Welcome to Behind Closed Doors! Today we’re having a bit of an early celebration. At long last, the third book in my Now and Forever series is ready for publication. In fact, the official release date is Friday January 3rd, but at the time of this writing, it’s now live on Smashwords, All Romance ebooks and Amazon. I’m hoping to have the print version live on Createspace on January 3rd, but my cover artist is down with the flu and it may be delayed a few more days.
For those of you who haven’t had the “pleasure” of publishing your own work, let me tell you that some of the sites will drive you bonkers! You would think the same cover I used for the ebook formats would be fine to use for the print. Well, you have to take into account the size of the book and the spine. You can’t just stretch a photo out to fit. I trust Lindsey Kirk with LMK Graphics to deliver yet another fabulous cover in no time!
I had a team of editors on this one and all of them drove me batty! Just kidding! Together they helped me bring out the best of this story and I hope you like it. Continuing the series with my own publishing company is a dream come true. A special thank you goes out to Siren Bookstrand for taking a chance on an unknown with a huge dream. Even though this series continues on, I’ll be forever grateful for the encouragement they gave me to pursue my vision for the series even when it no longer fit into their imprints. For the Love of Quinn and The Island are still available from them and I hope you pick them up if you haven’t already done so.
The Surrender of Julia (Now and Forever 3) takes place at the exact time as The Island (Now and Forever 2). This one is from the point of view of the series “villainess” Julia Santos. She was only supposed to be a very minor character, mentioned only to complete the back story of Jacob Hartley from the first to books. Instead, her tale wouldn’t leave me. The more I delved into it, the more I needed to know. She shocked the hell out of me a few times, made me laugh, and yes made me sob like a baby.
She’s not your typical heroine. She’s a grade A bitch. She loves sex with both men and women and uses it for comfort as well as a weapon to get what she wants from whom she wants. There’s more to her than that. Deep down there’s a little girl, sexually abused by her parents, hidden away from the world until it’s safe to come out again. Julia has had to do some horrible things just to survive and get to the point in her life we find her at the beginning of the story. Her redemption doesn’t come early nor easily. It’s a long road for her and one that puts not only her life on the line, but that of Jacob’s as well.
Here’s the blurb
L.A. artist phenom Julia Santos appeared to have it all. After a nearly two year long dry spell, her creativity was at its peak and she had her muse and model Jacob Hartley to thank for it. He brought the fire and raw sexuality back to her sculptures and into her bedroom, and a sense of security that only one other person in her life had ever given her. At last she had found the perfect balance between her professional and private lives, until the day a single call from someone in her past threatened to tear her world apart.
Fearful of losing all she’d worked so hard to accomplish, Julia delved deeper into the hedonistic lifestyle she’d come to rely on to give her an escape from the horrors of her past. Instead of bringing her comfort, her sexual urges lead her down the path of destruction; not only for herself, but those around her. With Jacob fighting for his life after a near fatal motorcycle accident and Julia on the brink of death herself, Fate and her Guardian Angel Daniel intervene and transport her to a safe haven called the Island.
There she’s given a choice: stay on the Island and wait for her next rebirth, or go back and fight to be with the one who has been there for her through every lifetime. Will she take the easy way out and leave all the pain behind, or will she choose the long and hard road reliving the horrors of her childhood in order to have her happily ever after with the Mistress of her dreams?
Here’s an excerpt that shows just how manipulative and selfish Julia can be. It’s what endears me to her because her redemption is that much sweeter. Some wanted to see it much sooner than it happened in the book, but that’s not how it works folks.
Just as she predicted, her admittance to the hospital went smoothly and no one batted an eye when she explained to them how she cut her arm. Julia told them the truth and then basked in all the fuss and fanfare showered upon her by the nurses and the others in the waiting room. She loved the attention, but she knew all of it was taking a toll on Jacob.
She didn’t put up a fuss nor beg him to stay with her as she’d done many times before. Instead, she pretended to be asleep when he kissed her forehead as he got up to leave. She murmured softly and fluttered her eyes a bit before turning over and snuggling her pillow. She kept her eyes closed and her breathing steady until she knew Jacob walked safely down the hallway. She could guess he stopped one more time to chat with the nurses before going home for the night. Julia wondered if that hot little red headed nurse would be one of her caretakers. What she wouldn’t give for a night alone with that little firecracker!
Instead of enjoying the fabulous fantasy for a few moments longer, Julia’s guilt got the best of her again. Jacob stood by her through everything even when it meant giving up time with his own family. He repeatedly chose her and her needs over his own. Why can’t I do the same for him? Why do I feel so out of control when I’m with Jake?
Her entire life in L.A. started with her taking control of her life and not allowing anyone or anything to steal that from her again, but now she found herself torn between wanting to lose control and needing to be in control. The battle seemed to be tearing her apart at the moment and only one thing could get her centered again. Julia needed the adrenaline rush zipping through her body whenever a certain doctor did what he’d been told and fucked her silly. She’d give him a few more minutes to show up before she’d start paging him.
She pulled her purse out of the drawer in the nightstand and quickly found her contact case. Tonight, she’d worn the hazel lenses and intended on keeping with the theme. Only one other person beside herself knew her natural eye color now. Jacob asked her about her ever changing iris shades on many occasions, over the last two years. She hadn’t told him nor the one she waited for now. This particular person would piss her off if he didn’t hold up his end of their arrangement.
The knock on her door brought a smile to her face as she stashed her purse in the drawer once again. I knew he wouldn’t dare disappoint me.
“Julia, what on earth are we going to do with you?” Dr. Mario Carlos locked the door to the private hospital room and dimmed the lights. “You know how the nurses love to gossip. Eventually, one of them will put two and two together and figure out you’ve been faking all of these so called accidents.”
“Don’t kid yourself. I’ve not faked anything to get here. You know very well I’ve been preoccupied lately and under a lot of stress. I wouldn’t call these things accidents but more like I’ve been distracted.”
“What? Your boy toy-muse not able to alleviate the stress you have?” He snorted dismissively then turned on the charm once again. “You need professional help and I’ve got what you need right here.” Dr. Carlos held up a small green vial of pills and shook them in front of her face.
She raised her eyebrows and licked her lips. “I’m not one of your other patients who come here for drugs.”
Mario shrugged. “You had to have a lot of stitches for that gash in your arm. When the local wears off, you’ll wish you had these bad boys.”
“Fine. If it will get you to shut up about it, I’ll take them.” Julia snatched them out of his hand and tossed them into the drawer with her purse. “I don’t need drugs from you and you know it.”
“Call it what you want but sooner or later, you will end up the hot topic around the nurses’ station. Some may even think you’re doing this on purpose to drum up publicity for your gallery.” Mario moved slowly across the room and stood inches from her.
His subtle musky cologne filled her nostrils and set her skin on fire. She wanted him. Now. “Who cares what those nosy bitches think.” She reached out and rubbed his already hard cock through his scrubs. “I need this pounding the hell out of my pussy right now. So stop talking and start fucking.” Julia didn’t care what anyone else thought and right now, including Jacob. All she could think about was her current lover’s glorious cock filling her to the brim… the one outlet she knew would relieve her of the emotional upheaval the call from her mother set into motion.
Ever since being wheeled through the doors of the hospital, only the anticipation of Mario’s tongue darting in and out of her ass and pussy mattered. Just the flick of his tongue over his own lips made her shiver with delight and soak her thong.
The very same thong the good doctor tore from her body seconds after lifting her up to sit on top of sink in her bathroom. Her fingers wound through his dark wavy hair as his mouth plundered hers, taking her breath away. She loved the power she held over this man. Any time, any place she wanted, he always obliged.
Tonight would be no exception.
Of course he kept her waiting a good half hour after Jacob left before he graced her with his presence.
She wasn’t amused by the delay and couldn’t care less if some other patients required his attention. It’d been their arrangement that whenever she showed up, he’d drop whatever and whoever and come running.
Now finally, he sheathed his dick with one of those ribbed condoms she demanded he wear whenever they fucked.
Julia still felt a bit miffed at him, but the feeling of his hands on her bare ass temporarily cleared her mind of all her complaints and the shit with her family.
Mario spread her legs wider, lifting her from the sink as he buried his dick in her dripping cunt.
Julia moaned and sighed as he slowly pulled out and plunged back in repeatedly. Even through it felt fantastic to finally have him fucking her, she wanted more. She wanted to be pounded until she was a quivering glob of jelly. Then maybe the images of her childhood would fade from her mind’s eye again. He knew what she desired and yet continued the slow pace, pissing her off anew. “Stop teasing me and give me what I want. Now!” Julia pulled his mouth away from hers, but not before she bit down on his lower lip, nearly drawing blood.
“You’ll pay for that, bitch.”
For those of you who’re interested in receiving and Advanced Reading Copy of Julia’s story in exchange for a fair review, please leave a comment below with your contact information. Thank you all for coming on this journey with me!