Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Release Blitz for Random acts of Fantasy by Julia Kent.

Random Acts of Fantasy by Julia Kent
Release date: 4/15/14



Description:

From New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent comes the third in her Random series:

You ever really think that you'll win the lottery? Meet Mr. Right? How about two Mr. Rights?

Somehow the universe is handing me everything I want (except for that lottery part...), and I don't like it. Not one little bit. Because just when you get all your dreams handed to you on a silver platter, that's when an airplane dumps its sewage on your house. Or your mama's diabetes takes a bad turn. Or your mobile phone gets stuck in your hoohaw.

(What? It happens…)

Boring old average me got everything I wanted already, moving from small-town Ohio to big-city Boston to follow my heart. So when the fancy invitation offering me a pile of money to come with the band, Random Acts of Crazy, to perform on an island resort and be their manager arrived, I thought it was a cosmic joke. Enough money to help my mama get what she needed, five days in sunny paradise, and a shot at greatness for the band? Unreal. One big shoe was waiting to drop. On my head.

Just like no one really ever finds a naked man wearing only a guitar standing by the side of the road hitchhiking and ends up falling in love with him and his friend and moving halfway across the country for true love, no one gets an invitation to come to what turns out to be a resort where people make what me and Joe and Trevor do together look like a chaste peck on the cheek. But...

Well.

I guess these things do happen.

To me.

–-
Pre-order links:

Announcing a New Release Blitz by Scarlett Wolfe; Hearts Attached. Plus a chance to win.



Only one house has separated McKenzie Baker and twins, Luke and Olivia Harris, since birth. After seventeen years of wearing a path across the neighbor’s yard, Luke and McKenzie realize their friendship evolved and deepened even before they had fully learned what romantic feelings meant.

Both have flashbacks often, revisiting the tender, emotional moments that strengthened their bond since the age of five. However, Luke’s twin, Olivia, doesn’t share in their happiness, worrying the new relationship will change the ones she has with her best friend and brother. This disapproval quickly tests Luke and McKenzie’s intense love for one another.

Luke’s life has been mapped out for him since birth, with a sports scholarship hanging in the balance. He and McKenzie think their future together is finally on track, when they are struck with a much more serious dilemma.


During difficult times and a devastating accident, a bond between a brother and sister shines through, and Luke and McKenzie’s profound connection is undeniable. This story takes you on a journey of heartache and joy, leaving the belief that extraordinary love exists, and some hearts are destined to attach. 


McKenzie

“Back to earth, Kenzie,” Luke says.
I glance up, and he’s smiling at me.
“Huh?” Why does he have to appear hotter daily?
“I often wonder where your mind wanders off to. Can you take mine with you? I’d prefer it over thinking about all the bullshit that goes on around here.”
“Please, what bullshit do you have to deal with?” Liv asks.
“Oh, I don’t know, Liv. How about all the people who are on my ass daily to make sure I keep my shit together? I’m not the only kid in this house. Someone else I know needs to have the heat put on them for a while.” He glances up long enough to glare at her.
“Poor, Luke. You’re the most popular guy at school because of how good you are at sports. I have a hard time feeling sorry for you.”
“I didn’t ask for your sympathy. What’s your deal, anyway?”
Liv pushes forward, signaling she wants up, so I raise to a sitting position and cross my legs. I’m now at Luke’s feet.
“I have to listen to girls talk about you daily. They’re always using me to get to you, and I’m sorry if that becomes tiresome for me.
“You need to date one of them already. I’m going to see if Mom needs help with dinner.” Liv is off the bed in seconds, flipping her long, dark hair before she goes out the door.
Luke shuts his magazine and launches it across the room. “How have we managed to put up with her all these years?”
“Give her a break. She lives in your shadow, and it wasn’t like that before high school.”
“You’re too nice, Kenzie.”
It’s always awkward when he gives me compliments. I flip my hair, like Liv often does, and look up to the ceiling. She’s as prissy as it gets.
“It’s a gift. I can’t help it.”
He chuckles before his gaze averts to the other side of the room. “Um, I heard Stewart asked you out.”
“Yeah, he did.” My long hair is everywhere now, so I attempt to pull sections to their proper places.
“Well, did you say yes?”
“I told him I wanted to think about it.”
Luke nods his head thoughtfully but still doesn’t look at me.
“So you like him?”
“I don’t know. He’s cute and has always been nice to me. I thought I’d see how he is at school, when we start next week. Do you think he’s only looking for one thing?”
Finally, Luke’s eyes meet mine. “If you go by Stew’s history, then I’d say yes, but I’ll deny I told you that.”
“Maybe it’s time I did it.”
Luke pulls away from his wall and sits straight up.
“You’re considering having sex with him?” he asks, sounding surprised.
“Not him, necessarily. I meant that maybe it’s time period.”
Luke covers his ears. “This conversation is done. If you start doing it, then that means Liv is or will be shortly thereafter, and then I’ll have to kill someone.”
Grinning, I stare at his handsome face. “It’s adorable when you get protective of your sister.”
“You’re calling me adorable? How girly is that? I think it’s tickle time.”
 Luke
McKenzie is only in a tank top and shorts since it’s August, so it takes only a second to get to her armpits. I tickle her there before moving to her waist. She falls back on my bed and attempts to pull her knees up.
It’s her signature move, but I’m on to her tactics, so I put my left arm across her thighs as she begins to bring up her legs. She works to remove my right hand from her waist, giving me no choice but to bring her wrists together and wrap my hand around them.
Moving them above her head, I hold them there snugly, but this causes me to fall over on top of her. I’m struggling to keep her legs down when it hits me that my left arm is stuck between us, somewhat across her … you know and her smooth thighs.
Ah shit. Now that we’re older, it’s different when I tickle her. I mean, her body keeps changing. Kenzie is still laughing and breathing heavily. I stop moving, so she slowly does, too. Trying to get her breath, she turns her head to cough before swinging it back and looking at me.
Her light brown hair that’s woven with golden strands is pretty, and blue eyes that I swear couldn’t get any lighter gaze up at me. Will the day come when she stops getting prettier?
“You’ve figured me out. I need new moves,” she says, appearing nervous.
I can’t stop staring into her eyes. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this close to them. I feel her breath on my face, her body pinned beneath me, and I want to cover her mouth with mine. Why the hell is this happening again? I buried that feeling a year and a half ago. Well, I tried to, anyway.

Luke’s POV
I’m pulling a t-shirt over my head when I hear the doorbell. A smile spreads across my face as I jump four steps trying to get downstairs. I fling the door open and receive a bashful smile from Kenzie.
“Good morning. I hope you don’t mind that I came over early.”
“Of course not,” I say as I move out of the way for her to enter. Damn, she looks hot today. Kenzie always looks pretty, but it seems she made an extra effort to drive me insane today. Her golden hair is down and curled.
“What?” she asks before she looks down at her clothes.
“Huh?” I think I was busted checking her out.
“You looked me over for a long time. Is there something wrong with what I’m wearing?” She glances down again at her denim shorts and thin, lavender shirt, which buttons up.
I think I’m turning red. “No, Kenzie, nothing’s wrong. You always look great, but today you’re extra hot.”
She chews on her lip. “So you still feel the same this morning?”
Panic washes over me. Is she having second thoughts? “Yeah, do you?”
She shakes her head yes several times and grins, her happiness spreading to those crystal blue eyes. “I missed you already,” she says in a sexy, soft tone.
“I won’t be able not to touch you if you talk to me that way, Kenzie.”
“Did your dad leave for work?”
“Yeah.”
“Then touch me already, you confusing boy.”
She’s looking at me as if she’d let me do anything, and I desire to do everything, having waited to share each sexual experience with Kenzie. Cupping her face, I kiss her mouth, and she lets my tongue slip right into her warmth.
Arms circle tightly around my waist, her body pushing against mine, and I might have to kiss her all day and forever. I reluctantly release her lips and hug her.
“Kenz, you’re not making it easy for me to behave,” I whisper in her ear before I breathe in the sweet scent from her hair.
“I’m sorry, Luke. I’ve never felt anything like this before. I guess it’s the accumulation of all the years I’ve been near you but couldn’t admit how I felt … all the years I couldn’t touch you this way.”
Her face is against my chest, but her hand slides up my neck and into my hair. Shit. I pull her arm down and hold her out away from me.
“We have to go before I lock us in my room all day.”
She begins to giggle and holds her stomach from laughing hard. “You’re adorable when you get nervous.”



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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

5 Star review for Comfort of Fences by Stacy Overman Morrison. Guest Post: How is your interaction with women, especially those closest to you?



Guest Post with Stacy Overman Morrison.

How is your interaction with women, especially those closest to you?

          I am writing this right before I head out the door to lunch with a dear friend of mine. I had lunch Monday with another dear friend and then lunch yesterday with my 19 year old daughter. I do a lot of eating so as long as my female friends like to eat, we get along great! 
          In all honesty, I have many dear female friends. I have been very selective in maintaining these friendships and cultivate those that bring mutual joy and growth. In my book, Comfort of Fences, two of the characters enjoy a life-long friendship. The relationship between Ruth and Georgia is one of which I am a bit envious. I always wanted a friend like Georgia so I made her up!          I do not have one best friend but I do have a core group of women friends and we all work to support and cheer one another on. I have one friend that I sit and discuss our spiritual paths and how our journeys into our better selves are going. We have our own table at the local Mexican food restaurant because once we get to talking, we are usually there for a couple of hours. I have another friend that is so very thoughtful. She checks in and makes sure my travels go safely and inquires about my health and wellbeing. She also has bought a case of my books and has canvassed West Texas with Comfort of Fences. My 19 year old daughter is probably my best friend of all. We are moving more into the realm of friends rather than parent/child these days. Luckily, she is a great person so I don’t have to do much lecturing and rule setting. She “gets” things, so I get to enjoy her!          There are times I get bitchy, or feisty as my husband calls it, but largely those times are the result of life frustrations and as quickly as I flare, I settle down again. I love the time I spend with my friends so much, and truthfully don’t get to do it enough, that I don’t have negative encounters with them. My female friends bring me joy. They bring me peace. They bring me acceptance. I accept this all, work to magnify it, and then give it back to my soul friends in as great or greater measures than they gave to me.
          Yes, I am a blessed woman and many of my greatest blessings are my friendships with my soul sister friends!
  


About the book

Ruth is dying and her 52 year old daughter Denise has never paid a bill, lived on her own, or had a romantic relationship. Ruth knows she has been overprotective, but hoped that she would outlive her special-needs daughter. Metastasized cancer crushes that hope and forces Ruth to find a way to provide for Denise once she is dead. 
First Ruth turns to Social Security for Disability benefits. After tests, pokes and prods, doctors, nosy psychologists, and ill-furnished waiting rooms, the government declares Denise not eligible for benefits. 
Mad at the world and daring the government to arrest her so they will have to take care of her since they wouldn’t her daughter, Ruth takes up smoking pot in the backyard. A few joints in, Ruth begins to realize her anger is self-directed. She doubts every decision she has ever made in raising her daughter that doctors, in the 1950s, labeled “retarded.” 
Partially to coax her mother from the backyard and partially because Ruth will not speak of the past, Denise asks her mother to write down their history of which Denise has no memory. Trying to atone and explain how she could be so obtuse, Ruth agrees. Telling her story becomes an obsession for Ruth who sees the history as her only chance to leave a place for herself in the world since cancer is steadily eating away her physicality. 
While Ruth writes, Denise begins to pursue her own independence, despite the minor setbacks of a chopped off fingertip and chemo poisoning. She begins to make choices for herself and finally tells her mother pieces of her own truth: Denise stayed with her mother because she chose to, because she loved her mother more than any life she could make for herself. In claiming her own truth, Denise also chooses silence about the biggest secrets of all. 
Comfort of Fences explores the messy business of mothering. It is a story about the love between a devoted mother and her special daughter that exposes the irony that the people we love the most can also be the ones we underestimate the greatest.




About this author

Every life is a story and every perspective is a revelation. I've been telling stories and gleaning insights from everyday encounters all my life. I talk with the people in line with me at the grocery store and they reveal their hopes and fears. I visit with the insurance claim adjuster who just moved to Oregon and was flooded in her new house a week after moving. I read posts on Facebook and create sub-plots on how we each get to where we are in life. I believe we are all connected and my calling as a storyteller to to pick at the threads and re-weave them until that connectivity is obvious and worthy of a reader's emotional investment.
I live in Texas with my husband, two daughters, two dogs and two horses. I have a Clydesdale-sized hole in my heart as my sweet Connie crossed the Rainbow Bridge 3-3-13. I love people, sunsets, words, and philanthropy. I love hearing from my readers and welcome correspondence.
Blessings,
Stacy Overman Morrison
stacyovermanmorrison@gmail.com
stacyomorrison.com


5 Star Review

I received this book from the touring host for an honest review.

A remarkable story of mother and daughter relationship that stretched over fifty-two years; written with sympathy and thoughtfulness as the author delved into the heart of the story and its characters; giving us a beautiful book to enjoy.
But it’s also a story about friends that stayed with each other through thick and thin; a friendship that gave them the comfort of not being alone; giving direction in the most difficult of situations.

I really love the name of the book, it highlights the everyday minute things, making it real and how we find comfort within those fences we choose to live in.

Although written from two protagonists view points, we cannot leave the importance of Georgia and her relationship with both Ruth and Denise out. That would leave a huge gap in the story; her part was the anchor that kept them both afloat, and in her uncanny way with a few margaritas tossed in; she played a vital roll within this trio.

All three women were strong in their own right; with their own believes, had flaws as well (we women never said we are perfect J); but yet you see how they accommodate each other in their own special way; each person’s part important to the unique relationship; making room for each other so that each individual could shine in their own situation as they tried to help Ruth during the last leg of her life.
Denise the caregiver; no task was to hard for her and her devotion to her mother could be seen throughout the book.

We are taken back and forth to the present and the past as Ruth told her story to her daughter, Denise in a novel form. Denise had questions and because of her slowness never asked the questions just hovering in her mind and Ruth felt compelled that part of her daughter’s independence was to enlighten her about her past. Denise grew up with challenges all of her own, or in Ruth’s words Denise was ‘retarded’ and because of this Ruth protected her fiercely which left Denise innocent and ignorant in many ways; although at the end this was not the case.

Ruth was dying of cancer and felt the need to tell her fifty-two year old daughter her story and how she came to life, the circumstances surrounding her birth that caused her to be ‘slow’. She also had to prepare her for her death and the ‘forced’ independence that would follow. For all her years Ruth protected Denise from the harsh realities of the world and the task to prepare her came almost too late.

When Ruth was faced with her own mortality she had to face her life, the mistakes she had made and equipping her daughter to be self sufficient in a very short amount of time.

Georgia played a huge roll within this and her character brought the balance so that mother and daughter could find peace in the final stages of their life together. Georgia’s witty character and straight forwardness gives us a good idea of the relationships and the affects it had on them.

It is a heart warming story filled with human emotions and conflicts, written with compassion as these characters came to life on the pages and the influence each had on the other. The choices they faced and the secrets they kept from each other.  We learn more about Ruth and the steps that she had taken as she wrote the story and you had a better understanding of the time she lived in, her circumstances and the decisions she had made and you couldn’t help but find empathy for her and the situation she was in. Taken from her home at the age of eighteen, Ruth found herself all alone in a big man’s world with a sudden thrust of grown up choices she was not prepared for and in these choices she had to live with the results, knowing that she did the best.

We learned how mother and daughter’s relationship stayed strong and how they each made their own choices at the end, compromising and yielding to the love they shared. A wonderful story that will stir the heartstrings, knowing that we are here on this earth to do the best we can, to live with the consequences without judgment from anyone else.



Promo Tour for Drake Restrained by S.E.Lund. Giveaway and Excerpt is now available for this Contemporary Erotic Book.


Book 0.5
Drake Restrained



Drake Morgan, MD, Neurosurgeon, bass player, philanthropist – Dominant.

He doesn’t do girlfriends, he doesn’t do sleepovers, and he certainly doesn’t do breakfast in bed the morning after. He has his surgical slate at New York Presbyterian, he has a charitable foundation providing surgical tools to hospitals in Africa, he has his Brit Invasion cover band, Mersey, and he has his secret life as a Dominant in Manhattan’s BDSM community.

Into bondage, D/s and the occasional dungeon scene, Drake keeps every part of his life separate, the divisions between them neat and tidy. His weeks are filled with surgeries, music and D/s sex, and none of the well-planned and scheduled parts of his life intersect.

That is until Kate McDermott crosses his path and screws everything up.

Now, nothing is neat and tidy anymore, for Drake is smitten and things are going to get messy…

Drake Restrained is a novella in the Unrestrained Series, which explores the early days of the relationship between Drake and Kate from Drake’s point of view.





Amazon UK






I headed to the washroom before leaving, making a quick pit stop, and on the way out, bumped into the pretty brunette. She pushed the door open to the woman’s washroom and knocked into me. I had to grab her to keep her from falling, for she was wearing ridiculously high leather heels and hadn’t seemed to have mastered them.

Whoa,” I said, and caught her by the arms, pulling her against my body.

“Steady…”

“Oh, so sorry,” she said and grabbed onto my shoulders. She glanced up shyly, her cheeks reddening. “I’m not really used to these.”

In that moment, I was struck by the warmth of her body, the scent from her hair, and the soft curve of her breasts pressed against my chest.

She was delicious.

I was probably half a foot taller than her even in her heels, and from my vantage point, I was able to peek down her dress and see the swell of her breasts pushed together by the tight bodice.

Now, I had admittedly had sex with a lot of women in my time. Before I was married, I played around a lot, trying to figure out what sex was all about and what I liked and needed. I was married for five years and had a lot of sex, especially in the first few years we were together. Since I divorced, I had quite a few submissives, both as regular play partners and one-offs I topped at dungeon parties.

I wasn’t an inexperienced teenager, but the way my body responded to her, you would have thought I hadn’t had sex for months instead of a week and a half.
In that second or two I had her in my arms, I imagined her naked, her body pressed against mine, her lips on my skin.

God… She was lovely.

She smelled like shampoo and citrus. I wanted to bury my face in her groin and inhale deeply.

I finally pulled myself together enough to respond. “Trying to defy the laws of physics?” I said and smiled as I helped steady her. I glanced down at her shoes once more. “Nice shoes though. Love the leather straps…”

I would love to see her naked, my leather straps binding her body, looping around her tiny waist and over her hips, down between her thighs, splitting her labia…

“Thank you,” she said, straightening up with my help.

At that moment, I wished she were a submissive. She had creamy white skin, and looked to be of Celtic background with green eyes and long golden brown hair. Her shyness suggested she might incline towards submission, especially with someone older, but there was no way of knowing from such a momentary meeting. It was wishful thinking on my part.

She smiled briefly and then turned back to the bar as if she couldn’t wait to get away from me.

Despite my strong response to her, I knew she was right to do so for in that moment, I wanted her the way a wolf wants a doe, the need to possess her completely welling up inside of me more powerfully than it had in a long time.

Run away, little girl. You don’t belong with someone like me.






Book 0.5
Drake Restrained
Goodreads

Book 1

The Agreement
Goodreads



Book 2
The Commitment

Goodreads

Book 3
Unrestrained
Goodreads


S. E. Lund lives with her family of humans and animals in a small city in Western Canada in an old house on a quiet tree-lined street. Besides writing erotic and contemporary romance, she writes paranormal romance and romantic suspense. In her other persona, she writes science fiction and fantasy, science fact, worked in policy analysis, advocates for climate action, plays piano and dreams of living in a warm climate by the ocean. When she was ten, she read Dracula and was warped forever.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

5 Star review for Where We Left Off, Virtual Book Tour with J. Alex Blane



            

Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: J. Alex Blane; 1 edition (February 9, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1481160885
ISBN-13: 978-1481160889

Genre: Christian Fiction/Romance/Suspense




About The Author

J. Alex Blane is an author whose debut Novel “Where We Left Off” was his first break in the literary world of fiction romantic suspense, but definitely not his last as he is currently working on both his second & third novels within the series. A Multi-Media developer by trade; “J. Alex Blane is a talented man whose creativity is exceptional!” – Katrina Coleman (Amazon).
Since Alex could remember, it has always been his dream to write a novel. After nearly eight years of deciding to put a single ballpoint pen to a piece of paper he finally finished placing the last period at the end of the last sentence and introduced readers to Where We Left Off, a story that has evolved into something to this day he will say he never expected and in some cases transcending the definition of its genre.
Alex currently resides in Bear, Delaware with his wife and his two children where they share a small home just right for him to sneak off into a little corner and write more of what he loves and where he is currently at work on his next novel. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Nu Upsilon Chapter in Wilmington, Delaware, a father and a husband. Alex loves to tell a good story, but more than that he loves to make you feel as if you are right there as it’s happening.


About The Book
Some memories you do your best to forget. Others you wish you simply had the opportunity to remember. Mason Everett found himself in the center of both, as he felt the warmth of an autumn sun graze his face through the tinted windows. A successful Real-estate developer, Mason had his picture perfect life. He was young, handsome, wealthy and single. No stranger to keeping relationships at-arms-length he tries to avoided them at all costs living tirelessly by one rule: Never again let anyone close enough to hurt you–
Until he found himself falling for Sydney McCail, a young woman he met at his brother’s wedding. In the midst of a developing relationship Mason’s past begins to surface causing him to push Sydney away in fear of her finding out a secret he’d kept hidden for most of his life. In the wake of a tragic accident she finds what she thought she knew was only the beginning, and what happens from there leaves them both searching for answers to a single question in what turns out to be a startling outcome. Where We Left Off.
Social Links:
Email: jalexblane@gmail.com
Website: http://www.jalexblane.com
Twitter @JAlexBlane

Buy Links:
Amazon ebook: Amazon paperback: /


My 5 Star Review

I was given this book for an honest review.
In the beginning we are introduced to Mason and James and as you read along you find something amiss in the story with no idea where they fit into the story. Then all of a sudden, we are at a bachelor’s party where we meet Jackson, Mason’s eldest brother; it’s a very intense party where everything was allowed and to celebrate the groom’s last night of singleness.
Mason was not very interested in the party as such, but was waiting for a phone call to slip away to a secret rendezvous with Erika. This is a very strange arrangement, but we will leave it there.
On the wedding day Jackson asked Mason to give something to Reign just before the wedding started and while doing it Mason saw this amazing woman and made a point to see her later. He got to know her name and he learned that she wasn’t so easy to flatter and not willing to fall for his charm; he had to work at it, which was a first for him.
Sydney was no one-night stand lady and this lady’s man found himself intrigued with her. Both of them had some issues and hurt to work through at the time. As they become closer to each other a lot of things happened and at some point Mason was blinded with unforgiveness; he jumped on his motorbike and ended up in an accident, which left him in a coma. What happened next will give this book a very good twist which makes this a beautiful love story at the end. You will have to read the book to find out more.
This is really a good story with strong and believable characters; many times you could feel and share their heart ache as you get lost within the plot.
At the end all the pieces fell together and you could understand the story.

Well done J Alex Blane

Tour Hosted by: WNL Book Tours www.wnlbooktours.com



Author Tour Schedule: http://wnlbooktours.com/j-alex-blane/

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Blog tour for Absolution by Amanda Dick. Read an excerpt from this new release and enter the giveaway.





A freak accident, a moment in time, and life changes forever. Stay or go - there's no such thing as the easy way out. 



The accident wasn't his fault but in the horrific aftermath, Jack's actions may have possibly caused consequences he could never have foreseen. Consumed with guilt and unable to listen to reason, he takes the only option he believes is open to him: he disappears. Living a quiet life away from everyone he loves, he drops off the grid but the memories continue to haunt him. 


Four years later, a funeral signals a homecoming fraught with tension as he finally forces himself to face up to the consequences of his actions. Betrayed and angry, his former best friend Callum wants nothing more than to see him disappear once again - for good this time. Meanwhile his ex-girlfriend Ally has moved on and he can see that his return is anything but easy for her. People change, life goes on and things are never as simple as they seem. The past has a habit of catching up with you when you least expect it. 

Living with regret and guilt almost tore him apart, but there is no guarantee that trying to make amends will soothe his soul or help the people he loves the most. 

Courage has many faces. Fighting for what you believe in, no matter what. Showing strength of mind and body when the cards are stacked against you. Rising to the challenge and playing through the pain. 

And yet sometimes, courage means simply standing your ground.

BUY LINKS


EXCERPT

“You want to know if I told her about what happened that night.”

Callum glared at him, and Jack could tell he was on the right track.
“The answer is no, I didn’t. But why the hell didn’t you? You were there, you knew.”
“Because it wasn’t my place to tell her – it was yours.” Callum snapped.
“Jesus, Callum! You just let her think God knows what, all this time?”
“What the hell do you care what she thought! You weren’t here, remember? I didn’t tell her because what the hell would be the point?”
“What would be the point?” Jack repeated indignantly. “She would have known!”
“Known what? That you were a coward? She figured that one out for herself when she woke up and you were gone!”
Jack opened his mouth to speak, but Callum cut him off.
“Don’t you dare come back here and start blaming me or anyone else! No one told you to go – you made that choice yourself.” Callum hissed, eyes blazing. “You did the wrong thing then and by coming back now and stirring it all up again, all you’re doing is making it worse. You’re here for your own selfish reasons, not because of Tom or because of her!”
“I’m trying to make it right!” Jack insisted, heart racing.
“And how in the hell do you think you’re gonna do that?”
Jack stared at him dumbfounded, knowing that he had asked himself that question a million times and come up empty.
“She doesn’t need you anymore. The best thing you can do now is just crawl back into whatever hole you crawled out of and leave her be.”
Jack shook his head determinedly, his heart pounding. “No. I’m not going anywhere, not this time.”
Callum laughed scornfully. “That’s your master plan? Seriously?”
Jack glared at him in silence, his anger mounting.
“Oh come on – you gotta admit, that’s a reckless statement, especially for you.” Callum snorted derisively. “You disappear when the going gets tough, remember?”
Jack clenched his teeth so tight his jaw ached. “That’s not what happened and you know it.”
“Do I? Because that’s what it looked like from where I was standing!”
“You know damn well why I left!” Jack blurted out, his voice thunderous and desperate. “You knew what I did – you were there!”
“Yeah, I knew what you did - big deal! You were trying to save her life - she wouldn’t have blamed you!” he said hotly. “You did the wrong thing, Jack – you should’ve stayed.”
Jack stared at him, his heart racing. He thought about the relationship they used to have – how close they were. Like brothers. And now this; strangers - worse than that; enemies.
“I made a mistake.” he choked. “I won’t make that mistake again.”
Callum shook his head. He stood up straight and took a step backwards, eyeballing Jack as he forced his hands back into his pockets.
“Here’s the thing – you made your choice. Now you have to live with it, just like the rest of us. You can’t change what happened and if you stick around, you’re only gonna hurt her. Is that what you want?”
Jack opened his mouth to reply but Callum didn’t give him a chance.
“She was just starting to get her life back together, after everything she’s been through. Don’t rip it all apart again.” he pleaded quietly, clearly emotional. “Do the right thing this time - leave.”


AUTHOR BIO


Amanda Dick is a night-owl, coffee addict, movie buff and music lover.  She also writes.

Born in Opotiki, New Zealand, she is rather partial to dark chocolate and believes in the power of a good vanilla latte.  She has a passion for the colour green (particularly in clothes and gemstones) and insists there is nothing sexier than a man in a kilt. 

She spent several months traveling around Europe in her late 20’s (there’s a story there – she’ll get around to writing it one day).  After ridding herself of her wanderlust, she met the love of her life (while working to pay off said wanderlust) in Edinburgh, Scotland.  They moved in together the week after their first date – so yes, she believes in love at first sight.  She also believes in Women's Intuition and following your heart. 

She writes on her trusty laptop, predominantly late at night, when it's quiet and interruptions are few.  Most of all, she enjoys writing about human behaviour - love, loss, joy, grief, friendship and relationships in general.  She loves to put normal, everyday people into situations that will test their boundaries.  She is passionately curious about how we, as human beings, react when pushed to the edge. 

After living in Scotland for five years, she has now settled back home in New Zealand, where she lives with her husband and two children.

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