PREORDER PROMO: Ginger’s Heart by Katy Regnery

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A Modern Fairytale Book Three; Standalone

Release Date:  March 22, 2016

PreOrder:  Amazon ⊥ B&N ⊥ iBooks ⊥ Kobo

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♦BLURB♦

In this modern retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood,” the wolf and the woodsman are cousins, and Ginger is the little girl who claims both of their hearts.

Cain.

Woodman.

Ginger.

When three children grow up together in the rolling hills of Kentucky horse country,

One becomes a predator

One becomes a protector

And one becomes prey.

Ginger McHuid has been in love with the “Dub Twins” – Cain Wolfram and Josiah Woodman – for as long as she can remember. And for as long as the cousins can remember, they’ve each loved Ginger in their own all-consuming ways.

One will win her

One will be cast away

While one follows her heart.

Ginger’s Heart

This is a standalone novel inspired by Little Red Riding Hood. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to profanity and very strong sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

(The next standalone “A Modern Fairytale” novel, ‘Don’t Speak,’ inspired by ‘The Little Mermaid,’ will be released in June 2017.)

 

♦EXCERPT♦

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Ginger’s Heart, a modern fairytale, by Katy Regnery. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

 

Just about everyone called Woodman “Woodman” except Gran and sometimes Cain. Gran insisted on calling him by his Christian name. Cain used “Josiah” and “Woodman” interchangeably with no real rhyme or reason that Ginger could follow.

“Rumor is you’re gonna marry Josiah someday,” said Gran, her sixty-something blue eyes merry. “But what do you say?”

Ginger giggled self-consciously, thinking about her grandmother’s question, something clenching in her twelve-year-old heart as she thought about marrying sensible Woodman and abandoning her wild feelings for his cousin, Cain.

“I don’t know,” she said, feeling her forehead crease in confusion.

“Or maybe you’re thinkin’ you want to marry…Cain,” said Gran softly.

Cain, with his jet black hair and ice blue eyes, appeared like a vision before her, and Ginger’s heart thumped faster. The way he’d run off to see Mary-Louise Walker this afternoon made her brown eyes spitting green with jealousy. The way he swaggered made her breath catch. Woodman was so predictable, so safe in comparison.

Then again, Woodman hadn’t exactly been predictable this afternoon, had he? He’d surprised her with the gift and even more with his words. His body had been hard and warm when he’d held her, the embrace awakening something new and foreign within her. Something she wasn’t sure she wanted. Something that didn’t feel safe and even scared her a little bit. She pulled her fingers away from the charm bracelet and faced her Gran.

“What do I do if I love them both?”

Her grandmother’s eyes, which had been mostly teasing, flinched, and her mouth tilted down in a sympathetic frown, which made her face seem so serious and sober.

Choose, dollbaby,” said her Gran. “Someday you’ll have to choose.”

The same feeling that she’d had in the barn, when Cain had yelled, “Jump to the one you love the most, darlin’!” flared up within her—a fierce refusal to love one cousin more than the other, to give up one in lieu of the other.

Choose? Her memories skated back through a dozen years on McHuid’s Farm that had always included Cain and Woodman. When they were little children, they played together, swimming buck naked in the creek and racing over the green hills and pastures in impromptu games of tag. As the boys grew up, they started working with Cain’s daddy, Klaus, who was her father’s right-hand man, mucking out the stables and grooming the horses. She’d run down to the barn every day after her lessons to see them, working right along beside them until they were all covered in hay, dust and barn grime.

Though the Wolframs weren’t generally included in the McHuid’s active social life, the Woodmans were, which meant that in addition to seeing Cain and Woodman on the farm, she also saw Woodman at every holiday and birthday party…and they always managed to slip out unseen with some smuggled sweets for Cain.

They were the Three Musketeers of McHuid’s Farm and Ginger knew both boys as well as she knew herself—Cain’s smirking, hot-headed, impulsive ways, and Woodman’s level-headed patience, caution and kindness. Regardless of their differences, she also knew that as the only children of twin sisters, Cain and Woodman were much closer than most cousins. Genetically speaking, they were half-brothers, and while they surely liked to tease and torture each other, they wouldn’t hesitate to jump into front of a train to save the other’s skin either.

In Ginger’s mind, she envisioned them like two halves of the same coin that she held carefully in the palm of her hand.

She loved them both desperately.

Choose?

No, her heart protested. Impossible.

“What if I can’t?” she whispered, leaning back and resting her head on her grandmother’s comforting shoulder.

“Then you’ll lose them both,” said her grandmother softly.

Ginger’s shoulders fell, relaxing in surrender as she closed her eyes against the burn of tears.

“But don’t let’s think about that now, dollbaby,” said Gran, leaning her head upon her granddaughter’s, the constant tremble of her unpredictable body almost soothing to Ginger as they rocked side by side in the twilight. “You’re just twelve today. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you.”

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♦Q&A♦

  1. What draws you to write modern fairytales?

Honestly, I stumbled into it. I was invited to include a story in an anthology called “Hometown Heroes” and the hero of the story had to be a fireman, policeman or military. I only had a few weeks to write the book, and since I didn’t have a character that fit the bill, I had to write a brand new story. It occurred to me that if I could use the structure of another story, it would go faster for me than coming up with a plot from scratch. And I figured, since it was in an anthology, it was okay to take a shortcut, right?

Twenty-three days later The Vixen and the Vet (inspired by “Beauty and the Beast”) was finished. What I never really expected was how much readers would love it. They loved the story of a injured veteran finding love, of course, but they were delighted by the concept of a familiar story being reimagined, and clamored for another fairytale. It took me a little while to settle on “Hansel and Gretel” but once I had the story fixed in my mind, Never Let You Go was born.  And, in short order, Ginger’s Heart, a reimagined “Little Red Riding Hood.”

I love the structure when I base modern romance on fairytales, but I think my readers love the universality of it. These are familiar stories, so they have a base line expectation going into the book, but there’s also that wonderful suspension of belief in fairytales that works really well for love stories too!

  1. You call this not a typical “love triangle”- can you talk about this?

YES! LOL!

When I first said I was writing a “love triangle” my readers fell into two major categories – one half was worried it would be a “threesome” and the other half was turned off by the idea of a woman waffling back and forth without a clear hero.

First things first – GINGER’S HEART IS NOT A THREESOME BOOK!!! I wouldn’t even know HOW to write a threesome. I’m serious. There are no threesomes, no bedhopping, no simultaneous screwing. I promise. Nothing like that.

What makes Ginger’s Heart an atypical triangle is that it’s not a physical triangle, it’s an emotional triangle. There’s a short paragraph from the book that I love:

Two cousins.

One girl.

Someone wins.

And someone loses.

 

That about sums it up. And emotionally, it might wreck you a little. But there’s nothing tawdry about Ginger’s Heart. It’s a true American love story.

  1. This story spans a large timeframe with the characters ages- from young adult, NA to Contemporary. How did you tackle the changes in them as they grew older?

Great question!

In my first draft of Ginger’s Heart, my editor came back to me and said, ‘The voices are very wobbly in the beginning. You have a 12-year-old and 15-year-old speaking like their 20-something selves. You can’t do that. Tap into their teenage voices if you want their reflections to be genuine.” She was SO RIGHT! But I had such a good time going back and imagining how a 12-year-old would think and say something. I cut out certain “grown up” words and replaced them with “tween” varietals so that the voices were more authentic. The amazing thing about that exercise was that it made me closer to my characters, because now I truly KNEW them as kids and adults. It added a richer layer to my understanding of them, and will give my readers better insight into their motivations and choices.

  1. How do you decide on your titles?

Sore subject! LOL! No, I’m just kidding. Well, kind of.

When I released The Vixen and the Vet, I got SO MUCH mean feedback about the title. Reviews would start by saying “Ignore the stupid title, this is a great book…” or “I almost couldn’t get past the title, but I’m glad I did…”  The reality is that I chose the words “vixen” and “vet” to be the same sort of alliteration as “beauty” and “beast.” In fact, I almost named that book Savannah and the Soldier, but decided against it for Vixen.

Because the feedback was so negative about Vixen’s title, I went sort of harmless-ambiguous with Never Let You Go. It’s a line from the book, but it’s also a crowd-pleasing title because it’s so innocuous.

Ginger’s Heart was originally titled Virginia and the Wolf, but I worried that it might be taken as an homage to Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to which it bears no resemblance. So I shortened “Virginia” to “Ginger” and we were off to the races!

  1. How did you settle on your cover?

I work with the AMAZING Marianne Nowicki, who has done ALL of my covers, and at this point we are so symbiotic, it’s really easy for me to tell her what I’m looking for and for her to produce it. Basically, I always start with the art…since I don’t use models or do photo shoots, I go to Shutterstock (and occasionally Getty or Corbis) for my images. I know how my characters look in my mind and I try to find art that will not only represent the characters, but lay a foundation for the tone. The Ginger’s Heart cover was almost finalized when I asked Marianne for something to lighten it up a touch. She added the tiny heart on the Ginger loop and I knew it was perfect.

  1. Can you give readers a sneak peek to your next modern fairytale choice?

Sure! In fact, I’m happy to chat about the next two!

The next modern fairytale, coming in 2017, is called Don’t Speak and it’s inspired by “The Little Mermaid.” I don’t want to give too much away, but the story takes place in North Carolina (all of my modern fairytales take place in the American South) and features a fisherman’s daughter from the Core Sound, who speaks with a very strong Carolina brogue (a regional dialect that sounds very much like a Scots-Irish accent.) The hero, a very wealthy society son from Raleigh, spent his summers in a town on the Outer Banks near the Core Sound, and now – many years later – is running for governor of North Carolina. Because I wanted the names to pay homage to “The Little Mermaid,” the heroine’s name is Laire, which is an anagram of Ariel, and the hero’s name is Kieran, which includes an anagram of Erik.

In 2018, I will be releasing Swan Song, inspired by “The Ugly Duckling.” I haven’t started plotting this book yet, but there is a species of swan called the Whistling Swan that breeds along the Arctic Ocean coast but spends the winter at the Atlantic coast of the USA, mainly from Maryland to South Carolina, but some move as far south as Florida. So, I’ve been thinking about using St. Augustine, FL. I love the name, it sits right on a harbor, plus it’s sort of singular in its architecture and has a super-rich history.

  1. How does your writing differ from your Blueberry Lane books to your modern Fairytales (*again feel free to tinker to talk about how you approach these, longer books more editing, however you’d like to talk about)

OMG. SO SO SO DIFFERENT.

My Blueberry Lane books follow a very specific structure: 55-80K words, hero and heroine, dual-POV, first-world problems. The BLS is meant to be enjoyed poolside or on an airplane. That’s not to say that there’s no depth in the stories – there is. But I don’t tackle “issues” as much in those books. They take me about 4-6 weeks to write and the world of Blueberry Lane is well-established.

My modern fairytales? Well, first of all, every book is written as a fundraiser. I give away 25-50% of my first two-month profits. For The Vixen and the Vet, I donated to UCLA Operation Mend. For Never Let You Go, I donated to Operation Underground Railroad. The money collected from Ginger’s Heart will go to the Ridgefield Fire Department in my home town of Ridgefield, CT.

Second of all, push myself HARD to break new ground in the subject matter of my modern fairytales. In The Vixen and the Vet, I tackled the way that returning servicemen are treated when they have been profoundly disfigured in war. Never Let You Go dealt with tough topics like foster care, child abuse, kidnapping and domestic abuse. Ginger’s Heart includes a character slowly deteriorating from Parkinson’s.

Third of all, I allow myself to experiment with different structures. In The Vixen and the Vet, the entire book was outlined in the first chapter as Scarlett reads from a bridal magazine, and each chapter heading corresponded with the points made in the article. In Never Let You Go, I experimented with flashbacks. In Ginger’s Heart, I write the story at four major points in time with three-year gaps between sections, in addition to writing my first tri-POV – three points of view with overlapping scenes.

What’s funny is that the modern fairytales are sort of exhausting, so by the time I finish one, I’m ready to write a few formulaic Blueberry Lane books…but after a few of those I’m ready for the challenge of a fairytale once again. It’s the perfect set-up for me!

  1. How would you “cast” your book if made into a movie?

Early on, I shared an excerpt from Ginger’s Heart with my street team, Katy’s Ladies, and one of members, Tanya Baikie, actually chose Ian Somerhalder for Cain and Jensen Ackles as Woodman. And it clicked for me immediately. And I have always pictured Ginger as actress Natalie Hall. As for Gran? Someone like Jacklyn Smith or Cheryl Ladd. Since the younger three actors are best known for their TV roles, it would make sense for Gran too, right?

 

  1. How important was it to have all of your readers to experience Ginger’s “choice” and the book fully without any spoilers?

Honestly? Maniacal levels of importance. Like, all out ridiculous levels of need for readers to have a fresh experience with this book! It keeps me up at night! I mean, it’s a solid story, but the suspense element for 75% of the book is who she will choose!

This is why I have isolated early readers to 1. Less than ten fellow-author beta readers (between 2/20-3/18) 2. Bloggers and early-readers (3/18-3/22) and then 3. Release (3/22).  I usually give out books 10-14 days in advance to bloggers and early readers, but I just couldn’t risk it this time!

  1. What other authors/books on modern or fractured fairytales are you a fan of?

My friend, Lauren Stewart, did an AMAZING job with her book Darker Water, inspired by “The Frog Prince.” And Mia Sheridan’s Grayson’s Vow definitely had a fairytale-esque feel to it. And L.H. Cosway did a fun “Romeo and Juliet” thing with Hearts of Blue, which I loved. But I don’t know of a ton of authors rebooting fairytales. Or maybe I just haven’t happened across them yet!

  1. Were there any major struggles with writing GINGER? 

Well, my writing schedule was a little nuts. I slated writing to start on Monday, November 30 and end on Friday, February 12 and I am very, very strict with deadlines. But, I didn’t totally take into consideration that I had scheduled the book over Christmas and New Year’s. So, I lost about 10 days of writing time smack in the middle, but luckily Ginger’s Heart is separated into four parts, so I made sure that parts 1-3 were finished by Christmas Eve and jumped back into part 4 after New Year’s. I was lucky! It worked out!

Also, I wanted to share excerpts with my readers, but it’s been hard keeping Ginger’s choice on the down-low. Like, I want to scream it from the rooftops, “Enough already! Ginger chooses—” but I know I can’t. I hope that readers who have already chosen loyalty to one cousin or the other aren’t too disappointed by the outcome!

  1. Was this book different in any way from your previous fairytales (writing approach, how long it took, etc)

Hmm. Well, The Vixen and the Vet took me 23 days. Never Let You Go took about five months. All told, Ginger’s Heart took me nine weeks. So there’s clearly no rhyme or reason to writing time! I would say that I felt more pressure writing Ginger’s Heart because readers really love this series and I don’t want to let anyone down, so there was that element in play as I was writing. And I’d never written a love triangle, so that was a little challenging for me, because I only write monogamous love stories and this one is no exception, regardless of the structure. I guess the best answer is: they’re all unique, they’re all different and I promise to keep them that way as long as my readers keep reading!

 

♦SERIES♦

Each book is a standalone

Vixen and the Vet

A Modern Fairytale Book One

Purchase:  Amazon ⊥ B&N ⊥ iBooks ⊥ Kobo

A Modern-Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Never Let You Go

A Modern Fairytale Book Two

Purchase:  Amazon ⊥ B&N ⊥ iBooks ⊥ Kobo

A Modern Re-Telling of Hansel and Gretel

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Kate Regnery author pic

Katy Regnery, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract for a winter romance entitled “By Proxy.”

Now a hybrid author who publishes both independently and traditionally, Katy claims authorship of the six-book Heart of Montana series, the six-book English Brothers series, and a Kindle Worlds novella entitled “Four Weddings and a Fiasco: The Wedding Date,” in addition to the standalone novels, Playing for Love at Deep Haven and Amazon bestseller, The Vixen and the Vet.

The Vixen and the Vet is included in the charity anthology Hometown Heroes: Hotter Ever After, and Katy’s novella “Frosted” will appear in the upcoming (Jan ’15) anthology, Snowy Days Steamy Nights. Additionally, Katy’s short story, “The Long Way Home” appeared in the first RWA anthology (Feb ’15), Premiere.

Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

Website ⊥ Facebook ⊥ Twitter ⊥ Goodreads

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EXCERPT: Shattered Duty by Katie Reus

Excerpt

Shattered Duty

A Deadly Ops Novel, Book Three

(Can be read as a standalone)

Release Date: June 2, 2015

Preorder:  Amazon

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♦BLURB♦

A new novel from the author of Bound to Danger who “has the amazing ability of pulling the reader onto the front lines of the action and drama.” (The Reading Café)

When his wife was murdered two years ago, Special Agent Levi Lazaro turned his back on everything he cared about. Ever since, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. Now he’s finally uncovered the identities of those who killed his wife—and he’s ready to destroy them at any cost. He won’t let anything stand in his way—not even a beautiful NSA agent on a mission of her own.

Special Agent Selene Wolfe prides herself on being the best. Her fearlessness and quick-thinking make her the perfect person to take down a deadly terrorist cell. But she needs Levi’s help, and the moment he shows up, Selene knows her objectivity—and her heart—are in trouble.

As the two strike an uneasy alliance, Levi finds himself tormented by his desire for Selene—a feeling he thought long dead. But when their mission takes an unexpected turn, he finds himself at a crossroads. Can he put aside his need for revenge to save the woman who’s reawakened his soul?

 

♦EXCERPT♦

 Shattered Duty Excerpt

Copyright © 2015 Katie Reus

 

“Were you on my computer?” he asked through the door, already knowing the answer.

As the door flew open, Levi stepped back, ready for another attack but she stood there with her hair wrapped in a towel above her head and another towel wrapped snuggly around her body, tucked perfectly between her breasts. “Of course. I was snooping, what else.”

He stared at her, forcing his gaze to remain on her face. “And you’re just . . . admitting it?”

“Why would I lie? I’d be stupid not to take a peek at your computer. You shouldn’t have left it out if you didn’t want me to go through it. Your encryption is pretty good, but I’m better. And your playlist sucks, by the way.”

“My playlist is awesome,” he said without thinking. He shouldn’t be arguing with her about his damn music, he should be yelling at her for going through his computer. Even if she was right. He shouldn’t have left the damn thing out. There was nothing of particular value on it so he wasn’t concerned about that. He used it mainly for communication but he always deleted his tracks no matter what.

Snorting, she sidestepped him and headed for the closet. Moments later she came back out wearing one of his T-shirts and jogging pants—and no bra. He swallowed hard, trying not to notice how full her breasts were or imagine how they’d feel cupped in his hands. Fuck him. He closed his eyes, trying to shove away the image of her lean, smooth body but it was impossible. He could easily envision those sexy tan lines and fantasize how her bare mound would feel against his mouth and tongue.

“Awesome is not the word that comes to mind. More like, wrist-slitting depressing. And you don’t even have any good country music on there.”

His eyes snapped open and he watched as she sauntered over to the mattress and collapsed on it as if she totally belonged there. The fact that he liked seeing her there made something shift inside his chest—and the guilt was back. She pulled the towel off her head and dropped it on the floor in a messy heap.

“You like country?” he asked before yanking up her towel. He wondered if she was messy in general, then cursed his curiosity. He should not care what kind of habits she had. She was just going to be an asset to him, nothing more. Right.

“Uh, yeah. Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, come on, who doesn’t love those guys?”

It was too weird to be having this conversation with her, but he shook his head and hung that towel and the one she’d left haphazardly in the closet back in the bathroom. As he finished stripping off his shirt, shoes, and socks he said, “That’s not real country.”

“Really? Because I’m pretty sure they’re topping the Billboard country charts,” she said, finger-combing her damp hair.

“You know what I mean,” he muttered, sitting on the opposite side of the mattress. When he thought of country it was Hank or Autry. “You’re sleeping here?” He’d originally planned to just cuff her to him but now she’d proved the cuffs were useless and she didn’t seem to be going anywhere.

“Well, I’m not sleeping on the floor. Unless you’re worried about me killing you in your sleep?” The light note in her voice took away what could have been a deadly question.

Rolling his eyes, he turned off the only lamp in the room and laid down next to her. He noticed that she’d slid under the sheet he’d thrown on the mattress, giving them a little separation.

It was beyond surreal sleeping next to a woman who worked for his old boss—and who’d just mocked his taste in music as if they were friends—and it was made worse by the fact that he wanted her.

Desperately.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Moon Shifter series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it. However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

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♦GIVEAWAY♦

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PRE-RELEASE BLITZ: Under the Influence by L.B. Simmons

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Under the Influence KINDLE

Standalone Novel

Release Date: May 11, 2015

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♦BLURB♦

Dalton,

I loved you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, naïve, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn’t see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamored, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me.

Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again.

I loved you.

I raged for you.

I wept for you.

And now, I’m letting you go.

 

Author’s Note:  Under the Influence is the journey of two childhood friends that spans the course of five pivotal years in their lives. It is a story about their discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, their experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and their endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

Chapter 1

Dalton

I am not a good person.

And I don’t pretend to be.

There may have been hope for me at one point but now, as I stare back at the hardened face and vacant eyes in front of me, there’s no denying the truth. All hope for me was lost years ago, stripped clean from my mind as they broke me. The life I’m indebted to now is one packed with corruption and polluted with lies.

I try to breathe in deeply as I rinse the freshly spilled blood from my hands, but the bitter pang of disappointment begins to compress my entire chest. It seeps along the previously etched grooves that line it, burning the hollow channels that were created with each punch to my stomach and blow to my ribs.

I rarely have these moments of weakness, when I wish I hadn’t allowed myself to be drawn into the darkened path that is this life. But right now, I find myself wishing that I had been strong enough to brave my childhood on my own. That I had been able to fend off the monsters that lurked in dark rooms and reeked of alcohol, able to protect myself from the multitude of broken bones and black eyes inflicted by the hands of those who were supposed to fucking protect me.

But I wasn’t. And now I’m stuck, hopelessly adhered to a life in which I have chosen to forgo conscience for security.

Little did I know the day I met Darius Roe, I would be making a deal with the devil. That I would be forever bound to a life from which there is no escape.

Although I started out as his lackey, I grew quickly—both physically and within the hierarchy of his organization—to become his weapon. Not only his muscle, but a tool which has many uses. His most prized possession.

And now here I am at eighteen years of age, long since graduated from errand-boy. I watch the familiar streaks of someone else’s blood swirling around yet another porcelain sink. Someone who also made a deal with the devil but didn’t deliver on his end.

I always deliver.

After drying my hands, I curl my fingers over the lip of the sink and place my palms flat on the cool ceramic surface, silently watching the reflection in the mirror. Cold, dead eyes stare back at me. Not a spark of life left in them.

Not anymore.

In fact, the only bit of humanity I permit myself is that of Spencer Locke. She’s the one thing, the one person whose mere presence provides some sort of sense of relief from the constant feeling of asphyxiation that encompasses me.

She is my reprieve.

My air.

Spencer Locke is the one slice of happy I have in this shit pie I call life. Darius Roe is a ruthless motherfucker.

The two will never cross paths.

I would, with absolutely no hesitation, lay down my life to make sure that never happens. Spencer’s safety has been and will always be my concern—no, my priority. And in order to assure that safety remains, she must never know the real me. The cold, calculated, hardened criminal that I am. She will only know the Dalton Greer I permit her to know.

Just like everyone else that I come into contact with.

To Rat, I’m the entertaining best friend. To Spencer, I’m the overprotective big brother. And to Darius, I’m the lethal weapon.

None of them truly know me.

Because the truth is, there’s nothing more frightening in my world than those who know you—who really know you. The ones who know your deepest, darkest secrets. The ones who know what you’re going to do before you do it. The ones who know not only what buttons to push when they seek your attention, but also the ones that can be used to completely incapacitate you.

They can be your strength.

But they can also be your weakness.

And just as a chameleon changes color to blend for protection, I’ve learned to evolve into the person I need to be in order to survive the situation at hand, all while keeping people at arm’s length.

Yet sometimes I can’t help but wonder what my true colors would have been had I not been subjected to this life. I question what it would be like to just let someone in, to tell them all of your unforgivable truths and discover they still love you in return.

I find myself utterly fascinated, awe-struck even, that there are people actually capable of truly loving someone without wondering when and how they will be betrayed. However, the knowledge of their existence also saddens me because the cold reality is, I will never know that type of love. I will never know the freedom to just be with someone, without pretense or fabrication, without the endless lies and untruths.

Maybe that’s why I keep holding onto Spencer when I know I shouldn’t. When all my instincts scream for me to let her go, to cut those ties and just let her be.

I can’t.

I’m too selfish.

Therefore, I will plaster on my over-protective, big-brother face so that I can see her again, just to get my fix on the relief she provides. And in turn, I will continue the lies.

I will continue telling myself the only reason I insist on my frequent visitation is because I want to see to her protection.

I will continue convincing myself the things I say to her are merely pretenses which accompany my façade.

But in this rare moment, I will also concede that like a moth to a flame, I’m drawn to her.

To her innocence.

To her kindness.

To her ability to love…

To all the things I wish I was capable of but have sacrificed in order to survive.

Because just seeing her demonstrate those capabilities with me and willingly share them with others, the knowledge that the ability to do so actually exists in a world outside of mine somehow frees me—no matter how temporarily—from the chains that bind me here, in this suffocating place.

Yes, Spencer Locke is indeed my air.

I just hope the immorality I’ve chosen to bury deep within my soul doesn’t one day pollute her very essence.

 

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

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L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science.  She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years.  She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.

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TRAILER REVEAL: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

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Thunder Road #1

Release Date: May 26, 2015

Preorder:  Amazon ⊥ B&N ⊥ Kobo ⊥ iBooks ⊥ BAM ⊥ Indiebound

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♦BLURB♦

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible 

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

 

♦TRAILER♦

 

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

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Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

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