love and romance

Heart Waves is free

Hi friends. I’m thrilled to share some news with you. Since the release of the final book of the Heart Waves Series has been released, I’ve been working on making Heart Waves free, and now it is! To celebrate, I’m posting the first chapter, for those of you who either haven’t started the journey with Jenna, Reece, and Tyler, or for those of you who have forgotten them. I hope you enjoy it.
 
Heart Waves4a

 

Chapter 1
 
Lies. Lies. Lies. He was covered in lies. They oozed off him like slick, goopy slime. As if I didn’t already know Steve couldn’t be trusted. I always thought of him as a pompous ass, especially after our one and only date.
But that was years ago.
 
Steve wouldn’t meet my eyes. I hadn’t spoken to him since my freshman year of high school. I wondered if it he even remembered me. I remembered him all too well, Mr. Captain of the baseball team with the perfect smile. The thought of his cold, wet lips and octopus arms still made my skin crawl.
 
Regardless, he looked past me, around me, like I wasn’t good enough to look at. I could feel his apprehension so I knew I’d get him. I’d get him good. Call him out for being the jerk he was and embarrass him in front of his friends. I just needed to concentrate.
 
I closed my eyes, focused on blocking out the music and clarifying the image in my mind. I fingered the gold bracelet interpreting the words and images flowing from it.
 
“You just came back from someplace warm,” I declared.
 
With a snide look on his face the muscle-bound jock shook his head and spoke sceptically to the crowd of onlookers, “Like most of the country isn’t warm in July. This is bogus,” he chortled, still trying to best me. He thought his wise cracks were enough to intimidate me, to make me feel stupid and insecure so I would shut up. He wanted to end it here and now. Better to make me look bad before it went any further. Not going to happen. Not tonight. If I had to be miserable, so did he.
 
“I see a beach and water . . .”
 
“Hard one. Like we don’t live at the Jersey shore.”
 
“Not here,” I said a bit forcefully. “The water is clear blue, so it’s not in this state.”
 
“Oooh,” I heard someone jeer. “She’s onto you.”
 
“Shut up,” Mr. Macho snapped at his buddy while reaching for the bracelet I wasn’t ready to release. “You probably told her.”
 
“You’re there with a beautiful girl,” I continued. “Long blonde hair. Her name begins with the letter E.”
 
“You were with Emma?” A petite brunette bellowed while pounding her fist into his arm.
 
“Busted!” someone shouted before bursting into a fit of laughter.
 
“You don’t believe this bull, do you?” he pleaded.
 
With tears in her eyes, the girl rushed off, “You’re a shit!”
 
Steve snatched his bracelet and rushed after her, “Shari, wait. I haven’t seen her in months. She must be a friend of Emma’s or my shit-head friends are playing a joke. When I find out which one of you set this up . . .” the rest of the threat trailed off.
 
“That’s what you get for two timing,” I called watching him push through the sea of people. If he didn’t remember me before the reading, he’d never forget me now. I brought my hands together, “All right, show’s over.”
 
A few moans and grumbles, then suddenly I could breathe. A wave of relief washed over me as the oppressive group surrounding me thinned. My right eye burned, and the aching in my head had already begun. I knew I had to stop before the sharp blinding pain ensued.
 
I turned and looked for my best friend Grace. No sign of her. I shook my head. I didn’t even want to come to Mike’s stupid party, let alone be the entertainment, but she insisted.
 
What exactly she found appealing about Mike was beyond me, but Grace had been crushing on him all through high school. She would do just about anything he asked; only before tonight he never did.
 
Earlier in the day, while life was still bliss, we were just two best friends lying in the sun with lemon juice in our hair (Grace’s attempt at natural highlights) listening to music. When Mike sauntered over poolside to extend the invitation, Grace turned into groupie girl, and it took her approximately one second to accept. I was biding time until I could convince her to leave.
 
“One more,” the voice caught me. Stopped me dead in my tracks. For a moment the room went silent, the people disappeared. All that existed was the soft soothing voice.
 
“C’mon, please,” he spoke again, and I wished he’d never stop talking so I could forever hear the sound of his melodious voice.
 
Before I could refuse, a small, gold ring was placed in my hand. I stood frozen, feeling as if someone connected a live wire to my heart. White electricity surged throughout my body.
 
I looked up to see what creature bore such exhilarating energy. His soft, golden-brown eyes captivated me. They were alive with laughter and mystery. I closed my eyes, barely able to focus and stroked the ring with my thumb. I took a deep breath, taking in the scent of his cologne. Fighting the sudden lump in my throat, I blurted out, “Romeo and Juliet.
 
“Excuse me?” he asked as he smiled, confused.
 
“It’s like Romeo and Juliet,” I recovered, tracing the diamond chip initial on the ring. “You believe you are in love.”
 
“She’s my Juliet?” he asked with a suspicious look.
 
“No, she’s your Rosalind,” I felt the need to explain, hoping to keep him nearby, “the girl Romeo thought he loved. Remember though, it was unrequited.”
“Really?” he asked egging me on, seeming to enjoy the conversation.
 
“Yes,” I continued with a nod, “then he met Juliet, and Rosalind turned into nothing more than a distant memory. I’m sure you know the rest.”
 
“Do you know who my Juliet is?” he asked with a smile. “Have I met her yet?”
 
“Yes.” I answered.
 
“Hmm. Someone I know.” He looked around the crowd mischievously, a delicious smile on his lips, “Will we get married and live happily ever after?”
I shook my head sadly. “No.” I paused a moment, and found my breath. “You’re going to break my heart.”
 
I reached for his hand, his strong, warm hand, and took hold of it. I didn’t want to ever let go. I placed the ring in his palm, closed his fingers around it, turned and walked away.

 

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Prom night from Jordan’s POV

For AlwaysAnd Forever

Just a few more days before And Forever is released. I thought another good refresher scene would be the prom, but this is another bonus. This is the prom scene from Jordan’s POV.

 

The spiral started in the limo. I couldn’t wait to get the tie off. Once I tossed it aside I glanced at Stephanie. God she took my breath away. I forgot myself for the moment, lost thinking about how much I wanted to touch her creamy skin. At least when we were dancing I had an excuse to put my hands all over her. Now it was an urge I wasn’t sure I could control.

 

I let out a long breath and opened the top buttons of my shirt, watching her watch me. The look in her eyes, the hunger; it was hot. I stretched out and reached my arm behind her, allowing my fingers to brush against her shoulder. I heard her inhale and moved. If I kept my arm there I’d let my hand start to roam.

 

I took her hand in mine, and interlaced our fingers. I hoped this would stop me from tearing her dress off and touching her in places I only imagined. I looked at our joined fingers and couldn’t hide the silly smile growing inside me.

 

“Are you having a good time?” I asked.

 

She nodded.

 

“It’s about time,” Maria interjected.

 

She pulled me back to the present. We weren’t alone in the limo, and even if we were, this was Stephanie. I cleared my throat, and let go of her as I moved away. The more space between us, the better chance I had of keeping this platonic. Just one friend helping another. I couldn’t let anything happen between us. She was too young and it was out of the question.

 

“I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable,” Maria explained. “You looked so happy and perfect together. It’s just . . . it’s about time.”

I wanted to thank her for the reality check, but didn’t think Stephanie would appreciate it. I peeked at her from the corner of my eye. Stephanie was spitting mad. I half expected her to shoot steel spikes out of her mouth aimed at Maria’s throat. Rob broke the awkward tension in the air with small talk. I followed his lead.

 

“Everyone’s meeting in front of the concession.” He said getting out of the limo.

 

A large crowd formed on the sand in front of the red, brick building. Music blared from a boom box connected to a pair of large speakers. Blankets were scattered about with coupled bodies cozy inside. Frisbees and beach balls flew through the air. A volleyball game ensued nearby.

 

I tossed my jacket aside, unbuttoned my shirt, and pulled it out of my pants. Steph’s eyes soaked me in. Every visible inch of me. I was tempted to strip down further if she promised to keep staring at me like that. I didn’t mean to be selfish. I just wanted to enjoy her wanting me, as much as I wanted her.

 

We took our shoes off and joined a group playing Frisbee. When I saw her dash for it, I decided to go after it too. We fell to the ground and I rolled on top of her. Looking at her beneath me in the moonlight, I almost lost it. Pinning her down, holding my hands just above her shoulders, our eyes locked and the crowd disappeared. All I wanted to do was kiss her. As I felt my control withering, I jumped to my feet and extended a hand to help her up. Air between our bodies did wonders for my teetering control.

 

“A bunch of us are going skinny-dipping,” Maria ran over to inform us, “want to come?”

 

“I’ll pass.” Stephanie answered.

 

“You sure?” I could see pink coloring fill her cheeks. I put my hands around her waist, wondering if she’d notice if they dropped down to her hips, or lower. “It could be fun.”

 

She froze. I recognized the panicked look on her face before she answered. “You can go if you want. I’ll wait here.”

“Nah,” I laughed, “I just wanted to see if I could get you out of your clothes.”

 
*
 

The walk had been my idea. There were too many people. And if we stayed, I’d focus on getting her out of that dress and into the water with me. I rolled my pant cuffs up so we could walk on the hard, wet packed sand. The cool sea foam rolled over our feet every now and then. Again I took her hand in mine. We walked, talking, holding hands in the silvery moonlight.

 

“Let’s sit.” I motioned toward a lifeguard stand.

 

We climbed up and took a seat. An awkward silence hung between us, and with nothing to say I imagined all the things we could do with the privacy the lifeguard stand had to offer. Suddenly I thought we would’ve been safer staying with the crowd.

 

“Stephanie.” She looked at me with so much hope in her eyes my chest ached. “You’ve really grown up.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

“I can’t believe I’m here with you.” I gave her a sly sideward glance hoping she’d pick up on what I couldn’t say.

“You mean the beach?”

 

She was always so naïve, so innocent. I chuckled and moved my hand to the nape of her neck. I ran my fingers through a few loose strands of hair hoping this would quench my need to touch her. She gasped. I felt it, throughout my body, but mostly there, where I shouldn’t have.

“You look . . .” I let my eyes crawl from her sweet face, down to the exposed area of her breasts, all the way down. “Incredible.”

She smiled, and I realized I’d do just about anything to keep the smile on her face.

 

“You’re amazing.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

I had to think of something quick to cover what I really wanted to say. “I’m sure tonight wasn’t easy for you. I know it’s not the night you planned.”

 

“No.” She took a deep breath. “It’s so much better.”

 

I looked at the water. Afraid of where she wanted to take this.

 

“Charlie’s an idiot you know? Anyone who would let you slip through his fingers is.”

 

Her teeth chattered. I pulled her close hoping to warm her up. With her face nuzzling into my bare chest, I hoped she wouldn’t catch on to how much heat she was causing me. After a moment she placed her hand on me, right beside her cheek. I pressed down on it. I wanted her to know she was in my heart.

 

“Present company included?”

 

Again I looked away. How could I answer? I didn’t expect Stephanie to ever push the issue. I thought she was too shy to ever say anything like that to me. She touched my face and forced me to look at her.

 

“I know you have feelings for me.”

 

Uh oh. My stomach dropped. “I never said I didn’t.”

 

“You pretend you don’t.”

 

Didn’t she realize I only asked to take her to the prom because of my feelings for her? I squeezed her hand gently, “Stephanie, you’re young and idealistic.”

 

“Idealistic?” She looked insulted. “If anyone knows a big, heavy foot is about to come crashing down at any minute, it’s me. And age has nothing to do with it. You’ve hidden behind that since the day we met.”

 

Where did this bravado come from? “Age has everything to do with it.”

 

“I see your point when we were younger, but not now. Not anymore.

 

I cleared my throat. I had to end this conversation. Now. “Do you understand everything you’re going to experience I’ve already been through. You’re starting your first year of college, I’m starting my last.”

 

“Great. Help me prepare.”

 

Was she for real? How? “It’s not an academic issue. It’s social. You need to experience things without anyone holding you back.”

 

“Let that be my decision.”

 

She’d want to go to parties, get involved in campus life, and what if she wanted to date other guys? I wouldn’t hold her back. For four years I kept us in the friend zone, this is where we needed to stay.

 

“I can’t. I don’t want to hurt you.”

 

“Then don’t.” Tears filled her eyes.

 

I looked away. I just wanted to wrap her up in my arms and kiss her until I made it better. “It’s not that simple, Steph. Things aren’t black and white.”
 

“If you don’t want to be with me, Jordan, say so. But don’t you dare tell me you’re doing it for my own good.”

 

“You think that’s the problem?” Why couldn’t she see how hard this was for me? “That I don’t want to be with you?”

 

She nodded.

 

I brushed my hand over her back, hoping if she knew how much more I wanted, it might scare her a bit. “If you only knew how hard it’s been to keep away from you.”

 

“Then don’t.”

 

She’d be the death of me. If you could die from desire she’d kill me a hundred times over. I looked at the waves biding time. Thinking.

 

“Jordan, this isn’t a silly school girl crush.”

 

“And they called it puppy love…,”

 

“Not puppy love. What I feel for you, it grows year after year.”

 

“I know you like me.” I smiled hoping to soften the blow. “You’ve always liked me. I know that. I like you too. I do. But…”

 

“No. I don’t like you.”

 

“You don’t?” I brought my hand up to my chest, “That hurts.”
She shook her head looking exasperated. Good. I hoped it’d be enough to stop her. As long as she didn’t say those words we were okay. Any words but the three trite words that made prom night a cliché. If they slipped out, everything would change. It would have to.

 

“It’s more than that. I’d die for you.”

 

“What?” My heart hammered, shooting the blood through my veins with such force I didn’t realize at first all the places the blood was flowing. Did I hear right? She didn’t really say that. So much for the cliché. I would’ve taken that over this.

 

“If a bullet was coming your way and I could save your life by giving up mine I would. That goes far beyond like.”

 

I wanted her. Right there in that moment. It would’ve been so easy to take her. Just reach under her dress and rip her underwear off. But I knew nothing worthwhile ever came easy. We couldn’t be together. After tonight it was back to the real world. Back to Madison.

 

“Why are you doing this?” I closed my hand around her shoulder, her soft, silky shoulder. I wondered if every part of her was that soft. “What do you want to happen?”

 

“I want to know how you feel. I think I deserve that much.”

 

“Don’t you get it Stephanie? When I’m with you, it takes every ounce of self-control I have . . . and then when I’m not with you . . .” I looked away and then back at her, “You always leave me wanting more.”

 

“Then have more. The only thing standing between us is you.”

 

I smiled. She made it seem so easy. Like it really could happen. “This is what I mean about being idealistic, you believe everything will work out and we’ll live happily ever after.”

 

“Give me one good reason why we can’t.”

 

“Because things will get complicated. We’ll forget how to talk and trust each other.” My heart was thumping hard in my chest. What was I doing? This sweet, beautiful girl was offering herself up and I was saying no. Someone shoot me! “We work great as friends and I don’t want to lose you. If that means we need to sacrifice so we don’t mess this up than I’m okay with it.”

 

“What if I’m not okay with it? Then things will get complicated anyway.”

 

I never thought of that. I just expected we could go on as normal. But now everything was going to change whether I wanted it to or not.

 

“Haven’t you ever thought about us as more than just friends?”

 

“All the time.” I stared into her eyes and pulled her close, moving towards her lips. I could do it, taste the sweetness of her mouth. I imagined it for years, and now I was centimeters away. I just had to give in. I wanted to do it. I closed my eyes poised to kiss her and drew back at the last moment, kissing her forehead instead. “Let’s head back.”

 

“Kiss me!”

 

“I can’t.” It wouldn’t be fair. I had a girlfriend. “Madison.”

 

I don’t know what was harder, not kissing her or knowing I caused the pain in her eyes.

 

“I thought you were seeing other people.”

 

“It’s all or nothing Steph.” She wouldn’t be the other woman in my life. She deserved so much more than that. And I sure as hell wasn’t about to start a relationship with her before I ended things with Madison. “It’s the least you deserve.”

 

She nodded and bit her lip.

 

“So, which is it going to be? All or nothing?”

 

“I need a little time. Is that too much to ask?” I didn’t want to answer. I didn’t want to risk making a life altering decision in a heartbeat.

 

“Don’t you think four years is long enough?”

 

“A few days. That’s all I need.”

 

She pulled back and looked away, but not before I saw the disappointment in her eyes. “What’s the point?”

 

I swallowed hard, “I need to do this the right way. I have to end things.”
 

“Do you mean it?” Her eyes lit with hope and happiness.

 

“You’re not giving me much choice.”

 

I stuck my chest out, proud that I was the reason for that light. I knew there was nothing I wouldn’t do for her, and I would do nothing to dim the glow in her eyes. It was rare to see, and that’s all I ever wanted for her. No one else made her happy like that. If I could bring it out, if I could make her days better, I’d lay my heart and soul at her feet. I’d give in and love her the way I wanted to, back when I leapt off the bus. Back when I found her at the cemetery. All along I wanted her. I knew her heart was mine. Now it was time to give her my heart in return.

 

 

Countdown for the And Forever release

Today I’m starting the countdown to the release of And Forever the long awaited, highly anticipated sequel to For Always.
 
And Forever

Today I’d like to give you some insight into the Eternity series by sharing some fun facts about it with you.

 

1. I really did start a fire with candle and a paper towel when I was six. My mother was napping on the couch when she heard me blowing on the flames shooting out of our garbage pail.
 

2. The original setting of For Always was Canarsie Brooklyn, the area I grew up in, but I had to change that because of the drastic changes that area has gone through.
 

3. The Halloween scene in For Always was inspired by real events.
 

4. The smoky bus scene really did happen. I watched in awe and horror as the guy I liked flew through the window.
 

5. I always wanted to learn how to play the drums.
 

6. Although I never come out and say what college Stephanie is going to, I tried to describe FDU Madison campus with the beautiful fountain behind the mansion.
 

7. As far as I know, no students went skinny-dipping in the fountain.
 

8. After reading For Always, my two best friends each thought they were the Character Maria (neither is), so I dedicated And Forever to the both of them.
 

9. While writing And Forever my husband and I went to Dave and Buster’s and it seemed like the perfect place for Jordan and Stephanie to go on their first “official date.”
 

10. For Always was a standalone. I had no intention of ever writing a sequel.
 

It is because of the tremendous fan response I received from For Always, and the never ending requests for a sequel that And Forever came to life. It’s been a labor of love, but now that it is finished I’m glad that I wrote it, and want to thank you, my fans for convincing me to do so.
 
I hope you enjoy this next part of Stephanie and Jordan’s journey as much or more than you enjoyed the first part. Please continue reaching out to me. It may take a day or two to get back to you, but I love interacting with my readers. Happy Reading.