Fun party and giveaway!

Please stop by tomorrow at 1pm and enter a great giveaway! I will be featured during that time and would love to see you!
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Barbara and Nathan

I love writing flashbacks of Tommy and Jack and Julie growing up, and it’s one of the best ways I can show their bond. Some of the flashbacks I’ve shown that deal with Nathan and Barbara have been so fun to write. I know the character of Nathan very well and I feel like he hasn’t really been fully explored in the series. He was someone I developed in my mind from the beginning of the series and his love story with Bridget was something that- for him- was everything. This flashback was one of my favorites, and I hope you liked it too. It’s from book 11 “No Surrender”.

Are there any other flashbacks you would like to see of Barbara and her dad?

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Nate was cleaning the bar and getting ready for the night crowd before he was set to leave. Barbara was having some trouble lately, adjusting to middle school and he had asked for the night off to spend some time with her. He was about to punch out when he got a call from the back.

“Dude, your daughter is missing or something,” Mark the dishwasher called out.

Nate flew to the phone and the flush covered his body as his fear coursed through his veins. His hand clutched the receiver and his voice came out before he even realized he was speaking.

“Where is my daughter?”

The voice on the other end was clearly startled by the sound of fear from Nathan.

“Mr. Anthony, Barbara didn’t show up to her last class. There was an argument in the lunchroom and her classroom teacher reported that she didn’t return after.”

“What do you mean? Is she missing? Did she leave the building?”

“We are trying to locate her,” the voice said.

“Nate, Barb’s on the phone,” the dishwasher called out.

Relief coursed through his body as he ended the call with the school and clicked the line for his daughter.

“Barbie? Baby are you okay?”

“Are you mad at me?” her shaking voice came through and he could hear her tears.

“Of course not,” he said, just wanting her safe. He would have a discussion in person about her leaving. “Where are you? I’ll come and get you.”

“No daddy, you have to work,” she sniffed.

“Barbara Rose, where are you?”

“I’m at school. I hid when they did a hall sweep and then I ran into Mr. Price’s room when he went to the bathroom. That’s how I got to call you. Am I gonna be in trouble?” Her trembling voice broke his heart. He hated to hear her cry. She rarely did.

“I’m on my way. Why don’t you wait in the Principals office and I’ll explain to them when I get there.”

“Okay. I love you daddy,” she sniffed again.

“I love you, too.”

Nate hung up and shook his head. He was working too hard and he didn’t spend enough time with her. He knew she had been upset about something and he didn’t push her on it. Barbara never complained and she went along with everything he threw at her. None of this was fair. She deserved better.

He made his way to the school and walked into the office. His eyes went wide as he saw her.

“Barb, what did you do to your hair?” he walked to her and saw the black paint on the side of her head.

She shrugged and he knew she wanted to leave. He signed her out and they went to his car. He drove them home to the small apartment where they lived and Barbara walked into the family room and sat on the couch.

Nate grabbed some juice for her and walked in to sit next to his 11 year old daughter. He handed her the juice and touched her hair.

“What is this? Paint?”

“Shoe polish,” she said softly.

He sighed as he looked at his beautiful daughter.

“Why do you want to change your hair?”

“Because it makes me so different.”

“But being a little different isn’t a bad thing. You are special and I adore your hair.”

“I am already so different, daddy, I just want to fit in more.”

Nate ran his hand over his face and tried to figure her out. He was only 28 years old and he was struggling with the issues his daughter faced. He was way out of his comfort zone, but he would do anything to help her.

“What do you mean? Why are you so different?”

She looked up at him and her ocean colored eyes pierced through him.

“Why didn’t my mom want me?”

Shit.

“Why would you think she didn’t want you?”

“She isn’t here. Everyone has a mom and a dad or at least a mom. I’m the only one with just a dad.”

Nathan felt her words with all the weight of her sadness. He always worried if he would be enough for her. So much had happened that she didn’t and couldn’t know about. Bridget was a full blown alcoholic and her husband Chris was downright evil. Nate felt terrible that he wasn’t able to let Barb spend time with William, but he couldn’t allow his daughter around them. Recently, Chris’s friend Doug had been hanging around and he paid a few visits to Nate at work. He made some inappropriate comments about Barb and Nate had punched him. He was lucky he didn’t get fired, but his boss treated Barb like she was one of his own kids and he had Nate’s back.

“Your mom loved you, Barbie. She carried you for nine months and then she made the most amazing decision. She gave me the best, most important gift when she left you with me.”

“I don’t think that’s true. I think she knew there was something wrong with me. We learned in science that in the wild, when animals know something is wrong with their babies they leave them to die. Maybe that’s what my mom did. Maybe she knew I was a loser,” the sad preteen cried.

Nate was at a loss.

“Can I tell you something?” he wiped her tears away and smoothed her sticky hair.

She listened to him as she wiped her nose with the back of her hand.

“When I was seventeen and I met your mom, I thought we would be together forever. I loved her completely and even though we were young, it was clear to me that she was the one.”

Barbie was enthralled. He never spoke of her mom.

“What happened?”

He shrugged. “Sometimes life takes turns we don’t see coming. It’s like when we sing together and a chord comes up that you haven’t played before. Sometimes, when you try that new chord, the most amazing music is created. With your mom and me, we played the same chord for too long and it finally was out of tune. She found someone else and I was lost for a long time.”

Barbie’s eyes were swimming.

“What did you do?”

“She gave you to me and I found my chord. I found my purpose and it was to give you the best life. You make me so happy and so proud. You are the best and most important person in the world to me and I know our family doesn’t look like everyone else’s, but that’s what makes us special. We play music no else can make. We are a family, Barbie, and that’s the most important thing.”

She crawled into his lap and hugged him.

“I’m sorry daddy,” she cried.

He rocked her and sang softly.

You are my sunshine

My only sunshine

You make me happy when skies are gray

You never know dear

How much I love you

So please don’t take my sunshine away.

 

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So Sorry!

Sorry to have been MIA for a few. My little pup had major surgery and I have been in nurse mode for the last week. I have some exciting news coming up with the release of Perfectly Imperfect and I will be featured in a couple of author parties on Facebook! I will get the info out in the next day or so!

Thanks for sticking with me :)

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Questions?

Okay, what questions would you like to ask Tommy and Jack, Stephanie and Brittany, or Bill and Mike?

let me know and they will be coming soon!

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Yay for interviews!

I’ll change it up- who would you like to see interviewed together?

Tommy and Bill?

Julie and Stephanie?

Brittany and Jack?

Any others?

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Evan and Elizabeth interview

1. What was the first thing that attracted you to Elizabeth?

Evan: Well, I was 6 when we met, but I think it was probably her attitude. All of the other girls were so passive and Lizzie never took crap from anyone. She always said what she felt and no matter what, I knew I was getting the truth from her. Honesty is incredibly sexy.

Elizabeth: I wasn’t always honest. I waited until you told me you liked me for me to act on it. I was in love with you for years before that and never said anything.

Evan blushed and leaned in to kiss her softly.

2. If you were in love with him for so long, why not act on it?

Elizabeth: He was my brother’s best friend. I felt it was breaking a code or something.

Evan laughs

Evan: It was Jason who finally pushed us together.

3. Speaking of Jason, what was it like growing up as a twin?

Elizabeth: The best and the worst. (she laughs). I adore my brother, but he has always been the best at everything. He is gorgeous, so that meant all my friends wanted to meet him. He’s famous, so that meant the whole world wanted to meet him. And he was best friends with the one man I adored, so that was an issue.

She smiled.

Elizabeth: But it has been the best having Jason as my brother. He is such a kind and caring man and he has always had my back. Growing up, we did everything together and I tried my best to emulate him. I miss him being so far away, but I know he is only a phone call away.

4. So both of you have very specific interests. What made you become a bodyguard and a pilot?

Evan: I guess I always wanted to be a protector. I never felt comfortable in the spotlight, and being with Jason, we were always surrounded. I found it was important to me to make sure he was safe and then I realized that it was important for so many of us to be able to feel that way. I just wanted to help other people feel safe and now, looking at Brittany and Tommy and Naomi I feel like I have really found a purpose.

Elizabeth: I love flying. There is nothing like the feeling of soaring above the clouds and seeing the beauty of the world around us. I also became really determined when I found out how difficult it was for a woman to be a pilot. I had to work so hard just to be considered on equal footing and that made me love it even more.

5. Evan is always such a stoic person. When is he the most romantic?

Evan rolled his eyes and looked at Elizabeth.

Evan: You don’t have to answer that. You probably can’t.

Elizabeth: When he holds me at night and makes me feel like I’m the most beautiful woman in the world. When he comforts me and dances with me and shows me a part of himself that nobody else sees.

Evan felt his eyes grow wet with her words and he held her hand in his.

Evan: I love you so much.

Elizabeth: I love you, too.

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Favorite from Courage Lies Within

I’ve been doing a lot of revisiting of Tommy and Brittany’s relationship and I came across this scene that was a huge turning point in their relationship. I love what Tommy told her and I just adore their relationship.

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“Can I sit with you?” Tommy asked her as he walked outside.

She wiped her eyes and smiled. “Of course.”

He sat down and exhaled, letting out a long breath.

“Can I ask you something?”

She looked at him and hugged her coat around her body.

“Sure.”

“Can you tell me what you thought when you first got to know me? Not the conference room, because I kind of know what you thought then, but after that, what made you decide to let me near you?”

She was quiet for a minute.

“I liked you.”

He waited.

“And you seemed to like me, without knowing anything about me, and despite my attitude. Most people turn away after I talk to them. I am not the nicest.”

He was quiet still.

“And when you found out more about me, you seemed to genuinely want to be my friend,” she smiled. “And when I told you to leave, you didn’t. You pushed me to tell you what I wished for and then you pushed me to go for it.”

He listened to her and let her talk, waiting for her to continue.

“Then everything changed. You were thrown into my past and you stayed by my side when I did nothing to make you think I would ever appreciate you. You offered your home and your heart and you never asked for anything other than for me to give what I was feeling a chance,” she wiped her eyes and looked at him. “And then you asked me to go on vacation with you and your family and against every part of my better judgment, I went.”

He smiled.

“Against your better judgment, huh?”

She shrugged.

“In case you didn’t know it, I have a hard time trusting anyone, I guess that much hasn’t changed. But from day one, I trusted you. When I looked at you, I felt things that I was sure I would never feel. When you touched me, I wanted more and when you kissed me, I knew that was a feeling I didn’t want to live without.” He turned to face her and she smiled. “You are the most amazing man. You are sensitive and caring and strong and intelligent. You value family and loyalty and integrity and you do what’s right, even when it’s hard. You are fearless and handsome and sexy and you are my whole world.”

He reached and took her hands in his.

“That was quite the answer, and it proves what I wanted you to understand.”

“What’s that?”

His chin quivered as he looked into her eyes. “You have all of these memories creeping into your mind from such a horrible time in your life. I can’t stop that from happening, and to be honest, I don’t want to, because I need for you to stop wondering what happened and I want you to move on. But watching you struggle with your feelings of worthiness and your ability to be the woman I want in every way is breaking my heart.” He took a deep breath and wiped his eyes, “I think, based on what you just told me, that we have made some pretty amazing memories ourselves and maybe that’s the key to getting through this part. When the thoughts of the past get to be too much, I want you to know that there are better memories that came after. Maybe if you think of those memories, the others won’t have as much power.”

He wiped the tears that fell from her eyes and continued, “There was something you told me a long time ago, and I don’t know if you remember, but it stuck with me.”

She looked at him and waited.

“It was when I found out you had been assaulted. I hardly knew you, but you were upset and I remember sitting with you and you began to apologize for getting emotional.

******

“I ruined your jacket,” she said as she saw the spot her tears had made on his coat. “I think it will dry,” he looked at her. “Can I get you anything?” She shook her head, totally mortified. “I’m sorry; I don’t know what came over me. I don’t usually do things like that.”

“Show emotion? I think you’re allowed. Anyone who witnessed what that girl had been through would be affected, let alone someone who,” he stopped, not knowing if he was crossing a boundary he shouldn’t.

“Someone who also has been raped?” she said softly. “Sometimes I feel like it happened yesterday,” she took a tissue and wiped her face. “I have separated myself so much from that moment. It’s bad enough I have to live with the scars everyday, but I want so much for it to not be my defining moment. There is more to me than that event. I won’t let it have that power over me,” she couldn’t believe she was being so open with a virtual stranger. But something had happened between them, a wall was broken and a small sliver of ice had melted.

Tommy felt tears come to his eyes. “I don’t know what to say. I wish I had profound words of wisdom to make you feel better. I know when memories hit us in our lives; sometimes we just need to go through them. You can’t run from them and you can’t bury them or they will eat away at you.”

******

Brittany smiled. “That’s when you told me about your parents.”

“So you do remember,” he stroked her cheek.

“I remember every moment with you,” her voice cracked with emotion.

“Then that’s what needs to help you get through this. You are not defined by that moment and you never will be. You said it, there is more to you than that event, and I need you to know and remember that. You have been through something absolutely horrific, but you survived and going over what happened will not make your survival any less profound.” He kissed her fingers as he watched her cry at his words.

“Baby you are here, with me and our daughter in this world and what you are doing now by opening all of these secrets is allowing yourself to completely heal and move forward. You are the woman I fell in love with, the woman who brought me into the land of the living and the woman I am forever grateful to and for. You are that woman and that hasn’t changed because of anything that has happened recently. You are the same woman, you are my wife and you are my hero.”

She wiped her eyes and he tucked her long hair behind her ear.

“I need for you to think about the happy memories when the past becomes overwhelming. Make it the happy place you go to and let me help you stay there and not in the sadness,” he pleaded with her and his eyes were full of such love and understanding that she felt a modicum of the weight on her shoulders lift off.

She reached up and cupped his face in her hands. “You are so right and I am so in love with you. Thank you for loving me,” she pulled him to her and kissed him deeply, wrapping her arms around him and feeling, for the first time in a long time, like maybe she could move forward.

“Let’s go inside.”

He stood up and she walked inside with him.

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Nothing Matters and If Only

Both books are doing really well and both are free for now. Please check them out and take a look if you haven’t already.

Thank you all so much!

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A preview of Heartbroken…

This is from the beginning of Heartbroken. It is part of a chapter and it deals with Jack soon after he learns of what happened to Julie.

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Jack staggered into the hall and tried to make his way back to Stephanie. He slid down to the floor as the air left his body.

(The past)

Jack made his way to the high school to pick Julie up. She had called Tommy to pick her up but he was about to observe a surgery that had the potential to make a difference in his career. He asked Jack if he could go and so he did.

To be honest, Jack loved this part of their little family. He certainly didn’t want Julie to be sick, but to know that she was still needed them was nice. She had turned 16 and both he and Tommy worried she didn’t need them as much.

He pulled up to the school and she came to the car, opening the door and tossing her bag in the back. She sat down and put her belt on before turning to him.

“I thought Tommy was coming,” she said and he saw the flush in her cheeks.

He sighed.

“I’m sorry. He had an opportunity to work with a top surgeon and I was done for the day.”

She smiled.

“I didn’t mean that I was disappointed. I kind of like that you came,” she said and leaned back in the seat.

“Really?” he grinned as they drove.

“Yes, really,” she said.

He pulled up to the house and they got out. She grabbed her bag and they walked in before she sat down on the couch.

“You look feverish. What’s wrong?” he went and grabbed the thermometer.

“I don’t know. I just got really tired during science and I felt a little spacey. I also had no appetite and they had jelly donuts for sale. I knew something was wrong,” she smiled and he put the thermometer under her tongue.

Jack waited and when it beeped, he sighed.

“101,” he said. “I think you have the flu.”

She rubbed her eyes and looked at him.

“I’m going to go lie down,” she said softly.

“Okay. I’ll get you some juice so you stay hydrated.”

A little while later, Jack was sitting in the family room and watching the hockey game while he read some medical books. He looked up as Julie came walking in slowly, carrying her pillow and she had tears in her eyes.

“Hey Julie Bean, what’s wrong?”

She crawled onto the couch next to him and wiped her eyes.

“I was lonely. Can I sit here with you?”

He smiled and grabbed the afghan from the back of the couch.

“I would love some company,” he said and she moved to lie down with her head on her pillow next to him. He covered her with the blanket and smoothed her hair away from her eyes.

“Can you tell me what’s bothering you?” he asked as her tears fell.

She sniffed and shrugged.

“I just miss my mom,” she said. “I don’t feel well and I want my mom, but she isn’t here. I’m also 16 and I think it’s pathetic that I can’t be sick like an adult.”

Jack smiled at her and rubbed her back.

“When I don’t feel well I still want my mom,” he said and she looked up at him. “It’s true. I don’t think you ever outgrow that need. It doesn’t have anything to do with being an adult. It’s the need for someone to take care of you, and comfort you. It’s the knowledge that someone will always be there to soothe you, no matter what.”

She smiled and wiped her eyes.

“Then I hope you don’t feel weird when I say this, but thanks, mom,” she said sincerely.

He laughed and then was choked up.

“You know, father’s can do that, too.”

“Right,” she said. “But I’ll stay with mom because it bothers you.”

He rolled his eyes and she snuggled against him.

“As long as you’re happy.”

“Jack, I hope you know how much it means to me that you’re here,” she said. “I know I tease you, but you have no idea how important you are to me. I mean, I know, no matter what, that you will always be here for me. That just means the world to me.”

“Why are you being so mushy?” he asked.

“I don’t know. I just think these things should be said. We shouldn’t hold anything back.”

Jack nodded and watched her as she fell asleep.

“I feel the same way about you,” he said and sat with her.

*****

Jade walked up and saw Jack sitting there. She didn’t say anything, she just sat next to him and pulled him into her arms.

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Thank you so much for reading! I will have some more things to share later on!

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Thank you for reading!

Thank you all so much for stopping by and reading my blog and most importantly my books. What would you like to read next? Another interview? A Preview? A question and answer session with me?

Let me know:)

I’ll be sharing more of my favorite scenes, too !

 

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