Sneak peek into Ten Thousand Truths

I’m IN LOVE with Deo and Opie. Their story grabbed me before I even wrote Ten Thousand Lies!

It wasn’t an easy one to write. I’ve never written such a dark tale before, and I won’t lie – there’s some fucked up shit that goes down.

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But as dark as Opie and Deo’s story is, it’s just as bright and filled with love. There is a balance.

Fragility of a human creature conceptual body art on a woman
Fragility of a human creature conceptual body art on a woman

Ten Thousand Truths

(Unedited excerpt. May contain spelling errors/grammatical mistakes)

“What is it that you actually do?” I asked her as she unlocked and pushed open the door to her shop.

“I make stuff.”

I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, but what made you get into this?”

“I’ve a doctorate in botany.”

That’s quite impressive.

Moving through the shop, she flicked on light switches and unlocked the door to the back room. I followed close behind. Inside the back room was like being thrown into an apothecary in the Middle Ages. Old wooden shelves lined with jars and pots, bunches of drying herbs and flowers suspended from the ceiling. A massive butcher’s block squatted in the center of the room with a stone bowl off to the side of it. A worker’s bench ran along three of the four walls. Tools of her trade were neatly placed all over in some type of organized chaos.

“Wow.”

She snorted. “Really?”

“This place is cool! And it smells off the fucking chain, woman. No wonder you love your job.”

She smiled. “It does smell nice.”

“The first time I came in into your shop, I’d just wanted to park me arse and breathe.”

“What made you decide to use us for your product line?” she asked as she pulled an apron over her head.

My God, she was all sorts of sexy, and she wasn’t even trying to be. She tugged her sleeves halfway up her forearms, and I noticed that she had very graceful hands.

“Beast said you guys took special orders. He came in and picked up something for someone a while back. He knew I was looking into creating a line and suggested I check you out.”

I spotted a spare stool sitting in a corner next to a sink, pulled it out, and had a seat. Opie took down a few dried items from a ceiling rack and started plucking them apart and tossing them into the stone bowl.

“What are you making?” I asked.

“It’s just dried peppermint to go into some holiday candles. It makes them pretty.”

“Oh.”

She smirked, not taking her eyes from her task. “I promise you, it’s not as exciting as it seems, Deo. I enjoy my work, but Hayley gets bored to tears watching me.”

“I’m not bored.”

“Not yet.”

“So why didn’t you tell me who you were when we had coffee?”

She shrugged. “I don’t usually get involved with the client side of the business, and Odessa is how our clients know me. I guess I wasn’t really thinking of you as such.”

Made sense, I supposed. “If you weren’t thinking of me as a client, does that mean you like me?”

Pink stained her cheeks, and she glanced up at me. “Like, as in…?”

“As in you think about dating me.”

She looked back down at her hands. “Yes.”

“I think about dating you, Opie.”

“Then tell me why you ditched me a week and a half ago.”

“I needed to get a few things straight in my head. It was something I should have done before making plans with you. I was ready to go out and meet you, and then I got nervous. Hayley told me to stay away from you if I wasn’t over Xanthe, and I’d panicked and wondered if maybe I wasn’t.”

She looked at me from across the room. Opie’s face showed sadness, hurt, and a strange sense of resignation.

“I called her and told her how I was feeling. How I needed to know what it was about me that was never enough for her.”

“And what did she tell you?”

“That there was nothing at all wrong with me. I guess I just needed that pointed out. It was then that I felt at peace with the whole situation. I knew I wanted to know you because I find you…absolutely irresistible. Not because I’m trying to use you to feel better about myself.”

She didn’t say anything.

“When I saw you at the pub, I was gob-smacked. And when you looked up at me in the bakery and I saw the color of your eyes…Damn, Opie. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so beautiful as you.”

That got her to smile for me.

“I couldn’t let you go a second time. No fucking way. I’d have thrown you down and sat on you to make you talk to me at that point.”

Opie snorted a laugh, and I felt the sound to my soul.

“So I know without a doubt that I want to know you, and date you, and see where this goes.”

Her smile was soft, yet radiant. Her cheeks bloomed with a slight pink that I was dying to kiss into a flushed rose.

“What about you?” I asked. “Why do you want to get to know me?”

“It’s something I’m appalled to admit,” she said quietly.

“What?”

“I’ve, um…”

“What?”

“I’ve had a crush on you since the night I hit you with a broom.”

“Are you serious?”

She nodded and started plucking apart the peppermint again. “I thought you were the most handsome man I’d ever seen, and I was disgusted with myself for having such feelings for my friend’s bloke. Xanthe would show me pictures of you and tell me stories about you. I guess that kept the crush alive. I never entertained the thought that it would ever be possible to date you, but I did fantasize.”

“Shut the fuck up.”

She took that literally, flushing crimson. Her hands shook as she kept shredding the sprigs in her hands.

“Keep going.”

“I thought you wanted me to shut the fuck up.”

I stood up and made my way toward her slowly, giving her time to tell me to back off. When I stood only a mere foot from her, I reached out, took the peppermint from her hands and tossed it aside.

“Look at me.”

The full blast of her eyes sent the most pleasant ache through me. Suddenly, the memory of them flashing at me through a scarf and beanie, swollen and bright with fever, blossomed in my mind.

“I remember you…” I whispered.

Then I took her face in my hands and leaned down to finally kiss her as I’d been dreaming of for weeks. She tasted warm and silky as I dipped my tongue into her mouth. Ginger. Honey. Clean and spicy. She smelled the same as she tasted, like she was infused with the most tantalizing ingredients the world could possibly offer.

Opie stepped closer, leaning into me, and my hands slipped from her face so that I could wrap her up with me. She felt…perfect. So fucking soft, but in no way fragile. I could feel her heart race beneath her breasts, pressed to my chest. My own heart galloped right along with hers, especially since she deepened the kiss, sucking on my tongue, teasing it with her own. Every nerve ending within me wanted to lift her up, toss her onto the butcher block, rip off her pants, and bury myself in her.

She nipped my bottom lip with her teeth and my knees damn near buckled. My hands went to her arse, pulling her into my throbbing groin, squeezing hard at the firm globes. Her arms snaked around my neck, pressing all of her into me. Her pelvis arched into my cock, and I ground back against her.

She gasped.

I groaned.

From the front of the shop came the jingle of bells as a fucking, goddamn customer walked in.

“Hello?” called out some bitch who should have her fucking arse tossed out for interrupting the most amazing fucking kiss the universe had ever fucking witnessed.

Opie jumped back, flushed, panting, her eyes wildly bright.

She is the most beautiful fucking thing ever created.

“Be right with you!” she called out.

She ran her hands down her apron a few times, looking as though she had no clue what to do. I just stood there staring at her, short of breath, and dying to do that all over again. Opie recovered first, and headed out to the storefront.

I never recovered. Not truly. I ached in a way that was so awesome, so powerful, I knew there was no going back. It hurt so damn good.

A few minutes later, the bells jingled again, and not long after that, Opie returned. I was seated once more. I didn’t trust myself to stand up without offending her sensibilities.

She sighed. “I’m not very good with the customers.”

I smiled, willing my hard on to deflate. “That’s why I’m here, honey. I’ll deal with them so you can do what you gotta do.”

She smiled in return. “All right. Just as long as you don’t scare the shite out of them.”

“Pfft. I’m bloody charming.”

“You don’t need to tell me.”

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Ten Thousand Truths releases October 18th, 2016. It is a standalone, but all the Ten Thousand stories are interconnected. Start off with Ten Thousand Words, followed by Ten Thousand Lies, and Opie and Deo’s story will make a whole lot more sense.

Thanks and MUCH LOVE!

NOLA’s Own #4

Since I’ve Been Loving You

I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries as to whether or not NOLA’s Own would continue. I’m happy to let everyone know that the answer is YES! But it’s not Phil’s and Kenna’s story anymore.  They’ll be there, don’t worry! But this one is from the minds and hearts (and possibly…spirits?) of Connor and Alys…and of course, X.

It’s been about a year and a half since I finished the first three books in the NOLA’s Own series. September 2014, I wrote “The End” to The Song Remains the Same. As much as I dearly loved each and every person in this NOLA’s world, holy shit did they drain me! I’d felt that I hadn’t just written about Phil and Kenna, I’d fucking lived it with them. I had to walk away, and close that chapter for a time.

I wrote three books, and started a fourth (which I will complete, but it’s been nudged to the side for now), but someone kept whispering to me in the back of my mind “It’s time to go back to NOLA.”

So, today I did. X has been whispering, and this fire is burning once again. I need their drama, their heartfelt songs of love and declaration. I need to go back, and hang out with Our Boys, and Alys and Lili and Kenna.

I feel it, and it’s like coming home in some respects. I’m so excited, so happy I see it all before me, enough to write it out.

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So, here we go! This is the UNEDITED PROLOGUE (seriously, like I gave it one read through, so please excuse some messy grammar and possible spelling errors) of Since I’ve Been Loving You.

XAVIER

               As I stared at my reflection in the mirror, the shame of what I’d just done coursed through me, pulsing hard with my panicked heartbeats. I knew what was coming. I’d known for a long-ass fuckin’ time.

I wondered why it had to be me.

I wondered if I had done the right thing, listening to Jason’s granny, and keeping my mouth shut. My brothers would have never chosen glory over my own fuckin’ life.

But I’d never have let them have any other life, than the one they are living now.

A deep breath steadied me as I stood up straight. I closed my eyes, praying to God that this would be quick. Jason’s granny had sworn her fuckin’ spirit guides promised it was supposed to be.

 

Eleven years or so ago…

                “Not you, ginger. You stay here with me,” Jason’s granny says and grabs my arm.

                “Why?” I ask. We were all getting ready to head out and do what needed to be done.

                “Because I said so,” snaps the old broad.

                Jason shrugs, but I ain’t ever seen him so shaken up. Phil looks fuckin’ pale, which makes me want to go even more, if for nothing else than to make sure he’ll be okay. Flipper is already out the fuckin’ door, ready to get this shit over with.

                “We’ll come back quick,” says Jason.

                He and Phil head out the front door. As I stand in the run down swamp shack that Jace grew up in, I hear Jason’s dad’s piece of shit truck wheeze to life, and then back out of the dirt drive.

                “Come have a seat, son,” says Granny.

I follow her into the kitchen. I can’t help but stare at the floor where not ten minutes ago, I saw…

                “I don’t need to tell you boys to keep your mouths shut, do I?” she asks, startling me out of my head.

                “No, ma’am,” I reply.

                “Good, good. Now sit. There’s something I need to talk to you about.”

                Taking the seat across from her, I could smell the cleaned up gumbo she’d been mopping off the wrecked, brown linoleum floor when Phil, Flipper, and I came in.

                “I’ve been told by my spirit guides to give you a message. A choice.”

                “Oh, yeah?” That got my fuckin’ attention.

                Granny is a mambo priestess, and while she scares the ever-loving piss out of me, she was fuckin’ fascinating, too. When Jason first brought us home to his granny, I swore I’d never cross him, not just because I thought of him like a brother, but because I didn’t want no fuckin’ voodoo shit cast on my ass.

                “Whether you boys make it or not rests on you, Xavier.”

                A chill passes through me, giving me goose bumps, making my flaming ginger hair raise off the back of my neck. “What do you mean?”

                “Listen carefully, now,” she says—not that it’s needed. I’m hanging off her every fuckin’ word. “To achieve greatness, there must be sacrifice.”

                “Okay.”

                She shakes her head, a few strands of her graying blonde hair coming loose from her ponytail. “I’ve been told that…for it to be a sacrifice, you have to know. Now, keep in mind, you boys will go straight to the top. You all have the talent, the brains, to pull this off. But it’s also a big stroke of luck, to make it with music. You have it in you, all of you…”

                My fuckin’ heart is fuckin’ tripping in my chest. We’re sitting in a fuckin’ swamp, it’s hot as balls, but fuck me, it’s like the temperature in the room drops fifty degrees. “What’s gonna happen?”

                “I’m gonna tell you. But you need to know before I do, that knowing is part of the sacrifice. Tell the boys, and shit will go to hell. You feel me, son? You will blow your chance, and their chance. I don’t deal in crap predictions. You know this. You’ve seen what I’m capable of. Do you promise not to say a damn word to anyone? Not Jason, and certainly not Phil. No one. Ever. You take this with you.”

                In this one second, I know that if I do tell, I’m fucked, the guys are fucked, and this woman sitting before me will make sure I suffer my whole life for it.

                “I promise,” I say, trying not to puke as the words come out.

                “You swear?”

                I nod.

                “Say it,” she snaps.

                “I fuckin’ swear.”

                My head is ringing, feeling like I got a buzz or something. It’s not a good high. It’s like a brown acid trip is about to slap me in the face.

                “You’re gonna have everything you dream of, Xavier. Money, sex, love…all of it. You’re going to have three great loves in your life. Three. Not many people can say they have one, let alone that many, and you already know the first one. Your family is gonna be wealthy because of this, too.”

                My terror doesn’t go away, hearing this. If anything, it feels like it’s suffocating me. I can hardly suck air into my lungs.

                “You boys will know fame. You’ll have the respect of the music industry, of your peers…”

                I want to feel excited. Anyone hearing this sort of shit would be, but all I hear is…

                “But you’re gonna die, son.”

                And, there it is. “Do you know when?”

                “Yes. For the sacrifice to count, you have to know it all. Are you willing to die for your boys, Xavier? Because any one of them would do it for you.”

                They would. I know that. Even Flipper, whom we all just met a few months ago, he was as much my brother as Jace, as Phil…

                Thinking of Phil brings a pain to my heart. There hasn’t been a say in the last fuckin’ decade that Phil hasn’t been in my life. I know I’m just as important to him, as loved by him, as he is to me.

                Can I really do this? Hell, do I actually believe this shit?

                Looking at this woman, her dark blue eyes told me that, yeah, this shit is for real, and I need to man the fuck up and face it. For my friends, for my brothers.

                “For you, too, boy. You’ll live your dream, that’s a promise. But only if you can keep all of this, all I’m tellin’ you, to yourself. It’s a hell of a burden, knowin’ the hour of your own death. But knowin’ it is gonna give you everythin’.”

                “Tell me,” I say.

 

I did it. I made it eleven years, and not a fuckin’ word to anyone. Not to Phil. Not to my wife—and fuck me, I was breaking inside, knowing what I was gonna put Alys through. More than anyone, my woman had my heart. From the moment she waltzed back into my life, along with her best friends, Kenna, and Lili…she had me.

She understood me. Alys accepted and loved me just as I was. I knew when I married her that I didn’t have all of her. I knew that Connor was the love of her life, but I also knew I wasn’t gonna live long enough to have to see her choose between us. So, I’d taken what I’d wanted. I’d made her my fuckin’ wife.

And I knew Connor was gonna make her whole once the pain of losing me was healed. I was fuckin’ counting on it.

My reflection finally showed me no fear. Just my freakin’ flaming hair, my eyes that were so blue, people didn’t believe they were really that color. I was pale, my fuckin’ freckles looked freakishly dark, a little shaky and sweaty, but it was now or never.

I’m ready.

“No regrets.”

As the bus lurched, I closed my eyes, dropped my head back, and opened my arms, welcoming Death to come and take my ass.

***

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The moment the glass from the mirror broke off and embedded in my throat, I was gone. I didn’t feel it. It was blessedly instant, and fuck…to feel nothing was so fucking liberating.

They didn’t know, but I saw everything.

A curious bystander, I stood, just watching as the tour bus careened out of control, flipping, rolling onto its side, tearing in half as it skidded to a stop in a snow bank.

They’re in there. My loved ones. My best friend and first love. He was going to be destroyed, but I was confident he’d pull through. They all had each other, and Phil had his Baby Girl. She’d heal him. She always did.

The roadie bus pulled to a stop, thank fuck, and Connor exploded out of it as though the hounds of hell chased him.

I got close enough to touch him, to reach out and pull him into the arms I no longer had. He was screaming, crying, Steve and Gordy grabbing him before he could dive into the black cavern that had torn the bus in two.

My brother, my heart cried out.

My third and final great love of my life.

In this frozen hell, I watched as Connor pulled free of Steve and Gordy, and dove into the busted bus.

“Fuck!” came his agonized scream from within.

I was about to follow him in, to at least be there for my brother, but I suddenly grew warm and weightless. A blazing white light appeared, illuminating everything before me from behind.

This is it. My existence on this plane was over. I was being called home, and though I was ready for it, it was with a heavy heart that I turned and stared into the white brilliance that blinded me to everything else.

***

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Transcendence.

Through the painless, bright light, I went…elsewhere. I saw things, knew and spoke things, but while I had no recollection of actually doing anything, I knew I had. I’d made peace with a part of myself along the way, and suddenly, I found myself somewhere—or some when—I had never been, but was all too familiar.

Before me stretched a concrete walkway up to the front steps of a house. Not just any house, either. One I had known, had shared secrets and hopes with those who’d lived inside. The flowers that surrounded this place were fuckin’ insane. The trees all around were blossoming the most technicolor blooms.

To the left side of the house, a man squatted down by a bush to prune it. He glanced at me, and when I saw his face, I got a jolt, thinking there was no way Phil could be here. I had done what was asked of me. I had done it for him. My first love.

But it wasn’t Phil. The man’s long hair was parted down the middle and hung over his shoulders in two braids, but was darker than Phil’s, almost black. And while the nose, the hooded, deep set eyes, and high cheekbones were similar, this man looked more Native American than Phil did.

The man smiled, and though he was beautiful, no, he wasn’t Phil.

“Hey, X!”

Turning toward the voice, a little girl, maybe six or seven years old, was sitting on the front steps, smiling at me as though she was seriously happy I’d just shown up. She was missing her two top front teeth. She was also dressed as if she were snatched out of the 1960’s, in her Oshkosh overalls and floral print shirt. Barefoot, she stood, and I wondered if maybe these were Phil’s extended family or something. Like the man pruning, her hair was dark, in two braids, with a few feathers tied to the end of the one on the left. Her dark eyes twinkled with all the stars in the universe.

She held out her hand. “Come on! I’ve been waiting!”

I walked up, unable to help but return her smile. “Hey.”

She giggled. “Hey, yourself.”

“How do you know my name?” I asked, taking her tiny hand in mine.

“We go way back, man. Don’t worry. You’ll remember, once we go through the door.” She dug around in the front pocket of her overalls with her free hand, and pulled out a fuckin’ ancient-looking key.

The lock on the door looked pretty fucking ancient, too.

Looking back down into her sweet little face, I did get the feeling I knew her from somewhere.

She tugged on my hand and led me up the steps. I watched as she slipped the big key into the keyhole.

“Ready?” she asked.

“I think so. But, aren’t you gonna tell me your name first?”

She laughed, full of joy. “I have many names.”

“Yeah? Which is your favorite?”

“Most definitely…Mom.” She turned the key, pushed down on the handle, and the door swung inward. “But you can call me Laurie.”

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Thanks, and MUCH LOVE.

Another Scrap from the Chopping Block

The Song Remains the Same

Lotus Flower

The editing process is crucial. There are scenes that can weaken the impact of a story, and therefore must be removed to help the story flow. This is such a scene. While I loved this moment between Phil and Kenna after their initial reunion at the end of The Song Remains the Same, I felt that it didn’t particularly contribute to the ending in any significant way. I think that I was so reluctant to let them go, that I kept on writing, not ready for the end myself.

It all started with that kiss…

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But for those of you who may have wondered what happened between their reunion and the surprise of Phil’s life for an epilogue, here’s a little more bittersweet symphony to melt your hearts. And sex, because it’s Phil fucking Deveraux and Kenna.

Unedited, deleted scene from The Song Remains the Same.

                Phil got back up on stage, and NOLA’s Own said their “thank-you’s” and bowed, Phil giving a heart-felt Namaste. Then I raced around to meet him backstage to have him crush me in his arms, his mouth fused with mine. My senses filled with him: his scent, his feel, his taste.

              “Take me home,” I breathed against his mouth.

                He growled at me, sending thick, hot, throbbing sensations through me.

                We left through the side entrance, not saying a damn thing to anyone. Pulling me along by my hand, he led me to the Black Beauty, opened the driver’s side, and shoved me in. Phil threw himself behind the wheel and shoved his key into the ignition.

                “Dude, don’t kill us!” I snapped as he peeled out of the parking lot, his hand squeezing my crotch, and his eyes on me.

                “I can’t fuckin’ think straight!” he barked.

                Flying past the Plantation House, the Black Beauty squealed as he took the corner and drove her to my place.

                “Why here?” I asked as he dragged me out of the truck.

                “We promised each other we’d go back to the beginning.”

                Using his key, he unlocked the front door, and before I knew it, we were up in my room. Slamming the bedroom door behind him, he pulled me into his arms and I turned to putty.

                “Oh, god, I fuckin’ missed you,” he moaned in between raining kisses all over my face and neck. “That fuckin’ sucked, Kenna. I never want to go through that again.”

                “Me neither,” I panted.

                His hands went to my T-shirt, about to tear it off me.

                “Wait!” I cried.

                “WHAT?!” he roared.

                Stepping back, I could see he looked ready to have a seizure. “I got a new tattoo,” I told him.

                “Okay,” he replied, not giving a flying fuck at this point.

                “It’s…it’s big.”

                “How big?”

                “Well…” I grabbed the hem of my shirt and then just wrenched it over my head. I was wearing a sheer black bra that hid nothing.

                Phil’s eyes grew enormous. “Baby Girrrl…” his voice rumbled.

                Reaching out his hand, his fingertips gently traced over the anatomical heart tattooed over my actual heart, with the name Phil looking as though it had been branded onto it.

                “I’m just as mad as you are.” I smiled.

                “Fuck…” he swallowed hard. “Who did it?”

                “Who else?”

                “It’s fuckin’ amazin’, Kenna.”

                “You like it?”

                “I love it. I love you.”

                He was giving me that burning look that I had terribly missed. The one that showed me just how raw and vulnerable I made him, how much he adored what he saw when he looked at me.

                “I love you, too,” I told him.

                Then we were tearing at each other’s clothes, simply dying to feel our flesh pressing together.

                “I ain’t gonna last long,” he predicted.

                “You might when you get a whiff of me. I haven’t showered in over thirty-six hours.”

                “Fuck, I need to be in you,” he groaned, releasing his hold on me.

                Stripping off my jeans and underwear, I sprinted into the bathroom with him close on my heels. I turned on the shower and hopped in, scrubbing everything all at once.

                Grabbing my wrists, he pushed me up against the wall, holding my arms above my head, “Slow down, Kenna Baby.”

                “I’m just…”

                “I know. Me, too.”

                “I’ve felt so hollow without you, babe. It hurts…”

                Groaning deep and sexy in his chest, he pinned me with his body and slammed his mouth on mine. Pure fucking heaven. He tasted so wonderful. I never wanted it to end. His lips were the most incredibly soft, warm, deliciously sweet things I’d ever tasted. His tongue played with mine in the most sensuous caresses. It seemed as though he was just as enchanted with my flavor as I was with his.

                Breaking the kiss, he pulled his head back, pressing his Third Eye to mine. “I ain’t fuckin’ you in the shower. We gotta move this along.”

                While we washed ourselves as quickly as we could, I did take the time to admire him. He wasn’t as built as he had been. He was leaner, more cut. He didn’t look smaller really—he was still larger than life. But he was even more beautiful. Hardened, and polished.

                Blinking, I muttered, “Damn, Phil.”

                His head snapped up to look at me. “What?”

                “You’re so fucking gorgeous it’s painful to look at you.”

                He smiled the Lady Killer—and I burst into tears.

                “Hey, what the—” Wrapping his arms around me, he enfolded me, squeezing me tight. “What is it?”

                “I j-just m-missed you so much!” I wailed. “And I come back, and you’re so beautiful, that I can hardly believe it’s real! It’s not j-just what you look like—you look fucking phenomenal—b-but…”

                His fingers stroked through the wet strands of my hair. “I was thinkin’ the same damn thing about you, Kenna. You take my breath away. You brought all the colors back into my world, and I ain’t ever lettin’ you out of my sight again.”

                Sniffling, I said, “Well, that’s a little extreme.”

                He sighed. “Fuck, it’s good to be home.”

                Much more sedate, we dried each other off, allowing ourselves the pleasure of touching and caressing one another. His cock was stupid-hard and freaking ginormous. Oddly enough, I had forgotten how huge he was.

                I hung up my towel, about to head out of the bathroom, when he cleared his throat. I turned to look back at him.

                “Should, um…should we be usin’ condoms or somethin’?”

                I shook my head. “I got back on the shot as soon as I could.”

                Looking down at a spot by my leg, he nodded. “Okay.”

                I knew he wanted to talk about it, but I wasn’t in the mood to kill this mood just yet. “I promise we’ll talk about it soon. In a little while.”

                “All right.”

                The atmosphere shifted. What was once frenzied and desperate had thickened into a powerful need simply to connect. His fingertips skimmed down my spine as I stood next to the bed, shivering goosebumps along my skin. The wall of warmth that was Phil pulsed on my back, stronger the closer he moved toward me. He was radiating love and adoration, all of it directed at me. It made my knees tremble, and they nearly buckled as his lips pressed to my shoulder.

                “Kenna…” he breathed.

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                Crawling to the center of the bed, I hadn’t even flipped over completely before he was on me, pressing me back into the mattress, his hands and lips and tongue all over. Starting with my mouth, he kissed, licked, and nipped his way down my neck, to each breast and the blazing tattoo, where he lavished particular attention before going further down.

                “Oh God…” I moaned.

                Phil’s warm breath caressed over my most sensitive skin, and he rubbed his bushy beard on the inside of my thigh. “I’m so fuckin’ hungry for you, Baby Girl. I used to dream about the moment I got to taste you again.” He punctuated his words with a long, fat lick from my hole to my clit, over the lips, too. “And fuck me, you taste sweet.”

                “Babe…”

                “Mmm…” He went for another taste. “I might come from eatin’ you raw, Baby Girl.”

                He was going to make me come from his fucking filthy language. Attacking me with his mouth, he licked and sucked for only a few heartbeats before I was peaking, arching up to meet his tongue, and sobbing his name.

                “Damn, that was quick.” He laughed. “I fuckin’ wanted more than that, Kenna.”

                “Please, please, Phil…I need you inside me now.” Scooting me up on the bed, he pulled me into his arms, making me straddle his waist. It took me a second, but I noticed he was sitting in a half Lotus Pose. Breathless, I gave him a stunned look. “Wow.”

                He bit his lip as he grasped his cock and slid it through the slippery seam of my crotch. Poised at my entrance, he pulled me in closer with his other arm.

                “I live for you, Kenna,” he whispered. “I tried to do all of this the way you wanted me to. I know I did it for myself, but I did it for you, too, because I’m not whole if I’m not with you.”

Young couple of lovers kissing on black background

                The tip of him pushed in, and it was a little like the first time. A slight sting, a glorious burn, letting me know that I was his and his alone.

                “Fuck,” he breathed. “You’re so tight.”

                “It’s been a while.” I gave him a shy smile.

                “Too fuckin’ right it has. Too fuckin’ long.”

                Slowly, we eased into one another until there was no room left. My legs wrapped around him, my arms around his shoulders, and we gazed into each other’s eyes. His hands came up and framed my face.

                “My beautiful Baby Girl…where’d your hair go?”

                “Do you hate it?”

                “No. You look sexy as hell. It’s just such a shock, I guess.”

                “They had to chop it off to be able to clean it and stitch it up.”

His eyes closed, heaving a sigh.

                “What about your hair?” I asked.

                “I needed to let go. Jason’s Granny told him her spirit guides told her that I needed to get rid of it to help show me who I was. We burned it in a hibachi.”

                “You look beautiful,” I told him.

                His fingers speared around to the back of my head, searching for the scar. “Is that it, then?”

                “Yeah. You can’t see it. Not that it would bother me—”

                “I’m so sorry, Kenna.”

                “It was an accident.”

                “You’ve been hurt so much…”

                “It’s more painful without you, I promise.”

                Inside me, he twitched, kicking into his magic spot. We both sucked in a breath.

                “When did you get the tattoo?” he asked.

                “About three weeks ago. It’s your birthday present.”

                He smiled. “Best fuckin’ birthday present.”

                Hands sliding down my back, Phil cupped my rear, lifting me, then settling me back down. Again. Then again.

                “You’re heaven,” he whispered. “My own private paradise.”

                Rocking back and forth, I held his gaze. I can’t believe there was a time when I could hardly look into his eyes. He had overwhelmed me, scared me even. But not anymore. I’m not afraid of who he is, or what he feels. He’s inside me, too. Those feelings, that intensity—it’s in my heart forever.

                “What do you see?” he asked.

                “I see you. And you’re the most amazing soul I’ve ever laid eyes on. Warm, loving, generous…the fires inside you, they’re burning slower, controlled…it’s so beautiful. You’re so beautiful, Phil.”

                Cradling my head once more, his mouth firmly, but sweetly, possessed mine. Within just a few beats, our passion surged into the inferno that would forever rise within us for each other. Soon we were straining, attempting to fuse ourselves together.

                The energy shifted once again, and suddenly we were on a frequency that we had never touched upon before. Tantric. The feel, the sight, the scent, the energy within us focused on each other. Slowly we pulsed, amazed by the level of love we had for one another. It was tangible on all planes of existence.

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                When I came, he was right there with me, our eyes locked on each other, our hearts beating in sync. Two hearts, two minds, one soul reunited.

                “Oh, God…” he whispered. Deep inside, he was still twitching.

                “Something like that,” I agreed.

                “What was that?”

                “Affirmation,” I replied.

                Nodding, he closed his eyes and breathed deeply. “Baby…I need to know…”

                I sighed, releasing the pain and heartache I had faced. “I forgot to take my shot. It was so irresponsible of me—”

                “Baby, it was an accident. You were overworked and exhausted for months by that point.”

                “I think I got pregnant a few days before you left. I figured it out the day Alys and I flew out to meet you. I hadn’t taken a test or anything, so I didn’t want to tell you and be mistaken or something. By the time I took the test, you were so ill and I didn’t think you needed another thing to worry about. Besides, I felt…I knew something wasn’t right. I don’t know how, I just did. And when I got it checked out, the heartbeat was very weak and didn’t beat correctly.”

                Phil pulled me into a vise-like hold and buried his head in my neck.

                “I knew I couldn’t tell you, because I couldn’t give you what you wanted. I was told I should abort it, but I couldn’t do that either. I loved it. It was a part of you.”

                He held me tighter, his breath coming out in a hot sob against my skin.

                “I thought it would be too much for you all at once. If X hadn’t just…I’m sure I would have told you. I just didn’t want you to have to suffer more.”

                “I get that. But the thought of you sufferin’ on your own kills me,” he rasped.

                Taking my face in his hands once more, he sat up to look into my eyes. His own were glistening and wet, his thick, black lashes spiked with his tears.

                “Phil, I would suffer through anything to save you from hurting. Don’t you know that?”

                Laying me gently onto my back, he settled above me, pushing deeper into me. “I would do the same for you. And…”

                “And what?”

                “I love that you named her,” he whispered, kissing me. “I love that she had your secret name. I just wish I had been the one to hold you while…” He swallowed thickly. Pulling out, he smoothly slid back in.

                We didn’t speak for a long time after that. There was no need.

                We were finally home.

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So, that’s that! You may or may not agree with having it removed from the story, but I think it’s a nice scene to come back to and visit after all is said and done. While it didn’t make the final cut, I knew it was there, and I’m happy to share it with you. Hope you enjoyed it!

Thanks, and MUCH LOVE!

 

 

The Journey Continues!

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It all started when I had finished writing NOLAs Own. I had spent eleven months just…writing. And suddenly, this part of my life was over. I was left with this massive hole in my schedule, and I felt it to my soul.

I had to keep going. I wasn’t supposed to not write. But what was I supposed to write now?

Vintage photo album and old cameras
Vintage photo album and old cameras

A scene popped into my head. A man with a black beard chasing a curly-haired woman out of a pub. He’s heartbroken, she’s pissed, and…it took off from there. For days I obsessed with this one scene until Oliver and Xanthe told me their names, their dreams, quirks, and what makes them who they are.

It was just something to write about until the next story popped into my head. I named the supporting characters after friends, creating this world where we could all just hang out as though we aren’t separated by oceans and time zones.

But then, I finished the book, and this brand new universe opened up to me, and Ten Thousand didn’t end. It just…shifted.

Tattooed beautiful woman in old spooky interior
Tattooed beautiful woman in old spooky interior

Jaime and Ricki have their own story to tell.

How does this close-knit group bring in new friends and lovers? They’ve got these secrets, so it’s not an easy thing to accomplish. But when Oliver decided to ask Xanthe to marry him, the Bro Dawgs knew he was family, and family knows.

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Who is Ricki Conklin?

From the beginning, Oliver has wondered who the hell this man is. By day, he’s just a brilliant tattooist, right? So, what sort of life does he–and the rest of this motley crew–live? And for the love of all that’s holy–what is meant by Ricki turns men into women?

TEN THOUSAND LIES

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A terrifying past, a second chance, a greater purpose.

Ten Thousand Words is classified as a “dark” romance, and at the end, one can imagine what the next book entails. Lies takes us there, into this realm of disturbing humanity, with no shortage of carnage and brutality. It’s harsh, raw, and filled with the broken pieces of lost souls. Through friendship and love, family, these people do some awful things in the name of humanity.

We were the nightmares of nightmares. Avengers who came in silence, with a wrath that bordered on demonic. Behind us stood the Devil, proud that we’d taken our prey down in such a gruesome manner, and so fucking pissed that our souls weren’t damned for doing so.

–Ricki Conklin

 And for Ricki, there’s only one person who brings the light to his soul.

Exclusive, unedited excerpt from Ten Thousand Lies.

“Jaime.”

Either I was drunk off one and a half beers, or I had just auditory-fantasized my ass into a hallucination. Turning toward the sound of that deep, soft, British voice, it was as though some higher being had listened to my frantic secret prayers, and plopped the motherfucker right there in front of me.

Across the table, Lilla drew in a sharp breath.

“Ricki?” I gasped.

His strange eyes were glowing in the dim light, his jaw clenching as he looked at Shaun, then back to me. “I need to talk to you.”

Shaun’s arm tightened around my shoulders. “She doesn’t want to talk to you.”

Indignation flared up in me.

“How the hell would you know?” I snapped.

“But—”

I made to slide out of the booth and Shaun grabbed my arm. “Wait—”

Fast as a flash of lightning, Ricki was over the table and had Shaun shoved back into the wall behind the booth. “Fucking touch her like that again—touch any woman like that again—and I’ll fucking end you.”

“Wh-what?” Shaun spluttered.

“Women aren’t on this planet to appease men, you fucking douche,” Ricki snarled. “She made the decision to get the fuck up and you just physically tried to stop her.”

Shaun’s jaw dropped as Ricki straightened up.

“Misogynistic motherfucker. If you can’t get her to stay with your words, then you never had any influence on her anyway.”

Holy shit. That was the hottest thing I’d ever witnessed.

Ricki turned his attention back on me. The fury in his eyes was a complete contrast to the soft tone of his voice. “Will you talk with me, Jaime?”

Feigning indifference, I shrugged and grabbed my bag. “Sure.”

It was then that I noticed Ronen standing behind and to the right of Ricki. He gave me a huge, shit-eating grin and dropped into the spot next to Lilla.

“Hi,” said Ronen to Lilla. “I’m Ronen.”

Heart pounding, I got to my feet and headed for the exit. Ronen and Lilla would let Xanthe know where I’d gone off to. I didn’t spare Shaun a second glance.

Outside, I dug around in my bag for my pack of smokes. I’d bought them for a night out drinking with my girls. Fishing one out, Ricki was there with his lighter, sparking it up for me.

Taking a pull off the cigarette, I exhaled. “Is everything okay at the shop?”

Ricki’s eyes narrowed on me. “The shop’s fine.”

My heartbeat increased. “Then why’d you hunt me down on my night out?”

Instead of answering, he fished his own smoke out and lit it. “Will you walk with me?”

“Not until you tell me what’s up.”

His nostrils flared and his jaw bunched beneath his beard. “I want to talk to you away from this place. Please?”

Huffing, I grumbled, “Lead the way, then.”

Unsure of where we were going, I followed him down the street. We made our way in silence, and it was so uncomfortable I wanted to scream at him. Coming to a bridge, we made it about halfway across before he stopped and flicked his cigarette over the side.

“Jaime?”

“Are you finally going to tell me what this is all about?”

“I’m just so bloody nervous,” he said. “Please, just…I…”

Taking pity on him, I shut my mouth and leaned against the railing.

“Is that what you want?” he asked me quietly. “Would you rather be with other guys?”

“Really, you dragged me ten minutes away from the bar to ask me that?”

“No. But fuck, Jaime! Five days ago you were kissing me!”

“That didn’t end so well, if I recall,” I replied scathingly.

“I’ve wanted to tell you I was sorry. So, so sorry,” he said, his voice cracking. “Jaime, you are the second woman I’ve ever been with, and…that was the second time I’ve ever had sex.”

Come again?

“When I was sixteen, my father paid a bloody hooker to fuck me. It was one of the scariest, grossest moments of my fucking life. She was terrified of my father, I was fucking terrified of him, and…it was messy and fast, and humiliating. It was so bad, I couldn’t bring myself to be like that with anyone again. Until the other night with you, I hadn’t been with anyone in more than ten fucking years.”

“Ricki…” I whispered, my heart bleeding for him. No fucking wonder…

“The difference between the first time, and last time, was more than anything, I wanted it. I wanted to be with you like that. Just you. I’d been dreaming of what it would be like to have sex with you, and I was—I was embarrassed that I was fucking shite, and then you laughed…”

His pain wrapped around my chest and squeezed. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, looking dejected and broken. It took everything I had not to burst into tears for him.

“When you laughed at me, I don’t know…I just snapped.”

“I was happy, Ricki,” I whispered. “I was just happy to finally be with you. I’d been dreaming of it, too.”

Oh, God. His fucking lip was quivering. There was no holding back my tears now.

“I’m so sorry, Jaime. I’ve hated myself every waking moment for what I did. When you came back to the shop, I had hoped that maybe you would change your mind about second chances. Even though it was killing me seeing how much you hated me, I think it would kill me more if you weren’t there at all.”

“Damn it,” I sniffed, wiping the tears off my face.

Slowly, his gaze went from my feet to my face, his strange eyes burning into mine. “I don’t think I can handle you going out with other guys. I—”

“Stop,” I whispered, taking the steps toward him to close the distance.

“I can’t,” he replied. Reaching out, he took my hands in his. Large, hot, and slightly damp, they enfolded mine completely. “You’re my Doll Face. You’re all I fucking think about. I’m in love with you, and I’ve fucking made myself ill over this. I can’t fucking go another day…please, please give me another chance.”

The guy holding girl with dreadlocks in black hand on a background of Kyiv city.
The guy holding girl with dreadlocks in black hand on a background of Kyiv city.

Thank you so much for coming on this journey with me! Ten Thousand Lies is scheduled for release June 10th, 2016. Hope to see you all there!

Thanks, and MUCH LOVE

Valentine’s Day

With Ten Thousand Words releasing tomorrow, I just wanted to take the time to reflect on what has brought me to this moment.

NOLA’s Own was my first romance, and Phil’s and Kenna’s love still burns so bright for me.

NOLA touch my soul

peace in you

promise of erotic

want to be

words to describe

And of course…their Happily Ever After.

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Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Ten Thousand Words

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I’m so excited to bring to you all a new series of standalones! This series is called Ten Thousand, and it all starts with Xanthe Malcolm and Oliver Fairfax.

There’s danger that neither of them can escape.

Reclusive author, Xanthe Malcolm, likes her private and quiet life. However, when her wildly-popular series Paranormal Hunters gets picked up by a big-time publishing agency, she’s thrust into the limelight alongside sexy, photographer-turned-cover model, Oliver Fairfax. Upon meeting, the chemistry between the quirky writer and arrogant model quickly intensifies, creating a steamy page-turner of events made for romance novels.

Then comes the plot twist.

Xanthe has secrets that have kept her bound to silence.

And the truth has Oliver questioning every unspoken word.

TTW full for reveal

I love these people. I love their story. It’s different from what I’ve written in the past, and this entire series, not just this book, really has me moving into territory that is uncomfortable. I’m pushing myself, needing to expand my horizons, and Ten Thousand has given me the room to explore and grow.

Thank you so much for embarking on this journey with me!

Deleted Scenes–The Song Remains the Same

Hi, everyone! Thanks for checking out this deleted bit from The Song Remains the Same! It was difficult making the decision to chop this out, because I really loved this scene, but in the end, it didn’t contribute to the core of the story.

Phil ends up taking Kenna to Italy for Christmas and New Year’s, a getaway for just the two of them, to reconnect and be who they are without their friends and family.

It’s steamy, sexy, and you will see where a few bits were re-edited into the final cut.

***PLEASE NOTE! This is UNEDITED by my editor, and grammatical mistakes and possible spelling errors may occur. Enjoy!

Photo of a young woman and man embracing and kissing in an alley. Slight grain visible.

Phil

Life was fuckin’ awesome. I was so happy, I was constantly reminding myself it was really happening. Kenna was really my woman, I was living with my Baby Girl, engaged to my Baby Girl, and giving her the life she’d always dreamed of having.

It had gotten to the point where I was close to suggesting that we make our home more permanently in New York. Sure, it was cold as a witch’s tit, but we fuckin’ loved it there.

Kenna had a twinkle in her eye and a bounce in her step that I hadn’t realized wasn’t there before. She was happy with herself, with a career in music and writing. It was awesome to be a witness to it, watching her slowly but surely leave the medical community behind.

Kenna was great at being a doctor, but it wasn’t her passion. Music and literature were, and the more she did what she was passionate about, the more she adored life. I couldn’t believe it was possible, but the more she adored life, the more I adored her.

Taking her on a romantic Christmas getaway to Italy was a no-brainer. The past year had been a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Surviving the explosion and the loss of her clinic she had worked so fuckin’ hard for, losing seventeen people, the stress of losing her hearing, then the crap with Devon and Brigid…she deserved this.

Packing light, ’cause I planned on buying her anything and everything she wanted in Italy, our plane touched down in Rome in the early hours Wednesday morning. Taking only a carryon each, we made it out of the terminal quickly, and found our English-speaking driver with no problem.

I had booked us a decent suite with a king-sized bed. The view overlooked Minerva Square, the five-star hotel itself was close to the Pantheon, and I made sure we were near some awesome cuisine, too.

My woman wasn’t gonna lift a fuckin’ finger for nearly two weeks. This was all about her, about what she would love to do and see. With some shopping thrown in. But it was fuckin’ Italy, so maybe shopping here would be more fun for her.

We checked into the hotel at four in the morning and immediately crashed. When we woke up, we headed out for some authentic Italian pizzas—I loved real Italian food, and had been here a few times already, so I knew my way around the restaurants. Then we went sightseeing, and Kenna was about to bust out of her own skin with excitement.

I had already seen these sights in passing while on tour, never really stopping and appreciating the magnificence of it all. Kenna had told me of her love for the ancient world, and I loved her, so I found a bit of appreciation for it all, too. I was never bored with her, and I loved listening to her babble on and on about this place, that artifact, or the significance of that sculpture.

My Baby Girl was a genius of history. An off-the-chain sexy tour guide, her fuckin’ brain and everything in it had me chubbing for hours while we walked around seeing the sights and eating awesome food.

“This is just amazing!” she said, as we traipsed around the Colosseum.

Sure it was. To me, what was amazing was the look of joy on her face. My heart skipped a beat at the sight of her smile, and the way her eyes sparkled as they tried to devour everything around us.

That night we went out to a small family owned restaurant and had fresh pasta with wild mushrooms, basil, garlic, and chopped tomatoes. We cracked open a bottle of red wine and got buzzed, laughing and having an awesome time.

“Baby Girl, I wanna talk about when we wanna get married,” I told her after the second glass of vintage. It was some pretty powerful stuff.

“Okay,” she said and smiled, blushing and making my dick twitch. “When do you want to get married?”

“Yesterday,” I replied and laughed.

“I never really imagined myself getting married,” she confessed softly. She had mentioned this before, when we’d first gotten together. “So I guess it really doesn’t matter when or where.”

“Why haven’t you thought about it? I mean, you asked me to marry you…”

She shrugged, and the sight of her black cashmere sweater slipping down over her shoulder, showing off her creamy skin had my dick swelling.

“I guess…well, we sort of rushed into an engagement. I wanted to make sure it was really what we wanted. And it’s still a little hard for me to believe that I have this.” Her voice barely above a whisper, she added, “That I have you.”

My poor dick couldn’t handle much more. “Kenna,” I said softly, pitching my voice low, seeing her squirm from it. Shit, it was only fair. “You do have me, all of me. So…think of a weddin’ that you would want to have, since you are marryin’ me.”

Her smile fuckin’ stole my breath.

“How do you imagine it?” she asked me.

“I fuckin’ asked you first.”

Laughing, she took a sip of wine and said, “Yeah, but I have a feeling you’ve given it a lot more thought than I have.”

She was probably right.

“Well,” I said, taking her hand and rubbing my thumb over her wrist. “I imagine you in a beautiful white dress. I see us outside, under the open sky…afternoon or early evenin’, with your skin lookin’ awesome in that light. And your hair, too…”

“Where? What time of year? Are there tons of people, or is it more intimate?”

“You know, I always figured there’d be hundreds of people there, but when you say intimate, I think I like that idea more. Like family and close friends—the guys, obviously, and Alys and Lili and Sheri and Viv…”

“We should write up a list of people,” she said. “I was thinking…”

“What?”

“The Plantation House. There’s more than enough room, and with the gazebo…”

“Yeah,” I agreed, my heart feeling warm and fuzzy, and it had nothing to do with the wine. “Yeah, I’d like that. How much time do you think it’d take to get somethin’ like that together?”

“Pfft! You’re talking to the wrong girl about that!” She laughed, and I got so high listening to the sound of it, I could’ve floated us back to the hotel.

“I guess we could do a spring wedding…” I said cautiously. “Late spring?”

“Yeah, we might be able to swing that,” she replied.

Polishing off the rest of the bottle, my Baby Girl and I strolled back to the hotel in a romantic mood. In the elevator, I couldn’t keep my hands and lips to myself, and since we were all by our lonesome, I took the liberty to grope and kiss her until she was weak-kneed and pink-cheeked.

Back in our room, I stripped her of her clothes, just adoring the way the wine made her flushed and giggly. She was too fuckin’ cute for my own damn good. When she saw the state my poor dick was in, she turned a flaming red and laughed heartily.

“What the fuck, Kenna?” I asked, pretending to be offended.

“How do you even walk with that monstrosity between your legs?” She snorted. So lady-like was my Baby Girl.

“I’m not even sure,” I replied, shoving her back on the bed and helping myself to some dessert. I fuckin’ loved the way she tasted. Musky, sweet, tangy, with a hint of honey and cream. Fuck, I loved how she dripped over my tongue, how the flavor of her spread through my taste buds, her spicy scent filling my nose and making my head buzz like a good, strong, red Italian wine…So delicate and soft, so hot and wet, and all fuckin’ mine.

“Ohhhh…” she moaned from deep in her chest, rubbing her cunt in my face and pulling on my hair. I fuckin’ loved that, too. “Ohhh, fffuuuuck!” she cried. I fuckin’ loved hearing her lose it, loved feeling how her clit would stiffen just as she was about to come. I loved feeling her throbbing against my tongue, the sweet liquid that oozed out. I wanted to drown in it; it was that good.

Spread out before me, flushed and panting, her eyes shut tight, I watched as I pushed into her, seeing her stretch wide to fuckin’ take all of me. Even I had to admit it bordered on the obscene, how fuckin’ crazy it looked. But I fuckin’ loved that, too, how we fit each other so fuckin’ perfectly.

Not in the mood to make love to her, she’d gotten me so fuckin’ riled up, I wanted to just flat-out fuck her. Grabbing her hips, I hauled her up so her ass was off the bed and I could look down on her, watching her lose her shit.

Un-fuckin’-real, how beautiful she is…

A shiver danced down my spine, tingling deep into my tailbone. Fuck me. I was so close. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the sight of my dick pulling out, dripping wet and shiny with her juices, and disappearing once more deep inside her hot liquid self.

“Fuck, Baby Girrrl…” I groaned. “You feel too fuckin’ good.”

“Do it hard,” she begged me.

Fuck yeah. I went for it. I pounded her sweet slice, feeling her tiny heartbeat pulse on the head of my dick, driving me insane.

“Come for me,” I demanded, closing my eyes, letting myself just feel her. At this point, if I watched her anymore, I was gonna shoot my load. “Let me feel it, Kenna. I need it.”

It wasn’t half as good if I couldn’t feel her come all over me. It was still fuckin’ mind-blowing, no doubt about that. But there was something so special, so fuckin’ off-the-chain when she squeezed every drop outta me.

Arching clear off the bed, she came hard, screaming my name, clawing the sheets like a wildcat. Pink crept from her tits to her cheeks. She squeezed on my dick, and it was as though I had no control over my body. I could see, and feel, and hear, but my dick led the fuckin’ show.

Hooooolyyyyy fffuuuuuuck!” I screamed, my head dropping back. It was so fuckin’ powerful, my brain fritzed. I had an out-of-body experience, like I had clear floated out of my head on a warm, safe cloud. Kenna was there with me, smiling, laughing, her arms around me…

Next thing I knew, I was on top of her, crushing her beneath my massive ass. She didn’t seem to mind, though. Her arms held me close to her, her legs wrapped around my waist.

“Hey, Baby Girl,” I said, sounding sleepy as fuck.

“Hey, yourself.” She laughed.

Always laughin’. It was the best thing about her.

***

Love couple

Christmas in Rome, and then we were off to Napoli. It was a crowded city, but my Baby Girl wanted Pompeii, and I wanted the food. Naples had some fuckin’ amazing food.

It was evening by the time we got there, and we went straight to a little pizzeria owned by boisterous family who loved what they did. We had a blast chowing on some of the world’s best pizza and drinking more red wine.

“Are you on a mission to make me fat?” Kenna asked, rubbing her belly after we’d finished. “Because if we continue on like this, you’ll have to buy me a new wardrobe to make it back home.”

Thinking about my Baby Girl packing on some pounds always made me think about knocking her sweet ass up. I wanted my baby in her so bad. As much as I thought about it, I hardly spoke of it. The times I would, I’d see the fear creeping in her eyes, and it crushed me a little.

Kenna was young—fuck, we both were. She wanted to see more of the world before she devoted herself to a family, and I got that. So to hurry it up, I decided that I would show her the fuckin’ world so she’d let me plant my fuckin’ seed in her. Italy was a good start.

Pompeii was something that Kenna had been chomping at the bit to see. The next day, we caught a tour bus early in the morning and went for an all day excursion. Kenna and I strolled down the streets of the once thriving city, and she showed me the culture behind the bodies. The frescoes really were something else.

“Look!” she cried, laughing. Pointing at one well-preserved fresco in a brothel, Kenna brought my attention to one wall that had man on it with a dick nearly the same size as his legs. “I think I found your past-life portrait, babe!”

“Oh, ha-ha,” I replied, trying to look all offended, but her laughter was contagious.

An older woman walked by us just as Kenna had said that. I busted her checking out my junk, which was currently at half-mast ’cause it was listening to Kenna’s laughter, too. Pervy old broad smirked! Glancing at the phallic fresco dude, the lady’s eyebrows nearly touched her hairline. With a pep in her step, she sauntered off while my Baby Girl snorted and wheezed.

“You think it’s funny when old desperate housewives check out my junk, huh?”

She was laughing so hard, she was in danger of pulling an Alys.

We walked around, cracking up at the sex scenes on the walls, and I had to admit, I was impressed with the amount of preservation. These were nearly two thousand years old! Kenna’s internal tour guide took over, and she described everything that she knew about each fuckin’ one.

“I wish I had met you in high school,” I told her as we made our way back to the bus. “I might have had a better GPA when I’d graduated.”

“It wouldn’t have done you much good. I was an average student, and I skipped class more than I didn’t.”

“Really? How the fuck are you so smart about all this shit, then?”

She shrugged and smiled up at me. “I like what I like. I guess you could consider it independent study.”

“You must really like me then,” I joked.

“No.”

“No?” I roared, feigning outrage.

“No. I love you,” she replied. “There’s a world of difference.”

“Too fuckin’ right,” I said, grabbing her and burying my face in her neck for a quick nibble.

***

Passion couple

The following day, we rented a car and drove to Florence, where I’d rented a private Tuscany villa.

Surrounded by rolling hills and olive trees—and other types of trees, too, but I wasn’t interested in the fuckin’ foliage, so I never asked—it was an awesome getaway with no one but the owners and a few staff in the main house a short walk up the hill. There was a private pool that we decided right away to jump in after we checked in.

Small, intimate, the villa was clean, bright, with a rustic décor that charmed the pants off us. It consisted of an open living area and kitchen, a bathroom way too small to shit in, and a decent bedroom to rough up. It was pretty fuckin’ awesome.

“Will we be going into the city tonight, or…?”

“Naw, Baby Girl. They’re bringin’ us dinner at sunset—like al fresco style shit. Do you want to go into the city?”

“Not really,” she replied.

She’d decided to try on her new black bikini I’d bought her in Naples in the bathroom before letting me see it on her.

“Fuck, Kenna!” I barked at her as she came out of the bathroom wearing it.

“Yeah?” she asked, twirling her hair up in a bun on top of her head.

My dick totally tented my swim trunks, and the evil woman pointed and laughed at it.

“Fuck it,” I growled, and launched at her. Squealing like a virgin sacrifice, she tore out of the villa with her towel clutched in her hand, me panting and chasing after her like a Viking with his first fuckin’ berserker boner.

Of course, I caught her. Then I tossed her ass in the pool and jumped in after her. Being a private pool, we were able to fool around and play with each other until I couldn’t fuckin’ take it no more, and I dragged her back up to the villa and fucked her five ways ’til dinner.

And dinner? Holy fuck on a fork. The cook made this crusty bread drenched in olive oil and dried herbs, and bruschetta. Then they served beef Carpaccio, which my woman went understandably crazy for. Kenna totally mooned over the leafy greens, and the vinaigrette, and the capers, and the pecorino cheese shavings—I’d thought it was parmesan, which completely scandalized my woman. Then mushroom and spinach ravioli, finished with chocolate fudge something with fresh fruit and berries.

“Let’s move here,” I groaned, rubbing my gut and looking out over the hills in the light of the late sunset. “We’ll tell the rest of the world to fuck off and just eat until we’re too fuckin’ fat to move.”

She laughed, and goddamn it, I chubbed. “I think that that’s a brilliant idea.”

“I’m fuckin’ full of ’em, Baby Girl. And I’m bein’ fuckin’ serious, too.”

“I know. Maybe one day…”

“Would you like that?”

She nodded. “This has been the most amazing time of my life. Tuscany is by far my favorite place. But it wouldn’t matter where I was, as long as I’m with you. Wherever you are, that’s where home is.”

Shit. When she said shit like that to me, I lost another bit of my soul to her. One day I was gonna wake up, and see the world entirely through her eyes, and knowing that was the most precious feeling.

“Kenna…” I said softly, and her big green eyes looked into mine. I wanted to tell her just how much I loved her, how my life would never be complete without her, how she made the sun rise each morning in my world, and my nights were pure heaven spent in her arms. She needed to know that there was no me without her. Even more amazing was that I saw the same thing in her eyes about me.

She smiled, and poof! There went another piece of my soul.

“I love you,” she told me, and I fuckin’ felt it.

“I love you, too,” I managed to whisper back without crying like a little twat.

***

Beautiful bride in white dress in spring garden

We spent New Year’s in the city, getting hammered and partying with the locals. We hailed a cab back to the villa at dawn and passed out until late afternoon. Lazing around and packing everything up, the next day we drove back to Rome for one last night before boarding a plane back to New York.

Just like that, our romantic Italian getaway was over. It seemed unreal to have to leave it all behind. We hadn’t wanted it to end, and when we walked into our apartment, real life came roaring back at us.

“Damn it,” she grumbled.

“What?”

“I used to love this apartment, and now…I wish I was in a villa in Tuscany.”

“There’s a honeymoon to plan, too, you know. If we get married in the spring, we’ll go then…” Right, like that was real slick.

“I guess we’ll just have to get married in the spring, then,” she replied, smiling.

Well, fuck me runnin’. I guess it was pretty slick after all!

Feeling the Excitement!

TSRTS music in you

 

We’re just a couple of weeks away from the COVER REVEAL for the Song Remains the Same. The manuscript is with my AMAZING editor and ARCs are scheduled to go out in mid-September. I’m so excited!

Phil and Kenna’s journey has been one that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I fell in love with both of them. They’re so…intense and their dynamic has always been of opposites attract.

The final installment of their story is still filled with friends, laughter, and music, but there’s so much more they have to endure to keep their unique connection.

Just because it’s meant to be, doesn’t make it easy. Sometimes, it makes it that much harder.

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The Song Remains the Same

With No Quarter’s release, I expected it to be slow going. People like to wait for a series to be out in its entirety before jumping in, and I get that.

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Which is why I’m getting excited about The Song Remains the Same. I’m truly hoping that the final installment of Phil and Kenna’s journey will jumpstart people’s interest.

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NOLA’s Own isn’t the average rocker-romance. It’s a long story, taking place over two years. While Kenna and Phil are soulmates, it doesn’t make their relationship easier. If anything, it’s more difficult, because they HAVE to compromise, to admit to their own shortcomings, and find the strength in themselves as individuals to make it together. The obstacles they face are lightened with the help of close friendships and family.

The NOLA’s Own crew face some serious hardships in The Song Remains the Same.

I’m nervous. It’s my hope that I’ve done justice to Phil and Kenna’s story with this conclusion. It’s not easy saying good-bye to these guys.

This author business can be rough on the heart.