“Hurting you will always be my biggest regret.”
The sincerity of his words matched the truth in his eyes. Both made my heart sting, and emotions I wasn’t ready to deal with surfaced. “Why tonight, Nash? Why are we having this conversation now?”
He closed the distance between us and came to a stop only inches away. “Isn’t it obvious? You can’t run from it.”
I opened my mouth to argue but quickly shut it.
“You think I don’t notice that, if we’re in the same room and someone walks out, leaving us alone together, you rush to follow?” He reached out to tuck a wayward strand of hair behind my ear. The gesture was turning into a habit. “When was the last time it was just the two of us in the same space for more than three minutes?”
I knew the answer without thinking. “After the wedding, when you walked me to my car.”
“And before that?”
He was quiet while I shuﬄed through memory after memory. “I don’t know,” I answered softly.
“Fine. Here’s your chance. Say whatever it is you need to say.” I kept my arms crossed, needing the barrier between our bodies.
“I miss you.”
The pure honesty in his statement caused my breath to catch.
“I think about you a thousand times a day.” He reached out to trail the pad of his thumb over the line of my jaw. “I’m not asking you to forget about the past, Mace, but I am asking you to stop living in it.”
His words caught me oﬀ guard, but there was no denying their truth. I had lived my life tethered in the past. Those moments when I felt like I was softening toward Nash, I’d force myself to remember all the ways he had hurt me. Clinging to the pain he’d caused. Bone-deep hurts that he knew nothing about.
The past was swathed in secrets and cloaked in guilt. Instead of trying to escape it, I used it as a shield. An excuse to push away not only Nash, but others as well. I had boarded up the walls of my broken heart. Yet here Nash stood, doing his damnedest to pry me open. As much as I had once hated Nash, there was a part of me that loved him, too.
“That’s easier said than done. I don’t think I know how to stop living in the past,” I confessed.
“Try.” For the briefest second, my eyes fell shut, and a lifetime of memories ﬂickered behind my closed lids.
The good times. Moments that weren’t shrouded in hurt but ﬁlled with laughter and love.
Six years old: Nash stealing a kiss from me on the playground.
Nine years old: Climbing the huge live oak tree in the park. I was too scared to climb back down, but Nash was right beside me, promising he wouldn’t let me fall.
Twelve years old: Knobby knees and barely there boobs, I was on Nash’s arm at the school dance.
Fifteen years old: Standing on my parents’ front porch, listening to Nash swear he would always love me.
Heat pooled in my belly. A shiver danced down my spine.
Nash hooked his right thumb and index ﬁnger under my chin, angling my face slightly upward.
There was too much history between us.
“Nash?” I braced my hands on his bare chest, realizing too late what a bad idea it was.
“Yeah, Mace?” I swallowed hard, searching for the words, but then he brought his perfect lips to my neck, landing on the spot he knew was my undoing.
He didn’t play fair, and I didn’t stand a chance against the heat of his mouth. What started as a spark burned to a blaze that consumed all rational thought.
Nash kissed his way up my neck, across my jaw, and to the corner of my mouth. He nipped my bottom lip, tugging it between his teeth.
I opened on a whimper, and that was all the invitation he needed to delve inside.
His hands shifted to cup my face as his tongue tangled with mine. I knew by the way he dominated my mouth that this was so much more than a kiss.
It was a battle in a war we had been waging for years.
I’m one of those people who tends to brush off accomplishments. To dismiss the accolades when I’ve met a goal. Compliments make me feel weird, because I’m not any better than anyone else. I don’t see myself that way. I’m just over here doing my thing and cheering everyone else on while they do theirs.
I was tempted to let 2018 quietly fade away. It was a hard year for a lot of people and a lot of those people were my friends. I’ve had years like that. When my life was devastated at every turn. Years of loss, struggle, and heartache. 2014… rocked my world to its core and shook the very foundation of my family. 2017… left scars on my heart that have yet to fully heal.
For me though, 2018 is a year I want to reflect on. It was a year of personal growth and positive changes. I met goals and hit personal milestones that were a big deal for me. Pie in the sky moments. I want to acknowledge that and let go of the mindset that it’s in poor character to do so. I want to look back on this post and remember the great moments of 2018.
- I wrote my third book with the hope that it would break the top 1000 on Amazon overall. Everything I Never Wanted hit #97 and sat there for an hour. That was 60 minutes of HUGE pie in the sky. *Thank you to every single person that made it possible. I’m so grateful to my readers for making it happen.
- I wrote my fourth book that will publish in eleven days.
- I won my spot as a signing author at LoveNVegas. Readers voted for me in a “blind” reading. No cover. No title. No identifying information. Just words. And they picked me. I’m still so blown away by that.
- Tantor Media purchased the audio rights to Everything I Never Wanted. It did well enough that Tantor also purchased the audio rights to my debut novel, Healing the Broken, and my soon to release title, Everything Worth Fighting For. *Surprise audio lovers. While I announced the news about Healing the Broken, I didn’t share the news of EWFF. I dreamed of getting one audio contract, I ended the year with three. *Pie in the sky.
- I met Teddy Hamilton, one of the narrators that worked on Everything I Never Wanted and for the second time in my life, I had a fangirl moment. *Back in the day, I saw Emmitt Smith. At the time he played for the Dallas Cowboys.
- I attended two signings as an author and one as a reader. I was recognized “in the wild” at the event I wasn’t signing at by a few readers. They wanted a picture…with ME. I am so in awe of that, still.
- I met so many of my readers and felt so honored every single time I was asked to sign something for them.
- I built relationships.
- In October, with my husband’s support, I took a huge leap of faith and left my day job of almost 19 years to take a year off and focus on my writing. This was my biggest pie in the sky moment. I was a nanny and worked for the same family for all those years. *Considering their last kiddo started college this past fall…it was time.
Then there were the other moments. The ones with a lot of tears. Extreme lack of sleep to the point of total physical and mental exhaustion. Months of working a full-time day job while writing full time. Stress that resulted in tension headaches and being physically sick. I missed deadlines and had near breakdowns. I was plagued by self-doubt. There were moments I wanted to give up. If it hadn’t been for my husband and my besties, M and C, I would have been rocking a straight-jacket like nobody’s business. There were days I’m certain my body was equal parts caffeine and dry shampoo.
It’s human nature to focus on the negative. To let the really great moments, get overshadowed by the not so great moments. So, my wish for you in 2019 is that you’ll all have really great moments. Moments so fantastic they outshine the hard ones. And when you have a win, let yourself enjoy it. Commit it to memory. You’re allowed to be happy.
Nash and Macy’s story releases 01/11/2019
Whatever you wanted to call it, Macy Caldwell was mine.
She had a chance to get out of this town, but she refused to take it.
She was going to give up everything for me.
I wasn’t worth that kind of sacrifice.
In order to save her, I had to break her.
The night Nash Masters broke my heart was the catalyst for the ruin that came after.
All these years later, he was fighting for my forgiveness.
He had no idea I was the one who needed his.
The truth didn’t always set you free.
They said love conquered all, but this was war.
And everything worth having was worth fighting for.
Add it to your #tbr https://bit.ly/2SZrohx
Tons of exciting news to share!
In case you haven’t heard Everything I Never Wanted, my sweet and sexy
single-dad contemporary romance, is coming to audio on October 30, 2018.
It has been produced by Tantor Media and will be narrated by Callie Dalton
and Teddy Hamilton. I love audio books and I’m so excited to be partnering
with the amazing folks at Tantor to bring Tucker and Camryn’s story to life.
I’m currently writing Everything Worth Fighting For. If you read Everything I
Never Wanted, you met Nash and Macy. Everything Worth Fighting For is
their story. It’s a second chance at romance for these childhood
sweethearts. One full of love, heartache and oh so many feels.
Join me and twenty-eight of my fellow authors in the Private Party Book
Club. It’s the one place readers are the true VIP’s. You can come hang out
with me and the crew. Get to know and interact with us. The shenanigans
shall abound. For example, Win It Wednesday. Each Wednesday one PPBC
author will host a giveaway exclusively for PPBC members. We have so
many other cool things planned and since snitches get stitches, I guess
you’ll have to join to find out more.
If you’d like to sample the work of some of our PPBC authors we’ve compiled
a little taste just for you. You’ll get the first 7,000-15,000 words of eighteen
different stories free. If you are intrigued enough to keep reading you’ll find
the purchase links at your fingertips. It sure beats downloading several
separate samples and this way you have them all in one place. Click the
link below to join the Private Party Book Club, once you do you can download the
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