Do You Want to Go Down With Them?

Photo by Oliver Wendel on Unsplash

Olivia examines my vest. “That was fast.”

I slump onto a stool. “I need a drink. Anything.”

She frowns, but pours me a Jack and Coke. “Want to talk about it?”

Sipping my drink, I consider the idea. Confiding in her would be typical boyfriend/girlfriend behavior, though—strictly against our agreement. So many rules bind me now. And here I thought I’d gotten out of prison.

“Don’t worry,” she says. “Bartenders are like therapists without the pay. You talk, and I’ll keep the drinks coming.” She winks and lights a cigarette.

For the first time, I notice that everyone is smoking freely. I light one too. “We won’t get fined for this?”

Laughing, Olivia raises her cigarette in a salute. “All the time. Naugy makes a lot of money off us. We all chip in to cover it.”

I lean on the bar and drop my voice. “Do you have any idea what’s going on here?”

She shrugs. “Why would I? I’m just the bartender.” She takes a drag, then exhales into the smoky air. “Most guys would kill to wear that, you know.”

“They sell drugs, Olivia. This is just a front.” And fuck knows what else they do. I don’t say that, though. “This isn’t a good place for you.”

The relaxed woman in front of me morphs before my eyes. Her eyelids droop so that only slits of her pupils, irises, and whites are showing. Her lip curls. Nostrils flaring, she stabs the cigarette into the air in front of me. “You don’t get to tell me what to do.”

“Look, I’m not trying to be a dick, Livvie—”

“And you don’t get to call me that.” She sucks in a long drag. “The only way this is going to work, Cliff, is if you do you and I do me. We agreed: family reunions. That means you don’t stomp around acting like my fucking daddy.”

I rub my temples. “So you don’t mind working in a place that sells coke?”

The dirty look she tosses me is simultaneously condescending. “What the fuck do you think I do behind this bar? Pour beer for shit tips?”

Oh, Olivia. I look down at my drink, at the cigarette in my hands. I need something a lot stronger. It’s only my first shift and everything is spiraling out of what little equilibrium I had. “You’ll go down with them,” I say. “Do you want that?”

She rolls her eyes. “I want to pay off my student loans. The most I can possibly hope to make is $40,000 a year in this fucking state. I’ll be lucky if I can land a job with DCF. I don’t want to start off in debt right out of the gate.”

“What is it you’re going for?” I pictured her as doing something more adventurous, not sitting in a goddamn state office all day.

Stubbing out her cigarette, she settles those brown eyes on mine. “I want to be a social worker. I wanna help kids in the system.” The unsaid remainder of that sentence hangs between us: So they don’t end up like you.

“Don’t you think,” I say slowly, “that it’ll be a little hard to get a nice state job if you’re convicted of selling drugs?”

“Fuck you,” she lobs at me.

Grinning, I stand. “You already did.” I walk away, the whiskey soaking into me. Not in an out of control way. My veins swim, limbs relaxed. This head is clear.

The overhead speakers crackle, and the music switches from modern shit I’ve never heard to nineties grunge and metal. Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” spins, the two girls on the pole whirling with it. I watch them for ten or so seconds before I move on.

This is my party. I might as well enjoy it.


A Disturbing Prospect
Now Available

Olivia’s straddling hell, and Cliff is searching for heaven, and when they collide, chaos rampages.

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5 Things You Need to Know About Esther

via Pinterest

Esther Figueroa is Olivia’s roommate in A Disturbing Prospect. Her introverted habits make her seem innocent, but there’s more to Esther than meets the eye. Here are five things you should know about her!

  1. Like Olivia, Esther is majoring in social work.
  2. Esther’s grandparents have custody of her younger siblings while she finishes  schools.
  3. Esther is one of the few characters who has a car.
  4. If there’s ever a movie for A Disturbing Prospect, my top pick for Esther would be Paula Patton.
  5. Esther’s favorite drink is moscato.

Esther is one of the characters in A Disturbing Prospect, my vigilante bikers romance, out January 29th. Get notified as soon as it’s available—join my email list!

My Revenge Story

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

A long time ago, before I was born, two people I love very much were hurt by people who were supposed to take care of them. When I first found out about it, and every time I thought about it after, I wanted to scream. I wanted to throw up. I also wanted to make those responsible pay.

Life doesn’t work that way, though. Justice is just a façade. Children, women, and men are sexually assaulted all the time, and nothing happens to the people who hurt them. We’re not supposed to talk about it happening to others, and we’re definitely not supposed to talk about it happening to us.

So, in an effort to right some wrongs in the world, I did what I always do: I started writing.

I created Olivia and Cliff, two broken people who take things into their own hands. With a motorcycle club backing them, they set out on a journey to protect the innocent. Not on purpose, though—first they need to get a taste for vengeance.

Thus my vigilante bikers romance, A Disturbing Prospect, was born.

I still have more injustices to balance. A Disturbing Prospect is only the beginning. Join my email list to stay in the loop!

What’s the first thing you’d do if you became a vigilante? Tell me in the comments!

Yet Another Fantasy

Group of friends sitting around campfire
Photo by Trevor Cleveland on Unsplash

Amarie wished that she and Lucas had the same connection that Neve and Jason seemed to have. Even as Lucas scooped her out of her chair, settling her into his lap, she didn’t feel the butterflies in her tummy that she should have—though things much lower heated and clenched.

With Lucas, things were purely sexual. Her heart just wasn’t in it, no matter how hard she tried. She snuggled into his arms, willing herself to feel it. His arms wound around her, holding her close, but the only warmth she sensed was body heat and lust.

She wanted that great love, the kind that would knock her off her feet, sending her life careening off track. Even Matt had found it—the only one of them that rarely dated, dedicating most of his time to his mother and little brother. If he could, surely so could she. So far, though, the longer she waited to fall in love with Lucas, the more she realized that their relationship was seriously lacking.

The sound of tires rolling over the dirt road snagged her attention. Matt’s truck backed into the campsite. The party would really be starting soon.

She craned her neck, trying to get a glimpse of Matt’s new girl. Her name was something uncommon, something that started with an R. Rosalie or Rhiannon or something like that. Her eyebrows scrunched together as she fought through the brain fog to remember.

The girl who hopped out of the truck first wasn’t anything like she’d expected, though. Her heart hitched, catching mid-beat. Wild, teal hair framed her face, contrasting lush red lips. Bright, round blue eyes surveyed the campsite.

She looked nothing like Amarie had pictured. She certainly didn’t look like Matt’s type. When her gaze lighted on Amarie and she smiled, Amarie’s heart actually fluttered.

“Guys,” Matt said, drawing her attention. “This is Rowan.” He gestured to another girl standing shyly next to him. A pretty girl, but Amarie’s gaze immediately flickered back to the other woman. “And her friend Charlotte.”

Charlotte, she mouthed, tasting the name on her lips.

From across the site, Charlotte’s eyes met hers. She held her gaze. Fireflies drifted through the purple-streaked twilight, their lights flashing gently as they called to each other: Be mine, be mine, be mine. Amarie’s hands trembled on the arms of her chair. The soft breeze that had caressed her skin all day stroked Charlotte’s hair, moving it away from her face.

Those cherry lips parted, and the campsite around them disappeared.

“Hi,” Charlotte said, wiggling her fingers. “Nice to meet you.” Those eyes never wavered, trained solely on Amarie.

“You too,” Amarie whispered. She drank in those eyes, mind flipping through all of the colors she knew, trying to remember the name of the exact shade of Charlotte’s eyes. They were somewhere between cyan and gray, a blue bright and pale, like the spot where the sky met the ocean on the horizon.

“Call me Char,” Charlotte said, and it was as if she was speaking directly to Amarie. Every time her lips moved, Amarie strained to memorize them. They were so red and plump, as if they were made especially for kissing. She had to restrain herself from imagining exactly how swollen she could make them if she ever had the chance to kiss Char.

“Welcome to our humble gathering,” Lucas rumbled from underneath Amarie. The vibration of his voice through her body snapped her out of the trance that Char had put her under.

She yanked her eyes toward the flames licking the newspaper, igniting the sticks. Jason stacked skinny logs in an upside down V around the flames.

Matt laughed. “Dude, are you drunk? You’re supposed to set up the teepee shape before you light the kindling.” He shook his head. “Let me get our tents pitched, and then I’ll take over fire duty.”

Amarie straightened, wondering where Char was going to sleep. Since Matt and Rowan were together, that made Char the seventh wheel. Surely Rowan wouldn’t leave her friend to sleep alone in the woods. She opened her mouth, ready to make rearrangements so that she, Neve, and Char shared a tent, leaving Lucas and Jason in the third tent.

Rowan pulled a tent of her own out of the bed of Matt’s pickup, though. To Matt’s dismay, she and Char began pitching it.

Amarie pressed her lips together, feeling a bit sorry for Matt—and herself. She had a boyfriend, though. She snuggled into Lucas, closing her eyes. Besides, even if she was single, it wasn’t as if Char would actually be into her. Their “connection” had simply been a product of all of the booze floating through her veins. Nothing more.

Still, all throughout the night and the rest of their camping trip, she couldn’t get Char out of her head. If she took a leap and broke up with Lucas, she might find herself in the kind of love that swept her away. Or maybe she would be living yet another fantasy.


Five nights under the city lights could give Amarie and Char the happily-ever-after they’ve always wanted, but a devastating diagnosis and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity could send it all crashing down.

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January 2018 Goals

My writing and personal goals for the month of January!
Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

It’s been a while since I sat down to set formal goals for the month. I used to be really diligent about it. For the past year or so, I’ve had a general idea of what I wanted to accomplish, but didn’t keep track. I’ve decided to come back to that practice, starting now.

Writing down my goals keeps me focused. It also keeps me from piling too much on my plate, because I can look at what I’m currently working on and ask myself if I really have the room for it. I’ve gotten really good at saying no, but I’d like to keep that momentum going.

Considering my goals for 2018, this month I’d like to…

  • Buy an insurance plan. It looks like I’m going to be able to afford my university’s student plan, which covers me through August. I have angels in heaven and here on Earth, because originally this was going to be a long shot. Once I’m enrolled, I can see my rheumatologist about adjusting my treatment plan, I can have urology tests to see if I have interstitial cystitis, and I can finish my dental crown. Oh, and I can also afford my medication. One step at a time, though.
  • Publish A Disturbing Prospect. I’m not gonna lie—I’m nervous about this release. Every launch gets me anxiously excited, but A Disturbing Prospect is a lot darker than my previous books. I mean, it has a freakin’ trigger warning list. I wrote this book for revenge, though, for the real-life Lucys who never received justice. Also, I have a much lighter book releasing soon, probably in the spring, so that should balance things out.
  • Start writing something new. I can’t decide whether I want to re-write the sequel to A Disturbing Prospect, or write my second chances f/f book shop romance (which has a title but I’m not telling yet). I think I’ll decide by outlining both. I got an Amazon gift card for Christmas and used it to buy Romancing the Beat, which should help with that.
  • Survive Mod 3. The new semester starts January 8th. Because I’m in an accelerated online program, semesters are broken into two eight-week modules. This mod, I’m taking accounting and macroeconomics. Then I’m diving into business law and—dun dun DUN—algebra. Scary shit. So my goal is to not drop out this semester. 😂 You might think I’m kidding, but all four of these classes intimidate me (though I’m excited about business law). I’m also a perfectionist who doesn’t want to do anything unless I’m really good at it. I am a complicated creature.

That should do it.

What are your goals for January? Let me know in the comments!

“Run Run Blood”

Photo by Joel Filipe on Unsplash

Hey wolf, just see there’s no fear
Just see it’s no fair, there are lions in here

The first time I heard Phantogram was “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” on the radio. I went straight home and looked up the song. That’s when I found “Run Run Blood.”

I fell in love with its hypnotic melody and distorted sound, but the lyrics were really what sold me.

It’s bigger than life
It’s bigger than love
It’s bigger than us
Bigger than all

To me, it sounded like Olivia trying to convince Cliff. Like she’s saying, “Hey, you think you’re so dangerous? Come and play with me.”

Check out the full playlist for A Disturbing Prospect (January 29th) below!

 


Lyrics via AZLyrics

Sharing Is Caring

Photo by Kaci Baum on Unsplash

The closer we get to Lewisburg, the more keyed up I feel. Lucy had the driver stop at a Starbucks, so I feel slightly more human now. Curiosity is what’s really fueling me. Using a compact mirror, I touch up the makeup that was smudged by our harrowing overnight train ride and smooth my hair. Lucy raises an eyebrow at me but says nothing, and the driver lets us pick songs from his iPod. Not a bad deal, considering he made me waste my cigarette.

And then suddenly we’re in Lewisburg, and the Escalade pulls up in front of the entrance to a Days Inn. A man paces out front, his hands shoved into the pockets of his coat. Long brown hair that’s nearly black frames his face, and he’s got a beard, so I can’t really make out his features. But he’s big.

Not in a heavy way. He’s tall and broad. Even with that bulky hand-me-down coat, I can tell he’s built. It’s like I’m psychic and imagined him into being. Biting my lip, I stifle a giggle. For all I know, he’s really ugly and has a beer gut.

It really has been too long since I’ve gotten laid.

Lucy pays the Uber guy, we grab our luggage, and then the three of us are standing in front of the motel.

“They kicked you out?” she asks him.

He looks up, and depthless brown eyes meet hers. Despite the massive amounts of fur on his face, he’s handsome.

Hot, even.

There’s a scar next to his eyebrow that’s more like a pocked hole. It looks like someone bludgeoned him with a big rock. They probably did. But the rest of his face is intact—no teardrop tattoos or anything like that. His eyes are surprisingly soft and kind. When he smiles at Lucy, it lights up his whole face.

I decide he definitely went to jail for selling drugs, and wonder how long before he’s connected again. I could use some bud.

“Checkout was eleven,” he says with a shrug. He peers at her, almost timidly. “You look good, kid.”

Kid? I blink. Squinting, I examine him more closely. I note the lines at the corner’s of his eyes and the dark circles underneath them. He’s got to be in his early thirties, maybe older. I pluck my pack of cigarettes from my pocket and light one, exhaling smoke into the air.

“Olivia,” Lucy says, exasperated. She gestures toward the motel entrance, as if someone is going to walk out into my cloud of smoke any second. The parking lot is practically empty, the place desolate.

“Yeah, Olivia,” Cliff says, eyebrows lifted. “Sharing is caring.” He holds his hand out for one.

A grin spreads across my face. Resisting the urge to stick my tongue out at my sister, I hand him the pack and my lighter.

He lights up, and his entire face relaxes as if I just took his cock into my mouth instead of sharing a cigarette. Putting my own cigarette between my lips, I stuff down the giggle that is bubbling up. I really am sleep deprived.

“Been a while?” I ask when I get myself under control. Even that statement is dangerously close to twelve-year-old humor. I take another drag.

Cliff nods and smokes thoughtfully for a minute. His eyes never leave mine. They’re a deep brown, but so warm—like redwood. “It’s been twenty years since I had a cigarette that wasn’t stale. But that’s not all I’ve been missing.” He grins, a devilish smirk that shoots straight to my lower abdomen. The implication behind his words might be in my head.

Lucy clears her throat loudly. “Clifford, this is Olivia, my little sister.”

The color drains from his face and he chokes on his cigarette. “Sister?” he sputters.

I snort. “Relax,” I tell him with a wink. “I’m adopted.”


A Disturbing Prospect releases January 29th. Sign up to be notified as soon as it’s available—click here!