Never Never is one of iBooks featured romantic suspense books! Which means it’s on sale for only .99!
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Never Never is one of iBooks featured romantic suspense books! Which means it’s on sale for only .99!
While you’re there, check out their other romantic suspense titles in the feature.
I plan to write up a blog post about my travels to Brazil and The Philippines, but here are a few shaky videos to watch in the meantime.
We have ten hours of press interviews both today and tomorrow, so I won’t be posting much, but I’ll catch back up soon.
I realize this may very well be one of the most uninteresting blog posts I’ve ever written, but I feel like I just need to write something. So I opened up my word document and ended up with this. Maybe because I’ve been going through a bit of writer’s block, and the number one rule to writer’s block is WRITE. It’s not really a real rule, but it’s the only one that helps me.
Which leads me to a topic I just now thought of. PLOTTING.
I’m trying to come up with a book idea for what I’ll write next. Not that I’m short on ideas, I just have to be in the mood to write certain things. Take November 9 for example. I actually plotted this one out in early 2013 and had planned on releasing it in 2014. But then I got the idea for Maybe Someday and was more in the mood to write that one at the time, so I switched things up on myself.
Right now, I have NO idea what I want to write. I have lots of ideas down on paper, but none of them are speaking to me. And it may just be that I need a break. I feel like I’ve been writing something since I started this crazy journey nearly four years ago. And maybe writing, like with anything else, needs a pause. A moment to catch your breath. Considering I’ll be traveling for the next few months, it’s probably a really good time to do that. Besides, most of my traveling will be with Tarryn and she talks a lot. Some of it will be with Anna Todd and I’m kind of enamored by her, so I’ll be too busy staring at her to write anything.
I’m not the kind of writer who can work on more than one book at a time. I have to invest all my energy into the characters of one story; otherwise I’ll feel like I’m cheating. I also think about the book all the time. In the shower, when I drive, when I sleep, when I grocery shop, when I have conversations with other humans. I can’t even watch much TV now that I write. I used to be a reality TV junkie, but then I went like a whole year after I started writing without watching TV. Now, I record three or four shows a week that I usually binge-watch on Monday nights. I watch them on Monday, because Monday is the worst day of the week and I feel it’s important to schedule something fun on shitty days. So I do.
Sometimes when I’m in this funk, I’ll sit at my computer and just write a whole bunch of stuff to a story I know I’m never going to finish. Sometimes I write smut and tell myself I’m going to publish it under a pen-name someday, but I still haven’t finished anything yet. I have this one partial book (not really smut, though) that’s just like WHOA and I initially started out writing it to publish, but then I decided I didn’t want to publish it. So sometimes I’ll just write on it when I’m in a funk. I’ll give you a few pages of that book below just for the heck of it.
Anyway, this post has no point whatsoever. I just sometimes feel like I’m not being productive if I’m not writing something. So I wrote something. There. I win this round, writer’s block!
Here’s a piece of something I started a long time ago and never finished. It’s so very unedited, and not at all for kids. Also, ignore the incorrect Spanish. ;)
Warm fingers entwine with mine, pressing my hands deeper into the mattress. My eyelids are too heavy to pry open from the lack of sleep I’ve had this week. The lack of sleep I’ve had all month, really.
Hell, this whole damn year.
I moan and attempt to squeeze my legs together, but I can’t. There’s pressure everywhere. On my chest, against my cheek, between my legs. It takes me a few seconds to pull my mind out of its sleepy haze, but I’m awake enough to know what he’s doing.
“Asa,” I mumble, irritated. “Get off me.”
He thrusts his weight against me repetitively, groaning against my ear, his morning stubble cutting into my cheek. “I’m almost done, babe,” he breathes against my neck.
I attempt to pull my hands out from beneath his, but he squeezes them tighter, reminding me that I’m nothing more than a prisoner in my own bed, and he’s the warden of the bedroom. Asa has always had a way of making me feel like my body was at his disposal. He’s never mean or forceful about it; he’s just needy—and I find it really inconvenient.
Like right now.
At six o’clock in the damn morning.
I can guess the time by the sunlight peeking through the crack under the door, and the fact that Asa is just now coming to bed after last night’s party. I, however, have to be in class in less than two hours. This isn’t how I would have chosen to be pried awake after barely three hours of sleep.
I wrap my legs around his waist and hope he thinks I’m into this. When I act half interested, he gets it over with quicker.
He palms my right breast and I let out the expected moan, just as he begins to shudder. “Fuck,” he groans, burying his face in my hair, slowly rocking against me. After several seconds, he collapses on top of me and sighs heavily, then kisses my cheek and rolls onto his side of the bed. He stands up and removes the condom and tosses it into the trashcan, then grabs a bottle of water off the bedside table. He brings the bottle to his lips, raking his eyes over my exposed flesh. His lips pull into a lazy grin. “I love that I’m the only one who’s ever been inside that.”
He stands confidently naked by the bed, gulping the last of the water. It’s hard to accept compliments when they come from someone who refers to your body as a “that.”
Despite his good looks, he has his faults. In fact, his looks may be the only thing about him I don’t find fault in. He’s cocky, quick-tempered, hard to handle sometimes. But he loves me. He loves the hell out of me. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love him in return. There are so many things I would change about him if I could, but right now he’s all I have, so I deal with it. He brought me in when I had nowhere else to go. No one else to turn to. For that reason alone, I put up with him. I have no other choice.
He brings his hand up and wipes his mouth, then tosses the empty bottle into the trashcan. He runs his hand through his thick brown hair and winks at me, then drops back onto the bed and leans in, kissing me softly on the lips. “Goodnight, babe,” he says as he rolls onto his back.
“You mean good morning,” I say, as I reluctantly pull myself out of bed. My t-shirt is bunched around my waist, so I pull it down and grab some pants and a different shirt. I walk across the hallway to the shower, relieved that one of our countless roommates isn’t occupying the only upstairs bathroom.
I check the time on my phone and cringe when I realize I won’t even have enough time to stop for coffee. It’s the first class of the semester and I already have plans on using it to catch up on sleep. This isn’t looking good.
There’s no way I can keep this up. Asa never goes to class on a regular basis, yet he always passes with near perfect grades. I’m struggling to keep my head above water, and I didn’t miss a single day last semester. Well, in physical form, anyway. Unfortunately we live with so many other people, there’s never a quiet moment in the house. I catch myself falling asleep in class more often than not; it’s the only time I get peace and quiet. The parties seem to go on all hours of the day and night, regardless of who has class the next day. Weekends have no bearings over weekdays in our house, and rent has no bearing over who lives here.
I don’t even know who lives here half the time. Asa owns the house, but he loves being around people, so he likes the revolving door, free-for-all. If I had the means, I’d have my own place in a heartbeat. But I don’t. That just means one more year of pure hell before I graduate.
One more year before I’m free.
I pull my shirt over my head and drop it to the floor, then pull the shower curtain back. As soon as I reach down for the nozzle, I scream at the top of my lungs. Passed out in the tub, fully clothed, is our newest full-time roommate, Dalton.
He jerks awake and smashes his forehead into the faucet above his head, yelling in response to my scream. I reach down and grab my shirt just as the door bursts open and Asa rushes in.
“Sloan, are you okay?” he says frantically, spinning me around to check me for injuries. I nod feverishly and point to the tub.
“I’m not okay,” Dalton groans, palming his freshly injured forehead. He pulls himself upright and attempts to crawl out of the tub.
Asa looks at me, down at my naked body being covered by the shirt in my hands, then looks back at Dalton. I’m afraid he’s about to get the wrong idea, so I start to explain, but he cuts me off with a loud, unexpected burst of laughter.
“Did you do that to him?” he says, pointing at Dalton’s head, still laughing.
I shake my head. “He hit his head on the faucet when I screamed.”
Asa laughs even harder and reaches a hand down to Dalton, then pulls him the rest of the way out of the tub. “Come on man, you need a beer. Cure for hangovers.” He pushes Dalton out of the bathroom and follows behind him, closing the door when he leaves.
I stand frozen, still clutching my shirt to my chest. The sad part is, this is the third time this has happened. A different idiot every time, passed out in the tub. I make a mental note to check the tub from now on before undressing.
I pull the schedule out of my pocket and unfold it to look for the room number. “This is such crap,” I say into the phone. “I graduated college three years ago. I didn’t sign up for this shit so I could do homework.”
Dalton laughs loudly, forcing me to pull the phone several inches away from my ear. “Boo fucking hoo,” he says. “I had to sleep in a damn bathtub last night. Suck it up, man. Acting the part is part of the job.”
“Easy for you to say, you were signed up for one class a week. I have three. Why’d Young only give you one?”
“Maybe I give better head,” Dalton says.
I look down at my schedule and up at the number on the door in front of me, finding a match.
“I gotta go. La clase de Español.”
“Carter, wait,” he says, in a more serious tone. Dalton clears his throat and prepares for his “partner pep-talk.” I’ve been suffering through them on a daily basis since we started working together a year ago. “Try to make it fun. We’re so close to getting everything we need…you’ll be here two months, tops. Find a hot piece of ass to sit by, it’ll make the days go by faster.”
I look through the window of the classroom door. It’s practically at full capacity with only three empty seats. My eyes immediately fall on a girl in the back of the room next to one of the empty chairs. Her dark hair is spilled over her face while she rests her head on her arms, folded across her desk. She’s asleep. I can sit by the sleepers; it’s the incessant talkers that I can’t tolerate. “Look at that. Already found me a hot piece of ass to sit by. I’ll check in with you after lunch.”
I end the call and swing open the classroom door as I turn the volume to silent. I hoist the strap of my backpack further onto my shoulder as I make my way up the steps to the back of the room. I squeeze past her to the empty seat, tossing my backpack on the floor and my phone onto the table. The sound my phone makes when it meets the solid wood jolts the girl from her sleep. She immediately sits up, wide-eyed. She looks around the room, frantic and confused, then down at the notebook on her desk. I pull the chair out and sit down next to her. She glares at my phone lying on the table in front of us, and then looks at me.
Her hair is a wild mess and there’s a shiny trail of drool running from the corner of her lip, down her chin. She’s glaring at me like I’ve interrupted the only minute of sleep she’s ever had.
“Late night?” I ask. I bend over and open my backpack, pulling out the Spanish textbook I could more than likely recite from memory.
“Class isn’t over?” she asks, her eyes narrowed at the book I’m placing on the desk in front of me.
“Depends,” I say.
“On how long you’ve been passed out. I’m not sure which time slot you have for Spanish, but this is the ten o’clock class.”
She throws her elbows onto the desk in front of her and groans, running her hands over her face. “I’ve been asleep for five minutes? That’s it?” She leans back into her seat and slouches down, resting her head on the back of her chair. “Wake me up when it’s over, okay?”
She’s looking at me, waiting on me to agree. I tap my finger to my chin. “You’ve got a little something right here.”
She wipes at her mouth and pulls her hand back to inspect it. I expect her to be embarrassed by the fact that she’s got drool running down her face, but instead, she rolls her eyes and tucks the sleeve of her shirt under her thumb and leans forward. She wipes the puddle of drool off the table with her sleeve, and then slouches back down in her seat, closing her eyes.
I’ve been through college before. I know how it is with the late nights, the partying, the studying and never having time for it all. But this girl seems stressed to the max. I’m curious if it’s due to a heavy load, or way too much partying.
I reach down into my backpack and pull the energy drink out that I picked up on the way here this morning. I’m thinking she needs it more than I do.
“Here.” I set it on the desk in front of her. “Drink this.”
She slowly pries her eyes open as if her eyelids weigh a thousand pounds each. She looks down at the drink, then quickly grabs it and pops the top. She gulps the contents frantically; like it’s the first thing she’s had to drink in days.
“You’re welcome.” I laugh.
She finishes the drink and sets it back on the table, wiping her mouth with the same sleeve she wiped away the drool with earlier. I’m not gonna lie, her unkempt, sloppily sexy demeanor is a major turn-on, in a weird way.
“Thanks,” she says, wiping the hair out of her eyes. She looks at me and smiles, then stretches her arms out behind her head and yawns. The door to the classroom opens and everyone shifts in their seats, indicating the entrance of the instructor–but I can’t take my eyes off of her long enough to even validate his presence.
She combs through the strands of her hair with her fingers. It’s still slightly damp and I can smell the floral scent of her shampoo when she flips her hair back over her shoulders. It’s long and dark and thick, just like the lashes that line her contrasting light-blue eyes. She glances toward the front of the room and opens her notebook, so I mirror her movements and do the same.
The professor greets us in Spanish, and we return his salutations in collective, broken responses. He begins giving instructions on an assignment when my phone lights up on the table between us. I look down at the incoming text message from Dalton.
Does this hot piece of ass you’re sitting next to have a name?
I immediately flip the phone over, hoping she didn’t read it. She brings her hand to her mouth and quietly laughs.
She read it.
“Hot piece of ass, huh?” she says.
Mental note: Kick Dalton’s ass tonight.
“I’m sorry,” I say. “My friend… he thinks he’s funny. Also likes to make my life hell. ”
She arches an eyebrow and turns toward me. “So you don’t think I’m a hot piece of ass?”
With her facing me head on, it’s the first chance I’ve actually had to get a good look at her. Let’s just say I’m officially in love with this class now.
I shrug my shoulders. “With all due respect, you’ve been sitting down since I met you. I haven’t even seen your ass.”
She laughs again. “Sloan,” she says, extending her hand. I take her hand in mine, failing to shake it. The sheer softness of her skin takes me by surprise and I look down at her hand clasped in mine. There’s a small crescent shaped scar on her thumb. I run my finger across it and twist her hand back and forth, inspecting the scar.
“Sloan,” I repeat, letting her name roll off the tip of my tongue.
“This is usually the point during introductions that one would reply with their own name,” she says.
I glance back up at her and she pulls her hand away, looking at me inquisitively.
“Carter,” I reply, keeping in character with who I’m supposed to be. It’s been hard enough calling Ryan by the name of Dalton for the past six weeks, but I’ve gotten used to it. Calling myself Carter is another story. I’ve more than once slipped up and referred to myself by my real name.
“Mucho gusto,” she says in an almost perfect accent, turning her attention toward the front of the room.
No, the pleasure is mine. Believe me.
The professor instructs the class to turn to the closest partner and state three facts about the other person in Spanish. This is my fourth year of Spanish, so I decide to let Sloan go first so I won’t intimidate her. We turn toward each other and I nod my head at her. “Las Senoras primera,” I say.
“No, we’ll take turns,” she says. “You first. Go ahead, tell me a fact about myself.”
“Okay,” I say, laughing at how she just took control. “Usted es mandona.”
“That’s an opinion, not a fact,” she states. “But I’ll give it to you.”
I tilt my head in her direction. “You understood what I just said?”
She nods her head. “If you intended to call me bossy, then yes.” She narrows her eyes, but a tiny smile forces its way through. “My turn,” she says. “Su compañera de clase es bella.”
I laugh. She just complimented herself by telling me one of my facts is that my class partner is beautiful? I nod in unabashed agreement. “Mi compañera de clase esta correcta,” I say.
I can see the blush rise to her cheeks, despite her tanned skin. “How old are you?” she asks.
“That’s a question, not a fact. And in English, no less.”
“I need to ask a question to get to the fact. You look a little older than most sophomore Spanish students.”
“How old do you think I am?”
“23? 24?” she says.
She’s not too far off. I’m twenty-five, but she doesn’t need to know that. “Twenty-two,” I say.
“Tiene veintidos años,” she says, stating her second fact about me.
“You cheat,” I reply.
“You have to say that in Spanish if that’s one of your facts about me.”
I can tell by the arch in her eyebrow that she wasn’t expecting me to know that one in Spanish.
“That’s three for you,” she says.
“You still have one more.”
“Usted es un perro.”
I laugh. “You just accidentally called me a dog in Spanish.”
She shakes her head. “It wasn’t an accident.”
Her phone vibrates, so she pulls it out of her pocket and gives it her full attention. I lean back in my chair and grab my own phone, pretending to do the same. We sit silently while the rest of the class finishes the assignment. I watch out of the corner of my eye as she texts, her thumbs flying quickly over the screen of her phone. She’s cute. I like that I’m looking forward to this class now. Three days a week doesn’t seem like enough all the sudden.
There’s roughly fifteen minutes left of class and I’m doing my damndest to keep myself from staring at her. She hasn’t said anything else since she referred to me as a dog. I watch as she doodles into her notebook, not paying attention to a single word the instructor has said. She’s either bored out of her mind, or she’s somewhere else entirely. I lean forward, attempting to get a better look at what she’s writing. I feel nosey, but then again she did read my text earlier, so I feel justified.
Her pen is frantically moving over the paper, possibly a result of the energy drink she downed. I read the sentences as she jots them down. I read them more than once, but they don’t make a lick of sense, no matter how many times I read them.
Trains and buses stole my shoes and now I have to eat raw squid.
I laugh at the randomness of all the sentences sprawled across her page, and she glances up at me. I meet her gaze and she grins mischievously.
She looks down at her notebook and taps her pen against it. “I get bored,” she whispers. “I don’t have a very good attention span.”
I normally have a great attention span, but apparently not while I’m sitting next to her.
“Sometimes I don’t either,” I say. I reach across the desk and point at her words. “What is that? A secret code?”
She shrugs her shoulders and drops her pen, then slides the notebook closer to me. “It’s just something stupid I do when I’m bored. I like to see how many random things I can think up without actually thinking. The more they don’t make sense, the more I win.”
“The more you win?” I ask, hoping for clarification. This girl is an enigma. “How could you lose if you’re the only one playing your game?”
Her smile disappears and she glances away, staring down at the notebook in front of her. She delicately traces her finger over the letters in one of the words.
I wonder what the hell I just said to change her demeanor so drastically and so fast. She picks her pen up and hands it to me, shaking away whatever thoughts just darkened her mind.
“Try it,” she says. “It’s highly addictive.”
I take the pen from her hand and find an open spot on her page. “So I just write anything? Whatever comes to mind?”
“No,” she says. “The exact opposite. Try not to think about it. Try not to let anything come to mind. Just write.”
I press the pen to the paper and do exactly what she says. I just write.
I dropped a can of corn down the laundry shoot, now my mother cries rainbows.
I lay the pen down, feeling slightly stupid. She covers her mouth to stifle a laugh after she reads it. She turns to a fresh page and writes, You’re a natural, then hands me the pen again.
Thank you. Unicorn juice helps me breathe when I listen to disco.
She laughs again and takes the pen from my hand just as the professor dismisses class. Everyone throws their books in their bags and slides out of their seats in a hurry.
Everyone but us. We’re both staring down at the page, smiling, not moving.
She puts her hand on the notebook and slowly shuts it, then slides it down the table and into her backpack. She looks back at me. “Don’t get up yet,” she says as she stands up.
“Because. You need to sit there while I walk away so you can determine whether or not I really am a fine piece of ass.” She winks at me and spins around.
Oh my god. I bite my knuckles and do exactly what she says, planting my eyes directly on her ass. And just my luck, it’s perfect. Every bit of her body is perfect. I sit completely still as I watch her descend the stairs.
Where the hell did this girl come from? And where the hell has she been all my life? I curse the fact that whatever just happened between us is all that could ever happen. Relationships never begin well with lies. Especially lies like mine.
She glances over her shoulder before she walks out the door and I bring my gaze back up to her eyes. I give her a thumbs up. She laughs and disappears out the classroom door.
I gather my things and attempt to get her out of my head. I need to be on point tonight. There’s too much riding on this to be distracted by such a beautiful, perfect ass.