Disclosure: I have received an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Excerpt provided by author or representative.
Colton Bradford never believed in love at first sight. And then, Rain Maxwell walked through his buddy’s front door. He knew there was something special underneath the shy, guarded exterior and was determined to find out what it was.
The problem? Rain had devised her own set of life rules and “Never get involved with a band mate” was right near the top of that list. She allowed Colton into her heart as one of her closest friends, but pushed him away at the mention of anything more.
When tragedy strikes Rain’s personal life, Colton is determined to be there for her in whatever way she’ll allow. Will she finally open up to him and consider taking things to the next level? Will Colton’s ways of trying to bury his feelings for Rain in the past ruin the possibility of a future for them?
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By the time she made it to the bus, she found me undressed and nearly passed out in the back bedroom, the room that was technically hers. We had told her she could have it because she was the only female on the bus and deserved some privacy. I hoped she didn’t mind because, once I went to sleep, I didn’t want a bunch of drunk assholes waking me up when they got back.
“By all means, help yourself,” she said sarcastically when she opened the door. “I suppose you expect me to take your bunk tonight?” She didn’t turn on the lights as she tried to find her comfy clothes.
“Well, either that or you’re sleeping with me. I feel like shit, so it’s not like I could try anything even if I wanted to.” Okay, so I wanted to try something more than I should, but that was a line I would never think of crossing and I wouldn’t have the energy to make a pass at her anyway.
Rain sat on the bed next to me, gently pushing me to the other side. “Any funny business and I’ll tear off your balls, got it?” She turned on a small reading light and pulled out her e-reader.
I turned on my side to watch her. Without the heavy stage makeup and her contacts, she looked young and incredibly sweet propped against the pillows with her hair in a loose bun, wearing a tank top and flannel lounge pants.
“Of all the things you could be doing tonight, you’re going to sit there reading?”
She looked over at me, brushing a stray hair out of my face. When I had mentioned cutting my dark blond hair shorter before hitting the road, Rain had been the one nixing that idea. She said it was part of my look and I needed to keep it long. If it meant having her push it out of the way like that, I’d let it grow to my ass if she told me to.
“Yes, I’d rather make sure my best friend doesn’t choke on his own vomit than watch other people get drunk and stupid while I sip on water dressed up to look like a cocktail. Besides, I can’t read when everyone’s out there making noise all damn night.”
She turned on her side so we were facing one another and I wished more than ever before that I could pull her close to me. Ours had grown to be an easy friendship once she learned to trust me, other than the times I pissed her off. I couldn’t explain why since I knew her feelings on the subject, but it felt like something shifted that night as she rubbed my arm until I fell asleep.
About the author
Some writers can tell you what book piqued their interest in writing a book of their own. I can’t. Other authors tell you the name of a teacher who influenced and encouraged them to write. The only English teacher I can remember probably does deserve some of the credit for my success because she was one of the hardest teachers I ever had. Honestly, I don’t know why I write; all I know is it’s one of two things I can do that makes me feel completely free.
The first “official” writing I did was as a fifteen year old high school sophomore. My dad was part of an APAzine and, for whatever reason, I started guest writing on his zine. That led to me getting a zine of my own in the Turbo Charged Party Animal APA. Rope the Moon (named after the John Michael Montgomery song and a nod to my dad’s influence on me) was the ramblings of a child in a world of adults.
I was held to a high standard because most of the contributors were my dad’s age. They were somewhat hesitant to allow a kid in, but they voted me in after those guest contributions. To this day, I feel blessed to consider some of those members friends.
Sometime after high school, life got in the way of my dreams. They keyboard was dusty. Looking back, that’s also when I felt my most restless. After my daughter was born, I started my first blog, More Than Mom, as a way to vent about my struggle to hold onto the identity I’d owned for 27 years.
In 2006, I heard about NaNoWriMo for the first time. I jumped in with the enthusiasm of anyone who’s never tried to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. It was a damn good story. Did I mention I’d never written anything of that length before? Yeah, that’s important because it means I never lost a work in progress of that length before. It was November 14th and I was over 24,000 words when my hard drive failed. And with the loss of my manuscript, I lost the drive to write for a while.
In 2012, I attempted NaNoWriMo again, this time saving in so many places I’m sure I’ll be finding partial copies of Bent everywhere until the day I die. The thing they don’t tell you with NaNo? When you hit 50,000 words, that doesn’t mean you’re done writing! So, I kept writing until I was done. And then I edited. And edited some more. Deleted a bunch of scenes, added others in. Had some trusted friends and mentors read it and then tweaked it some more.
In January 2013, I made the single scariest click of my mouse that I will ever make. I published Bent. It’s been a whirlwind year and it keeps picking up pace but I’ve never before felt so blessed to be where I am!
I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to email me at email@example.com with questions, comments or even a good joke!