Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Happy 3,000 likes teaser!!

Thanks so much for all the new likes on my Facebook page.  Your support and love are so amazing!  This is another Light in the Shadows teaser.  Up until now, I've only given you Clay's POV.  But Light in the Shadows will be from alternating POVs.  I thought that was really important, because while Clay is on his own journey, Maggie is doing her thing as well.  So here's a little taste of something sort of happy that will be coming down the pipeline for them.

I hope you enjoy it!!

"  Thanks." I said in absolute and utter amazement.  Clay stood at my doorstep wearing dark jeans, a pressed blue collared shirt, black wool coat and holding the largest bouquet of roses I had ever seen.  It was obvious he had checked all of the required boxes on this "date".  Down to his perfectly slicked back hair and over eager expression.

In the previous incarnation of our relationship we sort of skipped the whole "dating" thing.

Somewhere between saying hello and diving headfirst into the turmoil we had forgotten the basics.  Our love hadn't been typically teenage in any way.  We had gone zero to a million without so much as a trip to the movies or an uncomfortable dinner at Applebee's while we chatted about favorite bands and most embarrassing moments.

Looking at Clay, all dolled up and standing almost timidly in front of me, I realized how much we had missed.  How in the heat of our intense and crazy love we had forgotten the most important step in any relationship...the first date.

I felt a sudden sadness at those tiny moments that we hadn't experienced together.  I took a deep breath and reached out for the roses.  Clay's smile was shy and uncertain, showing me that he was as clueless as I was when it came to rewriting our history.

Was it possible to go back to the beginning?  To try and do things the right way?

I gripped the bundle of overpriced flowers in my hands and gasped in surprise.  I lifted my finger and saw a bright red blob on the tip.  Shit, I should have realized there were thorns.  The bite of pain reminded me that we had a long way to go.  That no matter how beautiful the package, the hurt was still there.

And I wasn't sure how long it would take for it to go away.  Or if it ever would.

"Are you alright?"  Clay asked, moving toward me.  I stuck my finger in my mouth.  The tang of copper sharp on my tongue.  I nodded my head and moved away before Clay could touch me.  I wasn't ready for that just yet.

I dropped the flowers on the table inside the door and grabbed my purse.  I joined him on the porch and zipped up my coat.

"You ready?"  Clay asked, trying again for the whole smiling thing.

Was I ready?

Hell if I knew.

But looking at his hopeful expression I knew that I could only try.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

I wanted to give you guys another Light in the Shadows sneak peak.  I really struggled with which one to use...because I really don't want to give much a way.  But given that today is all about romance I wanted to share something...well...romantic.

This is a bit of a scene from when Maggie and Clay finally see each other again.  I can't say what brings them back together (though you may be able to guess).  I just love writing their love story.  It's so real and so raw and it really takes a lot out of me, but it's consuming.



This sadness was painfully familiar. The silent, open mouthed suffering was something I had felt entirely too much of in my life. The barely controllable urge to purge my grief with the slice of a razor was overwhelming. I could almost hear the darkness whisper in my ear, a taunting tease of potential relief. I knew this was the risk of coming back here. I knew that it resurrected a thousand instincts to hurt, to maim and to destroy everything inside of me. Everything that I had worked so hard to rebuild.

Leaving the Center was like leaving a warm and safe cocoon and being thrown headfirst into complete and utter chaos. From the moment my plane touched down in Virginia I struggled to remember that I was in control of these traitorous feelings. That it was my choice to cope in a healthier way.

But returning to Davidson, particularly under these circumstances, was proving a true test of my new found resolve. The meds helped. The stuff I had learned in therapy rattled around in my head, reminding me to breathe. To re frame. To talk myself off of the cliff I was already in danger of toppling over.

But Ruby needed me. Which made my anxiety even harder to rein in. Because I had always been the needy one. The truth of it was that I had needed Ruby. Maggie. Lisa. Even as I had denied needing anyone.

And now I was the one being leaned on and I wasn't so sure I could handle the pressure. I was brittle and raw and I knew that Dr. Todd's concerns about me coming back here were legitimate ones....

I made it through the day. Barely. Even the weather was in mourning; a soft rain falling as I made my way into the church. Everything felt dark. I focused on my breathing even as my guts knotted up inside of me.

It was important I found my strength. That I pull my shit together and be the man who could support someone else and not just leach it. Damn it, I could do this!

I was engaged in this crazy internal dialogue. Jumping back and forth between giving myself a perky little pep talk and mentally screaming at myself to man up. I was totally lost in it, trying to get up the nerve to go to the front of the church and sit with Ruby in the pew where she sat sobbing.

Her grief was almost too much to bare but I needed to get over that. It wasn't fair to leave her alone. Not now. Not when she never abandoned me when I needed her. But there was that part of me that fought for self preservation and I knew this whole scene had the makings of my own personal disaster.

I was very close to running out the side door and never looking back. Drive to the airport, jump on the first available plane and get myself the hell out of Virginia.

I had almost talked myself into it when I felt a stirring in the air. I swear my body started to hum and I just knew she was there.


And just like that the fuzzy black faded away and everything clicked into place. My heart thudded into over drive and my palms started to sweat so I shoved them into the pockets of my gray slacks.

Of course she came. I knew she'd be there. And though I tried not to allow myself the hope of seeing her, I couldn't deny that I had longed for it all the same.

And here she was, looking the same only better. Her dark hair was pulled back in a low ponytail. She wore a dark green wool coat over a black dress. She looked beautiful and perfect and the embodiment of everything I had always craved.

She walked into the church, stopping to talk to an older woman I recognized as one of the local shop owners here in Davidson. I knew I should go and find Ruby. But I couldn't make myself move. I stood there, rooted to the spot, not sure if I wanted Maggie to see me or not, even as I screamed at her in my head to look at me. Please.

As much as I missed her and dreamed of this moment, I was scared of it. I had pushed her away. I had put the necessary distance between us. I had done it for her. Because I hadn't wanted her to get sucked into my crazy life anymore than she already had been.

But God I loved her. She was the piece I had been missing for the last three and a half months. She was everything I wanted in my life but wasn't sure I deserved. And this was why I wasn't good for her. My feelings about Maggie May Young were too intense, too consuming and they always threatened to swallow me whole.

But then her eyes lifted and met mine and everything else disappeared. Her eyes were bright and I could see the way her chest started to rise and fall more rapidly. Before I realized what I was doing, I was moving toward her at the same instant that she began to make her own journey down the aisle of the church.

It was like this every time we were together. Our bodies orbited around each other as if pulled by an invisible force that we had no control over.

Fuck me, I wanted this. And I wanted to run from it. I wanted to pull her in and never let go. And I wanted to push her away.

Two minutes. That's all it took for my head to short circuit.

Maggie stopped five feet away and we stood there, staring at each other. I didn't know what to say. What worked as appropriate chit chat when you saw the love of your life again after breaking her heart? And at a funeral no less.

I could see she was struggling as much as I was. And I hated that. Her face was flushed and I could see her pulse throbbing in her neck. I wanted to taste the skin there and feel her heart beat beneath my lips.

So instead I went for the anti-climatic.

“Hi.” I said softly.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Bad Rep sequel sneak peak

Okay, I've hinted around about the follow up to Bad Rep for awhile.  I hemmed and hawed over whether I wanted to follow Jordan and Maysie's story, or whether I should spend some time with other characters I had grown to love.

As you do when you're brainstorming, I wrote all of these snippits...trying to figure out which one I really wanted to write.  And Riley Walker, Maysie's snarky but loyal best friend, kept coming back to me.  The truth is I incorporated so much of my own personality into Riley as I put together Bad Rep that she quickly became on of my favorite characters.  And I've been dying to see where her story goes.

One of the first little bits I wrote went like this:  "I had been dumped.  And we're talking, take-his-testicles-off-with-a-teaspoon dumped."  I just loved that and so the idea for the "sequel" went from there.

There you have it...the next "Bad Rep" book will be about Riley and Garrett, the lead guitarist of Generation Rejects.  Where that ends up, only time will tell.  I know people will be disappointed this isn't a book entirely focused on Jordan and Maysie.  They'll be around of course.  And you'll get to see how they're holding up.  But I really wanted to write in Riley's voice.  Because I love her attitude and I love her snark and I KNOW she will be so much fun to figure out.  So here is a tiny piece of Riley's story, the Bad Rep spin off...Again, no title has been decided on but I usually come up with those as I go.  Will keep you posted of course!



Dear God on everything that is holy, please don’t let me strangle this guy! I gnashed my teeth together, feeling the overwhelming urge to smack the shit out of Maysie for dragging me to the seventh level of hell with her. Or otherwise known as a Generation Rejects after party.

Sure this may be her thing. She played the part of rock star girlfriend really well. And more power to her. But she had gotten a wild hair up her ass thinking I needed to party, enjoy my youth, blah blah blah. So here I was, surrounding myself with drunken jack asses as they tried to rub against each other (or me if I wasn’t paying attention) in some sort of scary mating ritual. Sorry, I missed that episode of Wild Planet.

“Don’t you think?” Huh? I blinked in exaggerated slowness, making it clear that I hadn’t heard a damn thing he had said. Garrett wasn’t put off by my blatant disinterest. I think the dude could talk to a brick wall. Garrett Bellows, lead guitarist of Generation Rejects, Jordan’s roommate, and the guy I had been engaged in a one sided conversation with for the past fifteen minutes. One sided meaning that he was talking and I could care less. I had tuned out around the time he started waxing poetic about surfing at night during some trip to Hawaii last year.

I really hated these pseudo philosophical types. You know the ones that smoked a bowl or two and suddenly they were Plato reincarnated; talking about the meaning of life and how it had to be a government conspiracy that McDonald’s only rolled out the McRib a few times a year.

“I’m sorry. You’ll have to run that by me again. I was too busy trying to remember why the hell I let Maysie talk me into coming here in the first place.” I said, infusing more than a little bit of asshole into my tone. Okay, so maybe the guy didn’t deserve to have a firsthand encounter with Riley Walker, Mega Witch, but I was in a bad mood and feeling annoyingly heartbroken; which made me rude and more than a little punchy.

I didn’t handle humiliation and disappointment very well on a good day. And Damien, ex-douche and overall shitty human being had dosed out both in plentiful supply over the last two weeks. And today was anything but a good day.

I fully expected Garrett to call me a bitch and leave me alone to stew in my bitter juices. I was really hoping he would anyway. But the idiot did no such thing.

Instead he laughed. He freaking laughed! Was he missing a few of those brain cells that were required to recognize when someone was being a complete and total fuck face to you? Oh God, maybe he thought my attitude was endearing! Shit, I hadn’t thought that he might be one of those crazies who got off on bitchy girls. Retreat Riley! Retreat!

“You have one huge ass chip on your shoulder. Does it work for you?” Garrett asked lazily and my eyes snapped up to his. He spoke in a slow drawl that was either meant to be dead sexy or a perfect cure for insomnia.

“Does what work for me?” I asked him warily, not sure where he was going with this. He pushed a hand through his hair and narrowed a pair of thoughtful blue eyes in my direction. I couldn’t really make up my mind if I thought Garrett was good looking or not. His dirty blonde hair was on the longish side, hanging down to his shoulders. I wasn’t typically into guys with long hair, but this dude sort of worked it. He wasn’t overly tall, probably coming in around 5 foot 11 with a wiry frame that he seemed to like to show off, given the amount of time he spent without a shirt on. Though if I had defined abs like that, I’d probably be topless all the time, tits and all.

His cornflower blue eyes could have been appealing if they weren’t blood shot and glazed over. He exuded that laid back could-give-a-shit demeanor that only came after inhaling a copious amount of THC into your system. And given the number of chicks who had attempted to get his attention since he had plopped down beside me to begin the most asinine conversation in history; he must have some sort of magnetism. Too bad I was wearing my armor of snark and not remotely susceptible to any of his possible charms.

I could admit that I had already dismissed him as a low functioning stoner who was smoking away the last of his brain cells. But then his question and his following statement caught me off guard.

Garrett leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees. He waved a hand in my direction. “This. The whole I’m-a-bitch-so-stay-the-fuck-away act. I get that this probably isn’t your scene. I bet you’d rather be at some eco warrior save the pandas meeting or something. You seem like the idealistic save the world type.” I bristled at his annoyingly astute observation.

“Wow, so you picked that all up from the complete lack of conversation we were having? Can I add deluded quasi psychic to your resume? Right under wannabe rock star?” I said rather nastily, not wanting to give anybody the upper hand. Particularly this grunged out dope head whose eyes seemed to have cleared a bit. And I couldn’t help but notice that, yeah, they were pretty appealing. How obnoxious.

“Well, you’re wearing Reco jeans, which points to the fact that you think you’re environmentally conscious but in reality it smacks of pretention if you ask me.” I opened my mouth to tell him he could take his bullshit preconceptions and shove them straight up his ass. But I didn’t get a chance because he just kept going, whether I wanted him to or not.

“And then there’s that shirt. I’m sure you spent a long time stitching all those little patches together. Does that make you feel better than everyone else? The fact that you sew your own clothes and wear pants made from plant shit? Because I bet you just feel really lonely. And sad. So you throw out this attitude and judgmental BS hoping no one calls you on it. And if they do, that only proves they aren’t worth your notice or your time.” Garrett delivered his stinging critique with a frustrating blasé smile. Like he was commenting on the weather! When in truth he was flaying me alive. I wanted to punch him in his stupidly attractive face. Because yes damn it, I suddenly realized he was pretty darn cute. And I hated him!

“Whatever.” I hissed out getting to my feet. Garrett laughed and I realized I had reacted just as he expected me to. Well, who cares, I didn’t need this crap.

“Have fun dulling your senses and killing your brain cells.” I bit out as he pulled a joint from his pocket and lit up.

He pulled in a lung full of smoke and slowly exhaled. “And you enjoy standing up on your soap box while you doll out your all-important criticisms. I’m sure it’ll make for a fun evening.” He said drolly as he turned to a pretty girl who sat down beside me. She giggled and leaned into him as he slung an arm around her shoulders. He literally turned his back to me as though I had been dismissed.

What a dick!

I stood there fuming. No one out bantered Riley Walker. Especially not a guitar playing, pot smoking, needs a hair cut in the worst way, jack ass.

So I stormed off. It was only much later that I realized Garrett Bellows had done something more than piss me off and incite my urge to maim and kill. He had made me forget about Damien. And for the first time in weeks I hadn’t been depressed and miserable.

Huh. Interesting.