Peace of Infinity Release Blitz: Excerpt & More

Title: Peace of Infinity
Author: Maegan Abel
Release Date: Sept 19, 2016
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Soul Mates.
Two words that bring out a wide range of meanings, depending on who you’re asking.
According to Evangelie Walker, the women in her family are cursed. She’s watched this curse run rampant her entire life and she’s not about to fall into the trap. To protect herself, Evie keeps everyone at arm’s length, aside from her sister, Cara.
Things are a little different for Gavin Jericho. He’s spent his life waiting for Evie, just like he always does. He knows, without a doubt, she’ll appear at some point and the hollow ache he always feels during the wait will give way to the completeness she brings.
There are theories about soul mates ranging anywhere from completely romanticized Fiction to scientific belief of one soul separated into two bodies. But is it a blessing or a curse to be tied so undeniably to another soul?
Can you find peace in your Infinity?
I wanted to scream. I wanted to beg him to look at me, really look at me, and tell me how to let him in the way he wanted. I just wasn’t enough, even though I tried. And that killed.
“I’m the kind of bitch who is usually proud of that title. I’m the kind of bitch who wears that title like fucking armor.” My voice wobbled and it pissed me off. His expression didn’t change and that just hurt more. How could he bring me to the brink of breaking and not even care? “I’m the kind of bitch who is just barely not bitch enough to pretend that it doesn’t bother me that you see me as a bitch.”
He pushed up, coming to stand right in front of me again, and I did everything in my power not to run away from him and the damage he could cause. This was only the beginning of what Infinity could do and I knew that, but I wasn’t sure I could stop it now. His hand lifted, almost like he was going to touch me, but at the last second, he raked his fingers through his own hair instead. “You’re trying to protect yourself from the wrong things, Evie. You’re guarding yourself on the wrong side and I’m afraid—no, I’m actually fucking terrified that by the time you open your eyes and see that, it’s going to be too late.”
Maybe it was already too late.
“It’s easier to give up everything now than to see how good it can really be and lose it,” I whispered, keeping my eyes on his with a great deal of effort.
He shook his head. “That’s just it. You won’t lose it. This thing between us, that’s the way it works. We all live, we all die, we all start over. The best part of that is knowing that when we start over, we have someone there the next time. And the next.” He sighed and this time he cupped my cheeks with his warm hands. I hadn’t taken the time to really enjoy the way his big hands felt when they touched me. Any part of me. I needed to. “This is the beauty of Infinity. This. Us. Knowing we will always find one another again.”
I had no words. None.
He bent his forehead to mine and closed his eyes. My body shuddered as his sigh washed over me, then he tilted his head up and pressed his lips to my forehead.
“I meant what I said earlier,” he whispered against my skin, the position keeping me from being able to see his face. “I have always loved you. And I always will.” It hit me all at once then. His words felt like goodbye, and it terrified me. My hands came up of their own accord, grabbing his back near his shoulders as if I could hold him to me…as if I could keep us together by sheer force of will.
But I couldn’t find my voice. My fear choked me and kept me from saying the words that would make him stay.
Maegan despises writing about herself in the third person. She also hates touting her accomplishments like she thinks she’s really done anything special…
Now that we got that out of the way, I’ll tell you what you need to know. I was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I went back to school in my late twenties and studied Stage Production Technology. I now work full-time in the alterations shop of a major department store and part-time backstage in the various theatres around the area.
I’ve been an avid reader from a very young age and the top goal on my list of things to accomplish in my life was to write and publish a book. During the summer of 2013, while working backstage on The Lion King, I read eleven books in four weeks. I read my first New Adult book and was introduced to a genre I felt I could totally relate to. The idea for Perfectly Broken and the character of Lili was born backstage during that time.
   

 

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Just Friends By Monica Murphy Blog Tour: Review

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Just Friends by Monica Murphy

Release Date: September 13th, 2016
Genre: New Adult Romance

 

Synopsis:

It’s the end of summer. Just before I start senior year with my two best friends in the whole world. Dustin and Emily are everything to me. We’ve been inseparable since middle school, and when we’re together, nothing can go wrong.

But things aren’t always what they seem. Em’s turned into a drunken mess who parties too much. Dustin and I have hooked up a few times―and now he’s ready to take our relationship to the next level. Yet I’m not sure I want things to change. I’m scared if I take it any further with Dustin, our friendship will be ruined forever. Then there’s Ryan. The new guy. He’s hot. He flirts way too much. And Em has totally set her sights on him.

So when my best friend betrays me in the worst possible way, guess who’s there to help me pick up the pieces of my broken heart? Ryan. But he’s so confusing. Annoying. Sweet. Sexy. I want to trust him, yet he makes it so hard. What I really want is for everything to go back to the way it was before.

Before I found out that best friends make the worst kind of enemies.

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2cu3XZM

Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2bHAn2k
iBooks: http://apple.co/2aeSduM
B&N: http://bit.ly/2bIDYNr
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2bNGXUX
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2bIEISO
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2bhsEbM
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2byYFg7

My Review:

Drama, drama drama. If you like some serious drama then I suggest you grab your popcorn and get ready for the show. I seriously thought I jumped back into my high school days with all the intermingling of friends.

Livvy visits her dad in Oregon for the summer. When she gets back everything has changed. Her best friend Em seems to be high or drunk all the time and is having 24/7 parties but people she never would have even spoken to before. On top of that she’s all over the new guy who Livvy came seem to get away from. Being their senior year they knew things were going to be different but they didn’t realize the extent that it would come to. Betrayal from every direction and constantly being blindsided seems to be Livvy’s new reality. Once things seem like they are starting to die down and find some semblance of normalcy, everything blows up again.

I loved that we are constantly hit with curve balls. Livvy was such a strong character and she stood her ground most of the time and wasn’t persuaded easily. Each character was well developed and you really got to know the ins and out of each character. Once again Monica Murphy kills it and takes us for a crazy ride.

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About the Author:

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

 

Connect with Monica:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MonicaMurphyauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MsMonicaMurphy
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2c9ViiI
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bRP5bR
Website: http://monicamurphyauthor.com
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/IW5U0y

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The Trouble With Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis Excerpt Reveal

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes a captivating story of love, second chances and new beginnings…

We are thrilled to bring you this excerpt from Jill Shalvis’s upcoming release, THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE! This second standalone novel in The Heartbreaker Bay Series is releasing September 27th! Don’t miss the excerpt below, and make sure to preorder your copy today!

 

THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE - cover

About THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE:

If she has her way…

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her…

…He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him…

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice…

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but he doesn’t even remember her. How can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish–and let the mistletoe do its work…

Pre-Order THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE in ebook or paperback, releasing 9/27/16

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo| Barnes & Noble

Add to your Goodreads

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EXCERPT:

She watched Keane take in the two newest Christmas trees, one in front of O’Riley’s Pub, the other in front of Reclaimed Woods, both decorated in simple red and gold balls. The only sound around them was the soft trickle of the water flowing from the fountain and some lovelorn crickets mourning the dawn’s lack of warmth.

“Legend states that if you make a wish with a true heart, true love will find you,” she said.

He met her gaze. “Legend also states that if you put your tooth under your pillow the Tooth Fairy will leave you cash.”

She slowed, as always the fountain calling to her to make a wish. Keane slowed too, looking at her with a question.

She searched her pockets for change, but could only come up with a dog treat. “Damn.” It was the swear jar’s fault, all her spare change always ended up in there.

“What?”

“I wanted to make a wish,” she said.

A small smile crossed his face. “You want to make a wish? You’ve lived here for how long and you’ve never made one?”

“Oh, I have.” She paused. “I like to.”

This garnered her a raised brow. “How many times have you wished?”

She bit her lower lip.

“More than once?”

Well, crap. How had they gotten on this subject? “Um…”

“More than…five?”

“Gee, would you look at the time?” she asked and tried to go but he caught her and brought her back around, his smile now a broad grin.

“Fine,” she said. “If you must know, I toss a coin in every time I walk by.”

He lost the battle with his laughter and she stared at him. Seriously, he had the best laugh. “It worked for Pru, I’ll have you know,” she told him. “She wished for true love to find Finn, and then he fell in love with her.”

And Willa had been wishing ever since, even knowing how ridiculous and silly it was.

“So…you’ve been wishing for true love for who exactly?” he asked.

She stared at him in dismay. How had she not thought this through? “Me,” she admitted, slapping her pockets because surely she had even a penny. “But I intend to fix that right now. I’ll just wish for love for someone else.”

“Who?” he asked warily.

She narrowed her eyes at his fear. “You. Got any change?”

 

 

SWEET LITTLE LIES - cover

And don’t miss the first novel in Jill Shalvis’ Heartbreaker Bay Series, SWEET LITTLE LIES, now available! Grab your copy HERE!

 

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Jill Shalvis - headshotAbout Jill Shalvis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp

 

 

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Just Friends by Monica Murphy Release Day Blitz

Just Friends by Monica Murphy

Release Date: September 13th, 2016
Genre: New Adult Romance

Just Friends AMAZON.jpg

Synopsis:

It’s the end of summer. Just before I start senior year with my two best friends in the whole world. Dustin and Emily are everything to me. We’ve been inseparable since middle school, and when we’re together, nothing can go wrong.

But things aren’t always what they seem. Em’s turned into a drunken mess who parties too much. Dustin and I have hooked up a few times―and now he’s ready to take our relationship to the next level. Yet I’m not sure I want things to change. I’m scared if I take it any further with Dustin, our friendship will be ruined forever. Then there’s Ryan. The new guy. He’s hot. He flirts way too much. And Em has totally set her sights on him.

So when my best friend betrays me in the worst possible way, guess who’s there to help me pick up the pieces of my broken heart? Ryan. But he’s so confusing. Annoying. Sweet. Sexy. I want to trust him, yet he makes it so hard. What I really want is for everything to go back to the way it was before.

Before I found out that best friends make the worst kind of enemies.

Add to Goodreads

 

 

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Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2bHAn2k
iBooks: http://apple.co/2aeSduM
B&N: http://bit.ly/2bIDYNr
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2bNGXUX
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2bIEISO
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2bhsEbM
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2byYFg7

About the Author:

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

Connect with Monica:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MonicaMurphyauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MsMonicaMurphy
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2c9ViiI
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bRP5bR
Website: http://monicamurphyauthor.com
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/IW5U0y

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Excerpt Reveal For Just Friends by Monica Murphy!!

SBPR-JF-ER.jpg

Just Friends by Monica Murphy

Release Date: September 13th, 2016
Genre: New Adult Romance

Just Friends AMAZON.jpg

Synopsis:

It’s the end of summer. Just before I start senior year with my two best friends in the whole world. Dustin and Emily are everything to me. We’ve been inseparable since middle school, and when we’re together, nothing can go wrong.

But things aren’t always what they seem. Em’s turned into a drunken mess who parties too much. Dustin and I have hooked up a few times―and now he’s ready to take our relationship to the next level. Yet I’m not sure I want things to change. I’m scared if I take it any further with Dustin, our friendship will be ruined forever. Then there’s Ryan. The new guy. He’s hot. He flirts way too much. And Em has totally set her sights on him.

So when my best friend betrays me in the worst possible way, guess who’s there to help me pick up the pieces of my broken heart? Ryan. But he’s so confusing. Annoying. Sweet. Sexy. I want to trust him, yet he makes it so hard. What I really want is for everything to go back to the way it was before.

Before I found out that best friends make the worst kind of enemies.

Add to Goodreads

 

Excerpt:

“Liv! Finally you’re here.” She curls her arm around my shoulders and forces me to face Ryan, who’s still sitting on the edge of the bed with his legs spread in that way boys sit, wearing only swim trunks again. Does the guy ever wear actual clothes? “We’ve been waiting for you. Tell Ryan hello.”

“Hello,” I say in a monotone voice, incredibly uncomfortable from interrupting what was surely a private hookup moment. He smiles and rises to his feet, smoothing a hand over his rumpled hair, his biceps bulging with the movement. Hair Em was probably responsible for rumpling. “Hey, Livvy.”

Tingles race over my skin and I force myself to ignore the signs that I might be attracted to this boy who just had his tongue in my best friend’s mouth. I don’t even know him. It’s purely a physical thing, as in every single thing that makes him up physically, I find attractive.

And I shouldn’t. He doesn’t belong to me. He belongs to Em. I should be thinking about Dustin.

Not Ryan.

“I’m so glad you’re finally here.” Em turns toward me, and envelopes me in a warm hug, her mouth on my neck as she starts to speak again. “I’ve missed you.”

I hug her back, my gaze meeting Ryan’s as I say, “I’ve missed you too.”

He sends me a playful, rolling eyes look that I ignore.

Em kisses my neck and pulls away, her blue eyes bright, her cheeks flushed. She’s wearing a white lacy cover up over a black string bikini and her chin-length, gold-streaked bob is tucked behind her ears. She’s effortlessly gorgeous, all rosy from kissing a cute boy for who knows how long. “Now that you’re here the party can start.”

I laugh and shake my head. “Looks like it’s already been going for the last few days.”

Em rolls her eyes and lets go of me, heading for her dresser. “I was just biding my time until you showed up.”

“So I bring the party?” I tease, meeting Ryan’s gaze once more.

“You definitely bring something,” he tells me before pulling me into a tight hug. My chest presses against his, my arms going around his waist for the briefest moment before I release him and back far away.

He makes me nervous.

“Aw, I love that you guys are already hugging!” Em cries as she watches us.

Guilt swamps me but Ryan just smiles. “I’ll leave you girls alone.” He looks at me. “See you at the pool.”

And then he’s gone.

The air seems to cool the moment he’s le the room and

I go to stand next to Em, watching as she digs through the top drawer of her dresser. It’s an elaborate piece of furniture, cream-colored with an endless number of drawers, every one of them stuffed full of clothes. The one she’s digging through now is over flowing with lacy scraps of fabric. There are panties in every style and color, boy shorts and thongs and bikinis, some of it standard, most of it sexy.

Her underwear drawer is like Em in a nutshell.

“So how’s your summer been? Besides the partying and hanging out with the popular crowd? Have you done anything else?” I’m trying to make conversation but she’s hardly paying attention to me.

“It’s been so boring without you here,” she says, her head practically buried in that drawer.

I think she’s saying that to make me feel better. Not that she needs to. I’m a big girl. She’s allowed to have fun when I’m not around.

“What are you looking for?” I ask.
“A black lacy thong I bought last week.” She lifts her head and smiles at me. “I want to wear it tonight.”
“But aren’t we going swimming?”
Em blows out a frustrated breath. “Yeah, but I don’t want to forget. I want to wear it for…” Her voice drifts and she purses her lips.

“Ryan?”

She sighs and slams the drawer shut, turning to look at me. “Well, yeah. But it’s no big deal. We’re just friends.”

I raise a brow. “Is that what you call it? Because I hate to break it to you, but you were kissing him just a few minutes ago, and he had his hand on your boob.”

“So crude.” She nudges my shoulder with hers. “Voyeur.”

“Just stating facts. Facts I saw with my own eyes.” I pause, but she doesn’t say anything. “I don’t get why you can’t say that you like him and he likes you. What’s the big deal?”

“Because he refuses to make this a big deal so I can’t, okay? He told me straight up that we’re going to be just friends and that’s it.”

 

Just friends teaser tuesday

Pre-Order Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2bHAn2k
iBooks: http://apple.co/2aeSduM
B&N: http://bit.ly/2bIDYNr
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2bNGXUX
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2bIEISO
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2bhsEbM
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2byYFg7

About the Author:

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.

She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

Connect with Monica:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MonicaMurphyauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MsMonicaMurphy
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2c9ViiI
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bRP5bR
Website: http://monicamurphyauthor.com
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/IW5U0y

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Book Review: Confessions of a Wedding Planner by Michelle Jo Quinn

WeddingPlannerConfessions of a Wedding Planner
by Michelle Jo Quinn
(Bliss #1)
Publication date: July 26th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Blurb:

He may be the best man, but he’s the worst man for her…

Wedding planner, Veronica Soto-Stewart believes everyone deserves a fairy tale–even her ex-boyfriend. Unable to refuse his request, and with the help of Bliss Events motley crew, she finds herself creating the most magical event for the perfect couple.

But nothing is ever perfect…

And not all happy ever afters can be planned…

Levi Laurent can’t believe his luck. Thanks to his best friend’s wedding, he finally has a shot at the woman he’s always wanted–Veronica. From San Francisco to Paris, and back, he pulls out all the stops, so she knows where she really belongs–with him. But Veronica wants nothing to do with the rich, sexy, irresistible playboy.

Can Levi convince Veronica that her perfect happily ever after is closer than she ever realized?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30797311-confessions-of-a-weddingplanner

My review:

I CAN’T CONTAIN ALL THE FEELS I HAVE FOR THIS BOOK. I mean seriously guys, this book was incredible. I haven’t enjoyed a book like this is so long. I felt all the emotions and felt like I was inside the book. I laughed so hard a few times that I’m pretty sure my neighbors think I’m a nut. I went through a phase that I wanted to be a wedding/event planner and then I wanted to be a baker and make beautiful wedding cakes so it was like living that dream through this book.

Veronica is an event planner who wants her happily ever after but not just with anyone, she wants her ex. After 3 months she finally gets a call from Jake asking to meet. The last thing she expected was for him to ask her to be his wedding planner, with another woman. The entire thing because a nightmare. His future wife is insanely stunning and has a perfect french accent. Jake and Sandrine want Nica involved in everything to the point that they even want her in the wedding. Both Jake and Sandrine are surgeons so there are many times that they are not able to be there for meetings and instead send Levi, the best man and hot-headed sexy asshole. The last thing she expected was for Levi to constantly be in her personal bubble and making comments that make in blood boil in all the good ways.

Originally all I wanted was for Nica to get a backbone and completely ruin the wedding and steal the groom even though that’s a total a’hole move. Once Levi really got in the picture and starting making her do things she would never do and him showing this whole new side. I died. I mean I’ve had book boyfriends but Levi takes the gold. I wanted to jump in that book and snatch him up.

Like I said before, this book was so well written and just amazing. If you love a good romance and you want to laugh and fall in love; get this book!! It was seriously incredible and one of my favorites of 2016.

Purchase:
AUTHOR BIO
Michelle’s love for writing blossomed when her father gave her a diary, but instead of recounting her daily life, she wrote stories of fictional people. Like most of her characters, she believes in Happily Ever After. Naturally, she finds harmony in writing romance. She enjoys creating stories that make readers laugh, cry and fall in love.

An unabashed, self-proclaimed foodie, Michelle loves to try new food whenever she travels. She once had triple crème Brie and duck rillette for lunch on top of Grouse Mountain.

She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, two kids and a pup named Scarlet.

Author links: 
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Chasing Castles by Jiffy Kate Release Day Blitz

Title: Chasing Castles

Series: Finding Focus #1
Release Date: Aug 30, 2016
Add to Goodreads
Long before Dani Reed and Micah Landry, there was the story of Deacon and Camille.
Camille Benoit loved to express herself on canvas and was a dreamer at heart. The small farm she was born and raised on bordered the Landry Plantation, providing her with prime real estate for daydreaming. Even though she spent a lot of time with her head in the clouds, one thing she was always certain about were her feelings for Deacon. He might’ve been two years older and one of her brother’s best friends, but none of that mattered to Cami. 
Deacon Landry, older brother to Micah, was the local football star. The town might’ve put him on a pedestal, but he always had his feet firmly planted in the rich Louisiana soil. With all of his skills on and off the field, a good head on his shoulders, and a heart of gold, he was quite the catch, and everyone knew it, especially his long-time best friend, Cami.

I know we’ve done things slowly, but I’ve loved you since I knew what it meant to love someone. “

He is all her heart has ever known. Her past, present and future.  But will the future live up to her dreams?
Join Jiffy Kate in this second book of the Finding Focus series as they take you back to where it all started. 
Sitting in front of a half-painted easel in the middle of my little studio with the window shades drawn for the perfect lighting, I stop painting and lay my brush to the side. As I wipe my hands on my smock, I listen closely as a siren from an emergency vehicle draws near.
 
Any sort of action is noticed in a town the size of French Settlement. If Ms. Becky burns a cake, the whole town knows about it. And the day Mr. Johnson’s truck got stuck in the pond, practically every person was there to witness the fire department getting it unstuck.
 
Yes, the fire department, because, generally, they don’t have a lot to keep them busy.
 
So, sirens this close to town, especially on a Saturday morning, are a rare thing.
 
I watch out the window and listen for a minute or two as the sirens seem to get closer. Unable to curb my curiosity, I walk from the back of the studio, through the gallery, and out onto the sidewalk.
 
No one is around. My SUV is the only vehicle on the street. So, it doesn’t surprise me when the sirens get further away. There must be something going on out on the highway.
 
My heart skips a beat because I hate thinking about anyone being in a wreck or anything like that. As I walk back into the gallery, I say a quick prayer for whoever it is. Normally, that’s enough to help me relax. I always pray when I drive by a wreck or see an ambulance fly by.
 
But, as I sit back down at my easel and pick my paint brush back up, my heart still feels like it’s in my throat.
 
As I wait for another minute, still hearing sirens off in the distance, I decide to calm my nerves with a call to Annie. Carter is staying out there with her and Sam this morning because my daddy and Kay went into Baton Rouge to buy a new sofa.
 
“Hey, honey.” Annie’s voice sounds calm and chipper, so I try to make my stomach take a cue from her.
 
“Hey, Annie.”
 
“How’s it going this morning? Everything alright?”
 
“I was calling to ask you the same,” I say, laughing at my paranoia. Since Carter came into my life, I have a tendency to be a bit over-protective. I now understand why my daddy was always keeping a tight rein on me when I was little. It would kill me when he wouldn’t let me do everything the boys did. But now I get it. I don’t know how I’d feel if Carter had been a girl. Being the mom of a boy is bad enough. It might be worse on some levels because boys can be such little dare devils.
 
“Everything is right as rain out here,” she says, with a clang of a pot in the background. “Me and Carter are whippin’ up some banana nut muffins.”
 
“Sounds delicious.”
 
“We’ll be sure to save you some.”
 
“Don’t let Deke eat them all.”
 
“You’re in luck. He went into the restaurant to finish up some paperwork.”
 
“I thought he was takin’ the day off.”
 
“Well, he said if you were gonna be busy all day at the gallery, he might as well get ahead on some ordering.”
 
“Okay,” I say, the nervous ball back in my stomach. “Did Micah go in with him?”
 
“No, Micah’s in Baton Rouge this mornin’. He must’ve stayed at the apartment last night.”
 
“Okay.”
 
“I think these muffins are ready to go in the oven. What do you think, Carter?” I can hear Carter telling her they’re ready. He loves being in the kitchen with Annie. I think he takes after his Uncle Micah in that sense. “Will we see ya for lunch?”
 
“Yeah, I should be done by then.”
 
After I hang up with Annie, I still can’t get the worry to go away. I think about taking a drive out to the highway just to check things out myself, but that would be silly. I’m not sure what’s going on, but whatever it is, I doubt they need an extra rubber-necker.
 
So instead, I sit back down on my stool and hit send on Deacon’s number, smiling as his handsome face comes up on the screen of my phone.
 
“It’s Deacon Landry. Sorry I missed your call. Please leave a message.”
 
I pull the phone away from my ear and frown at the screen, hitting end and immediately hitting the button to call again.
 
Voicemail.
 
Maybe he left his phone in his truck?
 
He does that sometimes.
 
Taking a deep breath as I try to stay calm, I begin to pace around the room as I call the restaurant. Normally, if Deacon’s doing paperwork, he won’t answer the phone, but if he’s at his desk and sees it’s me, he will.
 
After five rings, the long message for Pockets comes over the phone.
 
“Thank you for calling Pockets, Home of the Gator Pocket. Our hours are Monday through Thursday, eleven to eleven. Friday and Saturday, two to two. We’re located on Highway 16. You can’t miss us. Hope to see you soon!”
 
I don’t know why I listen to the entire message. It’s not like Deacon can answer once the voicemail picks up.
 
Staring at the phone, I hit redial for the restaurant, letting it ring until the message starts over.
 
Hang up.
Redial.
 
After three more tries, I call Deacon’s phone again.
 
Still no answer.
 
I can’t ignore the feeling in the pit of my stomach. There’s no way I can paint like this, so I might as well drive out to the restaurant and see for myself. I’m sure everything is fine, and I’ll have wasted fifteen minutes of my day, but I can’t relax until I know he’s okay.
 
As I pick up my purse and keys, my phone rings in my hand. I let out a relieved sigh until I see that it’s not Deacon who’s calling.
 
“Hello?”
 
“Cami.” Sam’s voice comes over the phone, and he sounds worried, which makes my heart beat even faster, and my knees feel weak. I don’t even need him to tell me something’s wrong. I know it. I can feel it deep in my bones.
In case you didn’t notice, there are two of us. We’re both from the south, one just a little further than the other.Jiff was born and raised in Louisiana. She’s now living in Texas with her two teenagers and a bulldog named Georgia Rose. She loves purple and 80’s movies and geeking out at Comic Cons.Jenny Kate was born and raised in Oklahoma. She’s the mom of a twelve-year-old and two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Wrigley and Oliver. She also loves Kris Bryant, the Chicago Cubs and coffee.Some people think we’ve been friends forever, but in reality, we’ve only known each other for five years. Four of those years, we’ve spent spinning tales and writing words. Our first published book, Finding Focus, was released in November 2015.If you like a romance set in the south, then you’ll love our southern fried fiction with heart and soul.
 
   

 

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