Friday, December 19, 2014

Cover reveal: Ebran by Allison Merritt











Eban (The Heckmasters, Book 2)
Author: Allison Merritt
ISBN13: 978-1-61922-634-0
Length: 70k
Release date: April 7, 2015

If love can’t save them, there will be hell to pay.
Grateful for his mother’s human blood that cools the dark fire of his demon father, Eban Heckmaster has set up a medical practice in New Mexico territory. But there’s no hope of living a normal life until he rids himself of a seductive demon that’s been pursuing him.

Vanquishing it won’t be as simple as sharpening his demon-hunting sword. The clever creature is hiding inside his best friend’s head, and she has no idea of the havoc she’s been wreaking, especially with his body.

Beryl suspects Eban knows why she’s been waking up with no memory of where she’s been or what she’s done, but he’s not talking. But when she inevitably learns what he’s hiding—or rather, what’s hiding inside her—she wonders if her love for him is real, or an illusion created by the demon’s lust.

Eban is losing the battle to hold his rising desire in check. There may be only one way to extricate Beryl from the beast entangling her mind. Call upon his demon blood...and offer it as a sacrifice.

Warning: Contains a half-human, half-demon doctor who can heal anyone except himself, and a woman who’d blush if she could remember the sensuous torture she’s been inflicting on him. Could make you wonder if you should start listening to the voices in your head...

About the Author:

A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she's not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.

Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that's gathering dust after it was determined that she's better at writing fluff than hard news.

Social media links:

Read the first book in the series: Wystan (The Heckmasters)
Buy links:
Samhain - http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wystan-p-73651.html
Amazon - http://amzn.com/B00L501TJK
B&N - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wystan-allison-merritt/1119847207?ean=9781619222892






















 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Leon's Way









_________

Book & Author Details:   

Leon’s Way by Sunniva Dee
Publication date: December 19th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:

I’m Leon , number one object of Deepsilver’s rumor mill. Owner of student hotspot, Smother.
Since I was sixteen, the world has been mine. I do everything—
My way.
Every co-ed in town clenches her thighs over me, but most don’t fit the bill. See, I like my girls broken . Once I detect my shade of don’t-give-a-fuck damaged, I fight hard, I fight dirty, and I don’t give up until—
I conquer.
Drunk fathers and frequent beatings don’t merit attention, but when my despicable dad starts the process of croaking, I’m forced to remember. Thus, the downward spiral begins: my latest broken-girl turns the tables on me and splits. My hot-as-hell employee, Arriane, throws me the curve ball of a lifetime. And suddenly—
I’m out of control.
But at the center of my chaos, she exists. Always close, always sweet, and so beautifully fucking… wholesome. She represents everything I’ve shied from in a woman. Still—
I crave her.
I’m Leon, and I don’t deny my cravings. Just—this girl is not surrendering. So here I am, fighting harder. Fighting dirtier. And goddammit all, I will—
Conquer.




Purchase:


AUTHOR BIO:
Originally from Norway, I moved to the United States twelve years ago. I hold a Master’s degree in languages and taught Spanish at college level before settling in at the Savannah College of Art and Design as an adviser.

I write New Adult fiction, sometimes with a paranormal twist—like in “Shattering Halos,” published by The Wild Rose Press in February 24th 2014 and in “Stargazer,” released November 2014. The first book I’ve self-published was the New Adult Contemporary novel “Pandora Wild Child,” which made me a proud indie author in October 28th 2014.

I specialize in impulsive heroines, bad-boys, and good-boys running amok. Then, there’s the intense love, physical and emotional attraction beyond reason—sensory overload for the reader as well as for the characters. Like in real life, I hope you’re unable to predict what comes next in my stories.

Yes, so I write what I love to read, and depending on the reader, you’ll find my books to be a fast-paced emotional rollercoaster—or disturbing because the struggles of love aren’t your thing. Here’s to hoping you have the same reading vice as me!





LEON’S WAY — Excerpts



1) This is my bar. My party.
And she’s mine.
My girlfriend’s eyes shine with happiness and relief. Only she isn’t beaming at me. She brushes my hand off her thigh and stands up on her barstool, waving. Smiling a beautiful smile she has never graced me with. 
I look past the partiers on my club’s terrace, following her focus. I ignore the colors of the sky, the explosions from the New-Year’s fireworks, and detect him as easily as she did.
Dominic stands at the top of the stairs like some chick-flick hero.
He wrestles to get past Jason, one of my bouncers. Dominic’s eyes are trained on my—my—Pandora with so much fucking emotion I want to jab them out.
“Oh no, you don’t,” I grind to Pandora when she hops down to meet him. I’ve fought too hard to let this happen. In a few minutes, a new year starts, and she’s in it, goddammit, with me; she’s not taking off with another man.
How the hell did he get into Smother in the first place? My bouncers are useless! One simple task I laid on them tonight: don’t let Dominic in.
Pandora started out as a challenge to me. I knew I’d snagged her late, that she had a history with the pretty-boy. But he’s labeled “Perfect Dominic” on her cell, which is the very reason why she’s with me and not him.
Yeah, Pandora and I, we are the same. We’re each other’s brand of screwed-up, and guess fucking what? I’m not about to let her forget. I never lose, and I control my world with the precision of a puppeteer, but—
The strings are fraying.
My dolls aren’t obeying.
Behind me, my second-in-charge, Christian, calls my name. He doesn’t recognize me, not now that I shove my girlfriend past the counter and use her body to crash through the door to the storage room.
I barely register Pandora’s eyes going huge with terror. Her fear…. it’s beyond the kind I get off on. She’s panicking—but so am I.
Because she can’t. Fucking. Choose. Him.
My mind blurs. Then, it checks out. The glittering rainbow of colors in the sky means squat when a sole shade of red tinges my vision.
“Leon! What the hell are you doing?” Pandora shrieks.
I am primal. A warrior. A caveman. I thrust her hard against the shelves. I am a wolf biting down on her neck, silencing her.
“I’ll fix this, Pandora—I’ll be right back,” I growl. Then I close the door behind me. Lock, lock her in and pocket the key. She’s going crazy in there, wailing for me to open—pleading—
Soon, I can’t hear her because I have charged past Jason, and I’m at Dominic’s throat. “You!” I shout. “You little shit. I will destroy you!”

2) The man I’ve loved for years is going ballistic. Books, glasses, and candles ricochet off the walls and crash to the floor. The low growl contained in his throat unleashes as he hurls his stereo at the window, making the glass panes shatter on impact.
“She fucking left me for him!”
He spins and locks on me. When Leon stares at you, he consumes you. He traps you in a small, flustered vacuum where he’s all that matters. “Leon… you’ll be okay,” I begin, but my voice trembles.
I can’t wrap my mind around this meltdown. Nothing ruffles him, nothing surprises him; in all my years at the club, I’ve never seen fissures in the marble of my boss’ beautiful fa├žade. With the exception of his girlfriends, everything he touches remains orderly, and yet he’s losing it so completely right now.
This state he’s in… It doesn’t rock my need to be there for him. I—
Am always close.
He’s my love. My unreciprocated love, because I am just Arriane, his left hand, the favorite bartender. Not one of the dolls he breaks.
Leon’s chest lifts and sinks with his turmoil. “I’ve never worked to keep someone the way I did with her. Fuck, I did everything I could while all he needed to do was barge into Smother. He fucking stole her from under my nose!” Angry tears glitter, drifting over surreally blue irises.
“Stole?” He’s delusional.

3) I am the devil. What did she ever do to deserve this? She’s my employee and an innocent bystander who’s nothing like my usual contenders.
Still, I prowl up over Arriane on the mattress, the way I’ve done with countless women before. Straddling her, I’m on all fours, dipping down just enough to blow lightly on her mouth, making her gasp. 
I have no excuse for acting like this. I can’t claim to be drunk on this aftermath of a New Year’s Eve. No, I just can’t deal with what happened earlier tonight. I want to forget how I lost my shit, the way I rebuffed Pandora’s lack of commitment to me.
Arriane’s hair is midnight-black like mine. It’s long and so silky it shines even in the dim lighting of my bedroom. First, I slide the simple black hairband out of her ponytail. Next, I fan her mane out over my pillow.
“You should wear your hair down more,” I tell her, and the small hump on her throat lifts in an anxious swallow. I draw back for an instant, studying her.
“You like it?” she murmurs. She seems surprised.
I slide a glossy lock between two fingers and watch it spill back to the pillow. “Of course I do. It’s fucking beautiful.”
Three years ago, I was running low on employees, and in walked this girl, this sweet twenty-year-old who needed money. Like most people in the college town of Deepsilver, Arriane came here for her degree. Only she doesn’t come from an affluent family, and tuition is expensive. Since then, she’s worked more at Smother than she has studied. Whenever I need someone, I turn, and Arriane is there, ready to pick up the slack. Beautiful, loyal Arriane.
 “Your eyes are violet,” I state, because I hadn’t noticed before; she works for me, and I don’t get involved with my employees.
“Yeah,” she whispers. “No one else in my family—” she starts, but then I lick her lips and she gives off a quiet moan. I like that sound.


4) Curiosity kills cats I hear, and I’ve died a million deaths over the years. Now, I’m ready for the slaughterhouse—for a new sort of death, a tougher, harder death.
I should not have come upstairs.
Should not have been with him. 
Should not have insisted on going all the way.
My heart skips. I dress quickly and slink into the living room. Leon has cleaned everything up. The room is as tidy as it was before his breakdown hours ago. A blanket covers the broken window, and I’m sure he’s already called the installers.
In the kitchen, fresh coffee steams from the coffeemaker. A plate covered with cling wrap waits on the table. It has my name on it.
“I’m sorry,” the note begins.
“I’m sorry I took advantage of you, Arriane.” I blink over treacherous, stupid tears, because the words hurt and I’m the one who should apologize. I took advantage of him—his desperation. I start reading again.
“I’m sorry I took advantage of you, Arriane. It will never happen again.”
I finish the breakfast spread he’s made for me. Pour coffee into a mug. My heart’s still alive when I walk down the stairs and into the bar with my cup in hand. I don’t consider the damage the New Year’s crowd did to my decorations. Spilled beer and half-dried cocktails glue me to the floor, trying to keep me from his office. My shoes stick and rip free from the floor, alerting Leon of my proximity. I lose courage. I want to go home and postpone this.
“Arriane?” Leon’s voice sieves out so softly. Like we’re different now.
I inhale. Riip to the office slowly. Hurry with the last steps before I can change my mind. Then I peek in through the half-open door.
“You called?” I say, swallowing. I haven’t showered yet and smell of us. I have the early shift at work today, and I forgot to tie my hair back into a ponytail. Lord knows where the hairband is—I don’t. Slowly, I edge my face behind the thick sheet of my hair. His scent on me teases, causing a jab to my heart. Woodsy cologne, sex, and wrongness.


5) No one yells as loudly as Ingela. No one. I puff out a breath and start getting dressed. A single wall divides the kitchen from my bathroom, and seriously, if she whispered my name, I’d hear her.
“Still here,” I breathe out as a test.
“Well, you’re taking forever, and Cam has a question for you! Come out!” she screams.
Whatever question our fellow bartending colleague has, we both know it has to do with hairy triangles and that the answer is, and should always be, “no.” I’m also pretty sure he doesn’t want her to ask me because they all think I’m the runner-up boss at the bar. Even Ingela, only she has no respect for authority. The staff as a whole has decided it must be a cultural thing. We’re starting to believe everyone in Northern Europe has this as a birth defect.
I’m impressed with how well Leon handles Ingela. A month ago, she appeared at Smother with blue eyes shining and a wide smile lighting her face. “I’m Ingela, I’m an international exchange student, and I like your bar, so I shall work here,” she had explained. “I need a job because I’m totally, totally broke.”
I don’t ask, but my guess is she’s in the country on a student visa. Leon must be taking his chances with the IRS by paying her under the table.
Thankfully, Ingela’s little phone chat is over by the time I’m out of the bathroom. 
“You missed out.” She nods, her signature broad grin in place. Short honey-blond bangs hop over her perfect eyebrows as she speaks. “Cameron is…” she frowns, thinking. “Heell—hellar—” Then, she cops out and goes, “Funny.”
“Hilarious?” I suggest, and she smacks her hands together.
“Yeah! Hilarious.”
“So, not ‘rude as hell’ or ‘gross?’”
Ingela cups her mouth with a palm, laughing. “Oh yes, uh-huh! He called just to be gross with me.”
I’m not surprised—at either of them. Ingela grabs the last piece of whole-wheat toast with liver pate and shoves it into her mouth. With the other hand, she ruffles the short layers of hair brushing her neck. “I have class first, but I’ll be at work in…” she checks her watch, “bah, when I get bored. Or soon anyway. I’ll take the campus bus—the Silver Line. It drops me off by Smother.”
“Okay, so you won’t be late?” I ask.
Ingela dons washed-out jeans peppered with holes. Tall and skinny, the stereotype of a Scandinavian girl hikes her odd little backpack up on a shoulder and strides to the door. “Never.” She bats her lashes.

6) Leon is a private man, and I shouldn’t pry. Still, sometimes when you don’t think, you jump in. And I?
I can’t let him hurt alone.
I take the steps over to the tall table he sits at with his accounting. I don’t stop until my hand touches his cheek.
“Leon?” I ask, my heart slowing with worry.
He sucks in a breath at my touch, thick lashes dropping. Lightly, he bends into my palm and I feel it, the stubble I dream of. It pricks like kitten-paw-soft cacti against my skin.
“What’s wrong?”
I expect him to brush me off, get up. Become his business-self. Give me a low, clear order I can carry out for him.
But Leon’s knees slide apart, making room for my body. His hands scoot around me, pulling me into him, and something shifts in my womb even though it’s probably too early.
His sigh is so heavy. Arms spread over my back, fingers pressing into flesh, fanning upward until a fist curls around my neck. The pinch is painful as he nudges me closer, bending so he can delve in against my throat.
“Just family stuff scrambling my brain,” he whispers. Can he hear my heartbeat? It’s fast, insistent. Hopeful. When I dare to move my arms from their frozen, low-slung sides, it’s to link them into his embrace. He turns my face to him and kisses me, first chastely on the mouth, until I open and he deepens the kiss.
He finds bare skin under my shirt, and as we make out, he forces a hand into the crack at the top of my jeans.
I let him.
I want him happy.
Not thinking, I lift a foot up on the railing of his barstool as he scoots out on his seat enough to leave only fabric between us. He puffs a grunt into my ear. “Wait, let me…” he begins but trails off in favor of action. Deft fingers undo my jeans button and unzip my fly. “Much better. I couldn’t get to you.”
I gasp when his fingers find my entrance from behind, easing in, showing both of us how quickly I heat for him.
“Sweetie, the guys will be down any minute—”
Leon cuts me off with a stinging slap on my ass, ending his violent caress with a firm grasp on the butt cheek he spanked. “Trust me.”
I do. I—
He holds me while he fingers me. 
The boys laugh at the top of the stairs. “Nah, I’m good,” Christian rumbles. “Got my Shannon—she keeps me busy. But go for it. They say once you go threesome, you’ll never want to go back.”
Cameron howls with laughter, their high-five ringing down to us. “Damn, that’d be awesome. Gotta find me some chicks who’ll be into it more than once. I mean how ’bout forever, am I right?”
If I hadn’t been drowning in Leon’s world, I’d roll my eyes again at Cameron.
“Sure, and marry both of them. In different states before you all move to a third one,” Christian helps.
“You. Are. A. Genius,” Funny-Cam bursts out. “Or in a different country! Sweden.”
“Ingela, huh?” Christian asks.
“Yeah, I might’ve suggested it to her. She said I was, and I quote, ‘gross.’”
Christian’s reply is dry. “Go figure.”

7) Jason is being particularly dense tonight. I’ve shown him three times how I want the new ropes to work outside the entrance to Smother, but he keeps opening them so the line becomes shorter and less organized. I show him again.
I move on to Tom, Jason’s gym rat friend, whom I hired as a bouncer over a month ago. The man still hasn’t gotten the part where my exes need to stay clear of the club. I cross my arms and tip my chin up so I can stare down at him despite his hulk-sized stature. 
“Tom. I realize there are a few to remember, but when they ask for me—and in particular when they claim to be my girlfriend—there’s no way in hell it’s not one of them, okay? Even if Jason isn’t nearby and can verify your suspicion, just send them off.”
Tom crinkles a freckled brow, thinking. “But what if they’re not lying? I wouldn’t want to send the lady off if she really is your girlfriend, Boss.” His worry lines smoothen, indicating that he’s satisfied with his reply, and I remind myself that I didn’t hire him for his ability to flex brain muscle.
One of the new bartenders, Jen, waves from the dance floor. Once she has my attention, she points at two guys shoving at each other while dancing couples give room around them. I nod once. “Jason. Fight inside.”
“On it, sir.” He plods off, on a mission.
I pull in a breath, getting ready to explain the self-explanatory in regard to girlfriends. “Tom, did any of the girls you let in last night look like Arriane?”
“Boss? No…”
“Here’s the deal. Unless I tell you otherwise, Arria is my only girlfriend. Anyone else is fucking lying. Understood?”
Tom blinks. “Yes sir.”
“Good. Now, assist Jason with the jerk-offs inside, and I’ll keep an eye out here in the meantime.”
Tonight’s sad as hell. Don’t get me wrong—I’m glad Arria obeyed and stayed at her apartment with Ingela after yesterday’s scare with the ER visit, but I’m not digging her absence. There’s no happy hips wiggling and tempting me behind the bar counter, no sweet smile whenever I zoom in and catch her attention, and no stolen squeezes.

8) I change immediately, even bind my hands. At the moment, gloves defeat the purpose for me, but a little tape never hurts. I’ve got my system. I know what works. Besides having kinky-ass sex, this and my bike are the only things that calm me down. Bare-chested and in black dojo pants, I rage into the heavy bag.
The music from the club thunders through the floor, but I need more, so I shove in a CD before I continue. The collision between the tunes downstairs and my own death metal make me want to break into a crazy laugh.
I don’t, though, because I’m spending my energy on this. For every punch, I visualize my father’s face when I took him down at sixteen. The shock, the bruises, the blood I left him with. The fucking cracked collarbone.
Something surges in me at the thought—I force everything else away.
I tear into the medium bag. Tear at it, tear at it—killing the damn thing like I wish I’d done to him. The mirror tosses back my glistening shape. 
What evil god let him survive the stroke?
I snarl out my disappointment, joining the chorus of ugly roars from the stereo, and I don’t stop, don’t stop killing him until a hand touches my shoulder. I freeze, because not even here, in my sanctuary, am I less than one step from control.
My chest rasps with need for oxygen. I realize I have none left, and my lungs can’t pull it in fast enough. In the mirror, I see her, small, scared, watching me gulp down air. She’s smothered in this music that’s straight from hell, the opposite of anything she represents, and the baby—
Shit, the baby can’t be hearing this!
I bound to the stereo and power it off. From below, a ballad slinks into our bubble, and I stare at her, wordless.
Enormous eyes flicker with compassion. With slow, tentative steps, she narrows in cautiously, like I’m the frightened one. I cover my face with my hands. Shut her out. Move back into the corner I’m in. 
“Sweetie,” she whispers.




Hawthorne's Calm




Title: Hawthorne's Calm
Series: Oceans #3
Author: M.A. DeOlmos
Publisher: Lock & Key Publications
 Release Date: December 1, 2014


Warning!

The highly anticipated trio is back just in time for the holidays! Engross yourself this holiday season with the gorgeous Hawthorne men. Go ahead. You deserve to treat yourself to some holiday cheer & a new meaning of Fa-La-La-La-La!


Synopsis


For some, life has a grand and beautifully wicked way of handing out life's lessons. Ocean and Lawrence Hawthorne can attest to this until they've run themselves to the ground. Yet somehow, within those lessons that leaves them emotionally battered and scarred, comes the birth of new hope. New life. 

Ocean Hawthorne is a man of action and principal. His past drug addiction and healing wounds of causing his twin sister's death has and still continues to shape him into the fierce fighter he's become outside the MMA cages. Life has been cruel to him, yet it still managed to give him the one person who gives his lungs the sole reason to keep breathing…Livie Acosta. 

Livie has been through the worst of the worst. She lost her mother to suicide, followed by her father, who was also her best friend, in an unexpected death; which only led to her own suicide attempt. She has fought all her life. Lost a lot of those battles, yet still manages to keep her head above the turbulent rising waters with her feet planted on the ground. She is growing into her own person while becoming a firm and steady anchor within the Hawthorne family. She will soon learn what it is like to be completely selfless and will be driven more than ever to rise above the demons who have haunted her all of her life. There is one thing that she will have to face head on whether she is prepared to or not. As a Hawthorne, she has no other option but to fight and conquer!

Lawrence Hawthorne has been the glue within the razor edged pieces of hearts his family is still trying to piece together. He's never met a challenge he couldn't overcome, test he couldn’t surpass, or women he couldn't protect. Livie his Sunshine was the first stranger to flip his world upside down in all the right ways, and now he has the beautiful and witty Dulce on his arm to keep him on his toes. He still has a lot to learn about his soul mate's past. Even though he is a powerful force of determination and love, he finds himself in a bind when his guilt over Dulce's past begins to tear away at his heart.

Together this new family will have to conquer the worst. Ocean will have to grow wiser in patience, Livie will have to come to terms with her mother's intuition, Lawrence will have to let the past be exactly that...the past...as Dulce will finally have to let someone in.

Will these fierce souls find the strength within each other to find the calm after the storm or will they continue to repeat their pasts, once again?






Links to Buy

AMAZON US / UK / CA




Also Available


#1 Oceans Collide

AMAZON US / UK / CA



#2 Oceans Submerged

AMAZON US / UK / CA







Excerpt

Livie

I find myself standing next to a man that just seconds ago was the happiest I’ve seen since… well actually, I’ve never seen him this happy. Moments ago, Ocean was showing me a side of him that instantly made me fall in love with him all over again. However, right now-within seconds-that same man has become a ticking time bomb—scratch that he's more like a unhinged hand grenade with less than one second to cause mayhem!
Immediately, Law arrives at the door after my initial set of screams for him to hurry his ass up and help me. Moving quickly and without hesitation, he takes a hold of Ocean’s arms and locks them behind his back.
Looking at Law, I see the shock and sprinkle of hate playing on his handsomely cool features and it further confirms to me that the arrival of Ocean’s mother-pregnant mother at that-is not a good omen for the days, weeks, or months to come.
The curious minds of our morning guests start trickling in, hovering around us at the front door. Finally, someone speaks. It’s Ocean, of course, more than ready to go 300Z Gerard Butler style on his own mother.
“Who the hell told her to show up!?” Ocean flings Law off him in one violent ripple of his shoulders. He spins around to face the crowd behind him.
I look at the woman still standing in the not so safe zone as she stares at the tight and rigid back of her son. A son that is in so much pain he cannot stand to look at her.
“Dad!” He roars out as his father comes forth.
“Yes son.” His father answers calmly, knowing better than all of us in the crowded foyer that this is an extremely dangerous situation.
The pain in his father’s eyes at the sight of a woman he once loved-and honestly probably still loves-is breaking my heart with each passing second.
“Did you tell her? How does she know? HOW. THE. FUCK. IS. SHE. HERE?!”
A shaky voice responds and it’s from no one standing on our side of the door.
“Ocean, son. No one invited me. I looked you up. I wanted to—to--”
“To what Sabrina! You wanted to show up on the happiest day of my fucking life and ruin it to hell? Is that what you wanted to do? Mission-a-fucking-complished!”
As he spoke to her with his back turned she winced at his hateful words, but I couldn’t blame him for it. I don’t think anyone could right now. Ocean was hurt and broken beyond repair when it came to his mother.
He forever blamed himself for what happened to his sister. He has the guilt of having killed her in that terrible bike accident engrained into his soul. He loved Stormie-his beautiful twin sister-with his whole heart. When he needed his mother the most after her death, she just up and walked away.
I would be beyond pissed too if she showed up today like this...which she just did. I push away the resurfacing thoughts of my mother’s demise before I allowed my own emotions of guilt and abandonment to resurface and cause me to react out of my own emotional torments. When I look away from Sabrina, my eyes too easily found the wet shiny pieces of glass on the tile floor in front of me.
Immediately, they held my eyes captive. The demons inside of me start rearing their ugly heads trying to find a broken link in my still-wounded and slowly healing armor. I was stupid for thinking they had left me, that I had won.
Apparently they’d only taken a fucking vacation! The bastards were just giving me a break. Layla and Dulce found their way to me taking each one of my hands in theirs. Damn… did my face look that twisted they recognized my rising fear too?
“Ocean. I know you’re mad at me and hate me, but I am still you’re mother.”
Uh-oh! Wrong thing to say Sabrina.
Ocean spins around this time to face his mother.
She did not shrink under his hateful glare, stupid woman. “Ocean. I am still your mother. I came here to find you so you could meet your sister when she’s born.”
Time stops as well as Ocean’s breathing and probably his heart. He sways on his feet and I release my hands from Layla and Dulce to support him. He grabs onto me desperately as his body and mind fight against each other to steady himself.
I feel like slapping the shit out of this woman. How dare she say some shit like that? I look up at his face needing to see what's there. His eyes are locked on his mother’s stomach. She looked about ready to pop any moment now.
“I’m having her here in Dunlap, Ocean. Her name is going to be Stormie.”
All hell breaks loose inside of Ocean. He pushes me back towards Law, lunging forward toward the woman screaming at the top of his lungs.
Thank god Santi, Trevor, and Joseph were close enough because if not, they wouldn’t have been able to stop him in time from strangling his own mother.
As tempting as it is to let him have at her, it just isn't right. Pffft, almost isn't right.
“YOU CAN’T REPLACE STORMIE! SHE’S DEAD! STORMIE’S DEAD! I FUCKING KILLED HER, YOU STUPID BITCH!” Ocean repeats this chant over and over as it takes three huge men and all of their muscles-and I mean all of their muscles-to hold him down.
I personally had enough of this show for today. Our happiness was now tainted by this selfish bitch standing in front of all of us in all her fucked up, pregnant and shameful glory.
Ocean is dragged away from me like a two year old having the temper tantrum of the millennium back into the living room.
I step forward grabbing the door facing off with Ocean's mother. “Listen, your bright idea to show up after being ghost for so long… not such a bright idea. I don’t suggest you ever try doing this again. Ocean is a great man, cousin, friend, soon to be husband, and a great son…but he is not your son anymore. Please don’t come back here because next time it’ll be me gunning for your throat for the pain you’ve caused him, not Ocean.”
I close the door lightly in her face even though I want nothing more than to slam it shut. The only thing that keeps me from doing just that is her extremely pregnant belly.
Subconsciously, I was seeing my mom standing there with AJ in her belly in the once upon a time good memory bank my brain was still desperately holding onto.
Layla touches my arm, bringing me back to my reality. “Thank you for doing that. I was afraid of hitting her myself, pregnant or not.” She laughs lightly at her comment as if she was joking to lighten up the tension but I know the threat was real.
I understood though, I too wanted to cause that woman as much pain physically as she was causing her beautiful son, my Ocean, emotionally.
I smile at her, feeling the pain I know she feels as well. Walking back into the living room together where moments ago, everyone was shedding tears of joy.
Ocean was on the floor pounding his fists into the tile as if the porcelain tiles were the cause of all his life’s pain.
“No!” I rush over to him, shoving my way through Law who briefly tries to block me. Dulce tugs at his arm just in time helping me move his solid ass out of my way. My body crashes onto the floor in front of Ocean before I know it.
Ignoring the sharp stabs of pain my knees are tingling with, I grab both of his hands to stop him from breaking all of his knuckles or worse. I pull his hands up to my lips kissing each knuckle that are already turning red and bruised.
He slowly lifts his head as tears and ferocious sobs pour out of his heavenly lips. I shuffle closer to him on my knees pulling his arms around my waist. If I could climb on top of him I would, but too many people were here.                                                                               
“Ocean baby, this is still our day. Remember this?” I flash him the beautiful promise ring he put on my finger. “That means we get through this together. I am not leaving you. This is Livie and Ocean’s day. We can do or go wherever you want, just me and you baby. We go big together or we don’t do this at all. Will you take me? Will you take us away to start our new promised lives together? I need you to Ocean. Please.”
I place one of his hands on my chest so he can feel my heart beating for him. His tortured eyes roam over my face resting on my lips, then his head cocks to the side as he continues to study my face. Not knowing how else to reach him I cover his warm and badly bruising hand pressing it harder on my chest.
“You still w—want this? You still want me?”
I roll my eyes at him in exaggeration expecting him to have said something much more intelligent than that. “Ocean. For a twenty seven year old man, you’re ridiculously stupid. I love you Ocean Grant Hawthorne. L-O-V-to the fucking E you! Get your ass up and make this day about us. Now!”
I don’t know why I’m yelling or cursing but he responds to it. Grabbing my face as if I’m an apparition about to disappear any moment, he kisses me hard. So hard it hurts my lips, but I take his anger, his passion, and his hate.
I absorb it all for him because we drown together; that’s our rule. I wipe his tears away with my hands kissing his face dry with my newly aching lips.
He places his hands on my hips, guiding us both off the floor and pulls me tightly into him again. “You got it baby, let’s go.”
Ocean holds out his hand to Law who tosses him a set of keys. He quietly guides me out the front door of our home without saying a word or making eye contact with anyone.
As we walk down the stairs to his Range Rover, I pray.
 
Os Jesus Cristo dao-me por favor a forca para sobreviver a este mar aberto, nos estae afogandose Amen. (Jesus Christ, please give me the strength to survive this open sea, we are drowning, Amen)






Author Bio

My name is Melissa De Olmos, it's quite a mouth-full but that's me. I live in the sunny, tropical and extremely too tranquil city of Palm Bay, Florida with my two lovely crazies’ ages six and three. I could say that writing novels has been a passion that I've always pursued but I can't. Writing for me has always been my own secret escape into a land of wonders, opportunities, timeless loves and so much trouble that I sometimes wonder if I need medication for the stories that pop into my head. I am in love--no-- I am obsessed with everything mystical, fantasy, true to a reader’s heart, and fiction. It has been an enormous pleasure and indescribable experience sharing my Oceans Series with the world and I cannot wait to fill this world with more crazy for you awesome people to devour.
 


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