So I have some pretty exciting news to share with y'all. This June, I'll be collaborating with three super talented indie writers Nia Forrester (The Commitment Series), Lily Java (Sticky Moon) and Rae Lamar (The Aris Effect) to release Because My Heart Said So: A Friends-to-Lovers Collection. As already Nia said, I'm pretty sure this will be one of the coolest things that I do all year. Long before we collaborated to bring you these four friends-to-lovers stories, I was a genuine fan of each of their work. Nia blew me away a couple of years ago when I was first introduced to her via Wife, Lily's debut Sticky Moon was easily one of the best books I read that year, and earlier this year, when I was introduced to Rae's Aris series, it quickly became one of my absolute favorite romance reads in a long time. Basically, they are all the bomb-diggy (yes, I said that) and I'm grateful and humbled to work with them on this project.
Yay this! This is truly #4Writers4Love.
Anyway, today, we'll be introducing you to Because My Heart Said So via our Facebook page. Please CLICK THIS LINK to join the page and keep up with the happenings and goings on until (and even after) the June release date.
Also, you guys may remember that I'm releasing the second book in my Prototype series, Finding Kennedy, which will drop May 20, 2016. I'm sharing one last excerpt before the release. I hope you enjoy!
Finding Kennedy, Coming May 20, 2016
:: We rode for what felt like forever. Until my mind quieted. Until the noise in my head was less than a hum. Until the vibrations of the bike were even with my breaths.
We pulled up to a place that sort of looked like a small house that’d been gutted and turned into a storefront. The entire street was lined with quaint buildings like it. It smelled like fall-- crisp and clean. “Evan’s” was written on the sign that hung just over the front door.
“Where are we?” I asked once I’d pulled my helmet off, smoothing my braid, which was hanging over one shoulder. My body was still humming, coming down from the high of our ride. I was still seated on his bike and watched as Travis removed his helmet, raking his fingers through his hair.
“In Allen, just outside Dallas. I wanted a beignet and some wings,” he said, nodding toward front door of Evan’s as he climbed off.
A small smile touched his lips, and he helped me off the bike. “Was the ride too much?” he asked, watching as I stretched my arms above my head.
“It was perfect.”
He smiled, brushing a loose strand of hair behind my ear.
“This place is owned by a cat named Evan from back home,” Travis explained, as I looked around. “It’s pretty low key,” he offered, reading my expression. “And it’s old school, so no TVs.”
I looked down at my boots.
“I gotta warn you though, dude is a little... off.”
“Off?” I met his eyes again, grinning.
“Last time I was in here, he was trying to tell me that world is actually flat. Like, he argued me down about it. Got all animated and shit, talking about how Antarctica is really an ice wall.”
I laughed and he shook his head, his dimple showing as he chuckled.
“Why does he think the earth is flat?”
“Your guess is good as mine. I tried to follow what the hell he was talking about-- something about gravity being an illusion, and the earth really being a disc.”
I laughed, eyeing him. He smiled and grabbed my hand, interlacing our fingers as we walked together toward the entrance.
“I kept thinking he was gonna laugh, but it never came,” he continued. “All he kept saying was ‘stay woke.’” He widened his eyes, looking like a zombie, and I laughed.
“And you still come here?” I asked as we paused in front of the door.
“You know how hard it is to find a good beignet in Texas?” He raised his brows.
“But beignets and wings?”
He nodded his gaze sweeping over me, landing on my boots. He grinned then met my eyes again.
“My taste is particular.”
“Nah,” he said, his eyes turning serious despite the playful grin on his face. “I don’t believe in that. You should never feel guilty for enjoying what brings you pleasure.”
A half hour later, we were seated at one of the plush booths, and I was completely in love. Evan’s was the coolest place I’d ever been—part restaurant, part bookstore, part record store. It smelled like vinyl and sugar. I chewed slowly, smiling at Travis who was watching me intently, waiting for my response since I’d told him I’d never actually had a beignet.
“So what’s the word, baby doll?”
I swallowed, relishing the sweetness of the pastry, and grinned.
He laughed, stuffing the last of his into his mouth. Sly Stone’s “Just Like a Baby” played from the speakers, the lazy groove filling the space, seeping into my bones, relaxing me. Or maybe that was just Travis’s energy. I’d expected this day to be like last year, unbearable, too drenched in reality. But I felt almost… dreamlike. The sadness, the ache was still there, but it was hazy instead of overpowering. I could breathe with Travis.