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A little bit of A Wife’s Revenge This is a naughty little Anna Cummins book – though I don’t think this one is TOOOOO NAUGHTY!

What happens when a wife has had enough?

Morgan has been married for five years, she is sick and tired of being ignored and taken for granted.

She has worked hard to save her marriage – but one person can’t do it alone.

She’s done!

Much faster than she could have ever imagined she runs into a long lost love and the sparks fly. Has Morgan just rediscovered her true love? Did her soon to be ex-husband just watch her get taken in a way he never did?

Morgan’s ex is a prick and deserves to see the truth – the whole truth – with his own eyes.

And she’s happy to get it in every way, anywhere her new man wants to give it.

 

This is for all the women out there who’ve had enough.

We’re tired to feeling neglected – tired of being taken advantage of – tired of doing so much alone.

Revenge is what happens when we’ve had it – when we aren’t going to take any more.

Chapter 1

I sat on the edge of the bed, waiting. My bags were packed, ready to go on a two-week vacation with my no-show husband. This was to be our last ditch effort at reclaiming what we’d once had. These were Mark’s words, not mine. I wasn’t sure we’d ever really had it. Of course, he wasn’t here. We were supposed to leave for the airport over an hour ago. When I called the office, he answered in a clipped ‘Callahan,’ like he didn’t have two seconds to look at the damn caller id. He knew it was me. In an attempt to be sweet and not spoil what would surely be a ridiculous attempt at him keeping his laundress and cook, while really doing everything he could to ignore me, I responded without irritation in my voice. I’d asked when he would be here, if I should just meet him at the airport. He promised that he would be home in plenty of time, not to worry. He reminded me with saccharine-sweetness, that I had a tendency to over-react and I should just relax and trust him for once. His loving little barbs were always so well placed.

That call had ended two hours ago. Our flight was scheduled to leave in ninety minutes. The drive to the airport took thirty-five. Amazingly, about a month ago, Mark actually noticed that I wasn’t my usual happy go-lucky self and suggested the trip. He promised that all he wanted was to spend time with me, that we needed to connect again. YEAH RIGHT! It had been the Wednesday after our fifth wedding anniversary. Mark hadn’t forgotten, exactly, he just hadn’t cared enough to do anything more than bring home the arbitrary roses. No card, no note, no dinner, no sex.

The day before our anniversary, I’d gotten a Brazilian wax, bought a hot new negligee and had planned an awesome night. I never donned the new lacy things because, his apoplectic response to asking if he wanted to make out had me rethinking my strategy. Instead, I went into the spare room in yoga pants and a hoodie, sat on the bed and watched an entire season of Sex in the City. I fell asleep in that room. I slept in that room every night for almost a week until Mark took note and planned this wonderful romantic vacation. Fucking asshole!

I picked up my cell and sent a text:

Morgan: I’m leaving; thought you might want to know.

I was in my car, driving across town at least ten minutes later when I heard my phone vibrate on the center console.

Mark: Okay, honey, sorry I got held up, I’ll see you there.

I didn’t respond. He’d figure it out when he got home and found much more than the clothes I’d packed for the vacation gone and my rings on his pillow. I should have done this years ago. Actually, that wasn’t true, I shouldn’t have married him. Asshole!

I pulled into Jen’s driveway and saw her standing on the front porch. Her tall, thin frame topped with shoulder length blonde hair was bouncing up and down with excitement at my arrival. I’d called her, of course. I knew that she had a guest room, and being my best friend, she had to give it up to me!

 

 

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Here is a little teaser from Jake, A Redemption Romance, Book 2 – Enjoy!

Prologue

Jake

The pounding at my front door was so loud, I wanted to shoot whoever was there. Fucking assholes. I could guess, it would be either Reed or Gavin.

I wished it would be Hope; that would be nice. Unlikely, though, damn woman.

I rolled over in the bed and felt the stirrings of desire, just thinking about her, as I started to drift into sleep again. I’d somehow gotten my head underneath my pillow, which worked; the noises were muffled and my head would stop spinning.

“Are you fucking serious?” At the sound of Reed’s pissed off yell, I pulled the pillow tighter over my head. The sheet was ripped away, but I didn’t move. I was trying to remember if I was naked. A fight ensued, Reed grabbed the pillow I was gripping tightly and tried to pull it away too. I held on, not willing to let it go, but in my current state, my strength was no match for the annoying giant.

The asshole had turned the lights on; the piercing pain in my skull was about all I could take. I rolled to one side, trying to look at Reed and figure out what he was doing here.

“What the fuck do you want?” I wanted to scream at him, to get him out of here, though I didn’t have the strength, so I said it quietly, but with plenty of menace.

“Get up, it’s time to talk.”

“What’s going on?” I grumbled angrily toward his general direction.

“You’re a fucking mess – that is what’s up.”

He walked out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

Thankfully, I was wearing my jeans from the night before, so I grabbed a clean tee, took a piss and joined Reed in the living room.

“All right, here I am, big brother, why are you here?”

Reed’s glare didn’t help my mood. I knew I was being a dick, no question. The thing was, I didn’t ask for his interference and I didn’t want it. We were friends, sure, but he wasn’t my keeper, wasn’t my true brother, I was in charge of my own life, of my own behavior.

“Aurora came looking for you weeks ago, she had this and wanted to bring it to you.” Reed said, nodding down at something in his hand. “You weren’t around, I thought it would be better if I found you, instead of her. Where the fuck have you been? You haven’t returned a phone call, not a text, fucking nothing. What the fuck, Jake? Is this what we’re reduced to?”

Tilting my chin up to see what he was holding, I saw a cream envelope with my name written in bold print on the front.

“What is that? They getting married already?” My tone was rude, no doubt, but I was sick of seeing the happy little couple all sweet. They acted like life was fucking great, no way could I understand that shit, I had a hard time forgiving it.

Reed audibly sucked in his breath and if it was possible, his glare got even fiercer. Apparently I’d pissed him off; oh fucking well.

“No, Jesus, Jake, can you pull your head out of your ass for two god damned seconds, please?”

Since I didn’t reach out to take the envelope, he dropped it on the coffee table.

“What’s wrong with you?” He asked. I could tell he wasn’t kidding; how did he not know?

“Are you joking? Seriously? Life is fucking peachy, that what you want to hear?”

“No, I want the truth, what’s going on?”

I rolled my eyes and leaned back on the couch.

“I’ve been working; you know – work. Fuck, I’ve been deep under for fucking weeks, and it all got fucked two days ago.”

“That sucks, but something has been off with you since Nolan died. We’re all grieving, but you’ve gone beyond that.”

“If you don’t know, I’m sure as hell not going to tell you.” Childish? Absolutely, but really? Maybe I was taking Nolan’s suicide harder than the rest of them because Dylan and I had been so close, but whatever. In my mind, they were a bunch of unfeeling dicks.

“Aurora wants everyone to come over this weekend for a bar-b-que, try to crawl out of your hole long enough to show up, yeah?”

I gave him the obligatory chin lift in acceptance.

“Sober,” he went on.

I opened my eyes and just stared at him for a minute.

“You smell like a drunk in the gutter right now, Jake, give me a fucking break.”

I didn’t respond, there wasn’t a damn thing I would say to him. I knew I’d been drinking more than usual. I needed to settle it down, but between the fucked assignment I just finished and the thing with Nolan, I needed a little peace. Not to mention Hope and her bullshit. After we’d fucked, she practically disappeared.

“Thanks for coming by.” I was dismissing Reed, and he knew it. He slammed out of the house and left me in the quiet again. I fell back to sleep on the couch.

Rolling over on the lumpy sofa, I remembered why I was out of my bed and saw the letter lying on the coffee table. Having no idea what it would be, I picked it up and read.

 

Jake,

I’m sorry for taking your best friend from you. I know it’s my fault that Dylan died. I’ve thought about it so many times; imagined what I could have done differently that day. I fucked up and hurt you more than anyone. I know you’ve never forgiven me and I get it, I understand.

The memories are just too much, the pain on your face every time you look at me, it’s all too much. I hope that someday you will find a way to forgive me for taking Dylan from you.

I know what I’m doing is selfish, that I’m making Dylan’s death all about me, but really it isn’t. I just can’t outrun my demons anymore.

Maybe you will find a way to deal with your guilt and pain. I hope that you can find a way out of this feeling of total despair.

Thanks for everything man, I know you tried to help me, tried to pull me out of the muck more times than I can remember. You’ve been a good friend.

Make your life better, make it what Dylan would have wanted for you.

Nolan

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An Excerpt from Gavin, A Redemption Romance, Book 3

Dawn

That man is going to be the one, I will give him everything – tonight. My body, my heart and my virginity; I’ve saved it all for him.

I reminded myself of all that, as I watched Gavin McNeil unfold himself from the cab of his truck and walk up the sidewalk toward my front door.

“You’re home!” I all but squealed as I watched Gavin advance through the front door of my mom’s house.

“I didn’t think you were going to get leave.” I’d wrapped myself around him the moment he stepped inside. Thankfully, Gavin returned my fierce hug, but didn’t bounce up and down on his toes like I had.

I didn’t care if I looked silly, I was excited. Gavin had been a close family friend for the past ten years. His family had moved across the street from us when I was only eight, I’d looked up to him. At the age of twelve, he had seemed so worldly and mature to me.

Even then, he was tall and handsome. The first time he’d come to my defense with the neighborhood mean-girls, I’d fallen in love.

“I couldn’t miss your birthday; what is it now, sixteen?” I started to take offense, but saw his teasing smile, so I pulled back and slugged him in the stomach. Unfortunately, it hurt my hand more than his tight belly.

“Ow, that was rude.” I mock-pouted indignantly. “You could at least have the decency to act hurt.”

Pinching my side, Gavin used his other hand to rub at his middle and gave me a feigned expression of pain. Shaking my head, I laughed at his silliness.

One thing I’d always admired was Gavin’s ability to make light of any situation. He was a jokester for sure, but he had great skill at diffusing heated situations with his wit.

“Come on, I need some food. The Marine Corps doesn’t feed us, you know.” He slung his arm over my shoulder and practically dragged me toward the kitchen.

As soon as we turned into the room, I heard his mother’s loud shout of excitement. Looking over my shoulder, I watched her run full-speed to her son. He turned and grabbed her up, hugging her tightly to him. He was so tall, her feet dangled almost a full foot off the ground.

“Of course, the favorite son is home.” I whirled around to meet the dark, irritated gaze of Zach, Gavin’s older brother. His sneered words made me so angry. I couldn’t imagine how two, such different men could have been brought up by the same soft-hearted woman.

“Don’t be a jerk.” I snapped back. I was never good about holding my tongue. I hated the way Zach treated his younger brother, at least he seemed much kinder to his mother.

I had often wondered if Zach’s animosity came from years of comparing himself to the taller and exceedingly more handsome Gavin. It wasn’t that Zach was ugly, he just didn’t have that same thickly muscled frame or the striking good looks of his brother. Zach was also at least three inches shorter than Gavin, which probably didn’t help.

I’d always wanted a sibling, an older brother would have been wonderful, but I’d want one like Gavin, not like Zach. Gavin was fun, but always protective. Zach was just irritable and easily angered, all the time. I’d never known him to protect anyone – but himself.

A couple of years ago, Zach had actually cornered me at a Fourth of July party. His mother had been hosting that one and Gavin had been overseas.
It was odd, Zach had followed me into the house, when I’d gone in to grab something for his mom. He’d cornered me and pressed his body to mine, in a way that made me extremely uncomfortable. I’d only been sixteen at the time, but even then, I knew that what Zach was doing was wrong. He was a lot older than me, way too old to be acting like that with an underage girl.

He’d told me that the following night, before he left to go back to base, we were going to go out on a date. I’d looked at him like he was crazy, which, I thought he was, and told him no, straight out. He’d been so mad, his eyes had burned with fury, and when he pressed his body in, even closer to me, I could feel him against my stomach, he was hard.

I was sixteen, after all, I wasn’t naïve about that kind of thing, but from a guy at least eight years older, it had been a little scary. Thankfully, one of Zach’s aunts had come in, not paying any attention to us, but her presence had broken the spell. I’d made sure to never be caught alone with him again.

“Here, just one more.” My best friend Selene handed over a refilled Solo cup a few hours later. I knew it didn’t just have the punch in it, my mom had made, Selene had spiked it with the vodka bottle she hid inside her bag.

I’d already had three of these, and was beginning to feel pretty buzzed, but if I was going to find my courage and do what I’d planned to, I needed the confidence booster.

“Thanks,” I whispered back, not letting on what we were doing. If my mom or Gavin’s figured out that we were drinking, they’d give us a stern lecture, and take away the alcohol. The last thing I wanted was for Gavin to see that, I didn’t want him thinking of me like a scolded little girl, I wanted him to see me as a woman.

“Where’s Ty?” Selene asked, looking out the front window. I had to catch my laughter, Ty was one of my very best friends, with Gavin away so much, Ty had been around for me a lot in the past few years. The huge secret was, Ty was gay, so Selene’s mammoth crush on him wouldn’t do her any good.

“He’s working until late.” Her crestfallen expression was pitiful, and part of me wanted to tell her, just so she didn’t have her hopes up about something that wouldn’t ever happen, but I’d never betray Tyler like that.

I focused all my attention on Gavin, once more. He’d changed some in the six months since I’d last seen him. His muscles were getting bigger, somehow, it was crazy how much he must work out for a physique like that. I wondered what they all looked like when they exercised together. That would be a great spectator sport. My nipples hardened at the prospect of watching such a spectacle and I felt a dampening between my legs.

My body had changed a lot over the past year. My breasts had grown, my hair had gotten longer and my curves had definitely made themselves more obvious. I’d had a couple of boys at school show interest, but I always rebuffed their advances, knowing just who I was waiting for. Tonight was the night.

“So, what’s the real reason you’re home?” I heard Zach snap at his brother after our moms had gone to sit and relax in the front room.

“I got leave,” Gavin replied shortly. I knew there wasn’t any love lost between these two.

“You going to the sandbox?” My head snapped around to look at them, not really sure what that meant, but having a bad feeling about it. Gavin’s mouth tightened in frustration as he took a swig of his beer and looked away from his brother.

I had no idea what the sandbox was, or why Gavin seemed so irritated tonight by his brother’s questions, but I was just drunk enough to do something about it, something monumentally stupid.

Leaning up on my tiptoes, I whispered, “let’s go outside,” into Gavin’s ear. I felt his rigid body grow even tighter against me, but as he relaxed, I saw him nod slightly and he turned to head to the back yard.

Turning to follow, I glanced at Selene one more time and almost laughed out loud at her audacious wink. Thankfully, I held it inside, but as my foot crossed the threshold after Gavin, I heard Zach’s last muttered barb.

“Bout fuckin’ time you hit that.” My body tensed at the sneer in his voice. I didn’t hate anyone, but sometimes I really wanted to hate Zach.

Thankfully, I didn’t think Gavin had heard him, if he had, my plans probably wouldn’t be successful. I needed them to work. I’d been in love with Gavin forever, it seemed, I’d saved almost everything for him, for this night, I knew he would make it perfect.

 

Gavin

The last thing I needed right now was to punch my brother in his face. It was Dawn’s night, we should all behave, not act like idiots. Also, I knew that punching him wouldn’t change anything. He seemed to like his asshole behavior. Why he took it out on me, every time I saw him, didn’t make sense though. Zach had been an asshole since we were kids, even before Dad died. Zach was just like our father.

It sucked, I’d looked up to my big brother once. Before dad had died during the first Gulf War, Zach had done his best to protect our mom and me when dad came in pissed at the world. He’d try to redirect Dad’s attention onto himself, to take the beating that was sure to come. It rarely stopped Dad from at least getting to mom, but by then Zach would get me out of there and into the special hiding place he’d set up for me.

I couldn’t understand a boy who would do so much for others, to do his best to protect us, why now he would emulate the man who had terrorized us all. Did he not see the connection? Maybe he didn’t, I had no idea. The thing was, after Zach had gotten me hidden, and safe from Dad, he’d go back out there, usually with a bloody nose and busted lip, and get between the much bigger man and our mom.

Looking back, I could see that Dad had some serious PTSD shit going on, I’d seen plenty of that in my short time with the Corps. I knew too, from mom telling us as kids, that Dad’s parents weren’t nice either, so after a childhood of being given shit, and living through however many difficult situations in the Army, where he’d made his career, he’d become, probably just what he’d feared. Though, I had no way of knowing it, I couldn’t imagine my sweet mom falling for a guy who’d been an asshole to her.

My Gran and Pops were still in love, my Pops held Gran’s hand, held doors open for her, even held out her chair at their own dinner table, every day. They’d been like that since I was little, probably long before. I couldn’t imagine that with an example like them, my mom would have strayed so far off course with a total dick. There must have been something she’d seen in my father, but by the time it had gotten really bad, the war had begun, then he was gone.

A couple of years ago, she’d told me that she hadn’t planned for us to be there when he got back, she already had made plans with her parents to come back to Texas and live, she didn’t want Zach and me to live in that kind of home anymore. With the way things worked out, no one knew, that the new war widow had been about to leave her husband.

I had to wonder, how many situations, there were like that all around me. I knew, from personal experience, that very few things were as they seemed, including my Sweet Dawn, who’d pulled me out back to spend time with her, instead of dealing with my dick-of-a-brother.

She’d had her own ups and downs in life, I’d been there for plenty of them, but now, I worried about her. With me gone so much, we didn’t communicate like we should, and I had no idea what she was dealing with day to day. I did know that some new douche had been hanging around for the past few years – Tyler.

Fucking jackass name. He’d taken her to the prom, and from what I heard from my mom, he’d taken her to all the dances since they were both Sophomores. I’d been gone by then, and couldn’t do dick about it.

What was I supposed to do, anyway? I was twenty-two and about to be deployed – again. I couldn’t tell her – a sweet, naïve eighteen-year-old – that I wanted her, that I wanted her to wait for me. I didn’t even know how long I’d be gone or if I’d come back. I wouldn’t tie her to such an uncertain future. She deserved everything, and that was a hell of a lot more than I could offer.

I wondered though, where the fuck this Tyler guy was now. I’d seen him briefly once about a year ago, he was a football player, like I had been, and he’d dropped her off after a game. I’d watched and hadn’t seen him lean in to kiss her or anything, which had been good, for me. I hadn’t had to beat the shit out of the kid. It was strange though, if they’d been dating all this time, why wasn’t he all over her? I knew I would be.

Taking a seat on the bench near the far fence, I forced myself to relax. It was nice of Dawn to come out here with me, to help me settle down. She was always like that, thinking of other people, always sensing what they needed and doing her best to help them.

Considering how she’d grown up, she was remarkably unmarred, naïve even. She’d been born to an eighteen-year-old single mother who had been kicked out on her ass by her judgmental, up-tight parents and abandon by Dawn’s father – whoever the hell he was. I wasn’t sure who even knew. I’d never seen him coming around, not in all the time I’d known her had I even heard of him meeting her.

She sat down next to me, much too close for comfort. I tried to shift away from her, but she followed, pushing her hand into the crook of my arm. The touch was unsettling, causing feelings I had no business acting on. She was way too young, besides, I was going to be deployed to parts unknown. I had to keep reminding myself of that, otherwise, I’d never be able to hold out.

With an uncertain future, there wasn’t any way I could start something with Dawn, no matter how much I wanted her. Her scent wafted through my nostrils, and as she rubbed the side of her breast against my arm, my dick went from semi-hard to throbbing with need.

“What’s going on with you these days, little girl?” I asked, adding the last on to remind myself of just who she was. When her body tensed next to me, I knew the comment had hit its target perfectly. I wasn’t sure, but I had a feeling she’d brought me out here for more than just getting me away from my brother. That couldn’t happen, not now.

Dawn seemed to relax back into me, pushing herself even closer. The November air was cold, but with her sitting this close, I couldn’t feel it. Her heat at my side was all I could focus on, well that and the feel of her luscious tits that seemed to have doubled in size since I’d seen her last. She’d always been pretty, but now with her long blonde hair that curled at the ends and her body that was definitely that of a woman, she was gorgeous.

“Not much, just working so I can take more classes at school next semester. How long will you be home?” Her soft, melodious voice rang through the silent night, wrapping me up in her sweetness. I wanted to stay right there, forever. Not. Going. To. Happen. Asshole! I had to keep telling myself, I couldn’t touch her.

“Good, how’s your mom doing?” I decided to go for the trivial. I knew how Sarah was, whenever I spoke to my mom, I got a full update on everyone, including Dawn, sometimes that was the hardest part about calling home. Knowing that she was there, the girl at home, I knew, or I thought I did, how she felt, that she wanted more between us. She was just one kiss away from being mine.

Instead of answering though, she moved in even closer to me, she’d be in my lap next. This shit was ridiculous. Moving her hand down from my arm, she traced little circles on my thigh – my fucking thigh. Was she trying to kill me?

“Gavin?” She purred into my ear, when had she moved her lips to my neck? Jesus, she was kissing the side of my neck. I loved the feel, loved the way her lips were soft against me.

“Yeah?” I asked, my voice sounding strained, which was about right, since my dick was being strangled in my pants.

“Let’s go to your mom’s house. No one’s there right now.” Was she out of her mind? Somehow she’d grown three extra hands, I felt one on my chest and one rubbing my thigh, moving way too high up. She was about to find out just what she did to me.

Instead of allowing her to discover how she affected me, I jumped up, ran my fingers through my almost non-existent hair and started to pace.

The nervous energy that was bottled up inside me, was overpowering, I wanted to pounce, wanted to grab her up, toss her over my shoulder and run to my mom’s. I wanted to throw her down on the grass right here, spread her creamy thighs and sink into what was surely the tightest pussy I’d ever feel.

I couldn’t, wouldn’t do any of that. I’d never leave her, abandon her to an unknown future, if I claimed her, it would be forever and I didn’t know if I had a forever right now.

“Dawn, I -” I started to speak, but before I got the chance, to finish I looked down to explain, something. I wasn’t sure what, but I was going to explain something.

When my head dipped, she was right there, again; right fucking on me! How did she move so fast?

“What?” I got out, before she lifted up on her toes and slammed her lips onto mine.

It took me a full thirty seconds for my body to get the message that kissing Dawn wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing. She felt so good pressed to me, her soft curves under my hands, my cock pressing hard into her stomach, I wanted her like nothing I’d ever wanted before.

I can’t have her, I can’t fucking have her, not now, not yet! I was screaming inside my head, until finally the message was relayed to my body. I took a giant step backward, moving my hands to her shoulders to keep her back, away from me.

“Dawn, stop, I can’t do this, I can’t, we can’t. You’re too young, I’m going to be gone, I can’t. It’s not right, we can’t do this. You have to understand.” I was frantically backing up, waving my hands around now, trying to get my thoughts in order. I needed to make her see, I didn’t want to hurt her, but she had to understand that this just wasn’t the time.

“I’m not too young, Gavin McNeil, I’m eighteen! I’ve loved you forever, I waited.” She yelled indignantly.

Wait, what? She waited? Was she? Fuck, I couldn’t think about her being a virgin, not right now. Fuck, she was killing me. There was absolutely no blood left in my brain. I had no idea how I was actually making words come out.

“You are, you’re too young for me. I can’t see you that way, it isn’t right.” I meant that I couldn’t see her that way, now, not that I wasn’t able to, because damn, I saw her exactly like that.

Unfortunately, I figured out what I’d said and what it had sounded like when her face paled, her eyes widened in horrified embarrassment and her entire body stilled, as if frozen in place. I watched as Dawn Adams’ heart broke, right there, in front of me and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.

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This is the as yet unfinished story that started it all. It is so personal to me, so special that I haven’t gone back to it in years, but found it this morning and thought I’d share. Maybe someday I’ll give these two their HEA!

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Present Day

As I sit staring out at the Pacific Ocean I held the letter I’d written when I woke up, it was still dark but I had to get it out, it was time.  It was still early, but there were a few die-hards running along the beach.  It was windy by the water as was often the case in San Francisco.  I knew in my soul that it was time.  A gust of wind blew across me and caught the paper in my hand.  It flew across the beach and I scrambled up to grab it, but as I got closer to it, it was gone again.  Gone forever, just like Aiden.

I have to find a way to move on.  I loved him, I still do but after all this time, I have to move forward with my life, without hoping he will finally try to find me, that I will run into him somewhere.  How is it possible that I went away for ten days and have never seen him again.  No calls, no texts, no sightings.  San Francisco may be large, but after this long, you’d think I’d have seen him somewhere.  I doubt I am even a thought anymore, but I remember the day, six years ago as I sat in this spot when I saw him for the first time…

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#TeaserTues

#ARedemptionRomance

Here is today’s excerpt of Reed. This last and final novel in the Redemption Romance Series will be published sometime in January – I hope!

Excerpt – Original Copyrighted Material 2016 – DO NOT Copy, Publish or Edit

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Reed

Drumming music blasted through my wireless earbuds as my feet pounded the pavement. The sun was just beginning to rise over the streets of McKinney but fortunately for me and my daily run, the citizens of this once small town weren’t out in droves yet. Random and disjointed thoughts flitted through my mind each time the song changed. Gillian, my mom, the latest case that just hit my desk – Gillian – Gillian – Gillian. When Master of Puppets came on, I blanked my mind of everything and focused on each pounding step.

A quick look down at my watch told me it was already five-forty-five, which meant that if I wanted to have time to take my dog out, I had best pick up the pace. I used to take Blazer, my six-year-old Irish Setter with me on my morning run, but about eight months ago, he started limping. After taking him to the vet and paying through the ass to find out what was wrong with him, I was informed that he had hip dysplasia. Thankfully, we caught it before arthritis set in, so I was able to adjust his lifestyle and add in a shit load of healthy food and vitamins. Unfortunately, he couldn’t run eight miles a day with me anymore.

Turning the corner that would take me around the block and back toward my house, I saw the reason for my chosen route, up ahead. Gillian Cathleen Young, age twenty-three, born June 9, 1993. I met Gillian over a year ago at Indulgence, a woman’s shop owned by my good friend Aurora. Gillian ran the cafe down the street, she was shy and young. Too young for me. She was the woman I couldn’t get out of my mind.

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Author of Romantic and Erotic Love Stories