people made in a month, Mom walked in and I hugged her, kissed her cheek, and smiled that gushy, sweet grin I knew she loved. Her nose scrunched, and she reached up to pinch it closed. “It smells like a garbage dump in here.” The look of determination on her face terrified me. She was dressed like a high-level executive, all pencil skirt and pearls, even though everyone knew she was a country-club rat. I laughed it off. “Come on, you’re being dramatic.” She closed her eyes and exhaled. “Breaker, I have to.” Shaking her head, she looked down at the floor. “No, Mom. I’ll take care of it.” I could feel my innards begin to quake and quiver at the thought of a new person in my house. An elephant sat on my chest, and my tiny little mouse heart thumped furiously against the weight. My breathing shallowed, starving my lungs, and a faint ringing in my ears made me cringe. What if I have a panic attack in front of them and they think I’m a freak? What if Mom warns them ahead of time and they tiptoe around me, not knowing when my head will spin around and spout green slime? “No, Breaker, I’ll take care of it. This,” she pointed to the kitchen behind me, “is what happens when you take care of things, and this was not part of the deal. I’m sorry if you don’t like it. It’ll just be one more thing to talk to Angela about. Tell her your mother forces you to be hygienic.” My mother was on a first-name basis with Pencil Skirt like they were sorority sisters—except when she attempted to call her and realized that, in fact, Angela was a professional who took the privacy of her patients seriously. Imagine that. Mom was convinced all I did with the psychologist was talk about how bad a mother I had, and that that must be the root of my challenge. That wasn’t it at all, but there was no convincing her. She’d persuaded herself that she could’ve prevented my downfall if she’d paid more attention to Heather’s antics. But hell, if I couldn’t stop it, how could she? Come on logic, work your magic. “What are you gonna do,” I asked, “put an ad on Craigslist? What would it say? ‘Wanna clean for a guy who’s a slob and… insane?’” She rubbed her temples with her fingers, her pristinely painted red nails making tiny, circular motions on the sides of her face. That shit never worked. “Don’t do that, Breaker. Don’t label yourself. But yes, that’s exactly what I intend to do. I’ll have to ask Allison about it since I’m not good at computer stuff. She’ll know what to do. I’m also going to put some flyers up at LSU. So, I will narrow the people down to a few, and then I will send them over here for interviews.” She held up her hand before my mouth could protest. “I will schedule it so you know they are coming, but this is happening, honey, so just get over it.” She left me silent and stunned until the reality of what she’d said crashed down on me. “Shit!”

Monday, October 23, 2017

Austin's Patience Release

Elle Kimberly and I have a New Release today. I am excited for you all to read Austin's Patience. You can find your copy HERE


Austin was the cowboy a little out of her league. Alma was a little underage. He had plans for them both, but she had plans for herself. 

Years later, he needs her again. This time she's the only nurse that can get his father back to health. But time has changed them both. 

Austin's patience might not be enough to get her back.


I loved the ranch and my dream was always to come back to it, but I didn’t want to marry at sixteen. College and living my own life was my highest priorities. My plan was to do this and remain with Austin, but instead, he was on one knee telling me this was how it was going to be. I didn’t want to be controlled by Papa and most certainly not Austin.
So I ran and left all that I knew, but he was never far from my thoughts.

Friday, October 20, 2017

AnguiSH Preorder

AnguiSH preorder is LIVE! Grab your copy Now!


The help-wanted ad on the bulletin board at Ashland's college was simple enough: mother seeks live-in maid for son. But it turns out Breaker James is a mess in more ways than one. He's confined to a prison of his own making, crippled by his fear of people and any social interaction whatsoever. Every vibe he's giving off is begging Ashland to stay away, yet she finds herself strangely drawn to him. Can she coax him out of his darkness and help him overcome the deep trauma of his past to reclaim a normal life?

A contemporary romance perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall and JoJo Moyes' Me Before You, AnguiSH delves deep into complex human emotions and the struggle to move forward from devastating past events.


“Don’t do that, Breaker. Don’t label yourself. But yes, that’s exactly what I intend to do. I’ll have to ask Allison about it since I’m not good at computer stuff. She’ll know what to do. I’m also going to put some flyers up at LSU. So, I will narrow the people down to a few, and then I will send them over here for interviews.” She held up her hand before
my mouth could protest. “I will schedule it so you know they are coming, but this is happening, honey, so just get over it.” She left me silent and stunned until the reality of what she’d said crashed down on me. “Shit!”

Preorder Links: