#WIP Wednesday: Stay


From Stay…
Cadence looked so sad all of a sudden. I knew I’d hit on a painful subject. I suspected as much when I forced her into the conversation. I’m not sure what came over me, but when her face paled, and tears began to flood her eyes, I had to kiss her. Leaning closer, I lifted her chin with my finger. When she didn’t pull away, my spirit was bolstered. As I drew near, I pressed my forehead to hers while digging deep for the courage I needed. “May I?” I asked quietly as I stared into her eyes.
She closed them and tears dripped down her cheeks. She nodded slightly. When I didn’t move, she whispered, “Yes.”
I knew it wasn’t me. I figured there was some memory eating at her. Even though I wanted to hear all about her past, all about what had shaped her into the person I couldn’t stop thinking about, I didn’t want to pry. Oh, but I would. “Help me understand, Cadie,” I murmured against her cheek as I brushed my lips over her smooth skin.
She inhaled sharply. “What’s to understand?” Her voice had taken on a faraway quality and I guessed she was already lost in another memory.
I kissed a trail to her ear. “You,” I whispered. “I want to understand you.”
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1/7: Sunday Snippet for Stay (Coming 1/29!)

You know what today is…
From Stay…
Apparently, the clatter or my whimper had forced the return of the guy with the silo. I heard his footsteps as he came down the hall. He stopped in the doorway and I imagine he scanned the room a moment before he found me a few feet away on the floor. His steps drew closer. I forced myself to peek up at him. “Yo,” I mumbled.
He chuckled. “’Sup?”
“Listen, Bundy, I don’t have the energy to be coy right now. In fact, I’m downright cranky.” I moved my arm enough so he could see I was glaring up at him.
“Al?” His brows peaked hopefully.
I shook my head. “Ted.”
“I was afraid of that.” He sighed. “So, how do I redeem myself?”
“You could start by setting the knife down.” I smirked.
“This?” He hefted the imposing blade higher. “It’s a machete.”
“Not making this better, Ted.” I crossed my arms over my body and shook my head.
“I was about to go out in the garden. I’ll have you know this is the best multi-purpose gardening tool I’ve ever owned.” He shrugged and set it on the side table.
“I’ll have you know, it’s truly terrifying.” My brow arched.
He frowned. “I can see that.” He walked around my body and started to hold out a hand.
“Wait. Before you get a hernia trying to yank me off the floor, can I at least get the name of the guy who’s going to sue me for damages, unless you’ve grown accustomed to the name Ted, or…it’s your real name.” I batted my eyelashes at him and offered my most winning smile.
“Oh, right. Yeah, I’m…” His eyes flitted about the room and I had a sense he was trying to come up with some fake name.
“Got it. You don’t want me to have your real name. Ted it is.” I held out my hand. “I’m Cadence. Real name. Oh, and my dental work is up to date, so unless you do a seriously good job of the body dump, they will figure out who I am.” He hesitated before touching me.
“I’m not going to hurt you, Cadence,” he murmured. “I’m Xander.” His hand wrapped around mine. “Let me help you get back to the sofa.” Gently, he pulled me to a sitting position. Squatting in front of me, he added, “And I carried you to the car all by myself. No extra help, no dolly, all me. Now, stop downing yourself.”
I averted my eyes. My self-deprecating sense of humor had begun to develop in college when the freshman fifteen found my fanny. I felt better if I made light of what others were probably already thinking. “To the couch then?”
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WIP Wednesday: Stay

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Releases 1/29: http://amzn.to/2qicBFh

I’ll be the first to admit I completely failed at Teaser Tuesday. Forgive me?
Here’s another taste from Stay
I rolled into the room at a breakneck pace, and managed to come to a stop some inches before I would’ve crashed into the desk where I’d left my purse. My hands shook slightly as I opened it and hauled out my Kate Spade planner. The damn thing had cost me almost a week of rent, but as much as I used it, I considered it a bargain. When paired with my phone, I was completely unstoppable.
Only right now, I didn’t want to go. I was afraid of returning to my apartment, which was already a constant reminder of my shortcomings and failures…all 249 square feet of it. Sure, when I had a job, I could think of it as a rest stop on my road to greatness. When I was terrifyingly unemployed, it was my tomb. Seriously, I once discovered that sarcophagus sites at the local cemetery were larger. Jordan was quick to point that out a little over a month ago when he’d appeared suddenly at my door to pick me up when the bus I usually rode broke down and I was going to be late.
“Good God. You live here?” He stepped inside the door and looked about while behaving as if he were afraid poverty was contagious. “What is this…like two hundred square feet?”
“Two hundred and forty-nine,” I corrected while rubbing my forehead.
“Wow. We just stuck my mother in a mausoleum. It was three hundred and seventy-eight square feet.” Then as we stood waiting on the elevator, he leaned low and murmured, “So, when you die, you might get a bigger place. Something to look forward to.” And he clapped me on the back while laughing.
“Man, I hate that guy,” I muttered under my breath as I collapsed on the chair. Hot tears stung my eyes, but I refused to cry.
“Thanks?” Xander had quietly moved to my side.
I rubbed my eyes before fixing them on him. “I thought you were taking a shower.” I sighed.
“Because you told me to?” He laughed. “I do what I want.”
“Cool, Cartman.” I looked away. “And for the record, I wasn’t talking about you.”
“Whew.” He blew out a breath and leaned against the desk before he stiffened. “I mean, whatever. Love me, hate me, makes no difference to me.”
I snickered. “You may want to work on the tough guy act.”
“Hey, Cades, it’s no act. I’m tough.” He removed his shirt to display an abundance of tattoos across his back and biceps. Xander nodded my way like this was proof.
“That’s pain tolerance, which has little to do with being tough, genius.” I crossed my arms over my chest.
“Let’s agree to disagree. So, who do you hate?” His head tilted and I found myself distracted by the delicious looking spot at the base of his neck.
“Jordan.” I huffed.
“Oh, your boyfriend.” Xander stood and stretched. I could feel him pulling away.
Making a face, I shook my head fervently. “Ew. No.”
He casually sat on the edge of the desk. “No? Then…what?”
“My boss.” I sighed. “Actually, Jordan is my ex-boss.”
“Everyone hates their boss.” His chest puffed out. “This is why I work for myself.”
“Not all of us have that luxury, Xander.” I huffed. “Some of us struggle to survive in LA and would do whatever it takes to make that happen.”
His brows rose.
“Not me, mind you. If I was that girl, Jordan would still be my boss. And I would’ve let him paw all over me. And I wouldn’t have ended up on the side of the road.” I babbled in frustration now. “And I wouldn’t be in a missile silo with a sprained ankle…”
“And you never would’ve met me.” Xander blew out a breath.
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Sunday Snippet for Stay

From Stay Coming 1/29/2018

 “Stop it,” I hissed as I pushed Jordan’s hand off my bare knee for the fifth time in a matter of minutes. “I’ve tried subtle. I’ve tried sweet. Now, I’m pissed.” I stared at him. In his mid-thirties, my boss was considered incredibly attractive by most with his sun-kissed hair, bronze skin, and green eyes, but I saw him differently since we worked so closely together.

“You shouldn’t mess with the driver,” he teased. “I really need to concentrate on these country roads.”

“Right. So, maybe you shouldn’t mess with me.” I glared at him.

He chuckled. “Do you have any idea where we are?”

Chills ran up and down my spine. I glanced out the window and watched for a sign. There was nothing but trees surrounding the narrow road. I opened up my map app, but it refused to load. “The middle of fucking nowhere,” I grumbled.

“Exactly. It’s a long drive back to L.A.” He grinned, much like a wolf who had homed in on his prey. “Hell, I don’t know what you’re complaining about. You should be thrilled I’m even remotely interested in you.” Jordan looked me up and down briefly before turning his attention back to the road.

I sucked in a breath of stale air as my eyes widened. “And why is that?”

“You’re not exactly my type,” he sneered. “You’ve seen the women I date…long, lean, drop-dead gorgeous. Basically, your complete opposite.”

With a hollow laugh, I considered my words. “I thought female was your only requirement. Oh, and alive. I had no idea you had such discerning tastes.”

WIP Wednesday: Stay

From Stay
“You blame me!” Lexi shouted. “Admit it!”
I ran a hand through my short dark hair then licked my lips before responding, adding an extra second of thought before I spoke. Naturally, it didn’t help. My feelings spilled out. “Why wouldn’t I? Why shouldn’t I? Your fucking greed cost me my dream.” I crossed my hands over my chest and turned away, stalking toward my front door and away from her.
Soon, the sharp tap of her stilettos sounded on the pavement behind me. I stiffened, but when I continued to ignore her, I hoped she’d take the hint and leave. “What can I do, Xander? How can I fix this?”
I whipped around and threw my hands in the air. “You can’t!” My heart raced and blood rushed to my face as the humiliation of the experience washed over me. My eyes closed, I spoke in a low voice, “Just go.”
“I don’t want to go. We need to talk about this.” Lexi tossed her long blonde hair over her shoulder and stared at me with those pleading blue eyes of hers. She knew what she was doing. Normally, I’d melt. I’d take her into my arms, and soon we’d be in my bed, making up. She stared up at me through her lush dark lashes. “Please,” she whispered in her sultriest voice.
This time, I stiffened, feeling more than a little manipulated. “No. My career is over. My life is over.”
Lexi huffed. “The two are mutually exclusive. You can have a life and build a new career. We can do this together. So…being a solo artist didn’t work out.” Her nostrils flared as she spoke. “There are tons of bands out there who need a lead singer, a guitar player, someone with your stage presence. They need Xander Cross.”

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Three players. Two friends. One common enemy.

Harry Spencer had doubts about his friendship with Drew, and concerns about his career choice, but whether or not to support Ty had never been questioned. Without hesitation, he drove from LA to Vegas dragging drunk Drew with him. There was nothing Harry wouldn’t do to show his support, but at some point enough was too much. When a beautiful woman falls at his feet, Harry finally sees what’s missing from his life.

Laney Jenner hated her career as a forensic accountant, which was as far from Broadway as a performer could get. Luckily, she loved the financial security her position provided, even if did suck the hope out of her. The current job sent her to sin city, where figuring out the dirty left her soiled too. Only by spending time with Harry will she ever be able to clean up her messy life again.

Friendships are tested. Friendships are mended. A dream deferred can still come true.


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Welcome to the Indie-pendence Blog Hop & Giveaway,

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I like long walks on the beach at sunset, collecting seashells, eating chocolate in all of its glorious forms…except white. I enjoy sweet wines. And my idea of being outdoorsy is sipping that wine on a patio. Oh, right.  This isn’t my Match.com profile, I’m supposed to be sharing books. My newest series will release on 7/25, a paranormal romance trilogy. Because I’m obviously crazy, my next series will release on 8/8, a billionaire bachelor trilogy.

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