Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cover Reveal ~ Claimed by M. Never


With one look he consumed me. 
With one touch he marked me. 
With one kiss he owned me.
With one whisper he claimed me. 


"No matter where you go or who you're with, you'll always be mine."

Ellie Stevens thought she had moved on from the domineering man who abducted her. Now living in Hawaii and following her dreams, no one is going to keep her down. But things aren't always as they seem. 

Kayne Rivers reluctantly let Ellie go, but just because she's gone now, doesn't mean she'll be gone forever. She is his, and he won't stop until he's reclaimed her as his own.


Claimed is a dark erotic romance. Please pay close attention to the use of the words dark, erotic, and romance. It has intense sexual situations, a Master/slave relationship, mild abuse, and some violence. Reader discretion is advised. 

Add on Goodreads:



Lights Go Out- Fozzy

Beast Within- Blood 

Take Me to Church- Hozier

Control- Puddle of Mudd

Gravity- Sara Bareilles

If You Only Knew- Shinedown

Fade Into Me- David Cook 


Direct link:


Author Bio & Media Links:

M. NEVER RESIDES IN NEW York City. When she's not researching ways to tie up her characters in compromising positions, you can usually find her at the gym kicking the crap out of a punching bag, or eating at some new trendy restaurant.

She has a dependence on sushi and a fetish for boots. Fall is her favorite season.

She is surrounded by family and friends she wouldn't trade for the world and is a little in love with her readers. The more the merrier. So make sure to say hi!








Owned (book 1) Purchase links:



Amazon UK:




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Mathews Family Series Sale

Laugh, Cry, and Fall in Love ~ The Mathews Family Series

Amazon: * Amazon UK:

No More Wasted Time

After losing her husband to a sudden heart attack, Tess Mathews escapes to Bora Bora to lay her husband and sorrow to rest. What she doesn’t expect is a new beginning.
Tom Clemmins is an A-list actor whose life revolves around work and an onslaught of women. He travels to Bora Bora for a much-needed break. Tom has a few ideas of how he’ll enjoy his vacation, but love isn’t one of them. Until he sees Tess.
Reserving a private shark-feeding excursion to scatter her husband’s ashes into the lagoon, Tess is furious when Mr. Hollywood bribes his way onto the boat, leaving her no other choice but to share the boat ride.
Tess is torn between tremendous guilt and zealous lust when their boat ride turns into a week full of romance and desire neither thought imaginable. Utterly smitten with a woman for the first time in his life, Tom casts his commitment phobia aside and whisks Tess off to Malibu where he introduces her as his “girlfriend” on the red carpet.
As the paparazzi besiege, can Tess survive the media blitz that ensues in order to find her second chance at love?

Amazon: * Amazon UK:

Shayla’s Story

~ People come into your life for a Reason, a Season or a Lifetime ~

A Reason…
Questioning her relationship with a man who worships politics more than her, Shayla Clemmins escapes reality for the seductive sunsets of Greece. There she finds exactly what she didn’t know was missing from her life, but fears she’ll lose him to her past.

A Season...
John Mathews works hard and plays even harder. When he finds a new passion in the sensual warmth of Greece, he discovers that one lust-filled weekend of romance is just not enough.

A Lifetime...
With Shayla’s past catching up to her and an anonymous threat to her future, can she and John make a lifetime together?

Amazon: *  Amazon UK: 

The Perfect Someday

Tracy Mathews lives life by the perfect moral code.

After graduating magna cum laude in Marketing, she travels to the fabled churches of Santorini to capture the picturesque sunset, only to find a masquerade wedding about to begin. Tracy is persuaded by her younger sister to crash the ceremony. While donning a mask in Greece, she encounters a magnetically charming, handsome Italian, who entices her deepest desires.

After a brief and mysterious rendezvous with future promises made, she returns home only to realize her dreams of the perfect man have been shattered—until an unexpected job opportunity presents itself in Italy.

Vincent is a fifth generation winemaker in the rolling hills of Tuscany. On the verge of losing his family’s estate, will Tracy Mathews, an up and coming marketing entrepreneur, be exactly what he needs to save his family heritage and his broken heart?

Amazon: * Amazon UK: 

Surviving Broken

~ Sometimes you have to go through hell to find your heaven ~

Most women have a wish list when it comes to what kind of man they want to date. JC Mathews used a strict set of guidelines as a safety net to keep herself out of trouble and out of love.

On hiatus from the bright lights and speculative gazes of her career in the fashion industry, JC lets her guard down...only to the wrong man. After escaping Italy and the hands of her abuser, she returns to Malibu to recover. The last thing she expects to find is a large, gorgeous intruder swimming naked in her pool.

Reed Rider left Texas and his broken heart behind in order to settle his aunt’s affairs after her death. Seeking refuge from the California heat for a midnight swim in his neighbor’s backyard, he never expects to find the nude silhouette of a long-haired beauty standing at the water’s edge.

As their passion ignites and the pages of JC's rulebook fade to grey, she unlocks her guarded heart to begin a new chapter in her life. When hidden truths are exposed and secrets unravel, will they survive the threats from their broken pasts?

Amazon: * Amazon UK: 

Libby Austin's 12 Days of Thanks Through Infinity Giveaway

**Please see for the official rules and requirements for the 
12 Days of Thanks Giveaway**


Candice and Jason Woodruff had everything going for them: a strong marriage, the family they’d dreamed of, and successful businesses. When they made their wedding vows, they promised to love each other through infinity and beyond…but Candice doesn’t remember making that vow. Candice doesn’t remember the last eighteen years.
After a medical emergency, Candice awakens to find herself a married mother of four. She’s surrounded by a loving family of strangers, but Candice struggles to claim an identity while learning to be a wife and mother.

Candice is no longer the same woman Jason fell in love with all those years ago. Can they learn to love each other in this new reality?

Through Infinity is one woman’s journey as she rediscovers the love of her husband and children. But will that new found love be strong enough to carry them through infinity and beyond…


Through Infinity is Libby Austin's debut novel and she knocked it out of the park. Through  Infinity tells the heartfelt story of Candice as she reconnects with the life and love she's forgotten. It's a touching rendition to the power of love to conquer all.

As Libby stated in her disclaimer, if you are looking for a book with a ton of hot steamy sex, then this is not the book for you. Don't let that discourage you from reading this book. Through Infinity will pull on the strings of your heart and have you falling in love with this family.  

Through Infinity flowed effortlessly and with every turn of the page, I was left wanting more. I loved the connection between Jason and Candace. Their relationship felt very "real" to me and I could totally relate to them. With all the obstacles that Candace faces, her family never once left her side. They were very supportive and that was one of the many reasons why I loved them.  I couldn't imagine waking up one day and not knowing who I was, who my family was, not remembering by husband, or my own children. Through Infinity melted my heart.

Lets not forget about Candace's husband, Jason. I will scream that from the roof tops, I absolutely loved him. Candace could not have asked for a better husband. He was so compassionate, understanding, patient and loving.

Through Infinity is a MUST READ.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Blog Tour ~ One Night: Denied by Jodi Ellen Malpas



I know I look out of place as I stand near the gym entrance, clearly hesitant, and looking a little overwhelmed. All the machines look like spaceships, hundreds of buttons or levers on each one, and I haven’t the first idea how to operate them. My one-hour induction last week did a great job of distracting me, but the information and instructions fell straight from my memory the second I left the exclusive fitness center. I scan the area, fiddling with my ring, seeing masses of men and women pounding the treadmills, going hell for leather on the bikes and pumping weights on huge lifting devices. They all look like they know exactly what they’re doing.

In an attempt to blend in, I make my way over to the water machine and gulp down a cup of ice water. I’m wasting time being hesitant when I could be releasing some stress and anger. I spot a punching bag hanging in the far corner with no one within ten meters of it, so I decide to give it a try. There are no buttons or levers on that.

I help myself to the boxing gloves hanging on the wall nearby. After securing the Velcro, I give the bag a little poke. I’m surprised at how heavy it is. I inject some power into my weak arm and throw some effort into my next hit. I grunt too, and the bag shifts significantly this time, moving away from me and seeming to pause in midair before it’s on its way back toward me. Fast. I panic and quickly pull back my fist, then extend my arm to prevent being knocked to the ground. Shockwaves fly up my arm when my glove connects with the bag, but it’s moving away from me again. I smile and spread my legs a little, bracing myself for its return, then smack it hard again, sending it sailing away from me.            

My arm is aching already and I suddenly realize I have two gloved hands so I pummel it with my left this time, smiling wider, the impact of the bag on my fists feeling good. I’m breaking out in a sweat, my feet are beginning to shift and my arms getting into a rhythm. My shouts of satisfaction spur me on and the bag morphs into more than a bag. I’m beating the shit out of it and loving every moment.

I don’t know how long I’m there, but when I finally let up and take a moment to think, I’m drenched, my knuckles are sore and my breathing erratic. I catch the bag and let it settle, then take a cautious glance around the gym. No one is staring. I’ve gone totally unnoticed, everyone focused on their own workout. I smile to myself and collect a cup of water and a towel from the nearby shelf, wiping my brow as I make my way from the huge room. For the first time in weeks, I feel prepared to take the day on.

I head toward the changing rooms, feeling like a lifetime of stress and woes have just been knocked out of me. The urge to go back in and pound for another hour is hard to resist, but I’m already at risk of being late for work so I push on, thinking this could get addictive. I’ll be back tomorrow morning, maybe even after work today, and I’ll thrash that bag until there are no more traces of Miller Hart and the pain he’s caused me.

I pass door after door, all with glass panes, and peek into each class that’s in session—yoga, spinning, kickboxing. I might try one or two. Or I could give them all a go.

As I’m passing the final door before the women’s changing rooms, something catches my eye. It’s a punching bag swinging from the ceiling hook, but no one’s in sight. I step closer to the door, then gasp and jump back as someone comes into view, bare chested and barefoot. I feel dizzy.

He has those shorts on, the ones he wore when he was trying to make me comfortable. I’m shaking, but my shock doesn’t stop me from peering back through the glass, just to check I wasn’t hallucinating. I wasn’t. He’s here, his ripped physique mesmerizing.  He looks violent as he attacks the hanging bag like it’s a threat to his life, punishing it with powerful punches and even more powerful kicks. His body weaves and dodges the bag when it comes back at him. He looks like a pro. He looks like a fighter.

I’m frozen on the spot as I watch Miller move around the hanging bag with ease, his fists wrapped in some kind of bandages, his limbs delivering controlled, punishing blows time and time again. Who does he see before him?

My mind spins, questions mounting, as I quietly observe the refined, well-mannered, part-time gentleman become a man possessed, that temper he has warned me about clear and present. But then I retreat a pace when he suddenly grabs the bag with both hands and rests his forehead on the leather, his body falling into the now subtle sway of the punching bag. His back is dripping and heaving, and I see his solid shoulders rise suddenly. Then he begins to turn toward the door. It happens in slow motion. I’m rooted in place as his chest, slicked with a sheen of sweat, comes into view and my eyes slowly crawl up his torso until I see his side profile. He knows he’s being watched.


RELEASE LAUNCH ~ The Weight of Destiny by Nyrae Dawn


When “crazy” runs in your family and your namesake is known for walking into a river with a pocket full of rocks, a girl kind of wants to avoid tempting fate at all costs. For Virginia Nichols, the only way to dodge that bullet is to be perfect at everything: school, student council, life. Too bad it’s all a lie, and underneath the perfection...Virginia is lost. 

Ryder Blackstock knows a thing or two about being born into fate. The talents passed down from his father aren't exactly normal; instead of learning how to throw a fastball, he was taught to hot-wire a car like a pro and pick any pocket in sight. He’s got criminal blood, just like his old man. And as soon as he turns eighteen, he’ll be living life on the run with his dad.  
When Ryder and Virginia meet on the beach, it seems they couldn't be more different. Soon they discover they’re both trapped in their lives—Virginia denying her fate, Ryder embracing his. Like the rocks in Virginia Woolf’s pockets, the weight of their destinies will pull them under. But being together brings out pieces of themselves they didn't know existed—pieces that make them want to take fate into their own hands and rewrite their destinies...if it’s not too late. 

"Whenever I read Nyrae Dawn, I am reminded that words are her art, and she wields her paintbrush with all the skill of Rembrandt. The tender romance of Ryder and Virginia is palpable on the page, and the story sings with all the complexities of the interwoven plot. I read late into the night to finish this one, and once again, Nyrae has managed a masterpiece. LOVED." ~ USA Today and New York Times Bestselling Author Courtney Cole 

"The Weight of Destiny unfolds like a storm. It is dark and electric and incredibly romantic. I lost and found myself. The characters are so vivid, so alive, you'll forget anything but them exists." ~ David James author of Between the Stars and Sky 

"The Weight of Destiny is YA at its absolute finest. Nyrae Dawn flawlessly brought two seemingly broken characters to life and showed everyone deserves a second chance at love and life. This breathtaking storytelling will blow you away." ~ USA Today Bestselling Author Tiffany King 

"The Weight of Destiny is art at its best, Ryder and Virginia canvasses on which the good and bad of life and love unfold in brilliant, true color." ~ Author Jamie Manning 


“You’re strong and beautiful.”
She chuckles softly and shakes her head.
“It’s just a different kind of strength. You are who you are, and you don’t care what people think. You don’t care that you’re sober at a party where everyone is drinking. You don’t give a shit if you’re the girl who leaves to do her homework, because it’s important to you.”
“Is it still strength if the reason behind it is fear?” She sounds like she’s drifting away, her voice getting softer and softer. I need to reel her back in, keep her close, so I roll to my side, lean my head into my hand and let my elbow prop me up. With my other hand, I brush her cheek with my thumb.
“I don’t know. You’re the smart one. Regardless, I know you’re strong.” Because I know she’s dealing with more than I’ve seen; I just don’t have a clear picture of what it is.
“We’re still different, though, so why me?”
Words get trapped in my throat. I can tell her it’s because of what I said—she’s beautiful and strong. I can tell her it’s because sometimes the loneliness in her eyes mirrors mine, only I didn’t know it was there before her. Maybe it’s to prove I won’t screw up with a girl like her the way Luke thinks I will. There are a million possibilities, not all of them good. The only thing that manages to come out is, “Because the weight isn’t as heavy when I’m with you.”
Her breath hitches. I let my fingers gently glide against her neck, her throat. When she speaks, I feel the words vibrate through my fingertips. It’s a crazy-wild feeling, and I want it to keep going, want to touch all her words.
 “The weight of what?” she asks.
I don’t know… I shrug. “Of everything.”

But it’s not my words that settle into my chest. It’s hers. Virginia shakes her head and answers her own question. “Of destiny.”

Friday, November 14, 2014

Release Launch ~ Assumptions by Melanie Codina


What happens when a girl set on playing by the rules …

Leeann Bradley is a college graduate who has achieved many of her personal goals, all because she follows the rules she’s set for herself. It’s simple. You work hard, enjoy life, surround yourself with friends and family, avoid jumping to conclusions … and oh yeah, don’t date jocks. These rules have worked well and have taken her down the path she wants in life. So what’s a girl to do when temptation, in the form of a sexy college soccer player, is placed right in the middle of that path? Deciding when to break the rules has never been easier for Leeann. But when assumptions are made, and more than just the rules are broken … will she be able to find her way down that path again? And what happens when it’s no longer the path she’s meant to take?

Finds a guy worth breaking them for …

Until now, Jonathan Baxter had one primary focus in his life, soccer. All decisions made, have been based on how it could affect his ability to play soccer. His grades, his choice of college, any type of extracurricular activities, were all carefully assessed. All of it has made playing college soccer possible. But when an injury sidelines him for the foreseeable future, and jeopardizes his dreams, he has to work even harder than before. Rehabilitating his injury becomes his primary objective. Until he meets Leeann, a physical therapy assistant whose touch has the ability to make him lose focus. She has him thinking there could be more in his life—in his future—than just soccer. So what’s Jonathan to do when Leeann assumes he’s just like every other jock out there? He has to prove her assumptions wrong.



“So, Leeann. I was thinking of asking you out on a date, but figured I should make sure there wasn’t a Mr. Leeann in the picture,” I stated matter-of-factly, taking another bite of my salad. Rather than respond right away, she gave me an amused look. I really liked that I amused her. It did great things for my ego.

“A Mr. Leeann?” she inquired.

I nodded, liking my choice of words. “Yeah. You know, a member of the opposite sex who you’ve attached yourself to. Maybe even have Cobb salads with. Although I’m sure there would be other things you do with a Mr. Leeann, but we don’t need to bring those up. I prefer to just think of you eating Cobb salads with him.”

She tried to conceal a snort by covering her mouth with a napkin, but I caught it. It was cute as hell. That unruly dick of mine began to make himself known again. I was actually surprised it had taken that long for him to realize she was within a five-foot radius. Maybe the temporary jolt of pain I got almost falling allowed for the delayed response. Fortunately, I’d taken Leeann’s advice from the other day and worn shorts that were a little more concealing.

When she removed the napkin, she smiled broadly. “Well, there really isn’t anyone else I eat Cobb salads with. Except you, of course. But—”

I interrupted her, “Perfect! That makes me your Mr. Leeann. I can totally be that for you. Except I could definitely see us doing more than eating Cobb salads together.”

Now she was giggling, and I couldn’t help but watch her as that simple sound exploded in my ears. It swirled around me, making me want more. When she slowed down the giggling, she asked, “So you can see me doing more with you, huh?”

My hands were clasped together, and I rested my elbows on the table, leaning forward a little. I lowered my voice and said, “Oh yeah.” The husky tone caught her attention, and she leaned forward in response. So I continued, “I could definitely see us doing more than eating Cobb salads. We could always try the Caesar, or even a Greek salad together. How do you feel about pizza?”

Leeann burst out laughing, and I couldn’t control every part of my body that responded without delay. There I was, joking with this sexy woman, dick at full attention, and all I could do was stare … and plan.

I needed to make a plan that involved making her laugh like that for me … every damn day.


Melanie is an amazing mother of four, an awesome and tolerant wife to one, and nurse to many. If you don't believe her, just ask anyone in her family, they know what to say. She is also a devoted chauffeur, the keeper of missing socks, a genius according to a seven year old, the coolest soccer uniform coordinator according to a thirteen year old, and the best damn mac-n-cheese-with-cut-up-hot-dog maker in the whole world. Well that last title isn't really official, but it's still pretty cool to be called it.

When not being ordered around by any of the kids, you can find her with her nose in a book or on the sideline of a soccer game cheering on one team or another. But that's mostly because she has a thing for the coach. When not doing all of the above, you can find her obsessed with a group of fictional characters all vying for a spot on the page of whatever she's working on. It's a fun and crazy life to lead, but she wouldn't have it any other way.


@MelanieCodina  (under construction at the moment)


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Book Blitz ~ In Too Deep Series by Michelle Kemper Brownlow

In Too Deep (In Too Deep #1)

Gracie has just finished her freshman year of college in Memphis when she takes a job at a local pizza joint in her home town of McKenzie, Tennessee. She is the epitome of innocence when she meets Noah. Noah is unabashedly handsome, intriguingly reckless and just cocky enough to be sexy. Gracie’s instincts tell her to stay far away from him and based on the stories she hears from her co-workers he leaves broken hearts in his wake. But still, she can’t explain her fascination with him.

Noah puts aside his bad boy ways when what he thought was a summer crush has him unexpectedly falling in love. But soon after Gracie transfers to UT Knoxville to be with Noah, their unexpected love becomes riddled with anger, deceit and humiliation.

Jake, Noah’s former roommate and Gracie’s best friend, can no longer be a bystander. Gracie’s world falls out from beneath her and when she breaks she turns to Jake for strength. As Jake talks her through a decision she’s not yet strong enough to make, together they uncover a truth so ugly neither of them is prepared for its fallout. Will Jake pull her to the surface or is Gracie Jordan finally In Too Deep?


“Talk to me.” Jake scooted closer and tucked my hair behind my ear. I rolled over onto my back and crossed my arms over my stomach.
“Jake. I hate that I am even going to say this out loud, but…Noah makes me feel like an idiot sometimes. I mean, part of why he was so taken by me in the beginning was because of how innocent I was. He liked that I was so na├»ve and didn’t know about a lot of things. And now, it seems like he isn’t happy unless I sacrifice that for him.”
“Hm. That’s messed up.”
“Do you think less of me for smoking pot, Jake?”
“Gracie, our mistakes don’t define us, they help us make the choices that will one day be woven into who we become.”
“You’re deep at two a.m.”
“Gracie, you can’t let him steal who you are. You need to make choices based on who you are…right here.” He poked his finger into my chest. “Don’t make decisions because Noah is standing behind them convincing you they are the right choices for you.”
“See, it makes so much sense when you say it. If I am thinking of someone else in the same situation, I would give them that exact advice, although not as scholarly as you just did.” I giggled and poked him in the bare chest that was peeking out above his comforter.
“So, take your own advice, Gracie.”
“It’s not that easy. It’s like he’s got strings tied to my emotions and my common sense. I can’t seem to think for myself when he wants me to do something I’ve never done before.”
“Does he make you feel guilty if you don’t want to?”
“Sometimes, but mostly he just makes me feel stupid. Like I’m too immature to make a sound decision. So, he makes it for me.”
“Gracie! Only you should be controlling the things you are doing with your mind…and…your body. Gracie, please don’t let him take things from you that you aren’t ready to give. Promise me.”
“It’s not like that, Jake. It’s not like he knows he’s making me feel that way. I just do. I guess maybe I am just reading into his expressions and assuming what he’s thinking. Maybe I am just too insecure around him to think straight sometimes.”
“I wouldn’t doubt that he knows exactly what he’s doing. I’ve seen him in action.”
I had never been conscious of the things we spoke about in Jake’s bed. It was like pieces came together when Jake and I spoke. My thoughts flowed freely and they made sense. I never felt like I had to be anyone but me when I talked to Jake. He was so comfortable. I rolled over on my side again so I could see him as he spoke.
“You shouldn’t be with someone who makes you feel that way, Gracie. Look, Noah is my friend but I have seen what he can do. He’s crushed more than a few girls on this campus. I know we’ve all seen him make a big change, but you still have to be careful.”
“I know, Jake. He wouldn’t hurt me on purpose. I know he loves me. I think he just wants me to be a little more adventurous. I think he gets sick of the goody-two-shoes-Gracie.”
“The Gracie I know,” he laid his hand on my cheek and kissed me on the tip of my nose, “is one of the most incredible people I have ever met. Her smile lights up a room and everyone feels her joy because, take it or leave it, she comes with no pretenses. You get all of her. The second you meet her, you’ve got her heart. And her security in her convictions is what makes her shine.”
Tears flowed in a stream across my face and onto the pillow under my head. Jake gently placed his hand on the side of my face and wiped the tears away with his thumb.
“Oh, Jake.” I sobbed out his name and crumbled in his bed. I didn’t know how he could still see me as the girl he just described. I wasn’t sure I even remembered her.
“Come here, Gracie. Let me hold you.” He lifted the covers so I could climb under. He enveloped me in all that was Jake—his strength, his honesty and an indescribable level of friendship I never knew existed. I didn’t know what was to come with Noah, but I knew Jake would never walk away from me. I didn’t know how to do life without him.

On Solid Ground (In Too Deep #2)

Gracie survived an emotionally abusive relationship that wrecked her. Her ex, Noah, systematically chipped away at her self-esteem through intimidation, humiliation and infidelity which left Gracie unable to trust her own perception of his intentions. But after falling head over heels for Jake, her best friend and the man who stood by her through it all, she is ready to experience life in the way it was meant to be lived. However, Gracie may find it impossible to simultaneously heal from the trauma of abuse while navigating a relationship with Jake. Can she put her heart on hold in order to heal her soul? The sequel to the five-star debut novel, In Too Deep, chronicles Gracie's steps toward healing as she falls deeper in love, reaches out for help, stands on her own, steps out of her comfort zone, faces her biggest fears, and reconnects with a sensual, talented soul from her past all in hopes of finding herself on solid ground.



I felt my phone buzz against my leg.
I answered just as the waitress brought Becki’s food and a carafe of coffee for me. I smiled to thank her, phone glued to my ear.
“Gracie,” he started talking before I even said hello. “Honey, tell me you’re okay.”
“Sam, I’m okay. I’m with Becki, and I really don’t want to talk about anything right now. I’m just trying to clear my head. How did you know—”
I was pretty sure I knew the answer to my question though he answered before I finished it.
“I just got off the phone with Jake.”
“Are you angry with me, Sam?”
“Angry? No. I’m worried about you. And him. You guys are…” His voice trailed off as Becki took her seat and started in on her home fries.
“I know. With all my heart, I didn’t want to walk away from Jake, but I just need some time, that’s all.” I spoke, and Becki mouthed his name and cocked her head, questioning if that was who was on the phone. I nodded.
“I get that. I guess I just needed to hear it from you.”
“I don’t want to hurt him, Sam. He feels like I can only love him with part of my heart because he feels like Noah still holds the rest.”
Becki’s eyes bulged, and Sam went silent. This was a great way to talk it out, to both confidantes at the same time. Stacy would probably be pissed I wasn’t sharing this with her, but I was so pained by the decision to walk away from Jake, I couldn’t bear saying it any more than I already had. Plus, I couldn’t afford a call to Florence, which is where she was when she’d posted pictures online the night before.
It literally brought pain to my chest, thinking of Jake pacing in his apartment, running his hands through his hair, and mumbling to himself, trying to understand and digest what was happening. But, how could I be selfish and stay with him if being with him only reminded him of the part of my heart he thought he would never hold?
I ended up putting Sam on speaker and the three of us talked it out for over an hour. My heart had stopped racing, and I wasn’t shaking as much, but my thoughts were still frantic and open-ended. When Becki went up to the register to pay the check, I took Sam off speaker and finished our conversation.
“Gracie, he wants what’s best for you, and if putting an end to the relationship is best, he will be okay. It will hurt him, and he will have to heal, but he’s more about your happiness than his own. You know that.”
“I know, Sam. I just want him to be happy, but maybe that won’t happen with me.”
“Gracie, how about you start focusing on you and what makes you happy…and whole. If you stop worrying about how your decisions will affect other people, you may find the answers to your questions and comfort in place of your doubt.”
“What the hell? Are you reading that out of a book?” I giggled. I knew Sam was deep and emotional—I’d seen that side of him before—but it wasn’t usually something that happened between the two of us. He usually just let Jake do the talking and pulled a “yeah, what he said” kind of follow-up.
“Hey! Jake isn’t the last romantic stud on the planet. There are a few more of us around. Thanks for doubting my soft side.”
“Aww, Sam, I don’t doubt your romantic side. Thanks for your advice. It makes a lot of sense, and it’s exactly what I needed to hear.”
“I’m always here for you, too. Jake isn’t the only collegiate Superman, you know.”
“I know. Thanks, Sam.”
“I love you, Gracie.”
“I love you, too. Talk soon?”
“Hope so.”
Becki was sitting across the table having just walked into a whole lot of mush at the end of my conversation with Sam. “What the hell is with you?” She stood and motioned toward the door. “You have two of the most amazing men on the planet wound around your finger. Why…how? Nevermind. You piss me off.” She chuckled and bumped into me with her hip as we walked out the door.

Above the Noise (In Too Deep #3)

Becki Mowry's journalism expertise keeps her busy as she spends her waking hours filling a calendar with gigs and public appearances for her boyfriend's up and coming band, Alternate Tragedy. Radio interviews and TV spots result in sold out concerts and rowdy groupies hot for her guy; lead singer, Calon Ridge. But, as fame would have it, their time in the limelight also brings sabotage, rumors and false accusations. Becki and Calon try to stay steadfast on a personal journey that takes them to the depths of fear and uncertainty. And finally, the rug is pulled out from under the band when they must make a transition they never dreamed they'd be faced with. In this third book of the In Too Deep series, Becki and Calon struggle to find balance as they navigate their new relationship while living amid the rock world's nocturnal chaos. But when life's unexpected obstacles come out of nowhere, they focus on finding their own private solace Above the Noise.


The first time Calon and I drank together was after one of their shows when he walked me back to my dorm. The guys didn’t usually drink during a show, but a big storm rolled in that night just as their first set started. The atmosphere inside Mitchell’s unexpectedly turned from a slamming rock sound to an acoustic vibe when the lights went out. Gracie ran around and gathered as many candles as she could from the back room, and we all helped her light them and place them on the silent speakers all around the stage. Calon and the guys enjoyed beer after beer and did a show like I’d never seen from them. It was rustic with a little folk-funk. The bar’s patrons sang along in the glow of about forty container candles of all different sizes. Calon sat center stage on a stool and sang away the hours with his guitar resting on his thigh. The whole night was ethereal and quaint and very fucking sexy.
He asked if he could walk me home again, which was exactly what I’d hoped for. When we crossed the road right outside of Mitchell’s, Calon grabbed my hand, and we ran for the opposite sidewalk that led across campus and up to my dorm. Electricity ran through the hand he held, I was sure he could feel it because he didn’t let go.
He told me groupie stories for the entire length of our walk to my room. I was laughing when I pushed my door open. Being a little tipsy, I tripped and fell into him, pinning him against the open door. My hands landed on his chest, and, in an attempt to keep up both upright, his strong hands grabbed my hips. My mind shot back to the thoughts I’d had earlier while watching his deft fingers move on the strings of his guitar.
His t-shirt was damp from sweat, and his curls tickled my forehead when he laughed. It was one of those moments you see in movies when the couple finds themselves in a compromising position and they freeze; chests heaving, mouths agape, and hearts racing. His eyes searched my face, but for what I didn’t know.
I pushed off his chest and, a bit shaken, walked to the mini fridge and grabbed the bottle of vodka from the top freezer portion.
“Shots?” I spun around and took in all of him; dark curls, sultry green eyes, an intense stare, and lips I could entertain for days.
“Absolutely.” He let the door close, plopped down on my bed, and leaned back against the wall, his legs so long they hung at a weird angle not quite touching the floor. He had a hole in his jeans just below his front pocket, which puckered when he sat. I had a hard time diverting my attention from it.
I was completely oblivious to what my heart was capable of at that point, so the alcohol was an attempt to loosen up before we started making out. This was the token third time he’d been to my room, and that’s just how it typically worked. The guy comes back the third time after not getting laid the first two, you know they want it, or they’d have given up after the second night of blue balls.
We did a couple shots and laughed about random shit, and then there was the uncomfortable silence; it was deafening. I decided to make the first move before it got really awkward. I turned on the twinkling lights that hung above my bed and turned off the overhead fluorescents. I climbed onto the bed on my knees facing Calon and reached for his face to pull him in for a kiss. He stopped me and held me still by the wrists.
“Becki, I’m not here for that.” He loosened his grip on my wrists, and I dropped my hands in my lap.
“Oh.” Fuck. He wasn’t interested. It was one thing to be turned down by the conceited freak from my study group, but to be turned down by a hot rock star who probably hits every piece of ass offered to him sliced a little deeper. I brushed it off like it didn’t bother me, but it did.
“No, no. Listen.” He took my chin between his thumb and finger and pulled my face a little closer to his. “I am extremely attracted to you, Becki. I love your personality, and you’re gorgeous, so my comment wasn’t a rejection.” He smiled, and I felt like a complete idiot, a slutty idiot.
“It’s okay, I get it. It was stupid for me to—”
“Shh. No regrets, Becki. You’re attracted to me, too, and I’m glad. I’m just not one to rush into that kind of thing.” He dropped his hand from my chin, and it joined my hands in my lap. I held his hand with both of mine.
“Wow. I’m pretty sure you’re the first rock star in history to turn down a groupie.” I rolled my eyes and got up to pour more shots. Calon followed me over to the mini fridge, put his hands on my waist and spun me around. His thumbs touched my skin when my Marilyn Monroe tank flounced with my spin.
“I don’t see you as a groupie, Becki, and I’m technically not turning you down. I can’t explain it, but I feel like there’s more here between us, a connection that we should pay attention to.” He rubbed the outside of my bare arms with his warm, strong hands. Those fingers…



Michelle Kemper Brownlow has been a storyteller her entire life. Her debut was on the high school cheerleading bus granting requests to re-tell her most embarrassing moments for a gaggle of hysterical squadmates.

Earning her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Art Education and then marrying her very own “Jake,” she moved to Binghamton, NY where she taught high school. After having two children she quit work and finished her Master’s degree in Elementary Education at Binghamton University.

The Brownlow family of four moved to Michelle’s hometown of Morgantown, PA while the children were still quite young. A few years after moving, her family grew by one when they welcomed a baby into their home through the gift of adoption. The family still resides in PA, just miles from where that high school cheer bus was parked.

Michelle has been an artist for as long as she can remember, always choosing pencils and crayons over toys and puzzles. As a freelance illustrator, her simple characters play the starring roles in numerous emergent reader books published by Reading Reading Books.

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