A huge thank you to Amber for having me at her place today J
Always Hope has been a bit of a labour of love for me. I was going to submit it to my publisher when it was done, not thinking that I wouldn’t. Then my lovely co-writing partner on Continental Divide (release date 9 March 2012), who had had such success with self-publishing, suggested I give it a go. I thought to myself, a bit like Dr Pepper, “What’s the worst that could happen?” If it was a good idea, I’d sell some books, and if it wasn’t, I hadn’t really lost anything. I will, however, admit that I was scared poopless when it went live on Sunday 18 February. What if no one likes it? What if no one buys it?
Luckily, I seem to have some die hard fans who seem to like what I do and are supporting me all the way. Although it’s nerve-wracking when you think about all the things you have to do yourself that your publisher normally handles – but it’s exciting too. Exciting to think that you are in total control of your work and I’d recommend it. Stressful – but worth it J
And here’s a little taste of Always Hope. I hope you enjoy it J
Ash Watts has his life exactly how he wants it: burgeoning career, gorgeous boyfriend, and an apartment with a fabulous view of LA. But his perfect world comes crashing down around his ears when he learns of his only sister's untimely death. A small town isn't all he finds when he lands in Freedom, Alabama for Annie's funeral. This small town is brimming with secrets; secrets that could change Ash's life forever.
Kaleb Gibson, honest-to-God cowboy, and native of Freedom, born and bred, found his best friend the moment Annie Watts breezed into town. Her death left a gaping hole in his heart, and while Annie's brother may have her same dark hair and green eyes, Kaleb refuses to lose his heart all over again, and he can’t forgive the man for neglecting his sister when she needed him most.
Revelations from Annie's Will throw Kaleb and Ash together in ways they never imagined. Will Kaleb be able to carry out Annie’s last wishes without killing her beloved brother and without revealing a secret from his own past that could destroy everything? And will Ash stick around long enough to see that Freedom may hold an even more perfect life than he could have imagined?
Kaleb tossed the suitcase in the back of his truck and then climbed in behind the wheel. He started the engine and opened his window to let in the warm summer breeze and waited for Ash to hoist himself into the passenger seat. “You might wanna open your window, it’s hotter ‘n a whorehouse on nickel night in here.” As Ash fumbled with the inside panel of the door, Kaleb rolled his eyes when he realized what the man was looking for. He leaned across him and his lips curled at the gasp from Ash when his arm brushed against a firm thigh. Kaleb gripped the lever and wound the window down until the pane had completely disappeared into its housing. “This is a mint condition 1969 Chevy C10, City Boy. There ain’t no electric windows here, you’re in the South now.”
After negotiating the traffic around the airport, Kaleb pulled out onto the freeway and headed towards home. He glanced over at Ash and frowned at how pale the guy was. “When did you last sleep?” The question was out before he could stop it. Not that he’d planned to be anything other than civil, he’d merely decided he wasn’t going out of his way to be nice. This was the guy who’d left Annie high and dry, and he was the guy who’d seen the sadness in her eyes as she’d made excuse after excuse for the man who didn’t return her calls.
“Excuse me?” Ash turned to look at him and Kaleb was struck once again by the green of the man’s eyes. Now that they were out of the harsh fluorescent lighting of the airport, he could see that while there were obvious similarities between brother and sister, Ash’s eyes weren’t as vibrant a green as Annie’s. More like the ocean on a stormy day, and— what the fuck does it matter what color his eyes are? You’re giving him a ride, not painting his fucking portrait.
“You look like you’ve been put through the mill and hung up wet,” Kaleb said gruffly, returning his gaze to the road, angry with himself for being sucked in by the air of fragility about the man, despite his tall, lean frame. “Didn’t you sleep on the plane?”
“Oddly enough, no,” Ash snapped. “I was too busy thinking about my sister’s funeral to catch a few 'z’s'.”
“Shame you didn’t think about her more often when she was alive,” Kaleb countered, unable to keep the venom from his voice. Nice, Gibson, kick the man when he’s down why don’t ya? Kaleb ignored his inner voice’s scathing retort. Ash wasn’t the only one who was down, but they all had to keep going. Was he supposed to treat the asshole with kid gloves? Watts wasn’t the only one who was grieving. He’s her brother! He didn’t care. Just because Ash and Annie shared the same blood, didn’t mean anything. He, Kaleb Gibson, had been more of a brother to Annie Watts than this sack of rich city boy shit. His own heart weighed too heavy in his chest to care about Ash’s feelings.
“I beg your pardon? What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” Ash said in stunned amazement, turning his now angry gaze on Kaleb.
“You’re the writer, figure it out,” Kaleb spat, his fingers tightening on the wheel.
“You don’t know anything about me, or Annie.”
“I know she sat by the phone night after night waiting for your calls… calls that never fucking came. I know she cut out every clipping of every article you ever wrote. I know she was prouder of you than you had any right to.” The look Kaleb shot Ash was filled with disgust. “So quite frankly, City Boy, I already know more about you than I care to.” He knew he’d hit a nerve when spots of red flamed in Ash’s pale cheeks and for a nano-second, he wanted to take the words back—for a nano-second. Maybe it would do the man good to hear some home truths.
Buy link: Amazon.com and allromanceebooks.com
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