Thursday, October 15, 2015

***EXCERPT REVEAL*** Chapter One of THE FALL UP!

THE FALL UP - CHAPTER ONE

Levee

It was raining. Isn’t that the way all great love stories start? And also usually end? The midnight air was cool against my skin as I stared off that bridge. My blond wig was secured in place by a headband, and chunky sunglasses covered my whiskey-colored eyes. I didn’t look like myself any more than I felt it. Bruises from the night before painted my legs while fresh scabs covered my knees, but it was the hollowness in my chest that hurt the most.

Yep. Still me.

Which was exactly why I was standing on that bridge, wishing for the mental fortitude to hurl myself off.

A man’s voice interrupted my thoughts. “You finally gonna do it tonight?”

I instinctually smoothed my fake hair down and pressed the bridge of my glasses closer to my face, sealing out any possible glance he could catch. I stared ahead as I snapped, “Excuse me?”

“I’ve seen you here three nights in a row now. I was just wondering if tonight was going to be the night you finally jump.”

My eyes flashed wide, but since they were covered by the dark glasses, my reaction remained hidden. “I just like the view. That’s all.” What a load of shit.

I watched him nod out of the corner of my eye. “Yeah me too. It’s gorgeous up here.”

Shuffling my feet to the side, I attempted to slip away as he pulled a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and offered it my way.

“You want one?”

I shook my head and then crept down a few inches to put distance between us.

“Suit yourself.” He used a hand to shield the lighter from the wind, but the constant sprinkle of rain made his task impossible. “Damn it,” he cursed with the cigarette tucked between his lips. “Little help?” he asked, swinging his gaze to mine.

Arching an eyebrow, I asked, “With what?”

“It’s raining…and windy…and I’m trying to burn one.” He tilted his head, equally as incredulous.

“You want me to call God? We had a bad breakup recently, but he might be willing to do me one last favor.”

He breathed an exaggerated sigh of relief. “That would be fantastic. What’s the big guy’s response time like these days? Last time we spoke, it was”—he paused to look at his watch—“oh, twenty-seven years.”

A soft laugh bubbled from my throat, and one side of his mouth lifted in a gorgeous grin.

“I’m not exactly in the mood to wait that long, so maybe you could just block the wind with your body?” His smile spread as he stepped toward me, forcing my gaze to nervously bounce away.

“Sorry. Can’t help you there. Lung cancer and I broke up too.” After gathering the back of my wig into a ponytail, I pulled it over my shoulder and turned away from him. The chill of the wind blasted my face and roared over my ears as it rushed past me.

I went back to staring out at the dark, choppy water, becoming lost in the idea of how cold it might be.

Is tonight the night?

No.

My feet would more than likely never leave the edge of that bridge, but there was a definite reason why I was imagining ending it all. Exactly zero other people in the world would understand why. I had it all, and I dreamed about losing it all—more often than I would ever admit, even to myself.

After stepping out of my heels, I slipped my foot between the bars on the railing. The wind slammed my bruised leg against the metal. “Shit,” I hissed as pain shot through me.

“You think that hurts? Imagine falling twenty-five stories then crashing into the water, which might as well be concrete, at speeds upward of seventy miles per hour,” the man said, leaning on the metal railing next to me.

“Wow. Someone’s done some research,” I said sarcastically, barely sparing him a glance.

“Daily,” he responded frankly, causing my surprised gaze to swing to his. Simply shrugging at my reaction, he turned his back to the railing and propped himself up on his colorfully tattooed forearms. “You forget I’ve been here the last three nights in a row too.” He smirked, lifting the cigarette up to his lips for a deep inhale.

“Listen, I’m not going to jump if you’re some kind of caped crusader on a mission. I just needed some fresh air.” I pointedly glanced at his cigarette.

A laugh escaped his mouth in a grey puff. “Fresh air is overrated. Especially given the reason you’re standing here.” He knowingly arched a dark-brown eyebrow.

“Riiiiight,” I drawled, rolling my eyes behind my glasses. “Okay, well, I was just heading out anyway.”

“Then my work here is done.” He bowed, and the corner of my mouth lifted in a smile as I stepped back into my shoes and walked away.

I shook my head at the random stranger. Then, a thought struck me, stopping me only a few feet away. Spinning back to face him, I asked, “Wait. Were you reaching out to me as a cry for help?”

“Oh look. Designer Shoes has a conscience!” He dropped his cigarette to the damp ground, stepping on it with the toe of his well-worn, black boots. Bending over, he picked the butt up and tucked it in his pocket.

At least he didn’t litter.

“Oh look. Tattooed Stalker has jokes!” I smarted back.

He smiled, pulling another cigarette from his pocket and then pausing just before guiding it between his lips. “Were you judging me based on my tattoos? I’m offended.” He feigned anguish then laughed while lifting his lighter to once again battle the wind for a nicotine fix.

I wanted to walk away, but he wasn’t wrong. I did have a conscience, and right then, I was worried that it might really be his night to make good on his apparent numerous visits to the bridge.

With a huff, I headed back towards him, praying that I could wrap it up as quickly as possible then head back to my house for a few hours of sleep. Or, more likely, lie awake while staring at the ceiling and crying.

“Are you planning to jump for real?” I asked.

His smile fell as he focused on the water. “Nah. I don’t have the balls to do something like that. Talking to you wasn’t a plea for help or anything. You just look worse than usual tonight.” His gaze slid down to my battered legs.

“Oh!” I exclaimed in understanding. “That’s not at all what you’re thinking. I fell down some stairs.”

He quirked his lips in disbelief.

“I’m serious!”

“I’m sure you are,” he told the wind. “You can go. I’m good.”

I could have walked away, but for some reason, I pulled my jacket tighter around my shoulders and silently stood there while he finished his cigarette.

After a final deep inhale, he flicked it over the railing of the bridge.

Apparently, he does litter.

Turning to me, his face became serious. “You need to call the cops before he makes the decision to end it all for you.”

“Who?” I asked, watching the burning ember hit the metal column then explode in a million different sparks before disappearing down to the water below.

Lucky cigarette.

“The stairs…and whatever inanimate object you’re blaming for those bruises you’re hiding behind sunglasses at one in the morning. You should call the cops before…” His voice trailed off, but his dark gaze narrowed on mine. His eyes bored into my hidden stare, combining with the rain and wind to send chills down my spine.

I took the moment to secretly assess him. He was insanely sexy, but nothing like the men I was accustomed to. His chin was the kind of scruffy that made women weak, but it was obvious he didn’t pay four hundred dollars for his personal hairstylist to shape it. Judging by his shaggy, brown hair that begged for me to thread my fingers in it, I wasn’t sure he was even a barbershop kind of guy. He stood a few inches taller than I was in heels, so I pegged him at around six one. And while his tattooed forearms were deliciously sculpted and his shoulders were notably defined, his body didn’t appear to be swollen with muscles from hours spent at the gym. By the aura of bad boy he gave off, I would have expected him to be a self-consumed, arrogant prick.

He wasn’t though.

He was just an average guy worrying about the well-being of an average girl.

Only he couldn’t have been more wrong, and a pang of guilt hit me hard.

Just not hard enough for me to do anything to correct his assumptions about who I was.

Very softly, I attempted to put his fears to rest. “I promise it’s not what you’re thinking.”

“Okay,” he responded, unconvinced. He nodded to himself before dragging another cigarette from his pocket.

I watched him struggle for a second before I scooted towards him, using my body to block the wind.

Biting the cigarette between his straight, white teeth, he smiled devilishly around it. “Thanks.” Flicking the flame to life, he hunched over until a stream of smoke swirled up from the red tip.

“You should stop smoking.”

“Noted.” He exhaled through his nose.

We went back to silently staring over the side of the bridge. The familiar lights of the San Francisco skyline danced all around us. And, even as tourists and locals alike passed by us, I felt an odd, and unbelievably comfortable, isolation standing there with him.

When my teeth began to chatter, his attention was drawn my way. “I’m not here to jump. You really can go.”

I nodded but didn’t move away.

He chuckled, crossing his arms over his chest and rubbing his biceps for warmth.

“How are you not frozen?” I asked, taking in his thin Henley for the first time since we met.

Shrugging, he dropped his cigarette, answering as he bent to retrieve it. “Thick skin? I’m used to it? I come here a lot? I’m half Eskimo?”

I eyed him suspiciously. “You’re cold, aren’t you?”

“Fucking. Freezing,” he admitted, tucking his arms close to his body and blowing into his hands. “I just came up here for one smoke. Then I saw you. Now, come on. Be a lady and loan a man a jacket,” he joked, tugging on the edge of my coat.

I laughed, hugging it even tighter around my body and stepping out of his reach. “How about we both just leave? Then neither of us have to worry about the other plummeting to their death.”

“Sounds like an amazing plan.” He shoved his hands into the pockets of the tattered jeans riding low on his hips. As we began the hike back down to the foot of the bridge, he asked, “You have a name, Designer Shoes?”

I smiled and shook my head, not willing to lie—or divulge the truth.

“Yeah. Me either,” he replied.

I bit my bottom lip to suppress a laugh.

Side by side, we trudged the rest of the way in silence.

When we got to the foot of the bridge, he turned to face me and sighed. “Well, I genuinely hope I never see you again.”

My head snapped back in shock, and maybe a little hurt.

But he quickly corrected himself. “No! I just mean… Shit.” He ran a nervous hand through his hair while I watched, amused. “I just mean, given the way we met… I…um. I hope you never have a reason to go back up there.”

I teasingly tipped my head to the side. “But I really like the view.”

He cleared his throat. “Right. Of course, the view. Okay, well, have a good night.”

“You too.” I smiled tightly, but my feet didn’t budge. I told myself that it was because I didn’t want him to see my car or the bodyguard waiting for me behind the wheel. But, in reality, I just wasn’t ready to leave. Home wasn’t where I wanted to be. I didn’t actually want to be anywhere.

Not even standing at the foot of a bridge, talking to a witty and sexy man.

Okay, maybe I wanted that a little bit.

“Yep. Have a good night,” he repeated, shoving his hands inside his pockets and slowly backing away.

I gave him a quick wave, which he returned before he jogged in the other direction.

I smiled to myself, shaking my head at the entire interaction—secretly lamenting that it hadn’t been longer.



Maybe there’s only one direction to go when two people fall 

in love at rock bottom—up.

Add The Fall Up to your TBR list on Goodreads!

RELEASE DATE: October 26th

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

***COVER REVEAL*** The Fall Up by Aly Martinez

Maybe there’s only one direction to go when two people fall
in love at rock bottom—up.



Add The Fall Up  to your TBR list on Goodreads!

RELEASE DATE: October 26th

Blurb
I wanted to jump.
He made me fall.

As a celebrity, I lived in the public eye, but somewhere along the way, I’d lost myself in the spotlight. 
the fall up cover ebook.jpg

Until he found me.

Sam Rivers was a gorgeous, tattooed stranger who saved my life with nothing more than a simple conversation.

But we were both standing on that bridge for a reason the night we met. The secrets of our pasts brought us together—and then tore us apart.

Could we find a reason to hold on as life constantly pulled us down?

Or maybe there’s only one direction to go when two people fall in love at rock bottom—up.



the fall up teaser 2.jpg


Monday, August 31, 2015

2 Great 99c Box sets are now LIVE!

It was a Double Release Day

2 Hot New Box sets are Now Available for a very limited time! 

Take advantage of these two sales now and you can get 
13 Full Length Novels for under $2.00



★WRECKED & RUINED BOX SET★

---- 99 cents Limited Time Sale ----



The Wrecked & Ruined box set by Aly Martinez is now available and on SALE for just 99 cents for a very limited time!
FOUR full length novels (each can be read as a stand alone) for one crazy low price! 


One accident.  
Four lives.  
Forever changed. 
"It was only a single moment, but it destroyed us all." 




Have you‪ One-Clicked yet?







______________________________________________

9 WAYS TO FALL is LIVE

NINE complete (Full-Length) Romances from New York Times, USA Today, and Bestselling authors NEVER BEFORE in ONE Boxed Set!!!

--Available ONLY until

OCTOBER 1ST--

Including:
Unbreak Me, Lexi Ryan 
Levitate, Kaylee Ryan 
Blue, HJ Bellus
Tattoo, Cambria Hebert
Fighting Silence, Aly Martinez
Spark, Erin Noelle
Combust, Tessa Teevan
Very Twisted Things,  Ilsa Madden-Mills
One to Love, Tia Louise




Thursday, August 20, 2015

***COVER REVEAL & PRE-ORDER ANNOUNCEMENT***


★★ Cover Reveal & ‪#‎99c‬ ‪#‎PreOrder‬ ★★
******GET IT BEFORE IT'S GONE******
**Available ONLY until OCTOBER 1ST**

Head Back to School with NINE COMPLETE (Full-Length) Romances from New York Times, USA Today, and Bestselling authors NEVER BEFORE in ONE Boxed Set!!!

Title: 9 WAYS TO FALL
Release Date: August 31, 2015
Add it to your TBR: Goodreads

★PreOrder★

UNBREAK ME, by Lexi Ryan: Returning home to be a bridesmaid in her ex-fiancĂ©'s wedding to her sister, Maggie Thompson, a 21-year old college-dropout, hopes to salvage her long-tarnished reputation and strained relationship with her family. Instead, she finds herself caught in a web of secrets and deception between the man who once promised to fix her and the sexy ex-rocker who gives her permission to break.
 
LEVITATE by Kaylee Ryan: Just when you think you've got it all figured out, you realize your puzzle is unfinished. With one touch you find a piece you never thought you needed. The piece that makes you Levitate.
 
BLUE by HJ Bellus: Blue Williams shines no matter the circumstance, until one night changes her forever. The beauty is gone, and all she has left are nasty, ugly memories. The man who saved her has a story of his own, with 90 percent of his body scarred. What happens when the Beauty falls for the Beast?
 
TATTOO by Cambria Hebert: An undercover cop on vacation, a bank teller just doing her job, and a group of bank robbers waiving a gun around. Just when Brody and Taylor think they'll make it out a tattoo changes everything.
 
FIGHTING SILENCE by Aly Martinez: I spent my life dodging the punches reality threw at me. I had worthless parents and two brothers who depended on me. Meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan--neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one. They both happened anyway.
 
SPARK by Erin Noelle: Desperate to improve his younger brother's worsening condition, Crew Elliott and his family decide to turn to unconventional treatments and move to Colorado. It is there, in the search for medical marijuana, he finds beautiful, free-spirited Hudson Shavell--a girl who may not only hold the key to heal his brother, but to fix him as well.
 
COMBUST by Tessa Teevan: When Virgin Queen Andi Kane meets Cohen Wellington, she's sure he's The One... She's never been more wrong. Three years later, he's the man she never wants to see again, she's the one who got away, and this time, despite her protests, he's not letting her go without a fight.
 
VERY TWISTED THINGS by Ilsa Madden-Mills: He's a rock star with a past. She's the heiress who's lost everything. Welcome to Briarcrest Academy--Hollywood style--where sometimes the best things in life are VERY TWISTED THINGS.
 
ONE TO LOVE by Tia Louise: Fighting, tattoos, fame, love, LOSS... It's the one thing Kenny and Slayde have in common, until the night Fate throws them together and everything changes. It's a story about fighting, about falling in love; and it's about losing everything only to find it again in the least likely place.
 
ONE-CLICK NOW - THIS 9-BOOK BUNDLE WILL BE GONE OCT. 1!!!
 





Friday, July 10, 2015

***FIGHTING SHADOWS IS LIVE***


Flint’s highly anticipated emotional story  is FINALLY here!  

Now Available


Blurb

I come from a family of fighters. I always thought I’d follow in their shadows, becoming unstoppable in the ring. That changed the day I saved the life of a woman I loved, but could never have.
 My brother hailed me as a hero, and my reward was a wheelchair.
 Paralyzed, my life became an inescapable nightmare.
 Until I met her.
 Ash Mabie had a heart-stopping smile and a laugh that numbed the rage and resentment brewing inside of me. She showed me that even the darkest night still had stars, and it didn’t matter one bit that you had to lie in the weeds to see them.
 I was a jaded asshole who fell for a girl with a knack for running away. I couldn’t even walk but I would have spent a lifetime chasing her.
 Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.
Fighting the shadows of our past.
Fighting to reclaim my future.
Fighting for her. 



Chapter One
Flint

I remembered it all.
I heard the gun.
I felt the bullet.
I saw her fall.
In less than a second, my life as I knew it was over.
But, unquestionably, I would do it all over again.
For her.

“Flint!” Eliza cried from underneath me.
It wasn’t the way I had dreamed of at least a million times over the years. Her voice hadn’t broken in ecstasy. She hadn’t called my name as I’d been claiming her as my own, nor was it followed by confessions of love and declarations of forever. Instead, there was a sharp ringing in my ears and a tsunami of tears welling in her deep-blue eyes.
My heart was already pounding, but the earth-shattering pain on her face spiked my pulse even higher. I knew I had been hit, but that wasn’t what scared me.
“Are you hurt?” I rushed out.
“I’m fine,” she choked around a sob. As much as I hated to see her cry, the weight of my world disappeared with only two words.
“Are you sure?” I studied her, but she was focused on something else completely.
Peering over my shoulder, she lifted her hand off my back. Blood dripped from her fingertips to the floor.
“Oh God!” she exploded, scrambling from under me.
“I’m okay,” I tried to reassure her, but as I attempted to push up off the floor, I knew my words were in vain. I was nowhere near fine. “I’m…” I started, but the thought was stolen from my tongue. Pain overtook me, causing me to collapse face first to the ground where Eliza had just been lying.
I desperately tried to keep myself from passing out, but it was a battle I was quickly losing.
“Flint. Stay with me. Just hang on, please,” she said calmly, kneeling beside me. But as soon as she sat up, her true emotions were revealed. “Help him!” she cried. “Please, God, someone help him!”
My mind was drifting, rendering me unable to focus, but even amongst the chaos of Eliza pleading for help and security rushing into the room, I somehow homed in on the announcer’s voice on the television blaring in the background.
“I really expected more from Till Page in the ring tonight,” he said.
It was then that I was reminded of a pain far worse than any bullet could inflict.
Till.
Her husband.
The father of her unborn child.
My brother.
He deserved her, but damn it, so did I.
My eyes never left hers as her screams drifted into silence.

***
I awoke to a searing pain in my back, and panic immediately flooded my thoughts.
“Eliza!” I screamed as loudly as I could, but it came out as nothing more than a gurgle.
“I’m right here.” She appeared at my side. “Oh God, Flint. Don’t do that again. You have to stay awake.” She began smoothing my hair down.
“Eliza,” I repeated when further coherent thoughts failed me. I was terrified—I knew that much. But my mind fought to catch up and answer the why. “Are…are you hurt?”
“No. I’m fine,” she assured me, leaning down and kissing my temple—a gesture I would have killed to be able to return.
Instead, I blindly reached out to the side, searching for her hand. “Stay with me.”
Firmly grasping my palm, she vowed, “I won’t leave you, Flint. I swear.”
If only she’d meant those words in the way I would have liked. However, right then, as I lay facedown, bleeding on the carpet of an upscale Vegas hotel floor with a bullet in my back, I would take it.
It wasn’t enough.
But it would have to be.
She isn’t mine.
She never was.
As she whispered soothing words into my ear, I went willingly into the darkness.

***
I slowly roused back to consciousness. I couldn’t quite figure out where I was or why my throat felt like I had swallowed a truckload full of burning embers. Even through my grogginess, I could feel an ache in my back. It wasn’t until I spoke that I realized how fucked I truly was.
“Ewliz.” What the hell? “Elyz.”
“Oh thank God!” Eliza cried, suddenly appearing at my side.
Breathing a sigh of relief, I tried to pry my eyes open, needing nothing more than a glimpse of her dark blues. They held no superpowers, but I still believed they could heal me with a single glance. Hell, just knowing she was there with me worked miracles.
I tried to fight, but I couldn’t seem to convince my eyelids that light wasn’t the source of all evil.
“Shh. It’s okay. Just relax,” she whispered, reading my struggle. “Are you hurting? Do you need more pain medicine?”
“Nup. Juz you,” I said drunkenly.
“What’s wrong with him? Why can’t he talk?” Quarry whimpered from somewhere nearby.
I’d never forget how he sounded in that moment. His voice shook like that of the frightened child he never got to be. He might have only been thirteen, but he hadn’t been a boy in a long time. Just like Till and me, he’d been forced to grow up too soon. Hearing the inflection of fear in his voice cleared my groggy mind.
“Em good, Q,” I slurred on a laugh, even though nothing was remotely humorous about the situation.
I was lying facedown on a hospital bed, drugged out of my fucking mind, and pining over my brother’s pregnant wife. The same woman who was the closest thing to a real mother I’d ever known. The levels of fucked-up could not even be described.
On second thought, maybe laughing really was the right response.
My brother, Till, was quite possibly the best man I had ever met. He was only six years older than I was, but as far as I was concerned, he had always been a father to me. Lord knows that the man’s DNA I carried was not. My mother was a work of art, but my father was in a category all of his own. Clay Page was the reason I was lying in that bed and recovering from a bullet in the back, the reason Till had almost lost his wife and unborn daughter, and the reason Quarry had almost been kidnapped.
All I had left in life were my brothers, and in turn, I had Eliza.
If I could have been half the man Till was, I would’ve been better than ninety-nine percent of the male population walking the planet. God, I wanted to be as selfless as he was. But I wasn’t even close. Instead, over the years, I’d become increasingly jealous of his life and the way Eliza loved him. Sure, they had their fair share of problems, but they always weathered the storm together, never wavering in their devotion to each other. Only a year earlier, my older brother had suddenly lost his hearing—something that would have easily sent a lesser woman running for the hills. But not Eliza. She gave him unconditional love, and it stung so fucking much to watch her give it to him.
The older I became, the more I found myself consumed by guilt and anger. Guilt because no two people had ever deserved each other more. And anger because, despite knowing that, I wanted to shove my brother out of the picture completely. I wanted to own Eliza Reynolds Page in every possible way, but especially in the way where she never left me and loved me forever.
I wanted the comfort and security only she could offer me.
“Eliza?” I called as I went back to battle against my eyelids and was finally victorious. I was greeted by the sight of Till holding her tight, his arms folded around her swollen stomach.
“Hey, bud,” he cooed, visible relief washing over his face.
But I didn’t have eyes for him. Eliza stood in his arms with tears flowing in a steady stream down her cheeks.
My lips twitched in the most unlikely of smiles.
She always cries.
“You ’kay?” I mumbled.
“I am. Thanks to you.” She took a step forward, joining our hands.
I laughed, using our linked knuckles to rub her belly. “How’s ma baby?”
“What’d he say?” Till asked.
Eliza removed her hands from mine long enough to translate for him through sign language.
I attempted to roll over so I could have the use of my hands to communicate with him, but I was stilled by the sudden shouts.
“No!” they yelled as I tried to push up on the bed.
“You can’t move… I, um, I mean you shouldn’t move.” Eliza squatted down in front of me.
I lifted a hand to wipe her tears away. Her eyes were red and puffy, but as she brushed my short hair off my forehead, she’d never looked more beautiful. Her fingertips trailed over my skin, soothing my aches from the outside in.
“Let’s get you some more pain medicine.” She grabbed a red button off the corner of my bed and pressed it repeatedly.
I wasn’t in any real pain, but within seconds, my entire body relaxed even further.
She remained squatting in front of me, and her tears began to dry while she whispered soothing words I couldn’t quite make out among the myriad of beeping monitors. It didn’t matter what she was saying though.
She was there.
With me.
For me.
My vision was blurry, but time stood still as I stared into her eyes and slurred the words I had absolutely no business saying.
I had been harboring them for years. But no matter how I tried, no amount of time made them right.
“I love you, Eliza. Soooooo. Fuuucking. Mush.”
Even drugged out of my mind, I knew that my admission was going to do more harm than good, but that didn’t slow the words—or the pain.
Maybe, if I just told her how I felt, I could let it go. Move on to a day when I wasn’t teased by the unattainable.  It was a grand idea, but fruition was a different story.
She replied, “I love you too,” but I knew she didn’t understand.
In that second though, I needed her to understand. It wasn’t a choice.
For her.
Or me.
“No. I loooove you.” I exaggerated the word but not the truth.
“Shh,” she whispered, resting her hand on my cheek. “I love you too, Flint. We all do. Just go to sleep.”
We all do.
They wouldn’t after I was done. I was sober enough to realize that.
“No. Lizen to me. I…love you. Like Till loves you. Like…I-want-to-have-sex-with-you love you. Really. Gud. Sex.” I laughed.
“Oh fuck,” Quarry groaned.
“And marry you, and…” I stopped to lick my dry lips before spewing the ultimate slap to my brother’s deaf ears. “That should be my baby, not his.”
“Oh fuck,” Quarry repeated.
“Uhh…um…” Eliza stuttered, looking up at Till, who was standing only a few feet away.
“What? What’d he say?” Till asked, stepping forward.
“I said I’m in love with your wife!” I yelled for some unexplainable reason.
Well, maybe only unexplainable to them; I understood my frustrations completely.
Till needed the chance to hate me. He had given me everything in life and provided for me even when he’d had to sacrifice himself. I owed him the truth about the way I felt about his wife. Regardless that it proved what a dirt bag I truly was.
I lifted my one free hand in the air and began to sign out the letters, but Quarry stepped between Eliza and me and forced my hand against the bed.
“Yep. That’s enough. Go to sleep, asshole.”
“He needs ta know. Tell him fur me.”
Quarry lifted his hands and signed to Till without words. He said he loves us all, and then he got all weepy and called Eliza mommy. I’m just trying to keep him from embarrassing himself. That’s all.
“Dat’s bullshit,” I replied when he finished.
“We love you too, Flint. Get some rest,” Till said, folding his arms across his chest, not buying into Quarry’s explanation.
“No! I said, ‘I love her.’ Eliza.” I began to point in her direction, but Quarry once again slapped my hand down.
Turning his back on Till, he leaned into my face. “Shut your goddamn mouth. I’m trying to help you here.”
“I love her,” I repeated for the umpteenth time.
Eliza wedged her way back to my side. “No, you don’t. You’re just drugged up right now, Flint.”
“Bullshit,” I declared adamantly.
Drugs didn’t cause the way I felt any more than they could fix it. I’d have been a junkie long ago if there were something that could’ve quelled the burning in my chest every time I saw her with Till.
“This isn’t somethin’ new, Eliza. I think about you when—” I’d started to spill all of my embarrassing secrets when Quarry’s hand slammed over my mouth.
“I said, ‘Shut the fuck up,’” he seethed.
“Stop cussing,” I mumbled from behind his hand.
He looked to Eliza. “Can you press that button again? Maybe see if he’ll pass out.”
“What the hell is going on?” Till snapped from behind us, losing his cool with being in the dark.
Nothing. He’s acting like a bitch. Just doing my job as his little brother to protect his manhood… or something like that, Quarry signed then flashed Till a tight grin.
“No, I—” I started, and his hand once again landed over my mouth.
Quarry gave Eliza an impatient glare.
“He has a few more minutes before the pain pump will give him any more meds,” she answered, frazzled by my confession.
And just that small reaction to my admission hurt more than whatever the hell was happening on my back.
“Well, I’ll just keep my hand right here until it’s time,” Quarry hissed at Eliza.
“Um, I’m gonna step out and get some water,” she announced uncomfortably.
“Eliza, wait,” I tried to shout, but Quarry wasn’t lying about not removing his hand. “Get off me.” I weakly swatted it away.
Glancing back at Till, he lifted a finger in the air to signal one second. Then he turned back to me. “Shut up. Shut up. Shut. Up. You’re in love with her, fine. Now, shut up.”
“Not until he knows,” I replied.
“Go to sleep, Flint. If you still want to make this mistake when you wake up, I’ll sign it out to him myself.” He urged me with a hard stare.
I was tired. Sleep didn’t exactly sound like torture. I’d been sitting on my feelings for Eliza since I was twelve. What was one more night?
“I would take her from him,” I declared as my lids began to droop.
Quarry busted out laughing.  “Then, when you wake up, I’ll sign out your warning. Oh, look! Time’s up.” He grabbed the red button and gave it a push.
I moaned as the glorious burn of the medication hit my vein.
“Thank God,” he breathed as I drifted off to sleep.
When I awoke some hours later, my determination to tell Till had fortunately disappeared.
Unfortunately, so had my desire for Eliza to know.
But the truth was out.
As the embarrassment set in, I tried to convince myself that maybe it was for the best that she knew how I felt.
It wasn’t.
It was a hell of a lot worse.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Fighting Silence (On The Ropes #1) is now LIVE!

Meet Till & Eliza 
NOW AVAILABLE



Synopsis

Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it's the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to?
 I've always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine.  I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn't a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.
 You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.
 They both happened anyway.
 Now, I'm on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.
Fighting for my career.
Fighting the impending silence.
Fighting for her.
 Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.

 I think that's the sound I'll miss the most.



 Excerpt
FIGHTING SILENCE
"That wasn't yours to take away," he exploded into the otherwise silent night. His words echoed off the surrounding buildings, each wave slicing me to the quick all over again. "That was our place. Not yours." His voice cracked right alongside my heart.
"Yeah, well, there was a lot of stuff that wasn't yours to take either." I held his gaze, desperately trying to be strong, but as his eyes grew wide, I whimpered.
His long legs strode forward, stopping only inches away from me. He was crowding me, but he still leaned in closer to my face. "There is nothing in this world that was ever more mine than you," he stated. Though it was the absolute truth, I wished with all my heart that it were a lie.
"Till," I cried, swiping the tears from my eyes.
"Why!" he shouted, causing his muscles to tense under the force. "Goddamn it! I needed that place."
Porch lights flashed on from the surrounding apartments, illuminating not only the dark but also my rage.
I shoved my hands into his chest. "What about what I needed? You left! I waited in that fucking apartment for weeks."
He didn't budge, but my bare feet slipped, sending me toward the ground. Impossibly fast, Till's hand snaked out and caught my arm. I didn't let his chivalrous gesture douse my fire. I had six months’ worth of words to say to the man I was irrevocably in love with.
"You took what you wanted. Then you left me."
"Doodle," he whispered.
I had been perilously close to the edge of insanity, and with one single word, he’d pushed me over.
I lost it completely.
Pounding my fists against his chest, I screamed at the top of my lungs, "It's Eliza! My name is fucking Eliza! Not Doodle!" I spun to march away, but Till's arms folded around me, lifting me off my feet to restrain me.
I was miniscule compared to him. There was no use in fighting, but I still kicked my legs, irrationally desperate to get away from him—but only because I knew I couldn't keep him for forever.
"Stop it!" he growled into my ear. "I know your Goddamn name—probably better than I know my own."


Excerpt #2
“Hi.” I stood up off the bed as he started climbing through the window.
His eyes went wide when he saw me, causing him to momentarily lose his balance on the windowsill and go crashing to the floor. “God. Damn,” he cursed as he rose to his feet while taking in my new wardrobe. “You… I…um…” His hand went to his lip.
He was rooted in place only a few steps away, but his eyes traveled over every inch of my body and back again.
Till was speechless. I had never felt so empowered in my life.
“Are you okay?” I feigned concern as I slowly approached.
“Not even close,” he told my breasts, making me giggle.
After sliding a hand under the edge of his T-shirt, I raked a fingernail over each of his abs before dipping it into the waistband of his jeans.
“I’m sore today,” I announced, closing the distance between us. My breasts were pressed against him, but he still hadn’t even attempted to touch me yet. I had plans to remedy that. I smirked then stood up on my tiptoes, kissing the base of his neck. “Make me sore for tomorrow too.” At the last second, I darted my tongue out to the hollow dip at the base of his neck. It was meant to tease him, but as the taste of his skin hit my tongue, I was flooded with memories of taking more of him in my mouth. The moan escaped before I’d even felt it coming.
A loud rumble shook his chest, but that was the only warning I received. Suddenly, I was off my feet and sailing through the air. Just as I landed on the bed, Till crashed on top of me. His mouth roughly landed on mine.
“Tell me we can’t do this again,” he demanded as his hands found my breasts.
“We’re definitely doing this again.” I arched into him.
“It’s gonna get so messy, Eliza. Please.” He groaned as I reached into the front of his jeans.
“I’m okay with messy,” I breathed, guiding his hand from my breast and into my panties.
“Fuuuuuck” he cursed when he discovered just how thorough I’d been with the razor earlier. His finger pressed inside me as his body traveled down the bed and settled between my legs, stripping my panties off during his descent.
He added another finger in a less than gentle but overwhelmingly intoxicating, rhythm.
“Tell me to stop, Eliza. We can’t do this again.” He grazed his teeth on the inside of my thigh.
“We’re already doing it.”
“Tell me to stop.”
“No.”
“It’s going to ruin us.”
“If you don’t stop talking, you’re going to ruin this.”
“I’m serious.” He kissed the inside of my other thigh, his fingers never faltering in their steady pace.
“So am I. Stop trying to talk yourself out of this while your fingers are buried inside me.” I threaded a hand into his hair and gave it a gentle tug.
“Goddammit. Tell me to stop!” he demanded one last time, but his fingers sped before twisting in the most delicious way.
I decided to give him what he wanted, but only because I knew he wouldn’t follow through.
“Stop.” I rolled my hips forcing him even deeper.
“Well, it’s too fucking late now.”
I would have laughed, but his mouth sealed over my clit and stole my breath, words, thoughts, and orgasm. My body shook as he pushed me higher even while I was falling. It shouldn’t have worked like that, but whatever voodoo magic Till Page was working with that night was all right with me. He didn’t stop swirling his tongue until I used his hair to pry his mouth away.
“Too much!” I cried.
He looked up with a wickedly proud grin. His hand disappeared, and seconds later, his cock replaced it.





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