It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. A lot has happened over the last year since my last post here. My compassion fatigue journal has helped not only me, but many others get through the darkest times of our lives. Having come through the other side, my Muse is speaking to me again and I can finally WRITE!
Part of that was due to having to make some serious life changes after collapsing at work. It’s not fun working the veterinary ER and having to be rushed to the human ER! I’ll go into that in another post on my Not Enough Time in the Day blog. Today, I’m thrilled to announce I’ve FINALLY republished For the Love of Quinn after having the rights returned to me last October. I did as I promised and split it up into two books. The ebooks are out on all vendors and the print should be available over the next week after I go through the proofs.
Quinn’s love affair with both Steve and Jake is a long convoluted story. The initial tale introduces many characters who play pivotal roles throughout the series including but not limited to having a book of their own. Some of the initial plot lines have changed based on what I’ve changed in the new and improved For the Love of Quinn…part 1 and 2.
I promise to have posts with teasers over the next week. For now, let me leave you with the blurbs and covers as well as the Books2Read links for each. If you click on the link, it will take you to the book page where it will list all the vendors where the books are available in ebook. One things I wanted to point out is that Barnes and Noble has put the two parts together as if they are different editions of each other. You will see the book cover for part two on my BN author page. Below that is a link for all editions. Click on that and another window opens up with both books.
For the Love of Quinn (Now and Forever Part 1)
Quinn Lee Hollis has reached a crossroads of her life. The forty-three-year old veterinary surgeon must choose to continue on with her loveless and emotionally abusive marriage, or fulfill her wildest fantasies during a trip to Vegas. There she meets two men. Both bring out the fire and passion she’s longed for her entire life.
Vegas Tycoon, Steve Eischer offers to fulfill her every fantasy.
Classic bad boy, Jake Hartley awakens a desire in her so strong, it threatens to destroy her.
Both have claims on her heart, but only one shares a connection so strong nothing can keep them apart.
Quinn Lee Hollis never dreamed a trip to Las Vegas for an annual veterinary conference would end up changing her life forever. There she met and fell in love with two men. Both bring out the passion she’s longed for her entire life.
One fulfills her every wish and fantasy, dropping everything to be by her side during the worst time of her life. He asks nothing in return other than to be allowed to love her whenever they can be together.
The other, awakens an all-consuming fire that threatens to destroy her hold on reality. Their initial explosive attraction burns out of control as they fantasize about the day they can come together again. His promises of forever turn empty when he’s pledged to marry another.
Unable to cope with his betrayal, Quinn buries her pain deep inside and throws herself into her work until one last betrayal sends her mind reeling and she loses her hold on reality. She retreats to her safe place to heal, the one place where all the pain will go away and she can be with the one who has always held her heart from the beginning of time.
Thank you all for stopping by! Stay tuned for information on when the print versions will be available. If you’re in Bellevue Washington on October 14th, be sure to stop in for the Passport to Romance Reader Appreciation Event. I’ll have signed copies of both of these books and a few others as well as swag for FREE!
It’s been a while since I checked in. I’ve been swamped with writing, edits and battling severe burnout and depression from my day job as a veterinarian. The darkness and despair became too much for me and I turned to my poetry to express everything swirling in my mind. Before I knew it, I had over a dozen poems and I could see light at the end of the tunnel as the saying goes. It’s still far off but getting closer and brighter. I put fifteen of the collection I’d written together in a journal in hopes that my journey would be a guide to others. I want this journal to be a safe haven for those suffering as I do. I don’t want them to feel lost and alone. I did and I have my husband to lean on and colleagues who are supportive. Even with that, I still was overwhelmed with it all.
Veterinarians have the highest suicide rates of any of the medical professions now. If we don’t stand up and help each other, who will?
This is my journey back into the light. Our paths through this may not be the same, but we have a common goal to get back into the love and light again. I hope this journal is a way for others to map out their steps back and let their voices be heard. I want to hear them all ROAR!
At the moment Suffering in Silence is available through Createspace and Amazon. More retailers to follow!
Here is one of the poems in the journal. When my coworkers read it, they all cried. This is what we go through each and every day.
Suffer in Silence
The Noblest of Professions
Calls to those with caring hearts.
No one tells you about the secret
That will tear your soul apart.
Bit by bit it eats away at your humanity.
To survive you must shut off your emotions
Or your mind gives up
And crosses over into insanity.
Happy, joyous occasions
Become fewer and farther between.
As our patients grow older,
Their bodies become frail and lean.
Still we’re expected to soldier on,
With a smile on our face.
Never mind the price we must pay
With each and every case.
By our hands one more life is ended.
Their pain they suffer no more.
But who grieves for us
When yet another is carried through the door?
The Noblest of Professions…
That much is true.
Would anyone want to still be a part of it
If they knew what they’d be asked to do?
Ending another’s suffering comes at a price
That in the end is far too steep.
Could you stand by as the end draws near
And not allow yourself to weep?
Someone must take up the mantle.
Someone must know what to say
To those whose pets suffer so,
Whose broken lives must end today.
The members of the Noblest of Professions
Die a little every day.
We remember each life we’ve held in our hands
The loss of our hearts is the price we must pay.
The Noblest of Professions must carry on
And Suffer in Silence.
To do anything else would make them appear
Self-absorbed, uncaring, and defiant.
Truth of the matter is
We suffer every day.
We carry the burden.
Our compassion is the other price we must pay.
Will you take up the mantle?
Could you die a little every day?
Will you heed the call of the Noblest of Professions
Even knowing the price you must pay?
Happy Sunday and welcome to Behind Closed Doors! Today I have the next installment from Karma In Blue Jeans for you to read. This week you get to meet a few more of Karma’s charges. Brighton Alderidge is the former BFF of Evangeline’s and the victim of her climb to the top of the publishing world. How will she handle the news of Evangeline’s fall from “grace”? Charlotte and Joe have lived the last few years of their lives numb with grief. The loss of their spouses has them spinning out of control…until Fate and Karma step in.
If this is the first time you’ve visited, you’ll want to catch up with the story from the beginning. Click on the links to take you to each post and then come back to continue the story. I hope you enjoy the book so far. It’s become one of my favorite projects to write. I’m sure you’ll understand why…
Brighton stared at the television, stunned by the news. Sure they had their differences and even all out wars but she’d never wish upon anyone what Evangeline Cross was facing now. Did she deserve to fall from the top? Hell yes, but to suffer a debilitating stroke on top of it was more than anyone should have to bear.
She snatched her cell from the coffee table in front of her and hit the button that connected directly to her publisher at Bliss.
“Hey doll. It’s Brighton Alderidge. Got a minute?”
“For you? Of course. What’s wrong? You don’t sound like yourself.”
“Have you seen the news about Evie?”
The woman on the other end of the conversation snorted. “Besides putting out all the fires she started around here, I haven’t heard anything more. Why? What’s she done now?”
“She’s in the hospital. Dallas held a press conference just now. Apparently she’s had a stroke.”
“Holy shit. Well, Karma’s a bitch—“
“You of all people should be dancing in the streets to see her finally get what’s coming to her. She put you through the ringer and her nut job fans were more than happy to go after you too.”
Brighton cringed as the memory of the worst time in her life came back to her. She’d been accused of plagiarism by an obscure, unknown person on Wattpad. Come to find out, the accuser was a uber fan who wanted to take her down so Evangeline’s book could then be at number one. Two years of legal battles and thousands of dollars in legal fees later, she’d been cleared. Her love of writing didn’t survive. Writer’s block had paralyzed her through the entire process. It had only been within the last six months she’d been able to jump back in with a tell all memoir that shot straight to the top of the nonfiction best sellers lists. A month ago she’d been approached by the local talk show to see if she’d like to be a regular on their panel. Life had turned out great for her—much to Evangeline’s chagrin.
Even after all this time, Evangeline continued to claim ignorance of the whole mess, but screen shots from her private Evie’s Angels Facebook group told a different story. Brighton hadn’t wanted to believe her once best friend would have encouraged the horrible attack, but there it was in black and white. While the betrayal had crushed her, it had also opened her eyes to the backstabbing, mean girl mentality swirling around the publishing world.
Gone was the wide-eyed, naïve Midwestern girl. In her place stood a stronger, more determined street smart woman ready to put her past behind her and move on. She’d vowed to never forgive Evangeline for orchestrating the mob that had ripped her apart and called her a thief.
And yet, her heart ached for the friend she used to be.
No one deserves to be struck down in her prime even if she is the biggest bitch of the century! “I know. I should be dancing over this but I feel awful for her and her family.”
“I understand what you’re saying, but save it. She could care less about your sympathy. She’d think you had ulterior motives by offering her any help.”
She sighed. “I know you’re right but I’m still going to stop in and check in on Dallas and Marissa.”
“My advice? Don’t do anything in public. She’ll only turn it against you.”
“Thanks Jess. I promise I’ll be careful.” She made her way to the kitchen and then dropped her cell phone into her purse and retrieved her keys. She scribbled a quick note for her husband and then headed out to her car. We had been so close. I miss that Evie. Maybe this is my chance to get her back.
* * * *
A crash echoed throughout the cafeteria followed by the sound of breaking glass and china. All eyes turned toward Charlotte as a man with the most amazing blue eyes helped her from the floor.
“Oh my god! Are you all right? I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
Her head swam and she found it hard to catch her breath after her collision with the wall of muscle standing over her. “I…I…I think I’m okay but my lunch has seen better days.” She looked down at her smock and groaned. I can’t believe this is happening to me today of all days.
He crouched next to her and proceeded to help her pick up the mess of food and broken dishes. “Please. Allow me to buy you another meal and pick up the dry cleaning tab for your clothing.”
She shook her head and smiled. “That’s not necessary. You weren’t the only one with their head in the clouds. I’ve been preoccupied today and this is just as much my fault as it is yours.”
“Nonsense. I insist.” He glanced at her name tag and smiled. “Charlie? Are you the one the kids chant for every morning?”
She couldn’t pull her eyes from his. Something about him seemed so familiar to her. She nodded. “That’s me. They love their story time. I’m sorry, but do we know each other? You look so familiar. I can’t place it, but…”
He helped her removed the soiled smock and accompanied her back to the food line. “Don’t think so. I would remember someone as beautiful as you.”
She laughed. “I bet you say that to all the girls you crash into.”
He stopped and raised his right hand with three fingers up. “Nope. Scout’s Honor. You’re the very first.”
Her spine tingled.
Scout’s Honor. Darrin had said that to her all the time.
He smiled. Not just any smile but a slow Cheshire cat grin she thought she’d never see again.
“Wha…what did you say your name was?”
He leaned close and took her hands in his. “It’s Joe. Are you okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
She squeezed his fingers and asked again. “Have we met before?”
He nodded. “In each and every lifetime. Our names are different but our hearts always find each other.”
She swallowed back the lump that had formed in her throat. “It can’t be. Today is…”
“The anniversary of the day we had to part.”
“Darrin?” Her voice cracked and she berated herself for sounding like a lost little girl.
“I don’t understand it either, but seems we’ve been given a second chance here and now. I didn’t realize what was going on until I heard your voice singing to the kids. All of it came back to me. What do you say we grab our food and get reacquainted?”
Too stunned to do anything but take his arm, she walked back through the line and let him fill her tray with all of her favorites.
* * * *
It took all he had to keep calm and not throw his arms around her and never let go. Three years ago his wife of twenty years had lost her battle with breast cancer and he’d lost his will to live. Now here in front of him she appeared to be living again in the body of another, with the voice of an angel—an angel who’d given up on life and wished to be reunited with the love of her life.
Just as he’d done the night before.
Today was the anniversary of his wife, Carrie’s death. Now here she was sitting across from him as if the last three years had never happened. Her laughter tickled his ears and set goosebumps up and down his spine. It wasn’t the fact she was his Carrie that gave him the sense of déjà vu. He remembered his life as her husband, Darrin. Every single moment of it flooded back to him.
She reached across the table and placed her hand over his. “Now you look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
She nodded. “I think so. I can see a wedding on the beach.”
“Darrin and I were married on Maui, but the memory I’m having now is of me walking across the sand to you.”
“The memories are swirling around each other in your head and combining into one?” Please let her say yes and not think I’m out of my mind.
She exhaled. “Thank God! I thought I’d smacked my head on the floor when you knocked me to the floor.” She smiled and the color in her cheeks turned a rosy pink that made the freckles all the more adorable.
“I’ve been drawn to you for the last couple days and I didn’t know why. Something compelled me to have lunch here today instead of running up the street to the diner.”
He nodded. “Yeah. It’s my favorite spot here in the city. They have the best mac and cheese around. My wife used to try to duplicate it and she came damn close.”
“Same here! I’m thinking they use a special blend of cheeses but I have yet to match it.”
He turned his hand over and laced his fingers with hers. “Charlie, I think we’re supposed to find each other here, today.”
Tears filled her eyes and her grip around his fingers tightened. “I’ve all but given up and asked to be reunited with my Darrin again. I don’t want to go on without him.”
“You don’t have to. We can have our second chance. All we have to do is believe.”
“Do you? I’m afraid to let my heart feel again.”
“If you would’ve asked me last week, my answer would have been a resounding hell no. I can’t believe in anything that could take away my heart and soul. But now, sitting here with you I want to believe. I need to believe this is the answer to our prayers.”
“Before you get excited, I should tell you I’ve been diagnosed with stage four.”
His stomach tightened and the room spun. No. No. NO!
“I refused treatment but now…”
“You’ll give it a try? I mean, I’ll be there with you every step of the way. I won’t let you go through this alone.”
“This is all so overwhelming but somehow it feels right. Promise me this isn’t a dream. You’re really here?”
“Yeah. I’m really here. Time for my confession.”
She wiped the tears from her cheeks and tilted her head to the side. She winked and then smiled.
“I was going to go home tonight, close up the garage and let the car run. Like you, I wished to be with my one true love and thought the one way was to leave this world.”
She shook her head and then got up to join him on his side of the table. She wrapped her arms around his neck and then sobbed. “Then it’s a damn good thing we’re both klutzes.”
He chuckled and pulled her close. He rested his cheek on the top of her head and rocked her until her tears slowed. “We’re two peas in a pod. Someone’s been looking out for us, that’s for sure.” My prayers have been answered. Please don’t take her away from me again.
* * * *
Justice smiled. “Now there’s a couple I wouldn’t have seen together in a million years. He’s really robbing the cradle with Charlie.”
Karma put her head on his shoulder and kept her eyes on her new project. “Both are old souls. He may be two decades older that she is in this life, in their hearts they’re the perfect match. His wife died exactly one year before her husband. The stars and worlds were aligned perfectly the moment they collided today so they could reunite.”
“Their heads must be spinning with all the déjà vu going around.” He draped his arm over the back of her chair and twirled her hair between his fingertips. Even in human form her tresses reminding him of the silk spun by the nimble hands of the Faery folk. His cock stirred against his scrub pants with the thought of having her in his bed tonight and every night for as long as The Three allowed her to be with him. Sure she still had to perform her duties, but at least he could play a greater role in her life other than to satisfy her carnal urges.
Not that he was complaining. He’d be an idiot to turn down any moment with her, but he’d be lying to himself if he said he didn’t long for more from the woman he’d loved for centuries. If only she felt the same.
As a demigod, he could never ascend to her status of immortality. Eventually he would leave this realm and have to wait for his next life cycle. Karma would live forever unless she did as Lucius and gave up her status as a goddess.
Something he’d never allow her to do.
“What’s wrong, love? I thought seeing the two of them reunited would make you happy. Instead it’s had the opposite effect.”
He kissed her forehead and then stood up. “Nothing. It’s been a long day with Evangeline and your surprise in the on call room. How about we head over to my—our house and get you settled in?”
She pouted and took the hand he offered. “I don’t think I like not being able to read your thoughts in an instant.”
“Get used to it. You’re the one who wanted the human experience.”
“Don’t remind me.” She turned for one last look at Charlie and Joe and smiled.
“Is she really going to beat stage four?”
“It’s in their hands now, but yes. She will and the two of them will have their happily ever after. They’ve taken the first leap of faith. The rest will be a piece of cake.”
She continued to rattle on about a few of the other cases she had to handle over the never few weeks, but he didn’t hear a word. Instead his mind wandered back to Evangeline strapped to the hospital bed. She’s one of the worst cases I’ve ever had to deal with and I’m not sure if she’s redeemable. Maybe it would be better just to cut her loose and let her completely self-destruct.
Hello my friends! I hope you have enjoyed your Easter celebration. I realize not everyone celebrates this religious holiday, but for me it’s the start of Spring and New Beginnings. With that in mind, I have the next chapter from Karma In Blue Jeans to share with you. For those of you who haven’t read the first three chapters, click on the links below to catch up. Of course, you don’t have to do that right away. You can read Chapter 4 first and then go back to the beginning to catch up. It’s all good!
I do have one more surprise for everyone. I finally decided on a cover for KIBJ. I had debated about using the beautiful model I’ve chosen to represent her in these posts or go with something a little less obvious. Facebook loves to block images of covers that showcase too much skin. That of course is all subjective as they have no problem allowing videos with full on sex acts to be posted. So to get around all of that, I decided not to put Karma’s face on the cover. First of all, in the book readers find out she can change up her look depending on her mood. Last week she was granted her wish to live among the humans…in human form. She’s a wild child so I had to choose a photo that would represent that. What do you think?
So far we’ve learned Karma has been begging The Three for a chance to learn more about the mortals. With Lucius preparing to give up his immortality for his love of a Wiccan Priestess, Karma has to fill his shoes. Before she steps into her new role as part of The Three, she is allowed to experience life as a human. With her on this journey will be her lover the demigod, Justice. In this chapter we meet the sexy half human. I won’t say anymore.
Justice stood next to Marissa after her father entered Evangeline’s room alone. “I’m sorry you have to go through this.”
She waved him off, shrugged and appeared utterly defeated. “It’s not your fault, Doc. She did this to herself. She got caught up in all the hype of becoming a bestselling author. Somewhere along the way we lost her. It wasn’t always like this you know. Now there’s no turning back.”
He nodded. “The pressure to be on top can and has destroyed many. All’s not lost. There is still hope she’ll snap back and learn from her mistakes.”
“Don’t bet on it.” She turned away and shuffled toward the elevators.
He sighed. He’d never envied Karma’s position of having to decide when to reward and when to punish. He had always erred on the side of hope but in this case, he wished They’d stop enabling and let Evangeline hit rock bottom.
“Your wish is my command.”
He smiled and noted she’d turned into her human form after she’d materialized. Just like her to wait for the perfect moment to enter the earthly realm. Now she can’t hear my thoughts as easily. This could be fun. “They granted your request?”
She nodded. “How much longer must you stay here tonight? I’d hoped we could celebrate Yeshua’s decision—alone.” She moved to within inches of his lips and smiled.
Desire rolled through him as her scent filled his nostrils. “I’ve done all I can here tonight. Your plan must progress on its own from here. I managed to convince her husband she must stay for at least another three days.”
She purred and traced her fingertips along the lapels of his lab coat. “Time enough for one of our quickies before I have to take care of my next charge.”
He brought her hand to his lips. “You’ll have to get used to the idea that seventy-two hours of fucking isn’t considered a quickie for humans.”
She laughed. “Do tell.”
“I’d rather show you.” They moved toward the on-call room arm in arm. No one appeared to notice them as they made their way through the hallway. He pushed the door open to find the room completely empty.
She followed him into the room and then tossed her jacket on the chair.
He reached behind her, locked the door and then pinned her against it.
“What if we’re caught?” Her breathless question sent quivers through his body.
“That’s over half the fun and what makes this the best demonstration of what horny mortals do to satisfy their urges.” He lifted her up as his lips found hers eager as ever. He pulled up her blue jean skirt to find a bare ass. He groaned as her skin warmed with his touch.
A deep throaty laugh tickled his ears and buzzed against his lips. He had to have her now. His cock strained against his scrubs as he made his way to the bed against the opposite wall. He tossed her down and dropped his pants as she spread her legs before him.
He gasped and then in haled deeply. Her scent of arousal was enough to trigger a dribble of precum from his throbbing cock. He shoved her legs wide and then plunged into her. He steadied himself as he balanced his weight on his forearms and then pounded her pussy with abandon.
“Jus…tice…” Her cunt clenched around him and welcomed him home as only she could do. No human or goddess for that matter had ever been able to do that for him and demand more.
Not that he was complaining.
She wrapped her legs around his hips and then dug her heels into his ass to help pull him inside her with each thrust. Her nails raked along his back through his scrub top.
The thought of them still partially clothed as they enjoyed each other turned him on even more. By the look in her eyes, he knew she felt the same. This had been exactly what he’d wanted to experience with her in her first moments as a human and it morphed into something much more than he’d expected.
He watched her skin flush from the top of her full breasts, up her neck and color her cheeks. Her pupils dilated into black orbs that pulled him in. Seconds before he thought he’d fall into them, she tossed her head back and cried out as her body shook violently beneath him.
He thrust into her a half dozen more times and willingly followed her over the edge. He collapsed on top of her as the last of his cum shot out of him.
She pushed him over so they could lay side by side with their arms and legs still entangled. “I think I like this quickie. Why haven’t we done this before?”
He brushed her curls away from her forehead and then kissed her, slowly, with eyes wide open. “You’ve not been human before nor have we had to sneak around. We’ve been able to enjoy each other whenever we wanted in your realm. This will be a whole new experience for you.”
She pouted. “So you’ve experienced this rush with your mortal conquests before me?”
“They’ve meant nothing to me. It’s you who has always had and will always hold my heart.”
She clenched her inner muscles down on his softening cock. “Now I claim this for only me as well.”
He smiled and devoured her lips again. Their tongues swirled and danced with each other until his dick filled and stretched her again. Even as a human she’s insatiable!
“It’s about damn time.” She moved her hips enough to glide along his shaft until both of them shuddered.
He nuzzled her breasts as they clung to each other, chests rising and falling in sync. He kissed the cleft between her tits and moved up along her neck, hitting all of her hot zones. He’d hoped they’d be the same for her now and had been pleased to find her even more aroused. Unfortunately, he needed a little more time to recover.
She giggled “Already I’m not liking being a human. I have to wait too long to have you again.”
“There will be plenty of time for that later. This was just an appetizer of things to come now that you’ll be with me in this world. That’s what you’d planned to do right? Stay with me?
* * * *
She noticed the momentary look of panic in his eyes. She frowned and touched his face. He’s actually worried I want to be with anyone else during my journey. “Justice…”
He untangled from her arms and stood up from the bed. He picked up their discarded clothing and shrugged. “You don’t owe me anything. Yeshua finally granted your wish. I’ll not stand in your way. You need to partake in all that being human has to offer, even if it means you take on other lovers.”
She sat up and stared. She had to admit she hadn’t thought that far ahead but the thought of other lovers intrigued her. “If there are to be other lovers, I wish to share all of them with you. I have no desire to be with anyone else unless we do it together.”
He helped her from the bed and kissed her. “That can be arranged.” He wiggled his eyebrows up and down to get her to giggle again.
“Spill it. What do you have going on in that mind of yours?”
He shook his head. “Nope. This will be a surprise for later. For now we have to get back to Evangeline. She’s finally asleep with the help of medication but I had to put her in restraints to keep her here. Unless she agrees to a longer stay, I can only keep her here for the three days.”
“Plenty of time. While you’ve distracted me with this surprise, another charge is in need of my help. I have to visit one who is to be rewarded for all her goodwill. It’s the reason I came here today.”
He spun her around and placed her into a dip. “Not for the quickie?”
“Alas, no, but that was an amazing. You may know her. She’s one of the volunteers here—Charlotte Mayberry.”
His face lit up. She runs the library here and visits the children’s ward to read to them every day.”
“Did you know she’s homeless.”
He visibly paled. “What?”
She nodded. “She spends her time here to keep busy. She lost her home after her husband died. She’s been living in a shelter off and on for the last two years.”
“I don’t understand. She has family. Why haven’t they helped her?”
“She doesn’t want to be a burden. Yesterday she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. She’s refused treatment because she wants to go and be with her husband. I’m here to grant her wish.”
“To let her die?”
She shook her head. “I’ve arranged for her to meet the most wonderful man, a widower. The two must meet today for it all to work as I’ve planned. I’ll need your help to pull it off.”
“I’ll do whatever it takes to bring joy to our Charlotte. The kids call her Charlie. Stage four? She’s so young…”
Karma nodded. “She gives so much to everyone else at the expense of her own health and happiness. Fate and I agreed Charlotte—Charlie is to go on and can do so in this lifetime. Her husband will be able to join her through this widower.”
“How will she know it’s him?”
“The heart always knows its soulmate. The realization will hit them both hard. We’ll need to be there to encourage them to follow their hearts and not be afraid to love again.”
She smiled. “True love conquers all. Both of them will have to take a leap of faith and believe they are meant to be together.”
“With a little push from us?” He winked.
“More like a gentle nudge. Come on. We’ll miss our window if we stay here any longer.”
“This is where not being human would help move things along. We’d be able to materialize to wherever we need to go in the blink of an eye.” He scurried after her as she sashayed toward the elevators that would take them up to the cafeteria.
“I can still do that but it can drain my powers. I have to be careful not to weaken myself to the point I’m unprotected.”
He leaned against the back of the elevators and crossed his ankles. His eyes appeared to glaze over.
She laughed and snuggled close to him. “I’ll explain all of it later. Right now we have to make sure Charlie and Joe’s worlds collide.”
Today I’m sharing the next chapter from Karma In Blue Jeans (Immortal Siblings). This one gives you another glimpse into the world of the Eternal Siblings as well as the Evangeline’s punishment. Karma doesn’t fool around with this one and as it turns out, neither do The Three.
If you haven’t read the first two chapters, you’ll want to catch up before you move on to this one.
The trio entered the mountain cabin Yeshua called his home away from home. The phrase had always struck Karma as funny. As the Creator of All, home is wherever and whenever He wanted it to be. In a blink of an eye He could change His surroundings and yet he preferred the rustic cabin in the mountains.
An entire wall of the main room had been converted into a media center, covered with flat screen monitors. At any given moment, the faces of their human charges could be brought to view. Lucius called the space The War Room. She’d thought the name fit since every time The Three convened in there, Lucius and Fate would argue. Yeshua had the final say of course, but He always heard them out.
He’d been known to change His mind from time to time because of their heated debates, so the rest of the Siblings had learned it was worthwhile to speak their minds and plead their case or that of the humans they’d been assigned to look after throughout all time.
Yeshua stood from the overstuffed chair at the head of the table and welcomed them with open arms. “My sisters! It’s good to see you working so closely together with this Evangeline fiasco. I’m very pleased with the direction it’s taken.”
Rhiannon kissed Him on the cheek. “Really? I could’ve sworn you’d tossed the remote at the screens only yesterday after my last report. I had been convinced you’d jump in Yourself.”
“Nonsense. My frustration got the best of me is all. Nothing more. Nothing less. In Evangeline’s case, Karma and Lucius had been right from the start. The human has squandered every chance you’ve granted her. It’s time to turn the tables on her and why I asked Lucius to bring you here now.”
“Turn the tables? I don’t understand. I thought that’s what Karma has done.” Rhiannon looked between her Brothers with wide eyes, her face filled with uncertainty and concern.
Yeshua pointed to the screen that featured Evangeline’s smiling face. “If she fails the final tests, We wash our hands of her.”
Lucius toyed with his goatee and then smiled. “It’s good to hear You say that. Not all Our creations deserve the second chance to get things right in one lifetime. Some have been through dozens and still haven’t learned their lessons.”
Yeshua nodded. “That’s why I’ve decided for this one—if she does not embrace her destiny now, she’ll not have another chance.”
Karma stood before Him stunned into silence. Never before has He ruled a soul could not be reincarnated to begin again. “I don’t understand. If she fails then this lifetime will be her last?”
“My dear, Karma. I’ve grown weary of allowing mortals such as Evangeline Cross to come back time and time again to make others miserable. Why should she continue to benefit from the work of and on the backs of her fellow-man?”
“Forgive me, Brother. It saddens me to see You this way.”
“Why? Haven’t you said all alone I made the wrong choice to give them free will? That I’d end up broken-hearted in the end?”
Her eyes welled with tears. “Yes, but perhaps I’ve been too harsh. There are some who’ve earned the Blessings and have gone on to help others.”
“True, but their numbers are dwindling. That’s why I’ve come to this decision. Those who twist the Blessings to harm others will no longer be able to come back and repeat the travesty in the next—or any other lifetime.”
She looked to Lucius for help and sent him a silent plea. What do I do?
He lifted his chin toward Yeshua. Go on. Ask him.
“Then give me the chance to find other mortals worthy of Your Blessings.”
Yeshua returned to his chair and sighed. “You know Fate is against this.”
She nodded and then sat at his feet. She held his right hand with both of hers. She held his gaze and wept freely. She felt His sorrow and pain to her very core. “You asked me to step into Lucius’s shoes and be firm but fair with the humans. Until I know their hearts as You do, I cannot hope to perform my duties without wishing to strike out at those who’ve taken away the smile from Your eyes. That sadness tells me you’ve given up.”
He squeezed her small fingers between his. “I’ve not surrendered if that’s what you mean. It’s more of an acceptance. Too few of my human children embrace their gifts. Instead they use them for evil, or even worse—they’re indifferent to each other and the damage they’ve caused.”
“Let me do this and I will find more who deserve their second chances.”
“Go ahead, Yeshua. Grant her this wish.”
All turned to find Fate standing in the doorway. Her violet gown floated about her as she entered the room. She tossed her deep auburn curls over her shoulder and sighed. “I can’t stand in her way simply because I’m afraid to lose her too.”
Lucius smiled. “I thought you’d be happy to get me out of your hair.”
She scowled and embraced him. While I’ll not miss the fights, I will miss your handsome face across the table. You’ve kept me on my toes every moment. I cannot continue to be selfish. Even gods must follow their hearts. I’ve known you’d find Brigid sooner rather than later, but I never thought it would be now. That part has been hidden even from me.”
“I’m not gone yet.” He kissed her forehead and held her to his chest.
“No you’re not, which makes this the perfect time for Karma to live on Earth for a bit.” Fate’s Irish brogue thickened as she became more emotional.
Karma got up from the floor and through her arms around Fate and Lucius. “Thank you!”
“Now don’t get too excited. You’re still expected to carry out your present duties. While you’ll appear human, you’ll still have all your powers. With that comes a great responsibility. There are those who would do anything to take away your Gifts and turn them against you. You must be on guard at all times.”
“Black Heart?” Karma’s spine tingled at just the thought of the vile creature that’d been a thorn in the side of The Three since the days of Adam and Eve.
Fate pursed her lips and her emerald-green eyes blazed. “Aye. He has spies everywhere and I’m sure he’s heard the rumors about Lucius stepping down. He’s never forgiven him or Us for the curse. While he cannot do anything to Lucius, Malachi could harm you while you’re in mortal form.”
“I’ll be careful.”
Yeshua beckoned to her to sit in the chair next to His. “As a human with your powers, you may find you wish to exact immediate punishment or reward. Think before you do to be sure it’s deserved. Justice will be with you, but he is not immortal. If he is slain, he is dead and will have to wait for the next life cycle to return. If you are drained of your powers as a human, you too will die.”
“I’ll lose my immortality?”
He nodded. “Only for a short time. You will come back, but at a great cost. It weakens all the Eternal Siblings when one must regenerate. It leaves all of us vulnerable to attack.”
She shook her head. “But not You.”
“No, not me but I could lose some or all of our brothers and sisters. I could not bear it. The world and heavens as We know them now, would cease to exist. Knowing the risks, do you still wish to do this?”
She glanced around the room. All eyes were upon her. Rhiannon’s appeared filled with anxiety. Fate’s appeared filled with resignation, and Lucius’s amber eyes glowed with determination and faith in her.
“Then so be it”
* * * *
“Mr. Cross, I don’t think it’s wise to discharge your wife in her current state. She’s extremely agitated and we’re concerned she may harm herself again.”
His eyes darted to the shiny name tag on the other man’s lab coat. “Dr. Justice, with all due respect, don’t be stupid. She didn’t try to kill herself. She had a frickin’ stroke.”
The doctor nodded. “She did suffer a stroke, yes but she also consumed two bottles of wine by her own admission as well as a fist full of Alprazolam.”
He closed his eyes and fell back against the wall. The pills had been a new prescription his own doctor had prescribed for him. He’d tossed the bottle in his dresser drawer, determined to not use them unless absolutely necessary. They were for panic attacks and came with specific instructions to never mix them with alcohol.
After his last fight with Evangeline, he’d looked for them. When he couldn’t find them, he thought he’d misplaced them. Then all the shit hit the fan with her publisher and he’d practically ripped the bedroom apart searching for the medication. All he’d wanted to do was relax enough to get a decent night’s rest. Now here he was talking to a man much too young and good-looking to be a doctor concerned about his wife’s mental state.
“Dad, maybe we should have her committed.” Marissa’s soft voice rang in his ears and brought him back to the discussion.
“Committed? She won’t stand for that. She’ll just check herself out of here.”
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. She can’t walk. The stroke affected her entire right side of her body. We need to give her time to heal mentally and physically. With as much Alprazolam and alcohol she had in her system, I can legally hold her here for the next seventy-two hours. It would be best if she heard it from you and she’s here voluntarily.
“This is the best place for her. She needs to stay off the Internet and out of sight.” Marissa touched the faint bruise on her cheek.
He clenched his jaw. He’d never known Evangeline to get physical with their daughter before. When he’d seen the hand print on her pale skin, he’d seen red. The only thing that had kept him from confronting his wife had been the fact she had to be taken away in an ambulance. Time to face the facts. Evie’s turned into a stranger and if I don’t put my foot down now and get her the help she needs, we’re all lost. “I’ll talk to her, but I can’t promise you she’ll listen.”
“You’ve always been able to get through to her, Dad. We have to be strong now. This is for her own good. She’s been out of control and I’m scared.”
“What do you mean?” No child should feel afraid for her parent. I’ve failed my daughter.
“She’s been manic and obsessed with her book sales and rankings. If they fell below some random number in her head, she’d flip out. Last week she sobbed uncontrollably when her last book fell off the Bliss and Amazon best seller lists. She’d been frantic to set up more giveaways. I kept telling her the she was attracting the wrong kind of people with those things but she didn’t care. As long as they bought the books, she didn’t give a shit if they actually read them. She maxed out yet another credit card ordering those knock off handbags.”
Where the hell was I when this all happened?
Who was he kidding? He knew. They’d had another fight over her out of control spending on the gift baskets. Once again she’d refused to listen and told him flat out to mind his own business. He’d left and checked into a hotel downtown just to get away from her and her drunken rages.
It’s not like they were heading for bankruptcy. He’d had his thriving editing business and online magazine. His income alone had always been enough—until she started attending every reader and author convention she could find. The costs of print books and swag were enough to wipe out one credit card, but then she had to go bigger than everyone else. She’d actually hired her own entourage to man her tables so she could concentrate on signing and not deal with the money aspect.
He’d tried to get her to pick a few key meet and greets and then cut out the rest. She’d refused to listen. The last straw had been a call from their bank informing him she’d taken out a loan using her SUV as collateral. The banker had been an old college buddy of his and had given him the heads up.
She’d blown through all the money and then some. Huge chunks of it went to the critique partner to buy her silence. He found that out two days ago. He’d been floored with her admission and utterly defeated.
She’d become someone he didn’t care to know let alone be married to anymore. It had damn near broken his heart to tell her so. Remembering the moment now, threatened to do it again.
“I’m tired of fighting with you. I didn’t sign up for this bullshit.”
“For better or worse ring a bell?” She’d sneered and then tossed an empty wine bottle at his head.
“Don’t throw our vows in my face, Evie. I’ve been by your side through every doctor appointment, hospital stay and every round of chemo. This is a whole other ball of wax. You’re asking me to be an accomplice to your lies. What you’ve done is not only dishonest, it’s illegal.”
“No. I paid her for the work. She’s like my ghost writer.”
“You’re twisting this to suit your needs and justify all the lies you’ve told your fans and Bliss.”
“Stop calling it lies. I’ve not done anything all the other top Romance authors haven’t done.” She opened another bottle of Pinot Grigio and filled her glass to the top.
“Really? The ones who had been caught plagiarizing, you watched fall and had a party to celebrate. You’re the one who turned in your biggest competition to those bloggers and sat back while her career combusted over one book. You’ve done it with two full series—sixteen books in total. How many more will it be?”
“As many as I want. Don’t you even think about messing this up for me, Dallas. It’s finally my turn at the top. I won’t let you take that away from me too.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean? I’ve given you everything you’ve ever wanted and more.”
“Except another child!”
“You were sick and your doctor gave me a choice, either you or the baby. I couldn’t save you both.”
“You knew I wanted him more than life itself and you took that choice from me. I’ll never forgive you for that.”
Fifteen years later she’d still tossed that in his face. She’d been hemorrhaging and they had to take her uterus. Their son had lived three hours. Long enough for him to hold him and say goodbye. Evangeline never got that chance because she’d been on the operating table for over ten hours in order for her doctors to remove all the cancer that had ravaged her breasts and her body a second time.
Marissa had been their miracle after the doctors had told them the chemotherapy had rendered her infertile. The second pregnancy had been a complete surprise. Devastation had set in when told her cancer had returned. Chemotherapy had been out of the question during the pregnancy, so the cancer ran wild.
When she’d started to bleed, the doctors had taken her to surgery to save both of them. In the end, Dallas had been the one to make the horrible decision of which to save.
There was no way he’d wanted to raise two kids on his own. Evangeline and Marissa had been his life—heart and soul. While he wished the outcome had been different, he knew he’d made the right decision for his family. All had agreed.
Except his wife.
Whenever she wanted to cut him to his core, she’d bring up the loss of their son and he’d cave in to whatever she wanted to make her happy. As much as he hated to admit it, he’d created the monster who lay strapped to the hospital bed before him. If he’d stopped her from going down the path from the start, demanded both of them get counselling, maybe they’d be living a whole other life.
Now he had to pick up the pieces of their lives and figure out a way to move on, even if it meant losing her in the process.
Welcome back to Behind Closed Doors and the next chapter from Karma In Blue Jeans (Immortal Siblings). For those of you who are visiting for the first time, let me give you a brief explanation of this book and the series. Karma’s story came about in response to several issues I’ve seen crop up in the publishing world as well as the news and my life outside of my writing. We’ve all heard the “what comes around goes around” saying and many toss out barbs about the Karma Train coming for their enemies. I thought why not give Karma a face and a voice. Let’s see how she doles out punishments and rewards. The more I wrote in my Karma notebook, the more I found her story as well as those of her siblings would fit well as a cross over between my Now and Forever series and my Kayne Legacy series. Both have gods and goddesses as characters and the Immortal Siblings series is the perfect vehicle for me to explore the other characters and tie together all of story lines. It’s been a natural process for me because all of them are connected. It had been difficult for me to keep them separate so I gave in and let them tell their story.
This book has been a pleasure to write. I’m loving all the characters even the villains. LOL! I hope you do too. If you missed last week’s posting of Chapter One, click HERE. When you’re all caught up, please join me back here for Chapter 2. Leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you think of the story so far!
“Did you see what I’ve been dealing with here? She’s going to lose her soulmate because she can’t admit she’s cheated and lied her way to where she is today.”
Karma sighed. “Ms. Cross will be confronted by those she used to lead in attacking others. They’ve already begun cutting ties with her. Reviews are being pulled and changed from five stars to one star. The tumble she loved to watch her competition go through is happening to her and headed into a full on free fall.”
“Is there hope for her?”
She draped her arm around Rhiannon’s waist. “There’s always hope. She simply has to reach out and accept the help offered with grace and humility.”
“Yeah, that’s not going to happen based on her track record with me.”
Lucius materialized in front of them. Karma smiled. He’d been stopping in on her assignments more and more as of late. Not that it bothered her. She adored him and wished they’d spent more time together instead of it always being on the job.
He nodded and appeared to be pleased with her work. “You went with a multipronged attack with this one. Brilliant.”
Rhiannon laughed. “She did learn from the best.”
He bowed and kissed her hand. “I do my best to share my secrets with those meant to take over when I’m gone.”
Karma sighed. “So you’ve made up your mind then? The Priestess is worth giving up everything and eternity for?”
He hugged her and chuckled. “She is and so much more. Brigid understands me and accepts who I am. She didn’t ask me to give up my powers. In fact, she left me when I told her my intentions.”
“She did what?” Karma admired Brigid more in that moment than she’d ever admit. She was willing to walk away from her soulmate in order for him to continue as one of The Three. That took courage and sacrifice, two traits she looked for in all mortals.
“It’s when Yeshua knew He couldn’t deny my request. While we’d created so many worlds together, He could read my heart like no other. He knew before I did that I would do this.”
Rhiannon snorted. “It’s that family of hers. Fate intervened with the lot of them and their friends. When she sets her mind to something, Yeshua sees that it happens. You, dear Brother were a casualty of that, albeit a pleasant one. Personally I adore the little minx who claimed your heart. She’s full of fire, the only kind able to control you.”
He smiled. “That she does. Now that I know Karma will be able to handle things, my transformation will take place soon.”
“Not before I get to spend time among them.”
“It’s not necessary…”
“I disagree. Cases like Evangeline Cross are easy. There are others who will take more finesse. I need to know how they think in certain situations. That will help me design their trials and tests.”
“I’m not the one you have to convince. You may be able to use Fate’s intervention with Brigid’s family to your advantage.”
Rhiannon agreed. “Mortals haven’t changed much through the centuries. Sure they have more toys and can communicate with each other instantly, but at their core, they’re all the same. If you feel you must experience life among them to do your job, then Yeshua will agree.”
“He wasn’t having any of it the last time I broached the subject.”
“He’s had time to mull it over and has listened to a few of us who feel you need to do this.”
She stared at Rhiannon. “What do you mean? Have you talked to Him about this behind my back?”
“No. It wasn’t a secret. You’ve been busy lately and I simply took the opportunity to let him know I supported you. I reminded him He has allowed me to do what you’ve asked and it hasn’t changed me.”
Lucius took both of their hands. “Come. Let’s make your case to Them now. Between the three of us, I’m sure we can get Their blessing.”
She smiled. “Are you sure you must leave us for The Priestess?”
He nodded. “She has been my destiny from the very beginning. Now is our time. One day you’ll be faced with the same choice.”
“Bite your tongue! I have more than enough on my plate with Justice and his shenanigans. Living disguised as a mortal is one thing. Giving up my powers is another—and completely out of the question.”
The three of them faded and left Evangeline alone to discover just how far she’d fallen.
* * * *
“@evangeline is a fraud and thief #StopPlagiarism”
“@evangeline lied and cheated her way up the ranks #TheMightyWillFall”
“I’ve deleted all @evangeline books. Will support the #RealAuthor”
She scrolled through page after page of tweets all calling her out for an explanation or joining the mobs bombing her everywhere. With one click, she deleted her Twitter account. I don’t need that bullshit. She opened a new window and navigated to her website to shut off comments on her blog. She’d decided to not go the extra step and make the site private—yet. She needed to keep up the illusion she was going to fight this lawsuit and not run from it.
She gulped down the last of the wine in her glass and then deleted the nasty comments that had escaped her filters. Her eyes snapped away from her the screen as the front door slammed. She cringed as the telltale sound of broken glass reached her ears. My vase collection!
She bolted from her office to find her daughter, Marissa on her knees picking up the pieces of glass and pottery that covered the floor. “How many times have I told you not to slam that door?”
Her daughter sat back on her heels and glared. “Are you kidding me right now? I’ve had the worst day of my life thanks to you and you’re bitching about me slamming the door. Unfrickinbelievable!”
“Hey! You may be eighteen, but you live in my house and you won’t talk to me like that.”
Marissa rolled her eyes. “I don’t give a shit, Mother. It’s all over school what you did. Do you have any idea what it’s like to have people ask if you’re still going to follow in your mother’s footsteps? My English professor called me into her office today and asked me flat out if everything I’d turned in to her was my own work.”
She stood and carried the larger pieces of debris to the kitchen. She tossed them in the trash and then grabbed the Dustbuster from the charging station. She stomped back to the entryway and collided with Marissa, knocking her to the floor again. “Look. This whole mess will be worked out in court. It’s all lies. The judge will see it and then we can get back to normal.”
Marissa stood up and leaned against the wall. “You’re delusional. I’m not a little kid you can tell bullshit lies to anymore.”
“I’m not lying, Mar. This is all a big mistake. I submitted every book to Bliss, worked through edits, and rewrites. They’re my words…my work.”
“No. You stole someone else’s work and passed it off as your own. The original manuscripts didn’t belong to you. You had no right to send them to Bliss or any other publisher.”
“You’re turning on me too? First your father and now you. I can’t do this right now. I have to get ready for my doctor’s appointment.”
“Appointment for what? Is it for your fibromyalgia you don’t have or are you having another cancer scare?”
She slapped Marissa and knocked her back against the wall. Her body shock and her chest tightened. It took all her self-control not to slap her daughter over and over again. “You will show me respect while you live under my roof.”
Marissa’s eyes glistened with tears and she touched the red hand print blooming on her cheek. “Don’t worry. I’ll be out of your hair within the hour.”
She reached out but froze when Marissa recoiled from her touch. This was supposed to be my happily ever after and now it’s all gone to hell.
Evangeline vacuumed up the rest of the shards and then returned to her office to start damage control. She opened up her private Facebook group page dedicated to her street team, Evie’s Angels. At least these people stand by me.
“Hello my Angels!”
“Evie! We’ve been worried sick.”
“I told you she wouldn’t leave us hanging.”
She grinned and licked her lips. This is going to be so fucking easy. “I had to gather myself together before I came here to be with ya’ll—the only people who’ve stood by me through everything.”
She giggled with glee as message after message popped up expressing their unwavering support. All the expensive prizes she’d given them to promote her work had not only helped her sales but had ingratiated her in their hearts. They’d do anything to get another handbag or piece of one of a kind jewelry. Little did they know, all of it was as fake as her online persona. She couldn’t give a rat’s as about any of them, but if they could get her through this, she’d consider changing her mind for some of them. The rest had always grated on her nerves.
“This legal snafu is just that. It’s all a huge misunderstanding. Each book Bliss put out under my name is mine. The truth will come out. In the meantime, I could use your thoughts and prayers. With my books pulled from Bliss and Amazon, my family will have to take a huge hit. I found out today my last mammogram detected another suspicious spot. It’s been five years cancer free for me and now it all comes tumbling down.”
She watched as more messages flashed on her screen detailing support and asking her to tell them what they can do. “I need help, my Angels. I’ve set up a GoFundMe account to help with the medical bills and other expenses with this court case. I’m not asking you all for a dime. You’ve done more than enough for me already just by being here. If you could share the link for the GoFundMe page, I’d be forever grateful.”
No response to her plea.
Sweat trickled down her back as the seconds ticked away.
“You got it, Evie!”
“Anything for our girl!”
Thank God. She emptied the last of the bottle of wine into her glass and read every word of encouragement as they filled her screen.
And then it happened.
“Sorry, Evangeline. I won’t share your crowd funding link like the rest of these lemmings. I stayed here waiting for you to explain yourself, maybe even apologize for what you’ve done and for all the lies you’ve told. Boy, talk about a huge disappointment! Instead of begging for a handout, maybe you should tell the truth. Your daughter did.”
The room spun in front of her eyes. The glass slipped from her hand, bounced on the floor, and then soaked the white carpet with the wine. Her phone blew up with email and text notifications. She stood and clutched her chest. Her knees buckled and then she collapsed.
Marissa rushed into the room.
She couldn’t hear a word her daughter yelled at her, nor could she speak. She tried to squeeze her hand to let her know she was still there, but her body failed her again. If I get through this, I’ll make it right. I promise.
* * * *
Chapter 3 will be up next week! You’ll get to meet Karma’s lover Justice and more of her Immortal Siblings
I’m happy to take part in this week’s Scintillating Sunday blog hop hosted by the Mile High Muses. I haven’t been able to join in the fun for far too long. This week, I’m excited to share six paragraphs from my free read Karma In Blue Jeans (Immortal Siblings). This one is a cross over paranormal erotic romance featuring characters I’ve introduced in two other series.
At the end of the post is a graphic to take you to the other participants in the hop. This version of WordPress does not allow me to include the linky list so click on the graphic and it will take directly to it!
“Threefold for every infraction. The list is long and she will suffer before it’s over.”
“Let’s hope she sees the truth and can finally change her ways.”
“She’ll end up one miserable creature if she doesn’t. Those she’s harmed will no longer have to worry about what she can and cannot do. Her humiliation will be epic.”
Rhiannon raised her eyebrow this time. “You’ve picked up some more of their language I see. Courtesy of your lover?”
Karma stifled a giggled. Her sister’s expression mirrored the one she’d given her on many occasions. In fact, both had learned it from their eldest brother. With just that look, Yeshua had been able to get them to confess anything. If only the mortals could experience the look from him. Our jobs would be so much easier! “Justice has blended in with them for centuries by adapting to their ways. He has been a great asset in my dealings with them. Frankly, I don’t understand half of what he says when it comes to all the electronics. I can see the fascination Lucius has for all of it, but it frustrates me. I feel it hinders me from carrying out my duties.”
“Will They allow you more time living with them as you’ve asked?”
“Fate doesn’t think it’s wise. She’s afraid I’ll join Lucius and give up my Immortality for a lowly human.”
“You never know what your heart will decide, little sister.”
* * * *
If you wish to read the entire first chapter, click HERE
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