The Civil War is over. But for Sergeant James Taft, there seems to be no end in sight. He had seldom considered what he would do after the war, because he never believed he would live through it.
James briefly returns to Pennsylvania in an unsuccessful attempt to work as a farmer. He then sets out to find peace and somehow vanquish the ghosts in his soul. What he can't possibly foresee, as he rides west, is the epic story of tragedy and triumph that he will take part in.
"It's unfortunate, but true, that darkness must often be complete, before we notice the subtle glimmer of hope." - Doc Jefferies, Ever the Wayward Sky.
~ Teaser ~
As the days passed, James felt himself sinking further into depression. He tried to work on the family farm but couldn't focus on the tasks. Darkness slowly began to swallow him from the inside out.
"Well, we finally pulled that old stump out of the South field." John attempted to sound encouraging at the dinner table.
"That's wonderful. That old tree always irritated your Pa. I'm glad we took care of it, and it is gone." His mother glanced over at James after saying this.
Her son sat staring blankly at his plate of food. He heard nothing they had said.
His mother turned and looked across the table at John, who then glanced over at his wife, Velma. All three now watched James as he held his fork over his food and appeared to be far away.
The two children took notice of what was occurring and began watching their Uncle also.
Realizing the children were watching, Velma stood up and took a pitcher of water over to James.
"Would you like some more water, James?"
He almost shook as he came out of the apparent trance.
"Oh, no Velma, thank you."
Johnny laughed a little, and this caused Grace to giggle as well.
"You children eat now. No playing."
"Yes, Grandma." Both children replied, almost in unison.
James looked around the table with a lost expression on his face.
"I think it'll rain tonight," John said in an attempt to bring supper back on track. "What do you think James?"
"Yes, it might."
He knew something wasn't right. He realized now that he'd been somewhere else. He didn't know what to do about it, though. He glanced around at his family. He loved them dearly, but he didn't belong here. He wasn't sure where he belonged, but he knew now that it wasn't here.
Later, as James lay down to sleep, the rain began. The soft pattering of raindrops outside his window caused a soothing effect, and he drifted into sleep. Then the thunder came, and as James slipped farther into slumber, he found himself on a faraway battlefield again. As the sounds of the storm erupted outside, the cannons roared on the battlefield of James' dream.
"I heard them was Morgan's boys over there, Sergeant."
A young private nervously spoke to Sergeant Taft, who was riding back and forth in front of the men. James reined his horse in to answer the young cavalryman.
"Don't matter who they are, Private! That cavalry unit is protecting the Reb's flank, and we'll run them off the battlefield, or die trying!"
When James said this, the private appeared to calm down. But he was still obviously frightened. All the soldiers appeared concerned. The horses moved underneath them nervously; sensing death to be close at hand. Smoke from the guns drifted through the unit's ranks as James scanned the faces of his men.
He then moved closer to the young private. James thought he might be able to say something to calm the young man, but as he came near, the soldier began to speak.
"I sure got the feeling that I'm going to be one of those that die trying, Sergeant. You ever get that feeling?"
James reined in his mount again, trying to calm it. The horse quivered under him in an apprehensive excitement for the battle at hand. Then, James lied to the young private. He always lied in these situations.
"Almost every day, Private." After James had said this, the man calmed some more. He smiled a little. James smiled slightly as well, and then he thought of several other men that had told him the same sort of thing over the years. They all died on the battlefield after telling him this. The cracking of rifle and cannon fire became intense. He positioned his horse to the front of the unit, ready for battle.
Their lieutenant rode swiftly up from the back of the unit.
"Alright boys, it's time, let's give'em hell."
The lieutenant then pulled his saber out and nodded to their bugler, who immediately sounded the charge. Sergeant Taft spurred his horse just as the lieutenant charged forward.
"Let's go 9th," James yelled out, and his heart began to pound inside his chest.
The ground began to tremble as the horses burst into a gallop.
James looked across the field at the enemy just as bullets began to sing around him.
He became hot as the blood rushed to his head. Then, as always, he slowly became numb as the specter of death approached.
He put the reins in his mouth and lowered his head as if facing a fierce wind. He could now see the enemy’s faces clearly.
As the gap closed, he pulled his saber out with his left hand and his revolver out with his right.
Like what you read? Continue @
~ About the Author ~
Oliver Phipps served in a Special Forces unit of the United States Army and studied at MSC. He has spent much of his life traveling throughout the world. Visiting many countries in Asia as well as Alaska, The Canadian Yukon territories and as far north as the Arctic Circle.
In 2004 Oliver published his first book and continues writing books articles and short stories. He has had eight books on the Amazon bestseller lists at the time this was written, with as many as five on a bestseller list at one time. In June of 2015 Oliver’s novel A Tempest Soul landed the #1 bestseller spot in its category, garnishing Oliver his first number one bestseller.
Currently Oliver and family reside happily in the U.S.
You can find more about it @
EVEN THE BROKEN, THROUGH LOVE, CAN FIND GRACE... Secrets never stay hidden. The burden of guilt never lifts from the heart. Born and raised in The Order of David, Sister Phebe knows nothing but cult life. Head of the Sacred Sisters of New Zion, Phebe was groomed from childhood for one purpose: to seduce. Prized as a harlot, as a New Zion whore, Phebe is taken from the doomed cult by Meister, the notorious leader of the Aryan Brotherhood. Taken as his possession. Taken to be the woman who will obey his every sexual demand. Under his heavy hand, Phebe finds herself in a place much worse than she could ever have imagined... with absolutely no one to help. And no glimpse of hope. Xavier ‘AK’ Deyes is content with his life as Sergeant-At-Arms of the Hades Hangmen. Leader of the infamous ‘Psycho Trio’ and ex-special ops sniper, AK knows how to fight. Experienced in warfare and schooled in military operations, AK is vital to the Hangmen. When his Vice President needs help retrieving his missing sister-in-law, Phebe, from a Klan-funded trafficking ring, AK volunteers to go in. AK remembers the redhead from New Zion. Remembers everything about her from the single time they met—her red hair, blue eyes and freckled face. But when he finds her, heavily drugged and under Meister’s control, her sorry condition causes him to remember more than the beautiful woman he once tied to a tree. Saving Phebe forces hidden demons from his past to return. A past he can never move on from, no matter how hard he tries. As AK fights to help Phebe, and in turn she strives to help him, they realize their secret sins will never leave them alone. Kindred broken souls, they realize the only way they can be rid of their ghosts is to face them together and try to find peace. Despair soon turns to hope, and damaged hearts soon start to heal. But when their deep, painful scars resurface, becoming too much to bear, the time comes when they must make a heavy choice: stay forever damned; or together, find grace. Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and very mature topics. Recommended for age 18 and over.
“Well?” Ky asked. Tanner ran his hand over his head. The brother hadn’t attended one of our cookouts or slutfests in weeks. Not that he ever entertained himself with sluts—still too hard for his piece of pussy down in Mexico. He’d been busy trying to track down Meister. Unlike most of the white-power shit Tanner and Tank grew up with, this Meister was untraceable and off the grid. As much of a computer whizz kid as Tanner was, Meister was proving to be one slippery fucking snake to pin down. “Gotta be honest, I didn’t think I was anywhere close to finding anything on this prick.” Tanner nodded toward Tank. “We knew of him, of course. I knew he had dealings with my father and uncle, just never met him myself. He’s Aryan Brotherhood, but works closely with the Klan. And there’s nothing on him. No email traces, no invoices, no texts. Nothing.” I gritted my teeth and glanced at Styx, who was listening closely. Ky wasn’t originally gonna tell the prez about the plan to get Phebe, because of his fucking wedding, but that didn’t last long. Styx knew something was up with his VP. He read him like I read Flame and Vike. So Ky fessed up, and Styx was all for the plan. He’d had to push his wedding back by a month anyhow to get the pastor Mae wanted to conduct the ceremony, so he had time to kill. “But you found something?” Ky translated as Styx signed. Tanner sighed, the black circles around his eyes showing how hard the brother had been working. “I got something.” He shook his head, and my blood ran cold. I knew whatever he had found wasn’t good. Tanner opened the file in front of him and threw a photograph toward the prez. Styx looked at it, then gave it to Ky. “Some middle-of-nowhere ghost town?” Ky passed the picture around. Vike handed it to me, and I studied it. It was an aerial shot, and the picture was grainy, but from what I could make out, it was just a huge piece of land scattered with decrepit old buildings. I passed the picture along. “Fucker owns this?” Tanner faced me. “Yeah, or at least his father did. He’s dead now, but the deeds are still in his father’s name. Been in the family for decades. Took me a while to trace it.” He shook his head. “Meister is notorious among the Klan. Right, Tank?” “Yeah,” Tank agreed. “Never met him either, but we’d all heard of him. Prick has been mobilizing for years for the race war they think is coming. Real serious, Oklahoma-City-bomb shit. From what we’ve heard, the guy has a one-track mind when it comes to advancing the white race. You think Hitler was fucked up? Well, imagine if he had a kid who was one built motherfucker, with a fucking carbon copy of his psycho mind; and you’ve got Meister. Fucker ain’t even German. Just wishes he was, spouting German phrases around like he’s born and bred Berlin. Delusional asshole.” “This ain’t gonna be easy,” Tanner finished, looking at me, Vike, Flame, Hush and Cowboy. It was the five of us who had agreed to go looking for Phebe. Hush and Cowboy nodded at me to let me know they were still in. “So he’s in this ghost town?” Ky asked, translating Styx’s sign language again. “If so, we’ll all just go in and get him, make the fucker talk and tell us where he’s got Phebe.” Tanner sat forward. “He ain’t just living in the ghost town or hiding out. That’s where he has his enterprise.” “Enterprise?” Ky echoed. It was his own question this time. Tanner nodded. “From what I can tell, it’s a fucking brothel. Members of the Aryan Brotherhood, Klan, or Klan sympathizers, can go there for a night or a few days at a time.” Tank shifted uncomfortably next to him. “Ain’t sure, but I’m thinking it ain’t just getting your dick sucked and fucked. It’ll be real fucked-up shit. If Meister’s reputation is anything to go by, we would be walking into an organized, armed hellhole.” Tanner’s eyes darkened. “I get the Klan has a reputation for being full of backward rednecks. I ain’t gonna lie—growing up, most of my father’s cronies were that way. Thick as fuck and couldn’t do shit without screwing it up. Skinheads, lower-ranked soldiers, you know?” “But there were some members that weren’t,” Tank continued. He cast an embarrassed glance at Tanner. “We weren’t, for starters.” Tanner nodded. “It’s not the norm, but some of us were good. Smart, strong fighters, or just outright fucking psychos. The skinheads and rednecks are the foot soldiers. The likes of us, the likes of Meister, are the fucking SS. The planners, leaders, the generals—the ones who believe in the cause so much that they’re fucking lethal with what they’ll do, what they’re capable of. Meister is true Aryan Brotherhood; he’s preparing for war. He’s the real fucking deal.” “And now he’s in our neck of the woods to stir up shit?” I asked. Tanner nodded. “Comes from northern Texas. Never moved our way before. But the Klan are building day by day, joining forces with other white supremacist gangs—like the Brotherhood—and with the shit that’s on the news twenty-four-seven, blacks and whites at each others throats, he’s moved to the headquarters.” The brother’s jaw clenched. “To my father and uncle, who’ll be protecting him from being found out by the feds.” He sighed and ran his hand down his face. “From what I can figure out, this ghost-town brothel of his has only existed in the last year or so. He’s looking to fund something.” “They ain’t dealing guns?” Cowboy drawled. “I thought that’s what Rider said the contract with the cult was for?” “Rider was sure it was guns. At least it was when he was dealing with the Klan—it was all about arms. The Klan was selling them on and taking a cut.” “His fucking twin,” Hush spat. “He changed the arrangement, didn’t he? When Rider was locked up in cult prison?” “Think so,” Tanner said after a few seconds of silence. “Then what the fuck are they dealing? What was Judah giving them if not Israeli guns?” “Women.”
is the latest installment of the Hangmen series, and as always Tillie Cole never
fails to deliver the exquisite stories of our men and their woman.
is our hero, a well known part of the Psycho trio
of the Hangmen.
Due to past hiccups in life, to the outer eye he appears to
be happy with his buddies, but if you look closer you can see the truth of his hurt
in his eyes. Now he
needs to find that someone that can put the sparkle back in his eyes
and bring joy to his heart.
Phebe is our heroine, as we have learned through past books, this lady has gone through things that most of us can't begin
to comprehend, but she never fights back as she feels this is her burden
to bare. She dreams of the one with angel eyes, she has spotted him before
but knows he will never be there to help her.
But sometimes fate has other ideas and for these two fate has decided to step in and change everything.
This book to me was heartwarming, heartbreaking, awe inspiring and gripping from start to finish.
obstacles this couple have to overcome were so well written that I found
myself there with them, encouraging them to reach out with their mind
and their souls, to get to the one thing they wanted the most. To be
loved and to feel worthy.
will find yourself totally engrossed throughout with this story, the perfect incorporation of secondary characters brings this book to life.
The love that is shown to both AK and Phebe was truly touching.
Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city. After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel. Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters. Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels. When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.
Today we are helping M.E. Carter relaunch her Texas Mutiny series! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today—Juked is free today!
About Texas Mutiny
The Texas Mutiny Soccer team is known for their skills on the soccer field. They work cohesively as a team, and their bond shows.
But off the field, each team member has a unique story.
Daniel Zavaro , Team Captain. A self-proclaimed bachelor who loves nothing more important to Daniel than soccer, his extended family, and his mother’s home cooking. When fate steps in and he inadvertently meets a woman who needs his help, Daniel is Juked by love.
Rowen Flanighan, The Rookie. Son of a legendary forward in the European Premier League, he prefers to be known for his own skills, not his heritage. Full of integrity, he tries to maintain his cool when he meets and falls for the team Groupie.
Santos DeGuajardo, The Veteran. A family man at heart, Santos is madly in love with his wife and kids, yet he still can’t seem to stay faithful. When confronted with his infidelities and the end of his marriage, Santos must figure out if he can win her back or if he has to move on. And as long as he’s the team Goalie, there will always be temptation.
Have you been “Juked” by the boys of the Texas Mutiny yet?
Every author has their own writing process. The things that make them most comfortable and help them reach their goals.
Problem is, characters seem to have a mind of their own and sometimes that means the original process goes out the window!
I experienced that phenomenon over and over while writing the Texas Mutiny series. Here are Ten Fun Facts about the series and how the writing process didn’t exactly go as planned.
1) My youngest child, who most know as “Bug”, is the inspiration for multiple younger characters in the series. When I wrote Juked, baby Chance started out as a two month old – the same age Bug was at the time. When I wrote Goalie, Theo was about 14 months old – the same age Bug was at the time. I try to keep the characters different, but babies/toddlers all tend to be pretty similar in their learning process, so many everyday situations have been added to various scenes.
2) I never planned to write a book about a groupie. But when inspiration hits, there’s not a lot you can do to stop it. I was in my car writing Juked one night, while my daughter was in dance practice. I was researching derogatory terms for “soccer groupie”. (For the record, there are several terms, but nothing I’ve been able to find that is exclusive to the sport of soccer, like “puck bunny” would be to hockey.) Instead, I stumbled across several blog posts from former soccer groupies and I was fascinated. So yes, some of the things that happen in Groupie? They’re not the result of my imagination at work as much as they are based on true stories.
3) I never panned to write Goalie either. One of my beta readers for Groupie mentioned that she would be interested to know what happened with Santos and Mariana, who were at that point, just secondary characters that popped in and out very briefly. I told her there wasn’t a story there. The following morning, I sent her quite a few texts cussing her out, as I suddenly had a 30 chapter outline and story rolling through my brain.
4) Goalie is about a couple going through a divorce. I wrote it while I was going through a divorce. There’s a misconception that I wrote my own divorce story. I didn’t. We could all be so lucky as to divorce a man like Santos. Which is weird to say since he’s a serial cheater. But if you make it to the end, you’ll see why I can wish for that.
5) I’m not a fan of naked torsos on covers, but I wanted to try a “Social experiment”, if you will, about how well a naked torso cover is received. That’s how Juked ended up with a soccer player on the cover. Then it turned into a whole series and I have to keep the covers consistent with more torsos. Serves me right.
6) Speaking of covers, one really cool feature with the paperback, if you put two of them side by side, the second one upside down, and push the covers together, the pictures come together like a puzzle to make one whole person. It works with the covers of Groupie, too. However, it does NOT work with Goalie. If you put those two pictures together, it looks like a threesome with a four-boobed alien woman in the middle. That’s a different genre, altogether.
7) I toyed with just letting the soccer team be the Houston Dynamo, which is our actual team here in Houston. Then the inspiration for Groupie hit and I figured their very real PR department wouldn’t want to have any sort of association with some of the things my players do off the field. And since a lawsuit didn’t fit into my schedule, I very quickly changed the team name.
8) Speaking of changing the team name, I couldn’t come up with one I liked for anything! So I had a contest in my group for one. The winner, Helen Cope, came up with the name “Texas Mutiny”. Not only did she win some books, she is a character in Juked. Remember Rosemary Cope? Erik’s mother? Helen’s middle name is Rosemary and liked the sound of it for the character.
9) In the acknowledgements of each Texas Mutiny book (except Megged) is the name John Marshall. He is the husband of a good friend of mine and has been obsessed with all things soccer since he can remember. He’s in his 40’s and still plays on a competitive league. John has never read a romance book in his life until he beta read the entire series. It’s not uncommon for him to send me notes from his job because he’s gotten caught up in a chapter. His wife has even texted me pictures of him reading my books the day they go live, so he can see the final product! I also been told the conversations they had while he beta read Groupie were, um…. Interesting.
10) My favorite characters in this series, by far, are Tiffany and Rowen. There is something so lovely and wonderful about knowing nothing in your past matters to the person that loves you the most. I love them so much that they are getting a second book, tentatively titled Outswinger. It’s scheduled to release in July.
About the Author
My name is ME Carter and I have no idea how I ended writing books. I'm more of a story teller (the more exaggerated the better) and I happen to know people who helped me get those stories on paper.
I love reading (read almost 300 books last year), hate working out (but I do it anyway because my trainer makes me), love food (but hate what it does to my butt) and love traveling to non-touristy places most people never see.
I live in Houston with my four kids, Mary, Elizabeth, Carter and Bug, who was just a twinkle in my eye when I came up with my pen name. Yeah, I'll probably have to pay for his therapy someday for being left out.
Bombshell, an all-new sexy and swoony standalone from CD Reiss is coming May 1st!
Bombshell by CD Reiss
Publication Date: May 1st, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Hollywood bad boy Brad Sinclair always gets his way, whether it’s the role he wants or the bikini-clad model he has to have. But when a bombshell gets dropped in his lap in the form of a dimpled five-year-old from a forgotten relationship, he knows his life is about to change forever.
Cara DuMont isn’t exactly thrilled when she gets assigned to be the nanny for the latest box-office king. She has one rule: no celebrity fathers, especially single ones with devilish good looks and rock-hard abs.
But as soon as Cara meets Brad and his adorable little girl, she knows she’s in for a world of trouble. Because there’s something about the way Brad looks at her that makes her believe that some rules are meant to be broken…
He was tapping on my bedroom window. It was 2:17 in the morning.
I got out of bed, dressed in sweatpants and black T-shirt and slapped the window open. He practically fell through it, adorable in his wet tuxedo and red eyes.
“I like you. I want you to like me.”
“Go to bed.”
He leaned back out the window, paused. “Do you like me?”
“Against my better judgment, I do.”
He was so drunk he could barely stand.
“Please go to bed.”
He gave me a salute and walked right through a sprinkler, toward the front house. I closed the window. Brad was lying in the grass facedown, arms and legs in a big X, getting sprinkled on.
I could leave him out there.
I could, he deserved it. But I couldn’t.
I put on sneakers and a hoodie and went outside. He was face-first in a mud puddle. The sprinklers had shut off.
He didn’t move. I pulled his arm until he was on his back, then pulled both wrists and pulled forward. If I’m making it sound easy, it wasn’t. I slipped and fell in wet grass, and grunted like a tennis player. But I got him to sitting. Half his gorgeous face was dotted with mud.
No answer. I slapped him. Nothing. Slapped again, harder. He groaned.
Then I pulled my arm back and really hauled off and whacked him.
“You have to wake up. I can’t carry you.”
I crouched, getting my shoulder under his arm.
“Okay, I’m going to count to three. On three, stand up.”
“Do you know you’re beautiful?”
“And you smell like a fruit cup.”
He looked at me, the weight of his head tilting his face at an angle to mine.
“You’re the queen of the house.”
We lurched up. Took a step left. Adjusted. Stood steady.
“Can I just sleep here?”
“No. Nicole isn’t going to find your drunk ass on the lawn in the morning. Lean on me.”
We took one step forward, then two. I held his wrist with one hand and his waist with the other. The front of his tuxedo shirt was brown with mud. I got wet wherever his clothes touched me.
“Do you have fantasies, ever?” He hopped onto a new subject as if it was completely natural.
“Like about what?” I asked. His arm around me, his breath soft in my ear. Even his dependence was kind of a fantasy.
“You know what bothers me about fantasies?”
“Watch this chair here. Whoa.” I pulled him left, narrowly missing tripping over a lounger.
“You never know if you’re getting it right,” he said.
I turned to him, and found his eyes taking up my entire field of vision and my nose two inches from his.
“Like when I fantasize about fucking you.”
We almost tripped on the entrance. I swallowed my lungs, stomach, and heart in one gulp. He was drunk. He didn’t mean it. He never thought about fucking me.
Not Brad Sinclair.
He was my boss.
CD Reiss is a New York Times bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn't pick up she's at the well hauling buckets.
Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master's degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels.
She's frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut which is flattering but hasn't ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood.
If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.
Today we are sharing a teaser reveal for HIDDEN DEPTH by Brenda Rothert. This book is a contemporary romance, standalone, title that will be released on April 25th. Check out the pre-order links for Amazon and iBooks below to reserve your copy now!
Hidden Depth (Lockhart Brothers, #4) by Brenda Rothert
I had it all.
Breaking into the entertainment business as a teenager wasn’t easy. I spent years of my childhood traveling, auditioning and hoping my big break would come. And when I did, I rose to a level I never imagined.
Elle Tyler: model, singer and actress. I couldn’t go anywhere without security anymore. It was everything I ever wanted and more - fame, fortune and worldwide recognition. At age twenty-four, I was living a dream.
But a single act of violence shattered my fairytale existence. In a matter of seconds, all the goodness in me was ripped to shreds. Overnight, the people around me dropped away, moving on to find the next big thing. I gave up on myself, becoming a woman so dark and forlorn I no longer recognized myself.
But the stranger who saved me that day, Justin Lockhart, never gave up on me. He still saw light through my darkness. And as we grew closer, I started to see it, too. And I also started to see that before that terrible day, maybe I didn’t really have it all. Maybe I was always missing the only thing that really matters.
Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.
The Gravity of Us, an all-new gripping and emotional standalone from Brittainy C. Cherry is available now!
The Gravity of Us by Brittainy C. Cherry
Release Date: April 13th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Quirkybird Designs
Graham Russell and I weren’t made for one another.
I was driven by emotion; he was apathetic. I dreamed while he lived in nightmares. I cried when he had no tears to shed.
Despite his frozen heart and my readiness to run, we sometimes shared seconds. Seconds when our eyes locked and we saw each other’s secrets. Seconds when his lips tasted my fears, and I breathed in his pains. Seconds when we both imagined what it would be like to love one another.
Those seconds left us floating, but when reality knocked us sideways, gravity forced us to descend.
Graham Russell wasn’t a man who knew how to love, and I wasn’t a woman who knew how to either. Yet if I had the chance to fall again, I’d fall with him forever.
Even if we were destined to crash against solid ground.
We didn’t know how to act with one another after our first kiss. Our situation wasn’t the norm when it came to building a relationship. We did everything backward. I fell in love with a boy before our first kiss, and he fell for a girl who he wasn’t allowed to have. Our connection, our heartbeats, matched one another in our fairytale world, but in reality, society deemed us as an awful accident.
Maybe we were an accident—a mistake.
Maybe we were never supposed to cross each other’s paths.
Maybe he was only meant to be a lesson in life and not a permanent mark.
But still, the way he kissed me…
Our kiss was as if heaven and hell collided together, and each choice was right and wrong at the same exact time. We kissed as if we were making a mistake and the best decision all at once. His lips made me float higher, yet somehow descend. His breaths somehow made my heart beat faster as it came to a complete halt.
Our love was everything good and bad wrapped in one kiss.
A part of me knew I should’ve regretted it, but the way his lips warmed up the cold shadows of my soul…the way he left his mark on me…
I’d never regret finding him, holding him, even if we only had those few seconds as one.
He’d always be worth those tiny seconds we shared.
He’d always be worth that soul-connecting feeling we created when our lips touched.
He’d always be the one I spent my nights dreaming of being near.
He’d always be worth it to me.
Sometimes when your heart wanted a full-length novel, the world only gave you a novella, and sometimes when you wanted forever you only had those few seconds of now.
And all I could do, all anyone could ever do, was make each moment count.
After we went home that night, we didn’t talk about it at all. Not the following week, either. I focused on Talon. Graham worked on his novel. I believed both of us were waiting for the right time to come up for us to speak about it, but that was the tricky thing about timing: it was never right.
Sometimes you just had to leap and hope you didn’t fall.
There are authors that just know how to drive that
inspirational message straight to the heart, and Brittainy C. Cherry is
one of them. The Gravity of Us and its characters will stay with you for
a long long time.
Let's start by discussing the characters,
there's Lucy who is a free soul, who feels everything ten times more
than any other person, happiness, sorrows, hopes and dreams, she's all
about that. She exudes this joy that is just a beautiful thing to read
about. Then we have Graham, who comes from a house that was never a
home, he's jaded, he's empty inside, he doesn't know how to express all
the emotions bottled inside of him. He's a broken man. But when their
paths crossed can Lucy bring back Graham from the darkness without
sacrificing her light?
"Sometimes the ugliest people were the ones who were more broken."
The writing in this story is simply exquisite, the flow is just perfect
and the way the characters are interwoven pulls the reader to the
beauty of the author's words. There is angst, there are a couple of
funny moments, and there is so much heart in this book. Lucy and
Graham's relationship is slow burn, they developed a beautiful
friendship that with time and Graham's self discovery becomes a romantic
The book leaves you believing that even in the
worst of situations you are strong enough to keep going, that there
might be someone out there destined to show you true journey in life.
"Because that was the thing about hearts- when you thought they were
completely full, you somehow found room to add a little more love."
Hi! I'm Brittainy! Join me as we travel through my mind as a Romance Author. This includes such things as my random thoughts, tricks, tips, things I'm learning, things I'm re-learning, things I'm forgetting, and my weird ways of crafting stories.
First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…
What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.
No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.
I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.
Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.
Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?
She sits quietly as I eat, and shakes her head when I offer her a sandwich section. Because I’m hungry, and because I don’t like the idea of her having to wait for me to eat, I wolf down my food. The brownie follows with a few, quick bites.
Wiping my hands on a napkin, I set the plate and empty can on a side table, and then let out a contented sigh. “Thanks. I needed that.”
Her smile is small and quick. “I should have fed you as soon as you got here.”
“I’m good now.”
Chess braces her hands on the seat and leans forward to watch her feet as we slowly rock the swing. Silence descends, thick and awkward, and for the first time in her presence, I’m at a loss for words.
I don’t know this girl. Not really, and yet I’ve inserted myself into her life with a determination I usually reserve for winning games. Except I have no endgame here. I told her I want to be friends. But how does that work for us?
Our friends and lives couldn’t be any more different. Parties for me are self-congratulatory events, filled with people whose one focus seems to be bolstering my ego, followed by me searching for a quick hookup. And my friends are all part of football in some way. We talk football or sports. It’s a narrow focus life, but it’s my comfort zone. That chafes too, knowing I live a life that seems wild and free to outsiders but is actually small and structured on the inside.
The silence has stretched too long. I should go. But I don’t move. If I go, I know it will be the end of whatever this is. Embarrassment will have me avoiding seeking her out again. Likely, she’ll do the same. And that will be that.
The knowledge sits like a stone on my chest.
“I’m sorry about my friends,” Chess says. “They can be uncomfortably brazen.”
“So can mine.” I shrug. “Your friends are…fun.”
Her lips pull tight. “They can be. But they were definitely giving me—and by extension—you shit tonight.” She bites her bottom lip. “I don’t think they know what to make of you.”
“So I wasn’t imagining things.”
The novel sensation of being a fish tossed into the wrong pond grows. I’ve taken away Chess’s fun by coming here, and I’m sorry for it.
“I shouldn’t have asked you to come here,” Chess says in a low voice.
She’s only echoing my thoughts but the stone sitting on my chest pushes harder against my ribs.
Chess makes a small sound, as if she’s trying to laugh but can’t. “Parties suck when you arrive halfway through and don’t know anyone.”
“I know you,” I point out quietly.
She turns and the porch light illuminates her face. Green eyes met mine and hold, as a slow, true smile curls over her cherry lips. Something inside of me shifts and slides. I want to kiss Chester Copper. Haul her onto my lap and make out with her like we’re teenagers hiding out at our parents’ party. But that’s not what she invited me here for.
“I wanted to see you,” she confesses in that husky morning voice that goes straight to my cock. She turns away and stares out into the darkness. “It’s weird, you know? But hanging out with you was so unexpected it kind of felt like I imagined the whole thing.”
I know exactly what she means. My hand settles next to hers, close enough that our pinkies touch. That small point of contact sparks along my skin, makes me want to move closer. I hold steady because I don’t trust myself not to act. “I wanted to see you too,” I tell her. “It’s been a long fucking day.”
I hadn’t planned to admit that, but it feels good to tell her.
Chess eases back against the seat and then curls her fingers over mine with a light squeeze. The unexpected touch holds all my attention. It’s nothing more than a simple offer of comfort, and here I am twitching in my seat as if she’d cupped my dick instead. I’m in so much trouble here because this woman is getting to me in ways I don’t know how to navigate. But I don’t pull away. Not one fucking chance of that.
Chess speaks, pulling me attention back to our conversation. “So tell me about it.”
I can’t remember the last time anyone asked me to tell them about my day. Likely, no one ever has.
So I do. And with every word that leaves my mouth, a little bit more of my stress eases. No, I don’t yet truly know Chess. And yes, our lives are different. But there’s no way I’m ending this. Because when it’s just her and me, everything else falls away. I’m not going to let myself forget that again.
About the Author
Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.