Wednesday, May 20, 2015

WiP Wednesday- Six Weeks

This is the first chapter of Britton's book (from Seven Days)!

Chapter 1

I swear I was minding my own business, just walking down Mill Ave toward a restaurant I promised I’d meet my calculus study group. The February air was warmer than usual, so I’d been able to wear a long dress instead of needing jeans or a jacket, but all of that couldn’t have prepared me for him.

I’d just walked through the breezeway area of the Brickyard building when I found my back pushed against the wall. Given my past, I should’ve come out swinging, maybe went for his balls, but instead, I let his spicy scent engulf me as his soft lips pressed against mine. His hands tangled in my thick auburn hair as he tilted my head to deepen our kiss.

Aside from his cologne and his lips, I didn’t get a good look at him before I found myself in this position, but I yield to him anyway. Just as I start to melt into his embrace, he pulled away just enough that his warm breath still touched my swollen lips and I could lift my heavy lidded brown eyes to take in his teal eyes. 

Holy shit.

I didn’t even know someone could have eyes that were so unreal. My breath caught in my chest as I stared into his blue-green eyes, the black ring around his irises making the color look even more incredible. Too long, jet black hair is swept over his forehead and I thought I’d just fallen in love.
“Sorry,” he mumbled, holding my gaze. “Can you see if there are any guys on the street looking around like they lost something?” he requested.

Shifting my eyes over his shoulder and slightly down the sidewalk, I saw what he was asking. Two extremely large, extremely scary men were arguing with each other and gesturing back toward our direction.

“Yeah,” I whispered.

“Okay,” he nodded, reaching down to lace his fingers through mine. “Ready? One…two…three…GO!” he whispered loudly, taking off back through the breezeway leading back toward the Arizona State University campus. Before I was fully able to register what was going on, I found myself being dragged with him, running at my top speed to keep up.

“What’s going on?” I called after him.

“Where’s your car?” he shot back.

“I walked from my dorm,” I supplied, starting to pant with the exertion of the run, my adorable bejeweled flip flops cutting into the tops of my feet.

“Shit,” he cursed, shooting a quick glance behind us and changing course. “We’ll have to lose them on the train,” he said, pulling me toward the light rail station and pushing me on ahead of him just as the doors on the eastbound train closed.

As the train lurched into motion, I finally looked back in the direction we’d come to find those same men running toward the station. Luckily, we’d been much faster than them. Before I could catch my breath, the station that would drop us off in the thick of campus approached and I found my hand, once again, entwined with the stranger beside me.

“Get us to your room,” he commanded, pulling me from the platform toward one of the liberal arts dorms. Unfortunately for him, I wasn’t a liberal arts major.

“This way,” I groaned with an eye roll and dragged him in the opposite direction, still not entirely sure why I was just going along with him. “Wait,” I stopped in the middle of a busy walkway, soliciting angry glances and people dodging us to continue on their way. “Why am I doing this?”
“Help me, please,” he turned me toward him again and pleaded, those dangerous teal eyes keeping me from refusing him. “Once we get somewhere safe, I’ll explain. I promise.”

“Fine,” I allowed, knitting my brows and pulling him toward my room again, weaving through lunch time University traffic.

“Shit,” he choked when we finally approached my dorm. “Honor dorms.”

“And?” I asked with a slight sneer.

“Nothing,” he shook his head and continued to follow me. “You’re too hot to be smart enough to live here.”

“I promise not to take offense to that,” I said, leading him through the courtyard area toward my room on the sixth floor. The dorm had the best set up to hide out my new friend. My scholarship had me living with three other girls in a suite-like set up. My assigned roommate, however, was playing house with her boyfriend of three minutes off-campus, which meant that I had the equivalent of a single.

As soon as we breached the door to my bedroom, I broke from him and folded my arms over my chest. I couldn’t think about how cold my hand felt now that it wasn’t in his. I was smarter than this. I shouldn’t be losing my shit because he kissed like some kind of God. It just meant he had practice, lots of it. 

After watching my sister for the last seven years give up a chance for a better life over and over again for me, I knew that getting tangled up with the man in front of me would be a colossally bad idea. He’d already involved me in whatever he’d been running from, and dumb little me had run right along with him. Did bad boys have stupid elixir on their lips that had inexperienced girls following them wherever they led?

“You’re safe,” I said, finding my voice for the first time since we made it to my room, which somehow seemed smaller with him in it. “Explain.”

“Thanks,” he nodded, sitting on my absentee roommate’s bed. “Why do girls think it’s okay to lie?” he asked me, point-blank.

“That’s not explaining,” I answered, tapping an impatient toe on the thinly carpeted floor.

“Whatever,” he mumbled before taking a deep breath. “There’s this girl-”

“That’s already been established, can we get to the part where two big ass guys chased after us? Or maybe just to the part where you thought it was okay to accost me on the street and drag me along for the ride?” I interrupted, trying and failing to keep the anger out of my voice. Now that we were out of the situation, I was mad. “I had plans, you know. Plans that I’m now missing thanks to this little clusterfuck you’ve pulled me into.”

“I’m Finn, by the way,” he offered, giving me a smirk that, I’m sure, made most girls swoon. But I wasn’t- fuck, who was I kidding, I was totally one of them. “And I didn’t see you trying to pull away. In fact, I believe there was avid participation from your end,” he pointed out, causing whatever warm and fuzzy feelings his smirk set in motion to die on the spot.

“Regardless,” I rolled my eyes and signaled for him to continue.

“And you are?” he prompted.

“Pissed off and about to kick you out of here unless you tell me why I needed to find you shelter.”

“Fine,” he sneered, but sparkle in his captivating eyes gave away how much our banter was affecting him. “So, I have this friend,” he paused to stand and clear his throat before he began pacing the length of my room in front of me. “He had this girlfriend, and well…”

“You slept with her?” I asked, not able to hold back the disgust in my voice.

“No! Fuck no! But, she made him think that we had to make him jealous. It back-fired on her, and he dumped her. But, then she showed up yesterday with her dad claiming that I got her pregnant,” he rambled, running his hands through his already disheveled hair. It was so black against his pale skin that it didn’t look real. I actually had to fight my own instincts to reach out and run my fingers through it. “…there was a fight and it turns out that her father is a very dangerous man who thinks his little skank of a daughter is a princess. So I have to wait another six weeks so she can get an amnio DNA test that will rule me out as the daddy,” he finished, stopping in front of me as my mind tried to fill in the blanks of his story I’d missed while I’d been day dreaming about fondling his hair.

“Hey!  Why do you have to call her a skank? She’s probably just a scared girl who doesn’t want her dad to know that she tried to dupe her boyfriend,” I defended.

“Really? You’re defending her? So it’s okay to push parentage off on me because I didn’t drop to my knees and beg her to let me fuck her when she tried to stick her hands down my pants?” he asked a string of questions calling attention to the fact that he probably was the victim in this scenario.

“Okay, you’re right,” I sighed. “So she didn’t just lie to make your friend jealous? She really did want to hook up?”

“Hook up? That’s adorable,” he smiled a full grin for the first time and it was only slightly mind blowing. “I think her plan was for him to show up while I had her bent over the back of my couch because about five minutes after I pushed her off me, he showed up calling out for her as if he expected her to be there waiting for him.”

“What a bitch,” I breathed, moving to my bed and sitting down. “No one has the right to touch you without your permission,” I shook my head, trying to clear out the memories playing through it. 

“Hey,” he whispered, calling my attention to where he was, now kneeling in front of me and searching my expression. “Are you okay? I didn’t mean to hurt you or scare you. I’m sorry I didn’t ask permission before I forced my lips on yours. I, I was just desperate to disappear and you were right there. I didn’t mean to take advantage of the situation,” he said, his eyes wide with some unknown emotion.

“I wasn’t talking about that, but thank you,” I offered him a small smile, touching his shoulder briefly but pulling back when awareness zinged through me. His eyes still held mine captive as we seemed suspended in the moment. My pulse raced and my breaths came heavier as something seemed to shift in the air. 

“Britton,” I croaked.

“What?” he asked, a little dazed as he sat back from me, shaking his head.

“My name. It’s Britton.”

“Oh,” he smiled again. “It’s nice to meet you, Britton.”

“It’s nice to meet you, too, Finn,” I agreed, smiling back at him.

“So, can you hide me for a few weeks?” he asked, shooting me a hopeful look.

“Six weeks isn’t a few weeks, it’s several,” I pointed out.

“Semantics,” he waved off.

“Won’t people miss you?” I asked, crossing my legs and arms at the same time.

“I’ll keep in touch, but, honestly, no,” he said, making me a little sad that he could disappear for six weeks without anyone in his life really missing him. If I went missing for six hours, my sister would be tearing apart the entire Phoenix Metro area to find me. I know that because it happened, unfortunately.

I didn’t have much, but at least I had people who cared about me. If I was to believe the person I just met was trustworthy, he had no one.

“Yeah, you can stay,” I agreed. “What are you going to do for clothes?” I asked the obvious question.

“It’ll be taken care of,” he assured me, flopping on the empty bed again.

“Okay,” I said, more to myself than to him, lying back on my own bed and staring at the ceiling.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

WiP Wednesday- Stolen Moments

Here is the Prologue for my work in progress- Stolen Moments

Never has there ever been a more innocuous song than “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” I mean, it’s a song about a kid who sneaks down the stairs at Christmas Eve and probably saw his parents in a clinch under the mistletoe. In the way that perfect dads always dress up to put the presents under the tree, just in case their ne’er do well children try to catch the jolly red elf when they are supposed to be asleep. That way their kids are none the wiser and get to maintain their innocence a little while longer before they find out that Santa is one of the biggest lies their parents ever tell them.

I was six when I made the mistake of singing it when we were in line to see Santa at the mall. Mom and dad, in public, were the perfect picture of the perfect family, alongside me and my adorable little brother and the family golden retriever. In private, though, we were a mess. So that’s why I was more than a little surprised when I started the song I’d learned in music class the week before and my dad went ballistic. 

“You’ve been making out with that guy?” he said in a deceptively calm voice to my mother. He was a jealous guy, always accusing of cheating on him and flying off the handle. Today was no different, but he rarely did it in public.

“Of course not,” she scoffed, shooting smiles at the other people in line trying not to make a scene. The truth was, she was constantly cheating on father and we weren’t one hundred percent certain that my little brother, Joey, was actually my dad’s kid. My whole family had deep brown hair and blue eyes, but Joey was a blonde with brown eyes. My mom always tried to point to her father’s features and claim recessive genes, but my dad wasn’t so sure. 

“Are you calling Kim a liar?” he seethed directly into her ear and I watched my mother’s face pale.
“She was singing a song from school, Larry,” she said in that same overly sweet voice, but then made the mistake of making eye contact with Santa and smiling. It was then that all hell broke loose and we had to bail my dad out of jail for punching the mall Santa in the face in front of a line of thirty children. He had court ordered anger management classes after that.

I wish I could say that life improved because of that incident, but it didn’t. Honestly, that day seemed to serve as the catalyst to the cluster fuck that is my life. If I could go back in time, I would’ve never sang that song in front of my dad.

Don't forget to add it to your TBR list!

Monday, April 20, 2015


"Ha ha," I said, blandly, when I got my next gift open. Though I knew it would appear callous to outright dismiss the sentiment, most of my guests were already sharing a legitimate chuckle at the contents of the oddly shaped package. There was certainly no love lost between my best friends and me. We were all those kind of guys, after all.

"Now, I don't want to walk in next Sunday for the game and have to pry you two love birds out of bed," Johnny joked, taking the gift from my hands and riding it around the room in a victory lap. This would've been strange if the present in question weren't one of those entertaining, yet completely morbid horse heads on a stick that you give to children who like to play cowboys in the backyard.

My birthday theme amongst my friends was now blatantly obvious as I peeked inside the next gift bag, which featured a feed store sized bottle of Mane and Tail shampoo. With a roll of my eyes and a low growl, I scooped up my beer and downed the last of it. What is wrong with the world where a guy can't attend his four year old niece's Pretty, Pretty Unicorn party and don a pink pony party hat that she insisted all of her guests wear without getting mad shit from his friends. I was a good fucking uncle, damn it!

I guarantee if Natalia had looked up at them with her crystal blue eyes and tiny pink cheeks the way she'd looked at me, they would all find themselves in this exact situation. I would do anything for that little girl, even though I knew this would be the aftermath. I couldn't resist a well placed, "please," followed by the cutest pout ever.

I should've known from the far too excited look on her mother's (AKA my older sister's) face that no good would come of my wearing of the head piece. That, coupled with the immediate flash and dash she'd made told me that I was going to apart of Facebook infamy.

"I could kill Rebecca," I grumbled under my breath while the guests at my own birthday gathering were still howling and patting themselves on the back for their hilarious beastiality themed presents. I tried to muster up a little more anger and indignation but couldn't without feeling like a hypocrite. If that picture had happened to any of my friends, I would've done the same.

Schooling my features into my most formidable gaze, I reached beside my chair to grab the instrument I'd placed there before any of my guests arrived. I should've known they'd overlook the most obvious and most hilarious gift you can get a guy who's been Pink Pony Shamed on Facebook.

"Enough!" I shouted, slapping the leather riding crop over the top of the table to get their attention, which was brief. Once they realized what I was holding, the laughter coming from our corner of the bar was deafening. "Silence!" I yelled again, trying hard to keep a straight face. "Now that we all see that I fucking win, I'm outta here, dickbags," I announced, calling our night to a close. "There's a filly at the bar that needs training," I joked, grabbing the tequila shot my roommate had place in front of me and held it out. The men around me mimicked my stance and waited for my parting words. "To women and horse. And to the men who love to ride them both," I said, then slammed my shot back like everyone else, with a laugh. The room still felt electric as I walked out of the bar, and I loved it.

Always leave them wanting more, before the night started to turn in the direction of desperate hook ups and vomiting. Five years earlier, I wouldn't have made the same decision. Hell, I hadn't made the same decision and my life would always be different as a result.

My name is Jayden Linstein, and I'm the reason my twin sister is dead.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Long time, no update

Unfortunately, these last 3-4 months have been some of the toughest in my life.

I've mentioned before that I have Crohn's Disease, and this summer, it decided to remind me that it was still present and accounted for.

I went into the ER for major issues on May 27th and was admitted for a Crohn's related complication that nearly killed me. After having a tube place in my nose and starting antibiotics, I was given the all clear to go home on a modified diet and new meds in addition to the old ones. While I still had the pain from the issue, it wasn't nearly as bad as it was before I went into the hospital.

All of that changed on July 21st. I left work early and was up and in pain most of the night until I finally decided to make another trip to the ER, where I was, again, admitted for the same issue I'd had in May. X-rays and CT scans showed that I'd made no improvement since they released me and surgery was scheduled on my 33rd birthday.

After that surgery, I was left with a foot or so less small intestine, but went home after a 10 day hospital stay. I was hoping that I would serve out my recovery and all would be well again. Unfortunately, my Crohn's disease had other plans. Namely, a fistula that decided to make itself known about 10 days post-surgery, prompting yet another trip to the ER, where I was admitted once again. I had the fistula surgically repaired, but the surgeon wasn't able to find the beginning of it and called in another surgeon to consult.

That hospitalization lasted only 3 days (YAY!)- however, after a follow-up appointment with my surgeon the following Tuesday, I was readmitted to be evaluated for issues I was having keeping food down. After a scare with possible gastroparesis, an endoscopy and stomach emptying study showed that it was just acute gastritis and I was again released...

The nausea and grossness persisted though, and I was admitted a week later, again, for possible C-diff- and kept for 2 weeks, where the other surgeon reopened my fistula and still couldn't find the end of the tunnel, but cleaned out the infection that was in the wound again.

After this, I had one more hospitalization for pain and nausea issues... and this one revealed that my vitamin D levels were dangerously low...

I'm FINALLY back at work, and I'm hoping to get back to writing very, very soon.

I've missed all of you!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Catch and Release Update!

Part 1 of Catch and Release is finished and in edits. I am trying hard to work on the second part, because I plan to release the book all in one, instead of in parts.

Currently, I am stuck and am wondering if I need to release the first part separately... I don't want to, but motivation can be weird and I've noticed that hanging on to books can keep my mind on them and not what I need to be working on...

Don't forget to add it to your TBR list on Goodreads:

Anyway! I wanted to share an excerpt from chapter 1! This is unedited and unrevised.

“What are we working on?” Anton asked as he sat on the edge of his partner’s desk.

“We’re in a holding pattern,” Sophie frowned up at him from the file she was reading, her grey-green eyes narrowing when she took in the cup in his hand. “What the fuck?” she asked.

“What?” he asked, looking behind him and around the office. “What am I missing?”

“Every morning, I stop and get us coffee,” she started, throwing her chestnut ponytail over her shoulder. “The one morning I text you that I didn’t have time, you stop and get your own? You don’t think to return the favor?”

Sophie Briggs knew that she barely registered on her partner’s radar on a personal level, but there was such a thing as professional courtesy. They’d worked together for a year now; their first big case had been a success, even if it involved conquering his past. However, after taking down his mother, they hadn’t seen the same kind of multi-million dollar busts and had been relegated to small cases. She knew they were both dying to play in the big leagues again. With a not-so-anonymous tip and a well-placed resume, it looked as though they might get a new opportunity sooner rather than later.

“You doubt me?” he asked, his green eyes shining down at her as he pulled her favorite salted caramel mocha frap from where it sat on the desk just behind him.

“Awww, you do care,” she joked, smiling brightly at him and ruffling his haphazardly styled blonde hair as she took the drink from his hand. Pulling away, she watched his eyes flash as he took in her v neck t-shirt and jeans.

“Is it Casual Friday?” he asked, quirking a brow in her direction.

“Something like that,’” she said with a small amount of snark, taking a sip of her drink before sinking back into her chair.

“So I see,” he nodded, finally vacating his place on her desk in favor of his own. “How long until we find out?” he asked, looking at the clock against the back wall, reminding her what today was.

“Could be any time now,” she told him, her eyes flitting over the other agents present in the office that morning.

“If we get this, are you ready for everything that comes with it?” he asked, his face serious. “I mean, this cover flies in the face of women’s liberation and all of that. The way you are going to be strong armed in with me is going to send a very loud message about our supposed relationship,” he continued. “I’ve been known to become extremely possessive,” he warned, his eyes darkening with his words. “If I feel like your place by my side is being threatened, I will take action.”

“What do you mean?” she asked, her brow furrowed.

“It means that I will make it very clear that the rumors that we are going to walk into are true,” he said, point blank.

“What if someone thinks you are sexually harassing me?” she folded her arms over her chest, only half joking with her question.

“You’ll clarify that I’m not, and that any advance I make on you is more than welcome,” he informed her, mirroring her position. “Look,” he broke, relaxing his body for a beat, “it’s going to be a feat to pull this off, so we don’t want to look suspicious from the start or we’ll never get anywhere with this assignment.”

“Fine,” she said, glancing at the clock, desperate to change the subject. “Your mom’s hearing starts in thirty. Go,” she encouraged. “I’ll call you if anything changes.”

“Thanks, Soph,” he said, shooting her his most devastating smile. “You’re the best,” he finished, ruffling her hair as he grabbed his suit jacket from the back of his chair and headed toward the door.

As she watched him leave, she wondered if she’d be able to resist his fake advances without melting into a puddle at his feet. She’d been through so much in the last year with all the stuff that went down with her ex and her sister, but she was starting to get to the other side of her grief. Not to mention, she hadn’t gotten laid in nearly eight months, so she was pretty sure if Anton even brushed against her in the right way she might have an extremely embarrassing, extremely loud, and extremely public orgasm.