My contemporary romance, Wildflower, is free this weekend at Amazon. Check out this link to get your free copy today.
I don’t know why it took me so long to do the KDP Select program from Amazon. I don’t know what I was afraid of. I had really good success with The Bracelet and with Remember The Eyes, so I’ve decided to put Wildflower up for it’s free promo on the weekend.
What was nice about doing the free promo’s, it helped with getting the other books out there that were otherwise at the bottom of the pile. Remember The Eyes is the first book of three. The free promo gave the buyers of the free book, a chance to get the other two books that go with that one. Up until the free promo, those other books were practically non-existent.
Another nice thing is the lending program. If you are a Prime Member at Amazon, you have the chance to “borrow” a book for a month. Consider becoming a Prime Member to get your free copies of books that you would otherwise have to buy.
Wildflower will be free Friday, March 30th until Sunday, April 1st…and that’s no April Fools.
Enjoy an excerpt from the novel.
I parked my bike as close as I could, carrying my helmet in my hand. When my buddy Tanner saw me, he waved me in. No need to check his clipboard. Sean, Matt and I were always on the list.
Tanner was a guy who frequented the gym so we gave him a discount on his membership in return for entry into the bar whenever we wanted it. It usually pissed everyone off that was in the line up, but he didn’t mind, and neither did we. Of course, it would help if I genuinely wanted to be here tonight.
Inside, I put my helmet behind the bar and ordered a beer from Bob the bartender. I paid him, and he took my money. “Change?” he said, holding up the five dollar bill.
I shook my head, then scanned the room for Sean. I found him standing by a waist high table overlooking the dance floor.
“Hey,” he said, “Nice of you to join us!”
“Yeah, well, I don’t plan on staying that long.” The music was so loud tonight that I could feel every vibration in my chest. I’m sure a headache wouldn’t be long in coming.
“You opening tomorrow for me?” He was still trying to weasel out of opening. Even though months ago, I’d made him open three weekends in a row, he still didn’t get it. Again, I made him open for another three weeks. Maybe this time he would learn his lesson.
“No!” I said, crinkling my brow. “I said you have to open three weekends in a row, and I meant three weekends. You’d think after the first time, you would have learned your lesson.”
“It’s not fair.” If he’d been a child, I’m sure his lip would have been stuck out in a pout and his arms folded against his chest.
“No, what’s not fair is you taking advantage of my niceness all the time.”
He burst out laughing. “Niceness, my ass! What you are is ruthless!”
Pointing my finger at him, I stated, “And, don’t you forget it!” I finally smiled in response to his attempt.
Matt came up behind us and draped his arms over our shoulders. He pointed to three girls that were sitting on the other side of the DJ booth. He thought we might be able to score with them. There were two blondes and a brunette, nursing drinks and smoking cigarettes. I didn’t think any of them looked attractive.
Sean turned up his nose at the girls, and I really wasn’t up to ‘scoring’ tonight. Not with them, anyway. They looked a little too loose for my style. Sean reiterated what I was thinking out loud. “They look skanky. I don’t want skanky and sleazy. I want clean and easy.” He smiled wryly when he said that.
Oh God. I couldn’t believe that he just said that. He was pathetic, and I marvelled that he could get any woman at all into bed with him for even one night when he said shit like that.
In my boredom, I let my eyes wander over towards the bar, wondering if I could sneak away from these two assholes. Closer to the bar meant I’d be closer to the door.
I saw a woman sitting at the bar with long blonde wavy hair. She was sitting there easily, her legs crossed as she sat on the bar stool, her back to the dance floor. She was chatting with the bartender. From the back, it looked like the woman from the gym. Was it her?
I saw her one more time after that day in the park. When I saw her, it was at the gym and she was running the treadmill again. I was with Scott when I saw her. He didn’t need as much direction now as he did in the beginning. I was there more for encouragement than as an instructor.
I stared at her as she ran, her beautiful body glistening like dew on the morning grass.
“Yo, Nick, are you there?” Scott back-handed me in the chest.
Startled, I looked at him, and said, “What?”
“I asked you a question, but you seem a million miles away. You ok?”
“Yeah, sorry. I guess I was just daydreaming.”
“I just wanted to know if I was doing this right.”
He showed me the exercise, and I nodded my head. “Yeah, you’re doing it right.” I glanced over at her again, and this time Scott followed my gaze to her.
“My, she is hot,” he said in a sarcastic tone, then smiled and winked at me when I looked at him, my brows knitted together.
I didn’t bother dignifying him with an answer. Scott was a nice guy, but his sarcastic comment kind of irked me. Yeah, she is hot! You’d be blind not to see that!
Then earlier today, Sean caught me closing my office door. “You coming out tonight?”
I sighed when I saw him. “Yeah, I’ll come. But, only because it’s Matt’s birthday. I just can’t get into this bar scene.”
“You never want to go out and have fun anymore. You’ve turned into a hermit. You’re too young to stay inside.”
I shrugged my shoulders. Maybe he was right. Maybe I should be more like him and the other guys. Maybe I should be into the scantily clad women, and the women who can’t add 2+2. Maybe I should have one night stands like him, and give out fake phone numbers.
But, here I am, and for once, I’m actually glad that I came out to the bar tonight. The woman at the bar turned her head slightly, and she laughed. It was her! I was sure of it!
My very being was drawn to her. I caught every movement she made, loving the way she looked. I stared at her for awhile, until I could muster up my courage to go over to her.
She sat there, her drink in front of her, watching her friends out on the dance floor. Occasionally one of them would try to entice her to come out on to the dance floor with them, but she wouldn’t budge off her stool. She’d smile, and say, “No!” to them.
A very drunk guy stumbled up beside her, barely making it to the bar stool. He said something to her, but she turned her back to him. He sat there for a few minutes, looking like he was going to be sick, then he got up and left. He’d obviously had a few wobbly-pops before he got here. The night was still young.
Sean pointed at a bunch of girls that were looking in our direction. “How about those girls? They look nice.”
I nodded to him, but although I saw the girls, I wasn’t really looking at them. They were pretty, but that’s all. They definitely weren’t her.
“Come with me. Lets go talk to them,” he urged, pulling at me to follow him.
I went with him, but instead of stopping at the girls Sean was talking about, I went to the one woman that did matter. When he saw that I hadn’t stopped, he grabbed my arm. “Hey, come on, Nick! These girls are hotties!”
“Great. Go to them! You can have all of them. I’m going over here.” I pointed towards the bar. He had his sights on bimbos and hotties, but I wasn’t sure who he was looking at, because the only hottie in the bar is sitting at the bar.
She had her back turned to me, so I nudged her arm. She turned towards me. She had a bored look on her face, one that said she didn’t really want to be there. I couldn’t have agreed more.
But, even though I was trying to be nonchalant, I’m sure the look of excitement showed on my face. “Hi,” I said.
She smiled in recognition. She pointed, and said, “You’re the guy from the gym, right?”
“Yeah. My name’s Nick. Nick Thompson.” I held out my hand to her.
She took my hand in hers, and said, “Sandy Newton.”
There’s always that awkward moment when you first meet someone, especially when it’s someone that you really like, and sometimes the words just don’t come out right, or you can’t think of anything to say at all. She looked at me, and I looked at her, but the words just never came. We just smiled pathetically at each other.
“Can I buy you another drink?”
She softened her eyes and shook her head, looking at her almost empty glass. “I’m driving tonight.”
I turned to the bartender. “Two diet colas, please.”
When I handed her one, I said, “Me, too.”
She smiled, and accepted the cola. She took a sip, then leaned in towards me. I put my head down so I could hear what she had to say better. Her sweet perfume caught me right away. It swam into my nose like a fresh bouquet of flowers.
“You’re the first guy tonight that hasn’t used some corny pick-up line on me.” Her smile was beautiful, and I couldn’t help but bathe in her beauty. She continued, “One guy said to me, “Is that windex in your pants, ‘cause I can see myself in them!” She made a face.
I laughed, and told her that I don’t use pick-up lines, but that some of my friends do. They often get slapped for saying stupid things like that.
“Maybe if I wasn’t so nice, I would have,” she commented.
Using my head, I motioned in the direction of the dance floor. “Do you want to dance?”
She shook her head, and pointed her finger towards the dance floor. “I can’t dance to this shit. The music all sounds the same to me, and I hate that rap stuff. They seem to play it a lot here.”
“I’ll be right back,” I stated, touching her arm lightly. She held onto my drink for me as I turned to walk away. She was hard to leave, even for a minute.
Eighteen year old Riley Abbott is about to meet the man from her past life dreams.
Riley has been having some weird dreams lately. But, that’s nothing new. Riley already has some pretty weird traits—telekinesis, astral travel and mind-reading abilities, to name a few. But, her dreams are so real to her, that her hands ache in the morning from pushing the heavy fruit cart down the path to the marketplace in her dreams. She even feels the kisses of the man that’s in her dreams.
Riley discovers that the dreams she is experiencing are past life dreams. She begins to believe this when she goes to University, and she meets Michael, a guy that when she looks into his eyes, she sees the man from her dreams, and she knows they have to be together. As their young love blooms, her dreams reveal to her that Michael could be in danger.
When another mind-reader, Brenda, won’t leave him alone, and threatens the lives of both Riley and Michael, Riley vows to do anything to keep him alive.
Here is a short excerpt from the book.
Riley and Michael are lured to the Recreation Center at the university, each thinking that the other had asked them to go there. Brenda, a psychotic student at the university, who is in love with Michael, starts waving a gun around, finally shooting Riley in the shoulder and arm. Brenda won’t let Michael go to get some help for Riley.
Riley has some special abilities. Riley has the ability to put up a shield, and the ability to astral travel (to step out of her body). She puts up a shield to protect Michael, and then she goes to get help. She astral travels to her friend Sandy’s room, hoping that Sandy will hear her.
I took hold of my crystal, feeling all of it sparkly energy run through me, giving me the strength I needed to accomplish this task. I imagined myself away from my body, and swooshed through the night air. It felt good to be in the coolness of the evening air. It was still light out, but things were starting to darken from my point of view.
Stars formed in front of my eyes. I had to hurry. I wouldn’t be much good if I were dead. I found Sandy’s room, hoping that she would be there.
When I entered Sandy’s room, she was reading a book. The radio was playing softly in the background, her feet swaying to the beat while she read. I put my hand on her head, not knowing if this would work or not, and said, ‘Sandy! It’s Riley! I’ve been shot! I’m at the Rec Hall! Get security, and the police! Please hurry, Sandy! There isn’t much time!’
I stood there for a moment to see if it registered with her. A perplexed look came over her face, and then one of recognition. She had gotten the message.
She dialled 911, and then security.
“Justin? Hi, it’s Sandy from Registration. Yeah, hi. The reason I’m calling is, could you check the Rec Hall for me? I just have this weird feeling that something bad has happened over there.” She paused a second, then said, “I don’t know, but could you please just check it out. I’ve already called the police.” Another second later, she added, “Thanks, Justin.”
I was losing the battle to stay awake. I put my hand on Sandy again, and said ‘Thanks.’ I swooshed back to my body, blackness nearly taking me over. I opened my eyes. Michael was still holding me, not wanting to let me go. He had pressure on my wound, but I was growing tired.
He looked down at me, his eyebrows furrowed. I put my hand to his face again and said to him in his head, ‘Help is on it’s way.’
He looked at me, caressing my cheek softly. I wanted to close my eyes, to feel the coolness of the outside again. I’m hot. “Stay with me, Riley! Don’t you dare go to sleep! Riley! Don’t go to sleep!” I could feel him shaking me, pleading with me to stay awake. I try to keep my eyes open, but I’m so tired.
I heard Brenda speak. “You know Michael, it doesn’t have to be that way if you come to me now. I can give you so much more than she could.” She tried to look seductive and flirty.
“No,” was all he said. I looked up into his eyes, and he looked down at me, smiling weakly, brushing my hair with his fingers away from my face. I don’t know if I smiled back at him or not. I had started to lose all track of time and place. The pain in my right shoulder and arm had ceased to exist. I felt like I was just hovering over my body, my life and my soul.
“Then you leave me no choice.” She pulled the trigger but the bullet bounced off, ricocheting off the shield and hitting the wall. She looked at us, perplexed. Anger overtook her and she aimed again. When she fired, the bullet bounced off the shield and hit the ceiling, bits of tile raining down upon us, but hitting my shield.
I looked up at the ceiling, and said quietly, “Thank you, God.” The shield was working, and I had gone to get help. The shield was protecting Michael, and he was all that mattered.
She pointed at me and screamed, “See! She’s a witch!” She shot again, and once again, the bullet went off in a different direction, landing away from us.
Then I heard sirens outside. Oh, thank goodness, the cops are here. Finally we could get out of here. Oh, thank you, Sandy. Thank you for hearing me.
Still, the darkness wanted to take me. I didn’t know if I could hang on anymore. I could feel my eyelids growing heavy again. I just wanted to sleep.
I heard the security guards keys in the lock, and the door opening. Brenda was still in her same position, the gun pointing at us. My eyes fluttered and I heard Michael cry, “Stay with me, Riley! Help is here! Stay with me!”
He looked at his hand that still covered my wound, marvelling at the amount of blood that soaked our clothes and the floor. The blood still poured out of me, and I was having a hard time breathing and staying awake. He quickly put his hand down and resumed pressure on the wound.
“It’s ok, Michael. I don’t really feel it right now. It’s just sort of numb now.” My eyes started to shut again, twitching a bit.
He shook me slightly again, willing me to stay awake. “Stay with me! You’ve got to stay with me! Don’t you fall asleep,” he urged.
The police charged in and got into position, surrounding Michael and I. I couldn’t concentrate, my shield fading. I had my crystal in my hand, but I was having difficulty holding on, keeping the darkness at bay. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion.
An officer shouted at Brenda. “Put the gun down, miss.”
“Michael, it doesn’t have to be this way,” she said with obvious despair, looking directly at him.
“Put the gun down, miss!” the cop said more forcefully this time.
“Please, Michael. Come to me. I’m the one that you want. Please,” she cried.
The officers moved in on her. Brenda aimed the gun at them, then again at us. She fired a shot aimed at Michael, but it bounced off my fading shield. I didn’t know how much longer I could keep it up.
The officer that had spoken to her before, fired at Brenda, shooting her in the outer arm, making her drop the gun. She screamed, holding her arm. She went down to her knees, the police rushing to her, apprehending her and the gun.
“Michael! You’ll live to regret this!” she screamed. Then to the officers, she yelled, “Get your filthy hands off me, you pig!”
Now I felt safe. Safe enough to let down my shield, and safe enough to allow the darkness to finally take me. I’d kept Michael safe from harm. I hadn’t given up.
My eyelids closed, and I thought I heard someone say, “Ok, sir. We’ll take it from here.”
I could feel myself leaving the protection of Michael’s arms, though I think he gave me up reluctantly. I looked at him, his hand in mine and I said weakly, “Promise me one thing?”
“Anything,” he said, tenderly.
“Remember our eyes.”
I don’t remember anything after that.
Back in 2009, I started writing Remember The Eyes….well, back then, it was called, “Found Love”…but, I didn’t like that title, and I didn’t think it fit very well. RTE worked so much better, since Michael and Riley’s eyes were an integral part of the book.
In case any of you don’t know, Riley has these past life dreams, featuring her and someone else…a man that she doesn’t know. But, when she runs (literally) into a boy at her school, she looks into his eyes and realizes that he is the man from her past life dreams.
Some other things about Riley is that she has some very amazing special abilities, some of which are astral travelling (being able to almost step out of your body to visit other places) and the ability to read minds. In the passage below, she does this to visit Michael.
Michael is a songwriter/poet/musician from England, going to school in Canada. All the poems that he writes are for, and about, Riley.
Let me tell you….I’m not a poet by any means. I don’t write poetry as a rule, and I go through several pieces of paper and many scribbles later before I get it the way I like it, or for it to work with the storyline. I don’t really write the poems…my character does. So far, Michael has been the only one that has written anything…but, there could be more in the future who have the ability. You never know.
So, here are a few passages from the book, and a couple of poems that I wrote.
I run to his room, wanting to spend as much time with him as I can, even if he doesn’t know I’m there. I pause just outside his door, and listen. He’s still on the phone with Adam or one of his other friends. I step through his door and I’m inside his room.
I smile. It looks like a typical guys room. Clothes draped over a chair at his desk, books piled on the floor instead of on the shelf, his bed not made.
I stood at his door, leaning against it, knowing that he can’t see me. I just wanted to look at him again. I walked over to him slowly and stood next to his bed where he’s sitting. He raised his nose to the air and sniffed, as if he was a dog catching a scent of some animal close by. He closed his eyes and sniffed again, his head tilting slightly to the right. His brows furrow, then he shakes his head smiling.
He hesitated on the phone with his friend, then quickly continued with the conversation, his brows still furrowed. I looked into his mind to see what he thinks he smells here. ‘Why am I smelling her here? She has never been here before.’ He smells his clothes, but he doesn’t smell me on him. He’s going to start thinking he’s crazy if he can smell me and I’m no where in sight.
I watched as Michael got ready, running his hand through his hair and checking himself in the mirror, then he sat at his desk, writing in a journal book. I looked over his shoulder as he wrote.
Blue skies and butterfly kisses,
The softness of the grass,
The rich brown soil,
The branches of the trees,
I would not want to live
In a world without these things.
When he wrote the poem out, he was picturing me, kissing me under the apple tree in the courtyard. I could feel his fingers woven into my hair, pulling me closer to him in his strong arms, his smell intoxicating and delicious to me.
I just wanted to hold him in my arms, too. He was so handsome and sweet. He was the sweetest boy I had ever met, so kind and gentle and loving. None of the boys at my high school were ever like him. They weren’t gentlemanly and they would never think to hold out a girls chair for her or maybe hold open a door. They would never think to ask the girl what they wanted to do. It was always about them.
He sat at his desk a minute longer, then there was a knock on his door. I looked towards the door and knew that it was Adam there with his guitar case. Michael got up and answered the door. He still acted like he didn’t want to go.
“Hey Mikey, come on. I told the other guys to wait downstairs.”
“Ok, I’ll be right there.” He grabbed his guitar case and took one last look around his room. I was standing right next to him. He sniffed the air again, obviously smelling my presence there.
“You ok, man?” Adam asked. “You’ve been acting weird lately.”
Shaking his head, trying to get the thoughts of me out of his head, Michael said, “Yeah, I’m ok.” And, then he was out the door.
I sat down on his bed, and found a well worn book that was lying on the floor beside his bed. The pages were dog-eared and there were torn pieces of paper as bookmarks scattered throughout. I read the poem that it was open at.
I’ve told you that you’re beautiful,
My beautiful blue-eyed girl.
You are the sun in the summer,
Playing dizzily through the trees.
You are the moon at the night time,
Keeping me warm in your arms.
You are the rain, falling down softly,
Showering me with your love.
I only wish I could have these things,
To hold forever in my arms.
But, if not me, m’Lady, then who?
Who will be the lucky one,
Who gets to hold all of these?
I read the poem over and over, memorizing each line and feeling the poems intentions. When Michael finally came out of the bathroom, he blushed, “That’s one of my favourite poems. When I read it, I think of you.”
You can read more of Remember The Eyes, the first book in the series, at this link. http://www.amazon.com/Remember-The-Eyes-Book-ebook/dp/B004W3VYCE/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330797035&sr=1-3